NBA players reject league offer; begin to disband union
Derek Fisher speaks on behalf of the NBA players afte they rejected the league's latest deal.
November 14th, 2011
02:26 PM ET

NBA players reject league offer; begin to disband union

The NBA players have rejected the league's latest offer and are beginning the process to disband the union.

The decision likely jeopardizes the season, according to the NBA Players Association.

The “collective bargaining process has completely broken down,” NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter said.

Hunter added that the players were not willing to accept any "ultimatums" from NBA Commissioner David Stern and felt things were not going to get any better.

"We're prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA," Hunter said. "That's the best situation where players can get their due process."

Hunter announced that the group was moving to disband the union, which would be  converted to a trade association. This move would mean that all of the players would now be represented by legal counsel in a class action suit against the NBA. Hunter said the players will be represented by David Boies, who is known for his work during the NFL and Microsoft anti-trust lawsuits.

According to NBA.com, while the players have decided to disband the union, they are not de-certifying it - a point they say is a major difference.

"The players are filing a disclaimer of interest, an antitrust action against the league within the next two days," the post on NBA.com says. "In basic terms, they are taking the league to court."

The process could mean drawing out an already lengthy bargaining process, and could dash all hopes the NBA had that players would accept their latest offer and start a shortened 72-game season in about a month.

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How will Occupy strategize to combat violence, health concerns?
A protester at an Occupy Portland event pleads with police to let them stay at their gathering site.
November 14th, 2011
01:08 PM ET

How will Occupy strategize to combat violence, health concerns?

As the Occupy movement confronts concerns from police and politicians about violence and public health issues in encampments across the country, some members seem to be preparing to move their cause forward - even if it means leaving the parks and public spaces they've called home for months.

The movement is believed to be at a crucial stage right now. Colder weather is setting in. The willingness of public officials to accommodate the movement is at odds with their desire to protect public health and safety. And concerns about violence at the gatherings are reaching new levels.

Police in riot gear moved into the Occupy Oakland encampment early Monday, tearing down tents and arresting some protesters, the latest effort by city officials across the country to control a movement that some leaders say has become a public safety and health threat. Oakland officials had warned protesters to move out of Frank Ogawa Plaza over the weekend. Before dawn Monday, police surrounded the plaza and lined up in the streets where protesters had gathered. The eviction notices came after a "frequent resident" of the camp allegedly shot and killed another man.

An uptick in violence at the gatherings, including some deaths and allegations of vandalism, has led officials to try to control the movements as organizers try to battle what they call fringe violent groups at the protests.

Police break down Occupy Oakland camp

In Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter said Sunday that what started as a peaceful protest 39 days ago has given way to increasing public safety concerns.

"Occupy Philly has changed," he said. "We're seeing serious health and safety issues playing out on an almost daily basis. ... The people of Occupy Philly have also changed, and their intentions have changed. And all of this is not good for Philadelphia."

The health concerns stem from allegations that unsanitary conditions at the camps - resulting from public urination and crowding - present a danger to the public There was also concern about a strain of tuberculosis found near the protests in Atlanta, but a movement leader said that tests showed no disease among Occupy Atlanta members, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

So how are some members of the Occupy movement trying to keep their message moving forward and staying positive amid all of these concerns?

It appears that ahead of winter, they're preparing to encourage members to take the movement into their own neighborhoods and spread the message in a more meaningful, and perhaps personal, way.

They're calling it Occupy Your Block.

"The strength of our movement rests on our ability to engage one another. The Occupy movement is more than a physical occupation. This movement is in each one of us; in our will and determination," a statement on OccupyYourBlock.org states. "It is in our local community organizations, religious groups, schools, and neighborhoods. To bring attention to this, Occupy Wall Street is calling for the winter months to be a time of teach-ins, open forums, potluck meetings, discussion groups, local general assembly meetings and community building projects. ... This is how our movement builds."

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The Reads You Need: Penn State scandal
Penn State cheerleaders collect money and pass out anti-child abuse signs on campus.
November 14th, 2011
12:37 PM ET

The Reads You Need: Penn State scandal

Editor's note: Each day we'll be trying to bring you some of the diverse voices from our site and around the web about the stories causing ripples throughout the news sphere.

The Penn State scandal continues to hold its grasp on the news cycle this week after a large spotlight was shone on the school on Saturday during their first game without Joe Paterno at the helm.

A moment of silence was held before the game in honor of the alleged victims. Current and former players from Penn State and Nebraska locked arms amid thunderous applause from more than 100,000 fans - many of them wearing blue, to focus attention on child abuse - in attendance.

But there's still much to know about this story and many opinion's on how it will progress, how it has already been handled and what the most important issues about the case are.

So here's a look at the 5 reads you need on the Penn State scandal:

Prosecutors: Coach went from mentor to predator

CNN's Wayne Drash examines the timeline of what was happening on the field during the height of Sandusky's career and juxtaposes it with how the now-known scandal was unfolding at the time.

"The Penn State players scooped up their defensive coordinator and hoisted him on their shoulders. It was his final game, a crowning victory in the Alamo Bowl, a perfect ending for the coach's 32-year career.

One player said it seemed like "a Hollywood script."

It was December 1999, and Jerry Sandusky had announced his retirement before the start of the season. It was unexpected: the guy who'd spent three decades on the sidelines with legendary coach Joe Paterno wasn't even going to another team. Just 55 at the time, Sandusky had long been expected to replace Joe Pa.

But he was simply quitting.

Sandusky's career was deviating from the widely accepted script. And now, it appears, the Hollywood ending may have been just that - fiction. And possibly a façade that covered dark, sordid secrets."

Read the full story.

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November 14th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Supreme Court agrees to hear health care law appeal; so what could ruling mean?

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Obama.

Oral arguments would probably be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June, assuring the blockbuster issue will become the topic of a hot-button political debate in a presidential election year.

The announcement, made in a brief, was expected as several legal challenges have worked their way through the appeals process.

So now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, what does it mean? And what could the political and legal implications be?

One of the key issues to be considered by the high court's nine justices is whether the "individual mandate" section of the law - requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties - is an improper exercise of federal authority. Various states have argued that if that linchpin provision is found unconstitutional, the entire law will have to be scrapped.

CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that while the challenge is a fairly straightforward legal question, the implications, especially the political ones, are huge.

"The federal government has to abide by the Constitution," Toobin said. "And the Constitution says that the federal government is allowed to regulate interstate commerce."

Under that umbrella fall Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - some of the issues at the heart of Obama's health care plan, he said.

"The Obama administration says his health care plan is simply a reflection of the way the federal government has been involved in health care for many, many years," Toobin explained.

But many states that have filed the challenges say that Obama's plan is too far-reaching.

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November 14th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

Supreme Court takes up challenge to health care reform law

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to President Barack Obama's sweeping health care reform law, the court announced Monday.

Oral arguments will likely be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June.

A key issue to be considered by the high court's nine justices is whether the "individual mandate" section of the law - requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties - is an improper exercise of federal authority. Various states have argued that if that linchpin provision is found unconstitutional, the entire law will have to be scrapped.

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November 14th, 2011
09:32 AM ET

Time for al-Assad to step down, Jordan's king says

Jordan's King Adbullah, speaking to the BBC, urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but not before laying the foundations of a new political discussion.

"If it was me, I would step down and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status quo that we're seeing," he told the BBC Monday.

The Syrian president is under increasing pressure to step aside even as his government continues an violent eight-month crackdown that the United Nations says has claimed more than 3,500 lives, including six more killed on Monday.

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Filed under: Syria • World
November 14th, 2011
08:58 AM ET

Occupy Oakland protesters prepare for possible eviction

Police in riot gear assembled in Oakland, California on Monday in an apparent preparation to clear a downtown encampment of Occupy Oakland protesters.

City officials in Oakland have issued an eviction notice ordering protesters to leave the Frank Ogawa Plaza. The order came a day after a "frequent resident" of the camp allegedly shot and killed another man.

Protester Tania Kappner told CNN affiliate KTVU that protesters had no intention of leaving.

"The camp is prepared to defend itself and, I mean, obviously the police have been very brutal in the past and that is a concern," she said Sunday night. "But people are still here, people are saying, you know, 'We are not going anywhere.'"

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Filed under: Economy • Occupy Wall Street
November 14th, 2011
08:58 AM ET

Italian prime minister nominee meets with political leaders

ROME (CNN) - The economist nominated to become Italy's new prime minister began talks with political leaders Monday to discuss forming a government, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Mario Monti's talks with political parties will continue Tuesday, ANSA said.

After the meetings, the 68-year-old economist is expected to present a team of ministers and a government plan, and ultimately will face approval by the Italian Parliament. His mandate is to lead Italy out of its market-shaking debt crisis and push through tough new austerity measures.

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Filed under: Business • Europe • European Union • Italy • World
November 14th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

Monday's live events

The presidential election may be about a year away, but that doesn't mean CNN.com Live is resting on its laurels.  We are your home for all the latest developments from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

12:00 pm ET - Gingrich in Iowa - GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich hopes to ride his new momentum in the polls in Iowa, where he meets with employees of an insurance company in Des Moines.

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Filed under: Elections • Politics
November 14th, 2011
03:40 AM ET

Cain 'totally respects women,' wife says

Herman Cain's wife said she doesn't believe the sexual harassment allegations against her husband because "he totally respects women."

Gloria Cain made the remarks in an interview to air Monday on Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"I know that's not the person he is. He totally respects women," Gloria Cain said.

Last week, during an appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Cain said he still has the support of his wife.

"My own wife said that I wouldn't do anything as silly as what that lady was talking about, because she does know me," Cain said about one of the accusers, Sharon Bialek.

"I've been married for 43 years to the same woman and I'm proud of it."

At least four women have accused the GOP presidential hopeful of sexual harassment.

In a statement last week, Cain campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon said, "There have been a number of interesting revelations that the public has learned about these women over the past few days. We hope the court of public opinion will take this into consideration as these women continue to try and keep this story alive."

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.