Comments of the day:
“Seven Billion people on this planet and counting.... just sayin'.” -VTCitizen
“If you have 20 cats you get an episode of Horders – If you have 20 kids you get your own show..... nice. –Guest
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the TLC’s reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” said Wednesday that they are excited to be expecting their 20th child this spring (their oldest is 23 and their youngest is 2).
But CNN.com readers weren’t ready to celebrate with the Duggars. Instead they took issue with the older children having too much responsibility, bringing more children into an overpopulated world and TLC continuing to support the burgeoning family.
jpv said, “These people are insane. He is doing this to prove his manhood or something. If they wanted these many kids why not adopt? Many [kids] out there need homes. If this guy ever loses whatever job he has we will all be paying for those kids via welfare (if we aren't already). Enough already. “
heresme responded, “They are not hurting anyone. They are not living off your tax dollars. The kids are well behaved and educated. They are living in a loving, intact family. To me, this is far more sane than those women who just can't keep themselves in control and keep having babies from different fathers while living in the projects, not working.”
enevoldsen responded, “Did you ever think that maybe they just really like having kids and being parents? Or is that somehow impossible? Why is it that every person who wants to have more kids than ‘the norm’ in North America is instantly labeled insane.’”
cyclingpete said, “OK! We get it. You can procreate. So do mosquitoes! I think this is an addiction. I’m disgusted! If you are that hip on raising that many children why not adopt or foster and help kids who need a loving home? But, nooooooo. Just keep popping them out. “
evdanker said, “It's a uterus, lady, not a clown car.”
austingrrl said, “If I had 20 cats I'd be called an animal hoarder. What's sad to me is the children are not encouraged to go to a higher learning institute and are stuck in the same cycle as their parents. Marry young, stay ignorant and have baby after baby. Jim Bob is a con artist, declaring his home a church for tax evasion purposes.”
MaryMoe responded, “But he does have a large congregation right there at home!”
Missmannered said, “Hey Duggars. Here's a novel idea! Adopt a kid instead of pumping them out. Since you guys are so good at parenting, why not raise a child that is not from your baby-making machine, who needs a loving home? TLC, stop giving these wackos airtime and money, enough already!”
LisetteQB said, “Vulgar. Selfish. Grotesque. Unethical. Wrong on EVERY level. I wonder how Jim would feel if his wife and this new baby both died during delivery because she ‘submits to him as a godly wife should’ despite the fact that no woman's body should be subjected to the cruelty he's put upon her!? Oh, right, he'd probably just say it's God's will or something moronic like that. They should be ashamed of themselves and their blatant disregard for others.”
MaryMoe said, “I wonder how many kids they would have if HE was birthin' those babies.”
kiste said, “The best contraceptive for them would be probably canceling their show on TV. As long as it runs, they will get enough money to afford even more children and if they were responsible they would consider that our world is terribly overpopulated. Why don't they adopt some more children instead?“
LaceFace said, “Hmm … another baby for the older siblings to raise and take care of. So ridiculous.”
momarer said, “TLC lost it when they aired Jon and Kate. As far as the Duggars, well, just look at the oldest son.....seriously....I bet like father like son. I don't watch the show anymore but have been told that his family is part of almost every episode. I love kids too, but I don't think it’s fair to bring them into the world to say "OK, your 'jurisdiction' (as Michelle puts it) is to do family laundry all day, every day." That's not what a kid deserves when they are brought into this world.” FULL POST
A winter storm of hurricane strength was slamming Alaska early Wednesday with winds of up to 100 mph, high seas and blizzard conditions.
The National Weather Service called the storm moving into the state off the Bering Sea "a powerful and extremely dangerous storm of record or near-record magnitude."
Are you there? Send an iReport.
[Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET] The Facebook page for the National Weather Service in Alaska warns that although skies may be clearing near parts of the back side of the storm, more coastal flooding is expected.
"A major peak in Norton Sound and from Kotzebue Sound up to Point Hope will be coming this evening and tonight. Please don't let the weakening winds trick you into thinking the worst is over in Norton Sound up to Point Hope," the page says.
One to 3 inches of additional snow, near-zero visibility and sustained winds of 30 to 50 mph - with gusts of up to 60 mph - were expected in and around Kotzebue on Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.
To the north, along the Chukchi Sea coast, including the village of Kivalina, sea levels may rise 3 to 5 feet above normal Wednesday afternoon, according to the weather service.
"High waves will push water onshore starting Wednesday afternoon, especially at the village of Kivalina," the weather service said on its Alaska Region Headquarters website, warning of severe flooding. "Coastal residents in the warned area should take precautions now to protect life and property and be on the alert for rising water levels. Do not delay in taking needed precautions for this unusually severe and potentially life threatening storm."
[Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET] Water is expected to rise about 2 more feet this evening in Nome, where water already has moved to the base of some buildings, National Weather Service forecasters told the Anchorage Daily News.
"So the threat of flooding is not over yet and it could be a little bit worse, this afternoon and this evening until later tonight," Bob Fischer, lead forecaster for the weather service office in Fairbanks, told the Daily News.
[Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET] Frigid winds like those now ripping across the Bering Sea into Alaska can cause more damage than warm winds, meteorologists tell the Christian Science Monitor.
"Cold air impacts the water more and can push the momentum of the wind into the water more," meteorologist Jim Brader of the National Weather Service's Fairbanks office told the Monitor.
Brader also said the winds moving in the same direction over a distance of about a thousand miles, something that means bigger waves and more water pushed ashore, according to the Monitor report.
That means people on low-lying islands and coastal areas may face big trouble, according to the report.
In fact, the village of Point Hope points out on its website how it had to move parts of the village to a new site during the 1970s because of the effects of storm surge and erosion.
[Updated at 12:36 p.m. ET] The wind chill at Red Dog Dock south of Kivalina, Alaska, was -14.1 degrees Fahrenheit at 8 a.m. local time, according to measurements from the NOAA's National Data Buoy Center. Winds were gusting to 70 mph and the temperature was 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The rate of ice accertion, the process of ice building up on solid objects, was more than 15.6 inches an hour, according to the NDBC data.
[Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET] KNOM radio in Nome, Alaska, reports via Twitter that a two-foot diameter log, ice and rocks the size of fists are being blown along Front Street in the town.
[Updated at 11:28 a.m. ET] Major coastal flooding and severe beach erosion is expected along the northern and eastern shores of Norton Sound, the National Weather Service reports. Sea levels are forecast to rise 8 to 10 feet and strong winds may push ice in Norton Bay onshore through Wednesday night, forecasters say.
[Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET] A Twitter user says their mother's house in Kotzebue, Alaska, is shaking so hard in the wind that the woman fell down.
[Updated at 9:53 a.m. ET] The storm is pushing water in to Norton Sound and flooding is anticipated in communities along Alaska's western coast, National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg, told CNN Wednesday morning.
Water has moved up to the base of some buildings in Nome and is expected to continue to rise, Berg said. The weather service also has reports of roofs being torn off buildings by high winds in Nome, he said.
The highest gust reported in the storm so far is 89 mph in Wales, Alaska, Berg said.
The weather service has not reported any significant snow accumulation so far, but it has been snowing continuously in some areas since Tuesday, he said.
"When the snow is flying sideways, it's kinda hard to go out and see how much is falling," Berg said.
The center of the storm is pushing northward and will turn to the north-northwest later in the day, he said. Communities including Kivalina and Point Hope will see worsening conditions, according to Berg.
[Updated at 9:34 a.m. ET] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center reports the storm is generating waves as high as 40 feet in the Bering Sea. Wind gusts up to 83 mph in Cape Lisburne, Alaska, and 76 mph in Wales, Alaska, the agency said.
[Posted at 6:32 a.m. ET] Early Wednesday, Twitter reports said wind speeds in Nome in northwestern Alaska had reached 100 mph. That would be the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane if it occurred in the tropics. Twitter postings reported structural damage in Nome, including the roof blown off a building. Landline phones were down, according to a Twitter post.
"These things get named hurricanes down south and get a category. It's that magnitude," said Jeff Osiensky, regional warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Anchorage Daily News. The storm's scope was also hurricane-like, he said, covering 750 to 1,000 miles in breadth.
Chip Leeper, incident commander with the Nome government, told CNN that people in low-lying areas and on along the town's sea wall had been advised to seek shelter elsewhere.
National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Kearney told CNN that Nome could endure sea levels up to 8 feet above normal as well as 10-foot waves.
Other coastal and island villages were preparing evacuations if surf became too high.
Inland, the storm was expected to produce blizzard or near-blizzard conditions across western Alaska, the weather service said. Snow accumulations of up to 14 inches were possible. A Twitter poster reported winds gusts of 50 mph in the inland village of Aniak early Wednesday.
[Posted at 4:14 p.m. ET] A school has also collapsed following the earthquake in Turkey's Van province, according to Turkish state broadcaster, TRT.
Video from DHA showed residents and rescuers in a floodlit nighttime search effort combing through rubble of what appeared to have been a multistory building in Van.
One survivor was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building, but there were no early indications of how many people might be unaccounted for in the aftermath of the quake.
[Posted at 4:06 p.m. ET] At least 18 buildings, including two hotels, have collapsed in eastern Turkey after the 5.7-magnitude quake struck, Reuters is reporting, citing Turkish state TV.
Journalists are reporting that some buildings weakened by the 7.2-magnitude quake on October 23 in the same province are now seeing structural damage. The previous quake killed more than 600 people.
[Posted at 3:55 p.m. ET] A 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey Wednesday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The epicenter was 16 kilometers (9 miles) south of the town of Van, the USGS said, and its depth was 4.8 kilometers (3 miles). The quake hit at 9:23 p.m. (2:23 p.m. ET), it said.
Reuters is reporter that a hotel and an office building have collapsed in Van, citing Turkish state TV.
Former Penn State University players have come to their old coach's defense amid news that Joe Paterno will be stepping down in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistants.
Paterno's detractors are alleging the players are faithfully circling the wagons, just like any program would in the wake of the defamatory developments disgracing the university this week, but one ex-Nittany Lion says that isn't so.
Former NFL player Freddie Scott II was en route to a panel discussion at a Baptist children's home in Nashville on Wednesday when he took time to chat with CNN via telephone about his coach and alma mater. The panel was scheduled to discuss the church's role in helping children at risk.
Scott, who played under Paterno from 1993 to 1995 and is considered one of the school’s best-ever receivers, concedes that, to a degree, college football teams have a culture of protecting the program.
At Penn State it’s different, he said.
Comments of the morning:
“What a sad day for PSU.” - redleg
“So, Joe wants us to pray for the victims. I have to wonder if he has been doing this for the past 12 years.” - bear
“Sad way to end a great career, but sadder still that he did not call police.” - Vic
Longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno announced his resignation Wednesday, as a sex-abuse scandal, involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, rocked the university.
Days after details of the scandal broke, furor over Paterno’s inaction increasingly led to demands for his dismissal. But CNN.com readers have been torn. Some say the focus should be on Sandusky and that calling for Paterno’s demise amounts to nothing more than a witch hunt. But other readers strongly disagree.
Jeff said, “You people need to give it a rest...don't you read the news? The majority of the students and alumni are standing behind Paterno. He has done more for the university and more for athletes than you will ever do in your life. He has earned our support and the benefit of the doubt. Thousands of students gathered in support of him at this home. You are hardly hearing anything about Sandusky in all of this. The headlines should be about him not Paterno.!”
David said, “This whole situation is STUPID! If I hear an allegation of misconduct at a place of work, I would report it to my superiors - which Mr. Paterno did. It is the responsibility of the person who witnessed criminal activity to report it to the police. The sports radio talk show hosts have been grilling him about not doing more about these allegations, ALLEGATIONS! They have used this for their own personal gain, the selfish slobs that they are. A respectable gentlemen like Joe Paterno deserves far better than this.”
In the weeks leading up to Mississippi's vote on whether to declare a fertilized egg a person and grant it full rights, nearly everyone was saying the measure was sure to pass.
It was considered the perfect place to mount what could have been a historic challenge to abortion laws: After all, Mississippi is the most anti-abortion, religious and conservative state, according to a Gallup Poll. It was supposed to give a boost to the nationwide movement of the Colorado-based nonprofit Christian group Personhood USA, which is attempting to get the measure on the ballot in several other states.
The measure had all of the momentum within the state, with both the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor endorsing it.
So what exactly happened?
There were a few theories floating around Wednesday morning after the measure was defeated. (The Clarion-Ledger said with 96% of precincts reporting, the vote was 58% to 42% against the measure.)
1) People began asking questions about the language of the amendment.
Many of those opposing the bill who spoke to CNN said there simply had not been enough discussion about what the amendment would actually do. Women we spoke to said they felt this was government overreaching to begin with, but they weren't even sure how far-reaching it would be because the language was so ambiguous.
They wanted to know: What are the implications? What will it mean for women's reproductive rights? What does it mean about the decisions a woman can make with her doctor? Will it mean women will be at the mercy of the state when it comes to everything from taking certain birth control pills to trying to conceive if a couple is infertile? What happens to those fertilized eggs for IVF treatments if they aren't used? And would people be facing prosecution if they did any of those things?
Certainly, as opponents suggested, the vague language of the bill and the unknown implications could have been part of what swayed voters.
Many of those questions were dismissed by those in support of the bill, saying they were merely scare tactics. All they were trying to do was give equal rights to the unborn, supporters said, the same ones afforded to the mother.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said in a televised address Wednesday that a government of national unity would do whatever was necessary to bring Greece out of crisis.
Greece wants the international community to see that it knows how to be united in the face of difficulty, he said.
Papandreou is expected to resign shortly, and reportedly was headed to the presidential mansion to tender his resignation to President Karolos Papoulias.
In a phone call earlier Wednesday, Papandreou told French leader Nicolas Sarkozy that the new government would have support from the majority and the opposition, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
The latest updates come a day after the prime minister said he was optimistic about the formation of a new government amid thorny discussions.
Papandreou and the main opposition leader, Antonis Samaras, have been locked in talks on who might lead the new government. Rumored contenders include Lucas Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank and ex-governor of the Bank of Greece, currently a visiting economics professor at Harvard University.
The political turmoil in Greece has shaken international markets, as investors fear a new bailout deal negotiated with European leaders late last month - which has stringent austerity measures attached - may not be implemented.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned Wednesday of the potential for a "lost decade" if the world's nations do not join forces against the "dark clouds" gathering on the horizon.
It’s not uncommon for shoplifters to hide merchandise by stuffing it into their pants. You’ve Gotta Watch how far some thieves take this tactic to the extreme.
Fur coat follies – Police say one woman tried to steal a fur coat by stuffing it into her underwear. She was arrested for shoplifting, but she was in jail for three days before she told cops that she still had the coat on her. In this video, not only do you see her stuff the coat in her panties, but you also see her pull it out for police... three days later!
As the eurozone debt crisis deepened Wednesday, with growing concerns surrounding Italy, the head of the International Monetary Fund painted a stark picture of the challenges facing the world's economic stability.
"The global economy has entered a dangerous and uncertain phase," Christine Lagarde said in remarks prepared for a speech at the International Finance Forum in Beijing.
"If we do not act, and act together, we could enter a downward spiral of uncertainty, financial instability and a collapse in global demand. Ultimately, we could face a lost decade of low growth and high unemployment," she said.
Although she made no specific mention of Italy in the prepared remarks, Lagarde spoke as even more bad news came from Rome.FULL STORY
Legendary Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, he said Wednesday in a statement. Paterno's move comes in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach.
“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief,” he said.
“I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
"That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can."
The Nittany Lions’ starting tailback Silas Redd tweeted Wednesday that he first learned of Paterno's retirement from the Internet. “Crazy how twitter knew before the squad did,” Redd said on the social-networking site.
Paterno expressed regret for not acting with more urgency after learning of the abuse allegations against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
"This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more," he said. "My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university.”
A 22-year-old from Germany became poker's newest champion early Wednesday, outlasting eight other finalists and coming away with $8.72 million in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Pius Heinz of Cologne is the first German to win the event. His winnings are the third-highest in the history of the event, which began in 1970. He had only $83,000 in earnings before his Main Event victory.
Heinz, who entered the finals ranked seventh in chips, survived a six-hour final duel with Czech Martin Staszko, who still came away with $5.43 million as the runner-up.
Heinz won with an ace-high final hand. After the final card was revealed to give him the win, Heinz hugged cheering family and fans at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas like a football star who had just scored a touchdown. The fans chanted his name and raised a German flag. Watch the final hand on ESPN.com.
"It's gotta be the happiest day of my life, but I can't believe what happened. It's so unreal," Heinz said after he was presented with the gold and diamond winner's bracelet.
Also in the final nine at the Rio Hotel and Casino was American Ben Lamb, the World Series of Poker player of the year for 2011, but he fell out in third place, setting up the dramatic final face-off.
Officials from France, Israel and China all issued strong statements Wednesday in response to a new report that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons.
"The groundbreaking report just published by the International Atomic Energy Agency reinforces France's deep concern with regards to Iran's nuclear program," France's Foreign Ministry said. "France believes that it must make a breakthrough in strengthening diplomatic pressure on Iran. If Iran refuses to comply with the demands of the international community and denies any serious cooperation, we stand ready to adopt, with all the countries that will follow, sanctions of an unprecedented scale."
The IAEA report, released Tuesday, found no evidence that Iran has made a strategic decision to actually build a bomb. But its nuclear program is more ambitious and structured, and more progress has been made than previously known, the report said.
"The agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," the report said. "After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed the report as a fabrication of facts aimed at satisfying U.S. allegations about Iran's nuclear program. Ahmadinejad continued his criticisms of the United States and other nuclear powers during a speech Wednesday.FULL STORY
Between 60 and 70 insurgents were killed after launching an attack on an Afghan National Security Forces base and meeting with resistance, according to a spokesman for the governor of southeastern Paktika province.
The insurgents were carrying light and heavy weapons Tuesday night when they attacked the base in the Barmal district of Paktika province, which shares a border with Pakistan's South Waziristan, said spokesman Mokhlis Afghan.
They met with resistance from Afghan National Security Forces and NATO air support, the spokesman said.FULL STORY
The 2012 presidential election may be a year away, but that doesn't mean CNN.com Live is resting on its laurels. We're your home for the latest news from the campaign trail as they happen.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - U.S. Postal Service hearing - What does the future hold for the U.S. Postal Service, and can it be financially stable again? The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee looks at those issues and more.