Occupy Los Angeles is a throwback with a contemporary message
Musicians play at the Occupy Los Angeles camp outside City Hall on Friday.
October 21st, 2011
09:27 PM ET

Occupy Los Angeles is a throwback with a contemporary message

The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread across the globe has many personalities. In Los Angeles, it has the feel and sights of the 1960s.

Hundreds of tightly packed tents are on all sides of City Hall. Young people have feathers and flowers in their hair.

But this Internet-generation protest has a contemporary message, as articulated by protester Billy Singhas.

“Sovereignty,” Singhas said of what protesters are demanding. "We as Americans have gathered here to petition our government, and we would like to see an immediate return to the United States Constitution."

“We are trying to get at least 34 governors to call for a constitutional convention to put the power back in the hands of the 99%,” he said, referring to the assertion of Occupy protesters that the nation's wealthiest 1% holds inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population.

There are other causes being championed at the Occupy Los Angeles camp.

“Free the weeds!” shouted 22-year-old film student and musician Jason Zimmermann. “I’m here to support the legalization of marijuana."

Zimmermann also supports the Occupy movement, but he and some like-minded marijuana supporters play music and try to gather more support for their cause while smoking marijuana. Zimmermann said that no one hassles him.

“Yeah, it’s a wonderful thing. My bong is just sitting there,” he said.

Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's Jim Roope:


You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

Post by:
Filed under: California • Los Angeles • Occupy Wall Street
At Occupy New Orleans, ‘It’s about a discussion’
Occupy New Orleans protesters gather in New Orleans on October 16.
October 21st, 2011
08:48 PM ET

At Occupy New Orleans, ‘It’s about a discussion’

In New Orleans, Occupy Wall Street-style protesters say they want two things: an honest discussion and a little recognition.

Mindy Diez, a 26-year-old teacher taking part in Occupy New Orleans protests, said she believes that what the movement is doing for people on a personal level is as important as what it is doing nationally.

Diez said that for years, whenever she talked politics with her dad, the conversations would fall apart. But she said that since she has joined the Occupy movement, she’s had sustained talks with her dad, focusing on “issues rather than political players.”

“I think it’s larger than a protest,” Diez said. “It’s about a discussion.”

Fellow protester Joshua Liggin agreed. “I think it’s good, in general, that people are just gathering to talk about what’s upsetting them. That we’re actually articulating our problems and not just letting it pass us by.”

That is something the Occupy movement seems to excel at. Participants, a diverse group, are talking. A recent sampling by Princeton University shows the Occupy protesters in New York span all economic and social demographics, with the vast majority of people saying they are political independents.

While there has been no sampling of the smaller New Orleans movement, participants appear to be just as diverse, with seniors and young people camping at Duncan Plaza in the city’s financial district.

Scott Khiavatta, a self-described libertarian, is one of the semi-regulars at the New Orleans camp. He said the movement is about “people being recognized as people fed up with a corrupt system.”

Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado:


You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

Anti-corporate, anti-Murdoch protesters converge at News Corp. meeting
A protester wears a papier-mache likeness of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch outside Twentieth Century Fox studio.
October 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Anti-corporate, anti-Murdoch protesters converge at News Corp. meeting

About 200 protesters gathered outside the annual News Corp. stockholder meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, some objecting to boss Rupert Murdoch’s handling of his news groups, and others in the vein of Occupy Wall Street protests decrying what they describe as corporate greed.

Protesters gathered at the entrance to the Twentieth Century Fox studio lot, hoping to catch the attention of the Murdoch family and News Corp. shareholders, who were meeting at the Darryl Zanuck Theater.

The protesters represented various groups some wanting Murdoch, who is News Corp.’s chief executive and chairman, and the shareholders to "share" some of their wealth. Though they didn’t identify themselves as Occupy Wall Street protesters, their messages were similar to those heard at nationwide Occupy rallies, where people assert that the nation's wealthiest 1% hold inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population.

A 25-year-old protester, identifying herself only as Ashley, said she was there because the company represents money and power, which she believes can be used to help others.

"We want the funds to go back into our community to create good jobs," she said. "When you have a lot of money, you can do what you want with it."

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: California • Los Angeles • Occupy Wall Street • Rupert Murdoch
October 21st, 2011
04:31 PM ET

NATO aims to end Libya campaign on October 31

NATO will begin to scale back operations in Libya following Moammar Gadhafi's death, with the preliminary end date of October 31, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday.

"We did what we said we would do and now is the time for the Libyan people to take their destiny into their own hands," Rasmussen said.

NATO launched an air and missile campaign in March when pro-Gadhafi forces were advancing on a rebel stronghold in Libya under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians. NATO's efforts have included strike sorties and airstrikes targeting Gadhafi's military resources.

Post by:
Filed under: Libya
Condoleezza Rice in new book: Gadhafi depicted me as 'African Flower'
Then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice met Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2008 in Tripoli.
October 21st, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Condoleezza Rice in new book: Gadhafi depicted me as 'African Flower'

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says in her new book that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was killed Thursday, once played her a video montage of herself set to a tune called “African Flower in the White House,” the Daily Beast reports.

“It was weird, but at least it wasn’t raunchy,” Rice says in an exclusive excerpt from her book obtained by the Daily Beast.

Rice' s trip to Libya attracted considerable attention from the media (In a CNN interview afterward, she called it an "extraordinary moment.").  Not only was it the first visit by a U.S. secretary of state to the North African nation in more than half a century, but Gadhafi also was known to have a serious crush on Rice.

Earlier this year, rebels ransacking his Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli found an album of photos of the former Bush administration official.

The New York Times described the album: "There she is, in one (picture), smiling off to the side, her flip-do accented perfectly for the camera. And there she is in another, smiling next to you-know-who during that visit to Tripoli. … She looks more businesslike in a gray pinstripe suit with white pearls, her flip-do having given way to a page-boy bob."

In her book, "No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington," Rice said the meeting was the culmination of years of negotiations, including a condition that the North African nation renounce its weapons of mass destruction program.

Rice said she had leverage in Tripoli because of the traditional reasons, but also because Gadhafi “had a slightly eerie fascination with me personally, asking visitors why his ‘African princess’ wouldn’t visit him,” the Daily Beast reports.

Against the wishes of her security detail and an aide who had overseen the arrangements of the trip, she accepted an invitation to join the Libyan strongman in his private kitchen for dinner.

“I thought I could take care of myself and went in. At the end of dinner, Gadhafi told me that he’d made a videotape for me. 'Uh oh,' I thought, 'what is this going to be?' It was a quite innocent collection of photos of me with world leaders - President Bush, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, and so on,” she said, according to the Daily Beast.

Rice’s book goes on sale November 1.

Post by:
Filed under: Libya • Politics • U.S. • Uncategorized • World
Overheard on CNN.com: No home on the range
In the tiny towns surrounding the oil-rich Bakken formation in North Dakota, restaurant workers can make $15 an hour.
October 21st, 2011
03:58 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: No home on the range

"Buy a yurt."– lizng

Six-figure salaries, but homeless

Double your salary in the middle of nowhere, North Dakota

New technologies for tapping oil in North Dakota's Bakken formation have transformed nearby towns like Watford City and Williston into boomtowns. While the pay can be excellent for the job seekers moving there, finding a place to live may be next to impossible. CNN.com readers thought it was still a good deal, although some mentioned the weather, and others mentioned environmental concerns.

zooni said, "This is not a story, as many people move for jobs and live in cars. With a 6-figure salary you can buy a luxury camper if there are no rooms."

pianobarb said, "What about trailers? And if they have an extra bedroom, people in North Dakota could start renting out rooms: win-win for everyone. So what if they have to rough it for awhile? They're going to be making beaucoup bucks."

andTimmy replied, "Come out here and try it. ... Everything is taken up west of the Missouri."

FULL POST

Libya, and Gadhafi's fall, by the numbers
Ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed Thursday after being captured by revolutionary fighters.
October 21st, 2011
03:06 PM ET

Libya, and Gadhafi's fall, by the numbers

A look at some key figures relating to uprising that led to the ouster and the October 20 killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and the challenges that Libya faces as it transitions to a new government:

42: Rough number of years that Gadhafi ruled Libya, starting with a coup d'état in September 1969.

69: Gadhafi’s age at his death.

3: Days after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that calls went out on Facebook for peaceful demonstrations in Libya against Gadhafi.

33: Days after those calls that a coalition of nations including the United States began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya – an operation, later led by NATO, that was authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution to protect civilians. The air and missile campaign helped halt an advance by pro-Gadhafi forces on the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

159: Days between the calls for protests (February 11) and Libyan rebel forces entering Tripoli (August 21).

219: Days between the calls for protests and Gadhafi’s death after his capture by revolutionary forces near his hometown of Sirte (October 20).

3: Number of Gadhafi’s sons reported to have been killed since Libya’s civil war began in February.

8: Number of Gadhafi’s biological sons and daughters.

FULL POST

Post by: ,
Filed under: Libya
October 21st, 2011
02:50 PM ET

The Iraq war: A nine-year timeline

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced that American troops in Iraq will be home by the end of the year. That declaration means an end to a nearly nine-year war.

About 39,000 troops are in Iraq. The U.S. had wanted to wanted to keep between 3,000 to 5,000 troops there past 2011 for help with training and to maintain security. But the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates that the U.S. troops leave by year's end. CNN learned exclusively that the U.S. and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops remaining in Iraq, an impasse that effectively ended discussion of maintaining a significant American force presence beyond 2011.

CNN looks back at the events leading up to the war and its developments over the years.

February 5, 2003: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell makes the case to the United Nations that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein poses an imminent threat.

February 14, 2003: U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix reports to the U.N. Security Council that his team has found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

March 17, 2003: President George W. Bush issues an ultimatum to Hussein and his family: Leave Iraq within 48 hours, or face military action.

March 19, 2003: At 10:15 p.m. EST, Bush announces that U.S. and coalition forces have begun military action against Iraq.

March 20, 2003: Hussein speaks on Iraqi TV, calling the coalition's attacks "shameful crimes against Iraq and humanity."

March 23, 2003: Members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company are ambushed and captured outside Nasiriyah.

April 1, 2003: Pvt. Jessica Lynch is rescued from a hospital by U.S. forces.

April 9, 2003: Coalition forces take Baghdad, and a large statue of Hussein is toppled in Firdos Square. The White House declares "the regime is gone." FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Iraq
Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?
Wang Yue, 2, is treated at a hospital in China on Sunday after being hit by two cars. She died Friday.
October 21st, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are Americans better 'Good Samaritans'?

Exchange of the Morning:

"Someone please tell me things are different in the USA."–PointNoted
"Things are quite different here. For one thing, we tend to value human life a lot more."–ShovelingSnw

Chinese toddler dies a week after being hit by cars, ignored by passersby

A Chinese toddler who was hit by two cars and ignored by more than a dozen people before rescue died Friday. The video footage sparked a global outcry about the state of morality in China's fast-changing society. CNN.com readers argued over whether Americans were any better, while some identifying as Chinese or Chinese-American responded.

elfster said, "My heart sank seeing the video in its entirety. The van continued forward upon striking her the first time knowing they ran over a child. It is unthinkable, callous, apathy at its worst. She sustained some serious injuries when the rear wheels rolled over her torso, not to mention the truck that ran over her legs 8 minutes later. To watch passerbys on foot, on motorcycles, and in vehicles look and leave her there is repulsive."

CaitieLady08 said, "I know, I watched it too. Jaw-dropping. I don't understand at all!" Einstein1111 said, "I wonder if this is a general disregard for life in China or if it was the fact that the child was female. It is well known that females are not as 'valuable' in China. I would like to know the thought process on ignoring a severely wounded child in China."

FULL POST

Obama: 'America's war in Iraq will be over' at year's end
U.S. soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment participate in a patrol on July 15, 2011, in Iskandariya, Iraq.
October 21st, 2011
01:13 PM ET

Obama: 'America's war in Iraq will be over' at year's end

[Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET] U.S. President Barack Obama, announcing Friday that "the rest of our troops will come home by the end of the year," said: "After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."

The new partnership with Iraq will be "strong and enduring" after U.S. troops leave the country, Obama said in the White House briefing room. The United States will continue its interest in a strong, stable Iraq after U.S. troops leave, the president said.

"Today I can say that our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays," Obama said.

About 39,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, and the U.S. had wanted to keep from 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq past 2011 to aid in training and security. But the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates the U.S. troops leave by year's end, and the United States and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq, effectively ending discussion of maintaining a significant American force presence beyond 2011.

Of the 39,000 troops in Iraq, only about 150, a negligible force, will remain to assist in arms sales.

The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks' release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as initially reported by the U.S. military.

U.S. troops have already started the drawdown - a brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, that was originally scheduled to be among the very last to leave Iraq was being pulled out of the country months ahead of its planned departure, military officials told CNN last week.

[Updated at 12:47 p.m. ET] The scheduled departure of virtually all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year will allow the United States to "say definitively that the Iraq war is over," a White House official said Friday.

[Initial post] Virtually all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year as the current Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq dictates, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.

A small number of U.S. troops will be attached to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

This month, the United States and Iraq had been unable to come to an agreement on key issues regarding legal immunity for U.S. troops who would remain in Iraq after the end of the year, effectively ending discussion of maintaining a significant American force presence beyond 2011.

About 39,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, and the U.S. wanted to keep from 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq past 2011.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement about Iraq around 12:45 p.m. Friday, according to a White House official.

FULL STORY
Surfer survives near shark attack on Oregon beach
Bobby Gumm, shown with what's left of his surfboard, is doing OK after an encounter with a great white shark at an Oregon beach.
October 21st, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Surfer survives near shark attack on Oregon beach

An Oregon beach remained open but officials urged caution Friday, a day after a surfer survived a near-shark attack just off the shore.

Bobby Gumm, out surfing with friends about 200 feet from the beach, got the surprise of his life Thursday when he was suddenly launched into the air by an apparent great white shark, witnesses told local media.

“All the sudden I saw a 2-foot fin coming out of the water and it lifted up my friend in the air," Ron Clifford told CNN affiliate KPTV. Clifford was in the water when the incident happened. "I was scared for my life. I've never seen anything like that. It was like witnessing an almost murder," he was quoted as saying.

Chris Havel, spokesman for South Beach State Park where the incident happened, said warning signs were posted immediately after the incident.

“We acted on it right away because it was very obvious and proven, and it came from an experienced and knowledgeable person,” Havel told CNN on Friday.

Also there was the matter of a huge 23-inch chunk of the surf board missing.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Animals • Oregon • Sharks • U.S.
News International agrees to pay family in hacking scandal
From left, Bob, Sally and Gemma Dowler, the surviving relatives of a phone hacking victim Milly Dowler, were in settlement talks.
October 21st, 2011
10:54 AM ET

News International agrees to pay family in hacking scandal

News International, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper in Great Britain, has agreed to pay 2 million British pounds - the equivalent of $3.2 million - to the family of British teen Milly Dowler, who disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of chief executive of News Corporation, the parent company of News International, personally apologized to Dowler's family in July amid allegations that News of the World journalists secretly listened to the girl's voicemail after she disappeared.

Dowler, 13, disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead.

"As the founder of the company, I was appalled to find out what happened," Murdoch said after speaking with the family in July.

As part of the settlement, announced Friday by News International and the Dowler family, Murdoch will pay 1 million British pounds - about $1.6 million - to charities chosen by the Dowler family. Those charities "represent causes close to Milly and those that provide support to other victims of crime," a statement from News International and Dowler family sai

Revelations surfaced in July that journalists working for the News of the World at the time of her disappearance had eavesdropped on Dowler's phone, deleting some of her messages to make room for more. The deletion of messages gave the family hope she was still alive when she was already dead.

Public and political outrage in Britain was immediate and intense, and less than a week after the reports surfaced, News International chief executive James Murdoch ordered the closing of News of the World, a best-selling Sunday paper. James Murdoch is the son of Rupert Murdoch.

Previously, News of the World apologized for hacking into the voice mails of celebrities and politicians, paying compensation to actress Sienna Miller and offering money to others. An out-of-court settlement of 700,000 pounds (U.S. $1.2 million) was paid to English soccer executive Gordon Taylor for "illegal voicemail interception."

Post by:
Filed under: News of the World • United Kingdom
Gadhafi's son Saif being followed, Libyan transitional official says
Libyan revolutionary fighters say they are on the trail of Saif al-Islam Gadhafi.
October 21st, 2011
09:31 AM ET

Gadhafi's son Saif being followed, Libyan transitional official says

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi - son of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who was killed in Libya Thursday - is still alive and is being followed by revolutionary fighters, a senior member of Libya's National Transitional Council said Friday.

"We know the area where he is, and for sure he'll be captured very soon," Mohammed Sayeh told CNN's Carol Costello.

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court on suspicion of crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has called for an investigation into Thursday's death of Moammar Gadhafi - who the NTC says was killed in crossfire between Gadhafi loyalists and the anti-Gadhafi forces who captured him near Sirte on Thursday - as questions lingered over the last moments of the late Libyan strongman's life.

"There seem to be four or five different versions of how he died," the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement. "More details are needed to ascertain whether he was killed in the fighting or after his capture."

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Libya
October 21st, 2011
08:02 AM ET

Friday's live events

CNN.com Live is your home for gavel-to-gavel coverage of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Herman Cain in Michigan - GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is expected to provide more details on his "9-9-9" plan when he makes a campaign stop in Detroit.

FULL POST


Filed under: Conrad Murray • Crime • Politics
October 21st, 2011
02:02 AM ET

Thailand to open flood gates to save capital

Thailand's prime minister asked all Bangkok residents to move their belongings to higher ground as government workers fought to contain flooding inching toward the capital city.

Government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisaeng said the move is a precautionary measure.

"We think that a state of emergency is not necessary at this moment," she said.

To protect their cars, residents double parked along elevated highways, making it nearly impossible to navigate around a city where traffic is congested on a normal day.

As water from Thailand's worst flood in half a century bore down on the capital, officials changed course.

Until now, they had hoped that strengthening flood barriers and widening canals would keep populated areas safe.

But now the government is trying a different tack: opening floodgates to relieve pressure on dams and levees and send the water toward the sea.

The decision to divert water through canals in Bangkok means parts of the city will likely be flooded.

On Friday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said officials were considering which areas to let the water flow through to minimize impact on the populace.

They hope the water will not overflow the canals and spill into the streets, bringing the kind of misery to the capital city that its northern suburbs have seen.

As a precaution, the Thai Army was bringing in 100 boats to help those trapped in their houses.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Flooding • Thailand • Weather • World
October 21st, 2011
01:26 AM ET

Chinese toddler dies a week after being hit by cars, ignored by passersby

A 2-year-old Chinese girl - who was ignored after being hit by two cars last week, later sparking a fierce debate about the state of China's morals - has died, a nurse at a military hospital said.

Wang Yue died about 12:32 a.m. Friday, according to a nurse in the intensive care unit at Guangzhou Military Hospital, in Guangzhou. The nurse would not give her name, a common practice in such situations.

Video captured by a nearby security camera showed a pair of drivers, one after the other, hitting Yue, in Foshan in Guangdong Province. More than a dozen people walked, cycled or drove past the toddler as she lay bleeding in a busy market.

The girl was eventually rescued by a 58-year-old scavenger, who pulled her aside and tried to get help.

The toddler's mother, Qu Feifei, later said her daughter was in critical condition at a hospital, with her brain showing little activity despite earlier subtle movements in her lower body.

The video footage sparked a global outcry about the state of morality in China's fast-changing society.

FULL STORY

Filed under: China • World