It's been almost two months since the Occupy Wall Street protest began in New York. The movement spread to cities across the country, with many having different issues and challenges.
Many Occupy protesters generally assert, among other things, that the nation's wealthiest 1% holds inordinate sway over the remaining 99% of the population. CNN Radio reported from a few different states to get a pulse on the movement.
Click the audio player to hear the report:
IN NEW YORK
The Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York’s Zuccotti Park has taken on an air of permanency since a storm pelted protesters with sleet, snow and rain a few days ago. Tents are not only tolerated by police now, they cover the public plaza from one end to the other. Protesters say they are there for the long haul.
“Our goal at this point is just to stay here. And as long as we continue to exist ... we continue to be a movement rather than just a flash in the pan,” Jeffrey Brewer said as he took part in a discussion about diversity at an area of the park demonstrators call the Think Tank.
While the park is the public face of Occupy Wall Street, problem-solving is largely taking place off-site. Working groups tackling various issues meet in nearby public atriums and restaurants daily.
Budhia Singh's sparkling athletic ability lifted the young marathoner from India’s slums to national stardom.
But his age – he ran marathons and longer distances starting at 3 – led to concerns about his well-being.
For Gemma Atwal, who filmed Budhia for five years, a crucial question was about how poverty in India could make such a young long-distance runner possible.
“In the West, it simply wouldn’t happen,” Atwal, whose documentary about Budhia made its TV debut Thursday night, said in a phone interview. “(My film is) about desperate poverty – you can see the effects all the way through.”
“Marathon Boy,” which follows Budhia from 2005 to 2010 and explores a line that his mentor walked between benevolence and opportunism, premiered Thursday night on HBO after screenings at numerous film festivals. HBO will show it again Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Budhia came to Atwal’s attention through a 2005 BBC article, which said the 3-year-old was running as many as 30 miles a day in eastern India’s Orissa state. Budhia’s mother, according to the BBC, had sold him to a man a year earlier for 800 rupees because she couldn’t provide for him.
Closing arguments concluded Thursday afternoon in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson.
Jury deliberations are next in the trial in Los Angeles, though jurors are expected to be dismissed until Friday morning.FULL STORY
[Updated at 6:24 p.m. ET] Texas Gov. Rick Perry told CNN on Thursday that there was "no apology needed" from his Republican presidential campaign to fellow GOP challenger Herman Cain, who claims Perry's campaign is responsible for what Cain calls "baseless" sexual harassment allegations against him.
"Our campaign didn't have anything to do with it," said Perry, adding he'd fire any staffer if he found out they were "passing on rumors."
[Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET] GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain denounced a claim by an Oklahoma Republican political consultant that he'd seen Cain demonstrate inappropriate conduct toward a female employee during Cain's tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association.
"This is absolutely not true," Cain told Sean Hannity on the Hannity's syndicated radio program, regarding the account that Chris Wilson made on CNN and elsewhere. "They can't prove anything ... I think this Chris Wilson guy is just trying to help out the (Texas Gov. Rick) Perry campaign."
The Perry campaign has claimed it didn't know about the allegations. Wilson is currently doing polling for a political action committee supporting Perry's bid, but the group is independent of the campaign and by law cannot coordinate with it.
Allegations that Cain engaged in sexual harassment in his past surfaced Sunday.
Cain on Thursday continued to deny the allegations and said he won't be deterred by the controversy that has dominated his front-running campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
[Initial post, 4 p.m. ET] Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has raised $1.2 million since allegations of sexual harassment in his past surfaced Sunday, his campaign said Thursday.FULL STORY
A YouTube video of a Texas judge hitting his then-teenage daughter with a belt has sparked international outrage. Aransas County, Texas, Court-At-Law Judge William Adams faces a police investigation and a judicial probe, but he says he was disciplining his daughter and did nothing wrong.
Some CNN.com readers agreed with the judge and said spankings teach children right from wrong, but others argued that Adams went too far.
The story is generating an interesting debate on where the line is drawn between discipline and abuse. Here's a sampling of what readers had to say:
"He didn't do anything wrong. My mom whooped my ass just like that, and I'll be damned if I didn't straighten up my act after it," jholliday10 wrote. "Too many parents let their kids run over them these days because they don't believe in whooping. Kids don't care about being put in time out, it doesn't hurt and is only a slight inconvenience. Put a belt to that kid, I guarantee you he'll/she'll mind that and will think twice before repeating the same action. I vouch for it because it worked on me! And I wasn't the best kid growing up."
1soundmind said the video showed a spanking, not abuse. "I was spanked 'exactly' in this manner twice by my dad in my lifetime and it was not abuse. I spanked my sons, now 21 and 23, in this exact manner maybe twice in their lifetimes, and it was a spanking. Anyone who thinks differently is contributing to this generation's 'out of control' youth who have never received a spanking in their life and walk all over teachers, elders and their own parents."
But DemFLA said that saying "This is how I was raised" doesn't excuse abuse.
"I never married because I thought I would 'do unto others as had been done to me,'" he said. "My dad beat and berated me on a daily basis until I was 17, at which point I finally kicked his butt and then went to join the Army. ... I missed out having kids because I truly thought I would do this, too," he said. "Lots of people say I'd make a great father, but I never wanted to chance that. All that jerk ever said to me was 'This is how I was raised' so I kinda thought I did not want to ever raise a child that way."
tvdtt said "Discipline would have been depriving her of computer privileges for a time. Once he picked up a weapon (yes, the heavy belt is a weapon) and began striking her with it, discipline ceased and violent abuse began. He is a criminal and should be treated as such."
"This is not punishment, it is just a beating," flonzy said. "This sort of thing does not teach children a thing except resentment against the parent. Look how well she learned that lesson - she just ruined her father as a judge."
Was this discipline or child abuse? Is it ever OK to hit a child, and if it is, how much is too much? Tell us what you think in the comments below, or go to CNN iReport and share your thoughts in a short video.
[Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET] The leader of the main Greek opposition party has called for Prime Minister George Papandreou to step down and for snap elections to be held within six weeks.
The move by Antonis Samaras comes amid uncertainty over whether Papandreou was canceling a referendum over a European bailout package. Earlier Thursday, Papandreou told his Cabinet there was not need for a referendum, given opposition support for the tough austerity measures that accompany the bailout.
Samaras' move undermines the idea of consensus on the austerity measures attached to the bailout deal.
European Union leaders on October 27 got Greek bondholders to scrap about half of Greece's debt as part of a three-pronged plan aimed at shoring up Greece's financial future, returning stability to Europe's banks and expanding the EFSF bailout fund's resources to more than €1 trillion.
But less than a week later, Papandreou shocked the world by calling for a national referendum on international aid for his country - despite already agreeing in principle to implement reforms in order to meet Greek bondholders' terms - which, if rejected, could lead to a Greek default and the country's exit from the euro.
Earlier Thursday, Greece's finance minister said the country's future "cannot depend on a referendum." The finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, said the country had to implement the terms of the deal "now, as soon as possible."
[Initial post, 11:45 a.m. ET] Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is backing off plans to hold a controversial referendum on an international bailout for his country, he told his Cabinet Thursday, saying there was no need for it given opposition support for the tough austerity measures that accompany it.
Still, it was not immediately clear if that meant he was canceling the referendum.FULL STORY
In a move that could reshape the Cuban economy, the government on Thursday announced a new law that allows for the sale of real estate, a transaction that had been banned since the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
The National Assembly in August approved a plan to permit the sale of real estate, and the legislation itself officially was put on the books Wednesday. It goes into effect November 10, the state-run newspaper Granma reported.
The new law allows for the sale, exchange, donation and gifting of real estate even in cases of divorce, death, or the owner leaving the country permanently.
As stated, the goal of the law is to "eliminate prohibitions and make limitations (to property ownership) flexible."FULL STORY
Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan district killed three people and injured two others.
The attack took place Thursday near Miranshah, a city in the volatile tribal belt of northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border.
The officials said those killed in the attack are thought to be linked to the Haqqani network, a militant group based in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Last month, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed two suspected militants in the region.
– CNN's Shaan Khan contributed to this report
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Moammar Gadhafi's crush on her was "quite extraordinary, weird and a bit creepy," but is that a bad thing? CNN.com reader rsmnr says no:
"Gaddafi's crush on Rice had a positive effect. Gaddafi gave up the nukes. CIA must find out who Ahmedinijad and Kim Jong Il are obsessed with. Even if it turns out to be Kim Kardashian, she should be made secretary of state! It will be worth it."
Other readers like HJChihak say that putting up with loutish behavior from world leaders must make a challenging job even tougher.
"Whether you're a man or a woman, being the SecState and having to deal with genuine nutjobs like Ghadafi has got to make you wonder if the job is worth it," HJChihak says.
lumpismama agreed, adding that "I would guess that's why US S. of States usually serve only one term or less, even when the president is elected to a second term. I wouldn't want it. I'd much rather be a consul or ambassador. At least this way, you'll be dealing with nutjobs and egomaniacs in only one country as opposed to all over the world."
Sure, the secretary of state has a lot more to do than be an object of unrequited love, but it's kind of fun to imagine Secretary of State Kardashian, and she did just travel to Australia for some handbag diplomacy.
How do you think the reality star would do on the world stage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
A House panel voted Thursday to subpoena the White House for documents related to solar energy company Solyndra.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on oversight and investigations voted 14 to 9 in favor of issuing the subpoenas for internal documents regarding the decision to issue more than half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees in 2010 to Solyndra, which later filed for bankruptcy.
The decision followed a contentious debate among subcommittee members.
Some Republicans have accused the Obama administration of stonewalling, while some Democrats insist the administration has been forthcoming.
Federal analysts looking at the proposed Solyndra loan in 2009 warned then of possible problems, as well as pressure from the White House to speed up a decision, according to a memorandum released last month by congressional investigators.
Approved in May 2010, the Energy Department's loan allowed Solyndra to build a factory in Fremont, California, to produce state-of-the-art solar panels.
Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in late August and closed its doors, however, putting more than 1,000 people out of work after it received $535 million in loan guarantees.
The bankruptcy leaves the federal government unlikely to get the loan money back. President Barack Obama touted the company in a widely publicized visit last year.
Slow growth in Europe is heading the continent toward "a mild recession by year's end," European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday.
His comments came as the ECB cut its key interest rate - from 1.5% to 1.25% - for the first time in two years, reversing a direction set earlier this year. Less than four months go, it raised the rate in an effort to battle inflation.
Stocks jumped on the news of the rate cut. As of about 10 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average had spiked 127 points, or 1%. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.2%, the DAX in Germany spiked 3.7% and France's CAC 40 gained 2.4%. The euro also gained traction, rising 0.4% versus the dollar.FULL STORY
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 - Solyndra hearing - A House energy subcommittee meets to discuss whether to subpoena the White House for documents related to troubled solar company Solyndra.