Overheard on CNN.com: Kodachrome photos take us back, but would we stay?
Some film photography, like this image from a Kodachrome collection featured on the CNN Photos blog, evokes another time.
January 6th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Kodachrome photos take us back, but would we stay?

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

Ah, the good old days, when life was simple and counters were Formica. Kodak film imaging helped document iconic moments in the 20th century, but the photography giant now faces the possibility of bankruptcy. When CNN posted a photo gallery highlighting a collection of Kodachrome photos, plus a CNN iReport assignment asking for users' photos, we expected readers to share their feelings of nostalgia for a bygone era. What surprised us a bit were all the comments debating the meaning of our longings for the good old days.

Kodachrome collection takes look back at mid-century America

For many readers, there was an intense feeling of nostalgia. Yet few could forget everything else that isn't shown in a photograph.

Elaine: "These slides fill me with a crushing sadness. Who are these people? How many of them are long dead? How many are forgotten? What happened to their families, their lives, that caused their precious memories to end up in the hands of a stranger - a well-meaning stranger who clearly treasures and takes good care of these images, but is still a stranger? There is an idyllic feeling here, as well, that seems to be gone from today. I agree with many of the other commenters that the 1950s was not idyllic, not only for non-white folk, but for many white folk as well. However, the photos themselves are dreamlike and alien, images not only of people long dead, but an age long gone, never to return. This gallery moved me tremendously. Thank you for sharing these."

One of the most-debated topics was exactly how much "optimism" should be associated with the mid-century. FULL POST

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Filed under: Civil Rights • History • Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
January 6th, 2012
03:56 PM ET

Report: 11 killed in hot air balloon crash

Eleven people were killed in a hot air balloon crash near the town of Carterton, New Zealand, Saturday morning, according to Radio New Zealand, which quoted local health officials.

Reports of the crash, which happened nearly 90 kilometers northeast of Wellington, were first reported shortly before 7:30 a.m., Radio New Zealand reported.

A witness said the balloon was in flames as it descended, according to Radio New Zealand.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: New Zealand
New Orleans tightens kids' French Quarter curfew
Supporters of the change say the district's booze and adult entertainment make it no place for children after 8 p.m.
January 6th, 2012
12:50 PM ET

New Orleans tightens kids' French Quarter curfew

New Orleans' longstanding citywide curfew for unescorted juveniles is about to get tighter in the city's famed French Quarter.

The City Council on Thursday voted to bar people 16 and younger from the district, plus parts of the Faubourg Marigny area, after 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday - making the weekend curfew the same as the rest of the week.

Since 1994, juveniles citywide have had an 8 p.m. curfew Sunday through Thursday (9 p.m. in the summer). But they have been allowed to be out until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Supporters of the change say the district's booze and adult entertainment make it no place for children after 8 p.m. on any day, and they hope it helps cut down on crime and underage drinking, CNN affiliates WWL-TV and WDSU reported.

"They should not be in a place that has over 350 alcohol beverage outlets and has countless strip clubs," French Quarter Management District Chairwoman Kim Rosenberg said, according to WWL.

The proposal prompted some controversy, with some council meeting attendees saying that the move appeared to show members caring more about tourists and the district's white-owned businesses than the rest of the city, the Times-Picayune reported.

Council members have said they will soon consider tightening the curfew citywide.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office said he would sign the French Quarter/Faubourg Marigny measure Friday, WWL reported. The changes would technically go into effect Monday, but because the curfew already is 8 p.m. on weekdays, the first real change would happen January 13.

The curfew has many exceptions, including those for children who are accompanied by a parent or guardian, children who are on their home property or that of a neighbor, or children who are with a church or school group.

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Filed under: Louisiana
Overheard on CNN.com: New definition of rape reflects reality, some readers say
Attorney General Eric Holder says the new definition will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide.
January 6th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: New definition of rape reflects reality, some readers say

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

"The carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will" has been a legal definition of rape since 1927. But the Justice Department announced Friday that it is expanding this definition to include attacks against men. Any kind of nonconsensual penetration, no matter the gender of the attacker or victim, will constitute rape. Commenters had lots to say about this story.

Rape definition broadened to include men

Many readers said this new change has been long overdue.

Elmeaux: "It's about time. Violence of this nature against any human being must be measured by the same yardstick."

Men can be rape victims as well as women, many commenters noted. A lot of them cited the abuse of male children, as well.

janetfis: "It's about time! People need to understand that men can be victims too! Look at the kids raped by their teachers. Or young boys sexually abused by their mothers. The blame is usually placed on the male and that is not always the case. This law should have been in place eons ago!"

A few wondered whether the definition would lead to unjust accusations against those who have sex while intoxicated, while others said inebriation is irrelevant. FULL POST

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Filed under: Justice • Overheard on CNN.com
Gotta Watch: Stay away from the webcam
January 6th, 2012
12:26 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Stay away from the webcam

Nowadays just about anyone can get a hold of a camera and upload videos online for the whole world to see… whether this is a good or a bad thing is still up for debate. Just yesterday a “web diary” from Casey Anthony was “leaked” online, receiving a lot of attention. This got us here at Gotta Watch thinking about the perils of webcams. Whether you shouldn’t be allowed alone with a camera, or you just can’t figure out how to work it, here is a look back some top webcam fails.

Casey Anthony’s web confessional – A video surfaced Thursday of Casey Anthony, sporting a new blonde hairdo and glasses, talking vaguely about the developments in her life since being acquitted of murder last year. Many people have criticized the “tot mom” video as being narcissistic and a publicity stunt, even though her lawyers claim it was unauthorized.

Is this thing on? - An older couple mistakenly became a YouTube hit after recording themselves trying to use a webcam.  These seniors may not have any idea what they were doing, but it sure is amusing to watch.

Leave Britney alone! – One passionate fan just couldn’t stand all the criticism Britney Spears was receiving from the media in 2007, so he decided to speak up on her behalf. While you may not agree or even care about the point he is trying to make, you can’t deny that he is pleading his case with fanaticism enthusiasm.

What are your thoughts on the proliferation of web videos these days? Share your favorite webcam moments and leave your thoughts in the comment section below… or better yet create your own video response here.

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Filed under: Casey Anthony • Gotta Watch • Media • Technology • YouTube
Van der Sloot needs more time to decide plea, attorney says
Joran van der Sloot was arrested in June 2010 in Stephany Flores' death.
January 6th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Van der Sloot needs more time to decide plea, attorney says

[Updated, 11:27 a.m. ET] Joran van der Sloot's attorney, who earlier said his client was going to plead guilty to all charges in connection with the death of a Peruvian woman, has asked for a recess in his client's murder trial to give him more time to reflect on what plea he will put forth.

When asked for a plea by the magistrates, van der Sloot said he wanted to give a "sincere confession" - a type of guilty plea - but did not agree with all of the charges against him. When the judge asked for clarification, he said he needed more time to decide his plea.

[Initial post, 8:54 a.m. ET] In a last-minute defense strategy change, Joran van der Sloot is expected to plead guilty to all the charges against him in connection with the killing of a Peruvian woman, his lawyer told CNN Friday.

The original plan going into the trial, which was set to begin Friday, was to admit to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, but to fight more stringent charges that could land him more time in prison, attorney Luis Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the intention of the new strategy is to give a "sincere confession," which under Peruvian law can qualify him for a more lenient sentence.

If van der Sloot goes forward with this approach, he could be sentenced as early as next week.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Joran van der Sloot • Justice • Peru
January 6th, 2012
10:08 AM ET

Rape definition broadened to include men

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is expanding its decades-old definition of rape to include attacks against men.

Now, any kind of non-consensual penetration, no matter the gender of the attacker or victim, will constitute rape.

The crime of rape will now be defined as "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim," the Justice Department said.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the new definition will lead to a more comprehensive statistical reporting of rape nationwide.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
On the Radar: Obama on appointment; van der Sloot case; jobs report
President Obama sparked controversy with his appointment of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
January 6th, 2012
08:26 AM ET

On the Radar: Obama on appointment; van der Sloot case; jobs report

Three stories to know about Friday:

Obama addresses Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after controversial appointment – U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to make remarks at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington on Friday, just days after he decided to make a recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the agency a move protested by congressional Republicans.

Republicans say the move was unconstitutional because the Senate technically has met every three or four days over the holiday period and therefore was not in recess.

However, Senate Democrats defended the appointment, arguing the president's constitutional authority to fill top government posts outweighed whether Congress was technically in session or not. At issue is a disagreement over the meaning of the term "recess." The Constitution states the president can make recess appointments but fails to dictate how long a recess is. Legal experts have debated the point for years.

FULL POST

January 6th, 2012
08:20 AM ET

Nigeria church shooting kills at least 8, pastor says

At least eight people have been killed in a shooting at a church in northeastern Nigeria, a pastor at the church said Friday.

Gunmen attacked the Deeper Life church in Gombe, the capital of Gombe state, on Thursday evening as worshipers held a revival meeting, according to the Venerable Joseph Ninyo, a pastor with the Anglican Diocese of Gombe.

He said 20 people were being treated in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care.

"Many tried to run but were gunned down," eyewitness Konson Danladi said. "I was just outside the church when the men came and started shooting and I ran."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Africa • Nigeria • World
January 6th, 2012
07:40 AM ET

At least 25 killed in Damascus 'terrorist' blast, state news reported

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Syrian capital on Friday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 46 others, Syrian state media reported.

The incident took place in the al-Midan quarter of Damascus. Casualties included mostly civilians and some law enforcement personnel, the Syrian Arab News Agency said.

The news agency said the "terrorist explosion" went off at a traffic light "in a densely populated area" with heavy traffic. It occurred near Hassan al-Hakeem Basic Education School.

No one has claimed responsibility for the action. It comes a couple of days after the Free Syrian Army, the force of military defectors fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime, vowed to kick off "huge operations" against government targets.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Syria
January 6th, 2012
07:37 AM ET

Friday's live events

The New Hampshire primary is just four days away, and CNN.com Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the state.

Today's programming highlights...

8:05 am ET - Romney's South Carolina rally - GOP candidate Mitt Romney will rally supporters in Conway, South Carolina.  He'll then return to New Hampshire to host a spaghetti dinner in Tilton at 6:00 pm ET.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Politics • Republican Party
January 6th, 2012
06:20 AM ET

Witnesses: Blasts strike Iraq's Army Day parade in Baghdad

At least three explosions struck Friday near Baghdad's Green Zone, where a parade to mark Iraq's Army Day was taking place, according to witnesses.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attacks, which come amid heightened security across the Iraqi capital in preparation for Army Day. Officials have said they were concerned about the possibility of attacks.

Witnesses said the explosions were caused by mortars or rockets that struck a short stretch of road between the Foreign Ministry and one of the main checkpoints leading into the Green Zone, areas previously targeted in attacks.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
January 6th, 2012
05:42 AM ET

State media: Blast hits Syrian capital, civilians killed

A "terrorist" explosion hit a neighborhood in the Syrian capital of Damascus, state media said Friday.
The blast killed and injured tens of people, including civilians, according to state TV, which said it is believed to be a result of a suicide bombing.  It did not give an exact number.
Law enforcement personnel were also among those hit, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: World
January 6th, 2012
05:01 AM ET

5 troops killed in Afghanistan Friday

At least five coalition troops were killed in southern  Afghanistan Friday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

Four troops died after a bomb exploded and in a separate incident one service member died after an insurgent attack.

There were no other details given about the incidents.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: World
January 6th, 2012
04:25 AM ET

Deadly mushrooms served as part of meal that kills 2, officials say

A meal containing the world's most deadly mushroom is responsible for killing two people and sickening another in Canberra, Australian health officials said Friday.

The meal, which contained death cap mushrooms, was part of a private meal served at a restaurant on New Year's Day, the Australian Health Directorate said.

"The Health Directorate has been advised that the consumption of this food was for a private meal and no food containing the mushrooms was provided to the general public or anyone outside of this small group," the directorate said in a statement.

The restaurant, where the mushrooms were prepared, remains closed.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
January 6th, 2012
04:22 AM ET

Hague expresses hopes for democracy in Myanmar after meeting Suu Kyi

The British foreign secretary held talks with the Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday, expressing hope that she and her party can help move the Southeast Asian country further along the road to democracy.

"This is an exciting time, because now there is the chance that what she and her colleagues have hoped and longed for for so long will actually take place in this country - that progress toward democracy will continue to be made," William Hague, the first British foreign secretary to visit Myanmar in more than 50 years, said at a news conference after meeting with Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy at her lakeside house in Yangon.

Myanmar has been ruled by a military junta since 1962, and the generals have started to loosen their grip on the country after coming under criticism for their human rights record in recent years. Thein Sein, a former military official and prime minister, became president last year as a result of an election criticized by democracy activists as a sham.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World