New Saudi crown prince named
Nayef bin Abdulaziz, shown here in March, has been Saudi Arabia's interior minister since 1975.
October 27th, 2011
05:40 PM ET

New Saudi crown prince named

Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia's interior minister, has been named the new crown prince of that Middle Eastern nation.

The news, citing a royal decree signed by King Abdullah, was announced early Friday on state-run Saudi Television.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the king's half-brother, died Saturday in New York. His funeral was held three days later in Riyadh.

His death raised succession questions in the key oil-producing country at a time of turmoil in the Arab world.

As was the case with his predecessor, the move makes Nayef bin Abdulaziz the heir to the Saudi throne.

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Filed under: Saudi Arabia
Overheard on CNN.com: 'So many haters'
Occupy Wall Street protesters in Greensboro, North Carolina, left, and Seattle, Washington.
October 27th, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'So many haters'

Comment of the Day:  "You folks bashing the occupiers, shame on you! It is a fundamental right to stand up for what you believe in."
– goaheadnjump

In connected stories, iReport photographers around the world highlighted the images, stories and aims of Occupy Wall Street protesters, while a backlash movement claimed to speak for the 53% who pay federal income taxes and do not support the movement. CNN.com comments, although apparently previously balanced, now seem overwhelmingly negative, often suggesting that OWS supporters took useless courses in college and are unwilling to take any job available. Many OWS supporters are employed, however.

Blog: Documenting a movement: iReport photographers capture Occupy

Meet the 99%

The 53%: We are NOT Occupy Wall Street

EatBabies said, "Wow, so many haters. While I don't fully support these people, I at least see that they have the foresight to see what's coming. Cost of living, inflation, ever-increasing rates/prices are not being matched by wages. In 40 years the American 'middle class' won't be able to afford to live."

goaheadnjump said, "You folks bashing the occupiers, shame on you! It is a fundamental right to stand up for what you believe in."

whoareu61 said, "What do the protesters want? It's easy for the self-righteous and the misled to claim it's all about 'free stuff' but it's not. It's about accountability of politicians, bankers and corporations. The big banks got bailed out and still receive low-interest loans under the premise of lending it to people to start businesses or expand the ones they have, but the banks are investing that money into foreign investments instead of here in the U.S."

InsrtName said, "Major car company goes belly up, the government steps in and bails them out. If MY corporation goes belly up, do you think they will do the same? Nope. It will go down the trash barrel like most every other corporation in America would."

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Woman accused of trafficking 30 pounds of cocaine in cake mix boxes
Officials say the 30 pounds of cocaine was carried in cake mix boxes.
October 27th, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Woman accused of trafficking 30 pounds of cocaine in cake mix boxes

An 18-year-old woman who was arrested after nearly 30 pounds of cocaine was found hidden in cake mix boxes in her suitcase will be charged as an adult, according to a Florida state attorney's office.

Ayesha Niles, who lives in London, was traveling from Jamaica to London with a stopover at Miami International Airport on Friday when she went through a routine luggage check.

"Twenty-four boxes of cake mix in your luggage," Ed Griffith, spokesperson Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, told CNN. "It just seemed extremely unusual."

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Filed under: Crime • Jamaica
Overheard on CNN.com: Perry is 'so yesterday'
Texas Gov. Rick Perry may sit out some debates, according to his spokesman.
October 27th, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Perry is 'so yesterday'

Comment of the morning:

"It seems to me that Rick Perry has skipped all the debates, although his empty suit has made a number of appearances."–Lenny Pincus

Perry may pass on debates

The Perry approach - campaign first, have ideas later

Citing time constraints, Rick Perry's top spokesman said Wednesday that the Texas governor may sit out some of the Republican debates. Perry and most of the other GOP candidates seem to have decided to run for president with no plans for what they'd do if they won, writes political analyst Gloria Borger. Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan both proposed substantive ideas, she writes – what changed?

Most CNN.com readers said Perry had taken himself out of the race.

optimistica said, "The ugly truth is that he can't perform even adequately and exposes his shallow ideas for all to see."

DakotaKyle said, "All flash and no substance, or for the folksy Texas version: 'All hat and no cattle.'"

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Body of woman found hanged at mansion exhumed
Rebecca Zahau, 32, was found hanged at her boyfriend's California mansion in July.
October 27th, 2011
01:22 PM ET

Body of woman found hanged at mansion exhumed

[Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET] The body of a woman found hanged at a California mansion in July has been exhumed for an independent autopsy, according to an attorney for her family, which rejects authorities’ findings that she committed suicide.

Rebecca Zahau’s body was exhumed at her family's request last week in St. Joseph, Missouri, and will soon be examined by renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht in Pennsylvania, Zahau family attorney Anne Bremner said Thursday. Bremner last month hired Wecht, who has publicly questioned the suicide ruling based on his reading of the official autopsy report, to consult in the case.

Bremner said she will be interested in Wecht's opinion on, among other things, whether there are signs of struggle or other foul play.

"It was painful for the family to agree to the process," Bremner said. "It's a difficult thing for them to go through right now, but I think it had to be done."

Zahau, 32, was one of two people the other being her boyfriend’s 6-year-old son, Max Shacknai who police said died as a result of July incidents at boyfriend Jonah Shacknai’s mansion in Coronado, California. Max Shacknai fell downstairs on July 11 and died at a hospital five days later, and Zahau was found hanging naked, with feet bound, and wrists bound behind her back in the home’s courtyard from a rope tied to a second-story bed at the home on July 13, police said.

Police told reporters last month that there was no indication of foul play in either death, and that evidence led them to conclude that Zahau hanged herself. Though they didn’t know the order of events, they say she painted a message on a door, disrobed, fashioned a hanging rope and bindings, tied the hanging rope to a bed and put the other end around her neck, bound her feet and hands, moved to the balcony and put herself over the railing.

Authorities said fingerprints and DNA on all relevant evidence - including the bindings, the bedroom door and a paint tube found in the bedroom - were Zahau's. Also, a set of footprints on the dirty balcony was consistent with the size of Zahau's feet, and toe impressions further ahead were consistent with a person leaning forward to go over the railing, police said.

Police showed reporters video of an experiment examining whether someone could bind themselves with a similar rope. The video shows a woman making knots and loops around her hands in front of her, taking one wrist out to move her hands behind her and then rebinding the wrists.

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October 27th, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Real-life 'Slumdog Millionaire' a sensation in India

India is cheering its own real-life 'Slumdog Millionaire': a low-wage worker from an extremely poor neighborhood who took the $1 million prize on India's version of "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?"

Like the protagonist in the 2008 Oscar-winning film, Sushil Kumar was reportedly dazzled and shocked after winning the top prize. "I never thought in my wildest dreams I could do this," he said, according to India Today. Kumar said he plans to buy a house with the money. (You didn't see "Slumdog Millionaire?" Watch the trailer.)

Shot in Mumbai, the episode's suspense builds as Kumar answers most of the questions and then saves his lifelines at the end. When he answers the final question correctly, the audience bursts into celebration.

"The pulsating excitement on the set and among the crew was unimaginable. It was as if they had won the biggest prize ever in the history of Indian television," host Amitabh Bachchan said, according to The Express Tribune.

The show was taped Tuesday and will air next week, The Washington Post reports.

Kumar's wife, Seema, was in the audience, reports said. The couple, who were recently married, started crying when Bachchan handed Kumar the big check.

"What a sensational day in the studios of 'KBC'! A young man from the interiors of Bihar, earning a meagre salary of just INR6,500 per month, coming from the most humblest of backgrounds, reaches the hot seat and cracks the ultimate prize — INR50 million! An incredible feat," Bachchan later posted on his blog bigb.bigadda.com.

Bachchan, known as Big B, hailed the win as a victory for "the common man," showing that he has "the strength, the ability and the acumen to prove to the world that he is the best."

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Filed under: India • TV
Security Council removing mandate for Libya military action
A crew member working for NATO's Airborne Warning and Control System monitors NATO aircraft during a mission over Libya in July.
October 27th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Security Council removing mandate for Libya military action

[Updated at 12:01  p.m. ET] The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday removing its mandate for military intervention, effectively ending the NATO mission in Libya, as of October 31.

Last week, senior NATO officials agreed to a preliminary end date of October 31 for the alliance's seven-month Libya mission. NATO ministers gave preliminary approval to that plan.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this week that Libya's National Transitional Council wanted NATO to stick around until it could establish governance.

However, Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the 15-member council Wednesday that the Libyan people were looking forward to ending the NATO mission.

While Libyans were grateful for the international community's support, he said, such measures felt like an infringement of Libya's sovereignty.

The Security Council in March passed a resolution mandating the protection of Libya's civilian population as military forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi advanced on a rebel stronghold in eastern Libya. Within days of the Security Council's decision, NATO forces were engaged in action by air and sea.

The operation relied on three main prongs - implementing a no-fly zone, enforcing an arms embargo and taking action to protect civilians and civilian areas under threat of attack.

Since March 31, some 9,634 strike sorties, where targets are identified or hit, are among 26,000 sorties to have been conducted, NATO said Friday.

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Filed under: Libya • NATO • United Nations
Gotta Watch: Laughing babies
A baby bursts into uncontrollable laughter as his dad rips up rejection letters from prospective employers.
October 27th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Laughing babies

In need of a good laugh? Well, nothing is more contagious than babies giggling. From wacky to just plain cute, Gotta Watch compiled the best videos of goofy infants.

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Filed under: Animals • Gotta Watch • Penguins • Uncategorized
October 27th, 2011
09:49 AM ET

Bangkok residents flee rising floodwaters

Thursday was the first of five government-declared holidays in Thailand, but it was not a day of fun. Floodwaters crept slowly but surely into Bangkok, stressing embankments and making roads, parking lots, factories and markets more suitable for fish than people.

Bangkok residents used the holiday to stream out of the capital, seeking higher ground or temporary shelters. Many saw floodwater enter their homes uninvited, their belongings soaked beyond salvage.

Most of Bangkok was expected to be flooded Thursday, with up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) of water in some areas, said Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, as the Chao Phraya River threatened to spill over holding walls and into the city of almost 10 million people.

Several districts were under a mandatory evacuation order.

Yingluck conceded Bangkok is entering a critical stage, the MCOT news agency reported. She said it was impossible to divert the floodwater and that it would certainly flow through every part of the metropolitan area.

"There is water from underground coming up," said Pracha Promnok, chief of the Flood Relief Operations Center. "We are unable to do anything (to stop it)."

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Filed under: Thailand • World • World Update
October 27th, 2011
08:39 AM ET

Hurricane Rina nears Cancun

Hurricane Rina neared some of Mexico's most popular beaches Thursday, sending residents fleeing inland.

The Category 1 hurricane was packing 75 mph winds Thursday morning, but forecasters said it could weaken into a tropical storm later in the day.

Rina is expected to skim the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday night and into Friday, forecasters said.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Weather • World
October 27th, 2011
08:35 AM ET

4 killed in vehicle attack, Kenya police say

Four people were killed and several injured in an attack on a vehicle carrying government officials transporting school examination papers in northeastern Kenya Thursday, police said.

The incident occurred about 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Mandera, a border town with Somalia, Kenya Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said. It was unclear who carried out the attack on the car, he said.

Mandera is in a part of Kenya which suffers from chronic insecurity and both banditry and incursions by militant groups are relatively common.

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October 27th, 2011
08:22 AM ET

Insurgents attack bases in Afghanistan

Insurgents launched attacks Thursday on a Provincial Reconstruction Team base and a military outpost in Afghanistan, Afghan and NATO officials said.

Three insurgents took positions in a house near a PRT base in Kandahar, said the region's police chief, Salim Ahsas.

Officials killed two of the attackers, but one was "still resisting in the building," Ahsas said.

There were no casualties among PRT or military personnel, Ahsas said.

Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said the fighting in Kandahar was one of two incidents Thursday.

The second involved a suicide car bomb that exploded outside an ISAF base in the Panjwai region. "There are no ISAF casualties and the base's perimeter was not penetrated," he said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • NATO • World
October 27th, 2011
07:48 AM ET

Thursday'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...

10:00 am ET - Hillary Clinton on Capitol Hill - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before a House committee on the way forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Conrad Murray • Crime • World