Report: NBA nixes Chris Paul trade to Clippers
Monday's failed negotiations mark the second time in a week that a Chris Paul trade to Los Angeles fell through.
December 12th, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Report: NBA nixes Chris Paul trade to Clippers

An NBA trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers is off, Sports Illustrated reported Monday.

New Orleans would have gotten second-year Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, center Chris Kaman, second-year forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the Clippers' 2012 first-round draft pick in a blockbuster move that would have made both teams long-term contenders.  But the league, which owns the Hornets franchise, also wanted guard Eric Gordon thrown in the deal, and the Clippers balked, according to SI.

New Jersey Nets owner vies for Russian presidency

Now the Hornets may get to retain an unhappy superstar that is certain to bolt to another team in a matter of months.

While the NBA reviewed the deal Monday and said no,  it may not be over. There are rumblings that litigation could be filed by Paul's representatives and the union, according to ESPN.

“People close to this trade, and even around the league, think the league is driving such a hard bargain because they really do not want to move Chris Paul outside of New Orleans,” ESPN’s Chris Broussard opined Monday on air hours before the NBA announced its decision.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Monday quarterbacking
Much of the conversation surrounding Saturday's GOP debate was about Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
December 12th, 2011
02:05 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Monday quarterbacking

Editor's note: Overheard on CNN.com is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

It was a weekend of big plays, at the podium as well as on the field. Saturday's GOP debate left Newt Gingrich as the supposed front-runner once again. College debate coach Todd Graham said Romney was "debating not to lose" while Gingrich was playing to win, and while commenters agreed, they focused primarily on the now-infamous $10,000 bet the candidate tried to make with Rick Perry onstage.

It was Romney's debate to lose, and he did

luebla: "That $10,000 bet from Romney was too much and extreme, considering people are having hard economic times and do not wish to hear someone talking about a bet that could pay all their bills and some more. It was like Romney was throwing his wealth in people's faces."

Commenters went to work explaining Gingrich's rise. FULL POST

December 12th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

U.S. wants drone back from Iran, Obama says

President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has asked Iran to return a U.S. drone aircraft that Iran claims it recently brought down in Iranian territory.

"We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said in a news conference.

The president's comments come one day after it was reported that an Iranian official said the country would not return the drone.

"No nation welcomes other countries' spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin," said Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Armed Forces, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

"It makes no difference where this drone originated and which group or country sent it to invade our air space," Salami said. "This was an act of invasion and belligerence."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Crime • Politics • World
December 12th, 2011
12:03 PM ET

The Reads You Need: Xavier-Cincinnati brawl: 'gangstas' or 'thugs'?

Editor's note: Each day, we'll bring you some of the diverse voices from our site and across the Web on the stories causing ripples throughout the news sphere.

In the aftermath of the nasty end-of-game fight Saturday between the Cincinnati Bearcats and No. 8 Xavier Musketeers, commentators are up in arms themselves. And things got more serious Monday: Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said, “My office will review this matter to determine whether any criminal charges are appropriate.”

Eight players were suspended in all, four from each college basketball team. Three Cincinnati players got six-game suspensions for their roles in the brawl, including forward Yancy Gates, caught clearly on video throwing a haymaker.

The incident came at the close of the Crosstown Shootout series,  a rivalry game that has been played between the two city schools since 1928.

Perhaps adding insult to injury, Xavier players who were involved in the brawl and obviously still amped up were allowed to address the media afterward.

“If somebody put their hands in your face or try to do something to you, where we’re from, you’re going to do something back,” said guard Mark Lyons, who got a two-game suspension. “We’re not going to sit there and get our face beat in by somebody like Yancy Gates. … We won't let that happen.”

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December 12th, 2011
10:58 AM ET

Russian billionaire to run against Putin

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov - the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team and one of the world's richest men - said Monday that he will run for president of Russia next year.

Calling his decision to run for president "probably the most important decision of my life," he acknowledged the risks of challenging Russia's rulers.

"There is saying in Russia: Never say never, anyone can end up behind bars. But I am not afraid," he said in a press conference in Moscow.

Prokhorov, 45, is worth $18 billion, Forbes estimated in March, making him Russia's third richest man.

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Filed under: Russia • World
December 12th, 2011
10:52 AM ET

Justices accept Arizona's appeal over controversial immigration law

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Arizona can enforce its controversial immigration law, over the strong objections of the Obama administration.

The justices made the announcement in a brief order Monday.

Federal courts had blocked key parts of the state's Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, known as SB 1070. Arizona had argued illegal immigration was creating financial hardships and safety concerns for its residents and that the federal government has long failed to control the problem.

The administration has countered immigration issues are under its exclusive authority and that state "interference" would only make matters worse.

Read the complete story on CNN.com

FULL STORY

Filed under: Elena Kagan • Immigration • Supreme Court
December 12th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

Supreme Court to rule on Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Arizona can enforce its controversial immigration reform law, over the objections of the Obama administration. The justices made the announcement in a brief order Monday.

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December 12th, 2011
09:37 AM ET

Occupy movement plans to shut down ports

Protesters affiliated with the nationwide "Occupy" movement hope to shut down West Coast ports from San Diego to Alaska on Monday in an effort to "disrupt the economic machine that benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations," according to organizers.

Ports in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia and Anchorage, Alaska, are targets of the effort, according to the Occupy the Ports website.

Protesters are also planning to demonstrate at the port in Houston, while Salt Lake City demonstrators are also organizing to disrupt operations of a Walmart distribution facility.

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Filed under: California • Occupy Wall Street • U.S.
December 12th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Monday's live events

2011 may be coming to a close, but that doesn't mean CNN.com Live is taking the rest of the year off.  We are your home for all the latest news from around the world.

Today's programming highlights...

9:20 am ET - Gingrich's New Hampshire town hall - Riding high in the polls, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spends his day in New Hampshire, where he'll hold a town hall-style meeting in Londonderry.

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Filed under: Elections • Newt Gingrich • Politics
December 12th, 2011
05:50 AM ET

Officials: 15 suspected al Qaeda members escape from Yemeni prison

Fifteen suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula escaped from a south Yemen prison Monday morning, security officials said.

The escapees dug a 6-meter tunnel in the western section of the Central Security prison in Aden, the security officials said.

Aden, the business capital of Yemen, has been under a terror threat since May, when suspected militants took over neighboring Abyan province and announced it an Islamic emirate.

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December 12th, 2011
04:02 AM ET

NATO-bound trucks attacked, burned in Pakistan

Armed militants on motorcycles in southwest Pakistan ambushed and set ablaze a convoy of tankers bound for NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sunday night, police said.

The gunmen opened fire after forcing the convoy of eight oil tankers to stop in an area 90 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, police official Abdul Qadir said.

The militants killed one of the truck's drivers and set the tankers on fire before they escaped, Qadir said.

Fuel and supply trucks contracted to supply NATO have been left stranded in Pakistan by Islamabad's decision to block its two NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed the routes to protest a NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.

The airstrike plunged Islamabad and Washington into one of their worst diplomatic crises ever.

In a television interview on Sunday, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the blockade of Pakistan's NATO supply routes could continue for weeks until "new rules of engagement" were established with Washington.

The blockade leaves stranded supply trucks vulnerable to militants in Pakistan who have increasingly targeted the convoys in an effort to undermine the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Sunday's attack was the second of its kind in four days.

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December 12th, 2011
03:14 AM ET

U.S. bases remaining in Iraq dwindle to four

As of Monday, 6,000 U.S. troops and four military bases remain in Iraq, according to Col. Barry Johnson of the United States Forces – Iraq.

The  four bases are:
Kalsu in Iskandariya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad

Echo in Diwaniya, about 111 miles south of Baghdad

Adder near Nasiriya, about 198 miles southeast of Baghdad

Basra in Basra, about 340 miles southeast of Baghdad

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December 12th, 2011
02:34 AM ET

Kidnapped 14-year-old Filipino-American is free

A 14-year-old Filipino-American boy abducted in July by suspected Islamic militants in the Philippines is free, officials said.

Kevin Lunsmann was reunited with his mother, the U.S. Embassy in Manila said Monday, without offering additional details.

"It was a tough time. It was a tough five months," Kevin's father, Heiko, told CNN affiliate WSET, from the family home in Lynchburg, Virginia. "I'm just so happy."

Heiko Lunsmann said the boy had plotted his escape for a while, and eventually seized the opportunity some time late last week while his guards slept.

He "was spotted alone" Saturday about six miles southwest of Lamitan City on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf, the official Philippines News Agency said.

Army officials turned him over to American forces in the southern Mindanao region, the Philippine government said in a statement to CNN affiliate TV 5.

The Philippine Inquirer quoted the Lamitan city mayor, Roderick Furigay, as saying Kevin walked for two days, surviving on candies his captors presumably gave him and on coconuts that he retrieved by climbing trees.

"In this holiday season nothing makes me happier than knowing that an innocent victim is returned to his family in time for holiday celebrations," Harry Thomas, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, said in a weekend statement.

"If ever we are to be inspired by the human spirit, we should take comfort in the courage, commitment and love that the Lunsmann family exhibited during this trying ordeal," Thomas added.

Fourteen gunmen snatched Kevin, his mother, Gerfa Yeatts Lunsmann, and his 19-year-old cousin, Romnick Jakaria, in July while they vacationed on the island of Tictabon, authorities said. The abductors forced them to board awaiting boats, which then sped off in the direction of Basilan.

Kevin's mother was released by her captors in October. Jakaria was released last month, according to the news agency.

Basilan serves as a base for Abu Sayyaf, which wants to establish a separate state for the Philippines' minority Muslim population. The U.S. State Department considers the group a terrorist organization and says it is linked to al Qaeda. The Philippines government has been fighting to contain the militants.

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December 12th, 2011
02:19 AM ET

Syrian opposition: Deadline nears for residents to stop dissent or face attack

Syrian residents in the city of Homs face a looming deadline to stop anti-government protests, hand in weapons and surrender defecting military members by Monday night - or face attack by the government forces, an opposition leader said.

Syrian forces gave a 72-hour warning, said Lt. Col. Mohamed Hamdo of the Free Syrian Army, an opposition group consisting of defected Syrian military personnel. Activists on the ground said the ultimatum was issued on Friday.

The Syrian National Council, the country's leading opposition movement, had warned earlier of a potential bloodbath at the hands of the Syrian regime in Homs.

The council said evidence from activists on the ground "indicate that the regime is paving the way to commit a massacre in order to extinguish the revolution in Homs and to discipline, by example, other Syrian cities that have joined the revolution."

The government made no mention of the reported deadline on the news agency's website Sunday morning.

But the military has dug trenches around Homs, Hamdo said, and a humanitarian crisis is under way.

"There is no electricity, water, or communication whatsoever now and the communication breakdown has extended even closer to the Turkish border," he said.

The Syrian government denied reports of water and electricity being out in the city, according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

State-run media also painted a picture of normalcy Monday, when state TV reported that municipal elections in the country are under way. SANA noted that more than 3,000 candidates are vying for available seats in the besieged Homs region.

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December 12th, 2011
12:03 AM ET

S. Korea: Chinese fishermen kill coast guard member

A member of the South Korean coast guard was killed and another injured Monday after an attack by Chinese fishermen suspected of illegally fishing in the Yellow Sea, the South Korean coast guard said.

The coast guard said two commandos boarded a Chinese ship and were investigating the crew when one person on board stabbed them.

The men were taken into custody, and the ship was taken toward Incheon Port, west of Seoul. The incident is under investigation, the coast guard said.

The South Korean coast guard has stopped hundreds of Chinese boats this year on suspicion of illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea.

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Filed under: China • South Korea • World