Overheard on CNN.com: Getting to know the GOP candidates
The Republican presidential candidates are debating national security tonight in Washington.
November 22nd, 2011
06:44 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Getting to know the GOP candidates

Editor's note: Overheard on CNN.com is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community. Watch the CNN-sponsored GOP presidential debate at 8 p.m. ET, and share your insights on CNN iReport and in the comments area below.

Tonight's debate, the 11th for Republicans so far, features the contenders squaring off on national security and foreign policy just a few blocks from the White House. The spotlight this time is on Newt Gingrich, who appears to be the new front-runner in the polls.

Much to gain and lose for Gingrich, rivals in CNN national security debate

Lots of readers were eager to weigh in on the GOP and the debate. Some said they would welcome Gingrich as the presidential nominee, such as commenter Regents85:

"Here's the truth. Obama's in trouble and the Dems know it. They can only hope Gingrich is not the nominee because he will make Obama look like the incompetent fool that he is. If your boy Clinton can overcome his personal indiscretions and still be worshiped as some Democratic god, Newt can too. Gingrich has already come up with a solution for Social Security. What has Obama done?"

There were some who weren't so sure. "Gingrich is unelectable, replied ReturnofMrsN. "Go ahead and run him. The media firestorm will be relentless." FULL POST

On the road with ‘Occupy the Highway’
Occupy the Highway protesters walk near Joppa, Maryland, recently during their march from New York to Washington.
November 22nd, 2011
06:27 PM ET

On the road with ‘Occupy the Highway’

Owen Johnson’s feet are hurting, blistered and torn up. The 23-year-old from Vermont has been walking barefoot along U.S. 40, part of the “Occupy the Highway” trek between New York City’s Zuccotti Park and Washington.

(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's Bob Costantini)

Johnson and traveling buddy Elliot Hartman-Russell pause to rest near Joppa, Maryland. Johnson lies in the grass, elevating his feet occasionally, while Hartman-Russell reclines on a guardrail.

“New York was getting … a little monotonous for me,” Hartman-Russell tells CNN Radio. “And I’ve never really been out on the road. It was very appealing.”

The two are part of a contingent of three dozen or so who set out from New York on November 9, just before police temporarily cleared the park and made protesters get rid of their encampments.

Hartman-Russell says if he’d been there for the raids, he would have stayed to show solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, he decided that going to college this fall was not for him.

FULL POST

Debris may prompt space station astronauts to take shelter
An image taken from the International Space Station on August 31 shows then-Hurricane Katia churning in the Atlantic Ocean.
November 22nd, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Debris may prompt space station astronauts to take shelter

The International Space Station's three astronauts may need to take shelter Wednesday morning because of approaching debris, NASA said Tuesday.

The debris, a 4-inch piece of a weather satellite that China destroyed with a missile in 2007, is expected to pass within 2,800 feet of the space station at 4:43 a.m. ET Wednesday, NASA said. An impact could damage the space station, and NASA said that distance is too close for comfort.

If the prediction holds into Tuesday night, Cmdr. Dan Burbank and flight engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will spend several hours sealing the station’s hatches. NASA will make the final call at 4 a.m. ET on whether to move the three-member crew in the space station into a docked Soyuz spacecraft, NASA said.

NASA Television and NASA’s website would begin showing the shelter operation at 4:35 a.m.

Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin arrived at the space station just last week. The previous crew left the station Monday and landed in Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Space
Baseball announces 5-year labor deal, including HGH testing
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and players union Executive Director Michael Weiner announced a labor deal Tuesday.
November 22nd, 2011
02:56 PM ET

Baseball announces 5-year labor deal, including HGH testing

[Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET] Major League Baseball and its players' union announced Tuesday that they have reached a collective bargaining deal - which includes agreement on testing players' blood for human growth hormone - that would last through 2016.

The deal, which players and team owners still need to ratify, also would expand the playoffs from eight teams to 10 by adding an extra wild-card spot to each league, and it would restrict how and when players and coaches can use smokeless tobacco products.

The playoff changes would happen by 2013, and possibly sooner, with a March 1 deadline to decide on whether to implement them for 2012.

The agreement, which would succeed the five-year agreement that is set to expire December 11, has the potential to extend baseball’s strike- and lockout-free streak to 21 years.

"Nobody back in the '70s, '80s and early '90s ... would ever believe that we would have 21 years of labor peace. It’s really remarkable," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said at a news conference Tuesday in New York.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
Overheard on CNN.com: Teens doing time for adult crimes
Jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial of Brandon McInerney who is accused of killing a gay classmate.
November 22nd, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Teens doing time for adult crimes

Editor's note: Readers have a lot to say about stories, and we're listening. Overheard on CNN.com is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Today's big talker for much of the day was the murder trial of Brandon McInerney, now 17, who has agreed to plead guilty for gunning down a gay classmate three years ago in their junior high classroom. Our readers shared a lot of impassioned perspectives on whether a teenager should be treated as an adult, and on society's views about sexual orientation in general.

1. California teen admits killing gay student, to serve 25 years

Commenters were basically split on whether McInerney should be treated differently based on his age. We also heard from lots of readers who talked about the way gay students are treated in school classrooms. Here are some excerpted conversations and comments:

Tempesttt: "He should be doing life.  At 14 you should be old enough to take complete responsibility for your actions.  This juvenile stuff is getting old and it's the reason our young people are so irresponsible."

midwestmatt: Then why couldn't he vote? Or own a gun? Or enter into a contract? Or get married? Or drink? Or drive? Have sex with a 30 year old? Oh yeah, because he was an adolescent minor and adolescents are in the middle of massive brain restructuring, surging hormones and the inability to adequately control behaviors that can lead to foolish mistakes or far, far worse. ... Was this kid wrong? Absolutely, but I'll put a dime to a dollar that his hatred and anger was stoked by a home situation that created then egged on his disdain for other. He wasn't born this way, he was made into what he became and others should be under scrutiny for what they helped foment."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Overheard on CNN.com
November 22nd, 2011
02:17 PM ET

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Bolivia

Update: A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Bolivia Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake's epicenter was about 185 kilometers (115 miles) south-southeast of Santa Ana, Bolivia, the agency said. It struck at a depth of about 530 kilometers (330 miles).

There were no immediate reports of injuries of damage.

Preliminary estimates put the magnitude at 6.7, but authorities later revised the number.

Read the complete story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Bolivia • Earthquake • World
November 22nd, 2011
01:49 PM ET

More youths surrender in SAT test-taking scandal

Several current and former high school students suspected of having participated in a SAT and ACT cheating ring surrendered to the Nassau County district attorney’s office in New York on Tuesday, according to news reports.

An investigation at one high school uncovered at least nine youths who allegedly paid test takers to take the SAT or ACT for them, according to Newsday.

The alleged offenses occurred between 2008 and 2011, according to news reports.

The case stems from a probe in September that resulted in seven arrests of former students involved in a college admissions test scheme, including Emory University student Samuel Eshaghoff, 19, of Great Neck, New York. Tuesday’s arrests bring the number of youths implicated to 20, said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, according to news reports.

Samuel Eshaghoff

Eshaghoff is facing felony fraud charges that could result in four years in prison if he's convicted, the Nassau County District Attorney's Office said.

Four of the youths arrested Tuesday are accused of accepting from $500 to $3,600 to take tests for high school students for college admissions requirements, NBC reported.

A lawyer for one of the defendants criticized prosecution of the youths, according to NBC.

"When we glorify Wall Street guys who make money cheating and baseball players who take steroids, how can we condemn kids trying to achieve that same success?" attorney Michael DerGarabedian said, according to NBC.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
November 22nd, 2011
12:53 PM ET

Egypt's military accepts Cabinet's resignation

[Updated at 12:53 p.m. ET] The military council that has led Egypt since protesters ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February has accepted the resignation of Egypt's Cabinet, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi said Tuesday.

Tantawi's comments come after four days of protests and violence in Cairo. Demonstrators have been calling for the fall of the military council; 29 protesters have died in clashes with security forces since Saturday, said Hisham Sheeha, spokesman for Egypt's Health Ministry.

Egypt's Cabinet offered to resign Monday night. Justice Minister Mohamed Abdelaziz al-Juindy explained that this move to quit the government was driven by opposition to security forces' crackdown on demonstrators.

Tantawi, addressing his country in a televised address Tuesday evening, said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is "only concerned about the security of the country and the interests of the country" and doesn't want to rule. He said protesters are trying to "drag us back into the past," and that the military-led government is "trying hard to be tolerant."

"The armed forces are always with the people," he said, adding that the armed forces would never be allowed to shoot at the Egyptian people.

After Mubarak's fall, military leaders took control with the promise that eventually a civilian government would be elected and take over. Military leaders still say they will hand over power to a new government when one is elected. However, while parliamentary elections are set to take place Monday, a complex electoral process follows, and the presidential vote could be a year away.

Demonstrators say they are concerned the military, which would continue to be Egypt's top authority until a president is in place, wants to keep a grip on the country. Many also have voiced anger about a proposed constitutional principle that would shield the military's budget from scrutiny by civilian powers. They say they worry the military would become a state within a state.

[Initial post, 12:11 p.m. ET] Egyptian officials have reached an agreement on a national government, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Arab Spring • Arab unrest: developments • Egypt
November 22nd, 2011
12:31 PM ET

Father of New York terror suspect disputes charges

The father of a man accused of plotting terror attacks in New York says the charges against his son don't add up.

"It is an accusation that does not seem very true, because my son was never involved in any terrorist acts," father Juan Jose Pimentel told CNN en Español Tuesday.

Pimentel, who lives in the Dominican Republic, said his son - 27-year-old Jose Pimentel - had been depressed for the past two years, ever since he and his wife separated.

"He had his son and she took his son and he was depressed because of this. But he has been a happy and normal boy and never had any problem with terrorism," Juan Jose Pimentel said.

Authorities described Jose Pimentel as a "lone wolf" who was inspired by al Qaeda propaganda to plot attacks against police officers, patrol cars and troops returning from military service abroad.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • New York • Terrorism
Record-breaking late-season hurricane strengthens to category 4
Hurricane Kenneth was moving west with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph Tuesday morning.
November 22nd, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Record-breaking late-season hurricane strengthens to category 4

Hurricane Kenneth has strengthened to a category 4 storm far from land in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, becoming the strongest late-season hurricane on record in that region, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.

Kenneth also is the first major hurricane (category 3 or higher) on record to have formed in the eastern North Pacific so late in the year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

Kenneth, churning about 750 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California and heading away from Mexico on Tuesday morning, presents no immediate threat to land. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

The hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, was moving west at about 13 mph shortly before 7 a.m. PT, the hurricane center said. Category 4 storms have sustained winds of 131-155 mph.

The storm is expected to weaken and turn to the west-northwest on Wednesday, the hurricane center said.

When Kenneth became a tropical depression on Sunday, it became only the fourth named storm in the eastern North Pacific to have formed after November 18, according to the hurricane center. Before Kenneth, the most recent was Hurricane Winnie, which formed on December 4, 1983.

The eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November 30, with peak activity from July through September, according to NOAA. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and ends November 30.

Turkish PM tells Syria's president to step down or risk death
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pcitured) has condemned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in remarks to party members.
November 22nd, 2011
09:08 AM ET

Turkish PM tells Syria's president to step down or risk death

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a stern warning to Syria's president Tuesday, saying that he risks facing the same fate as Libya's slain Moammar Gadhafi if he does not step down.

Erdogan condemned President Bashar al-Assad for remarks he reportedly made over the weekend that he would fight to the death to resist foreign forces, saying al-Assad was battling his own people.

"For God's sake, who are you fighting against?" Erdogan said, in remarks to party members in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

"To fight against your own people 'til you die is not heroism; it is cowardice. If you want to see someone who has fought until death against his own people, just look at Nazi Germany, just look at Hitler, at Mussolini, at Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania.

"If you cannot draw any lessons from these, then look at the Libyan leader who pointed weapons against his own people, used the same terms you use and who was killed just 32 days ago in a way that none of us wished."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • Turkey
November 22nd, 2011
08:46 AM ET

Clashes erupt in Egypt ahead of 'million man' event

Fresh violence broke out near Cairo's Tahrir Square Tuesday, a day after Egypt's Cabinet offered to resign.

For several hours, protesters hurled stones at police and chanted, calling for the downfall of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, the military-led government which began running the country after protesters ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February. Demonstrators apparently tried to defend Tahrir Square as they faced off with police on a connecting street.

Egyptian police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, forcing protesters to retreat briefly before they returned with renewed intensity. Violence also spread to other parts of Egypt.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Egypt
November 22nd, 2011
07:42 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

Thanksgiving is around the corner, but it's no holiday for the GOP presidential candidates, as they have a debate to prepare for tonight.  CNN.com Live is your home for coverage of tonight's national security debate from Washington.

Today's programming highlights...

10:30 am ET - Pentagon briefing on Afghanistan - A U.S. major general will brief the public on the current situation in war-torn Afghanistan.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Politics
November 22nd, 2011
05:32 AM ET

3 Americans arrested in Cairo protests

Three Americans were arrested Monday outside the Interior Ministry in Tahrir Square and are accused of throwing Molotov cocktails during the protests in Egypt, a local prosecutor said.

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Filed under: Egypt