January 13th, 2012
10:02 PM ET

Deaths reported after cruise ship runs aground off Italy

At least six people were killed Friday night after a cruise ship ran aground near the Italian island of Giglio, Italy's ANSA news agency reported early Saturday.

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Filed under: Italy • Travel
Report: California slips to world's 9th largest economy
Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy: California's Bay Area had a larger economy than Switzerland in 2010.
January 13th, 2012
08:20 PM ET

Report: California slips to world's 9th largest economy

California has long had an economy larger than most nations, but nominal growth has once again seen it slip on the top 10 list.

The state dropped to ninth on the list of world’s largest economies as measured by gross domestic product in 2010, according to a report this month from the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

Brazil, with a 2010 GDP of $2.1 trillion, took the eighth spot from California ($1.901 trillion). India was 10th, at $1.7 trillion.

The United States, including California, was top of the list at $14.5 trillion. China ($5.9 trillion), Japan ($5.5 trillion), Germany ($3.3 trillion) and France ($2.6 trillion) rounded out the top five.

The United Kingdom ($2.2 trillion) and Italy ($2.1 trillion) were sixth and seventh, respectively.

In the early 2000s, California was fifth in terms of GDP, which is the value of its goods and services. But slow growth – 1.7% annually since 2000, adjusted for inflation – has helped faster-growing countries catch up.

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Overheard on CNN.com: Is it OK to do that?
A New York Philharmonic performance was underscored by a ringing cell phone, causing the conductor to stop the music.
January 13th, 2012
07:39 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is it OK to do that?

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.

Quick! Three great conversations, and three simple questions. Share your thoughts below.

Situation 1

Ringing tones of famed Philharmonic silenced by ringing cell phone

You're at the symphony and that dreaded iPhone marimba ringtone goes off, which has been known to arouse morning-alarm panic in some folks. That happened at the New York Philharmonic on Tuesday night, disrupting a haunting performance. How do you deal with situations like that? Is this OK?

sadie456: "This gent was simply arrogant. He allowed his phone to ring for three or four minutes, did not ask anyone for assistance and remained mute when challenged. I think he should have been ejected and banned from returning."

MikeSW: "At the other end of the spectrum, my grandfather halted a play by laughing so loudly and long (it was a comedy) that the entire cast stopped, turned and bowed to him, and then continued with the play. My grandmother was so mortified she never attended another play with him."

Rbnlegnds101: "He was overcome by an appropriate reaction to the performance. The actors could only take it as a compliment. Laughing at a comedy is appropriate. A musical ringtone at a concert, on the other hand, is not."

Situation 2

Why your grandma steals sugar packets

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Overheard on CNN.com: Political parties face diverse ideological landscape
Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul greets supporters outside a polling station in Manchester, New Hampshire.
January 13th, 2012
05:57 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Political parties face diverse ideological landscape

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.

If you could create a political party, what would it be? How would you define it, and who would you vote for? CNN had stories about three different political umbrellas on Friday, and commenters responded with thoughts on what each says about our country.

Ron Paul ties GOP in knots

Matt Welch wrote an editorial piece asserting that the GOP has incentive to keep Ron Paul around, even if they don't agree with a lot of his positions, because he's the key to winning over younger voters and Libertarians. Readers talked about Paul, his loyal following and the sometimes complex views about the current political landscape.

Priya86: "I've been a registered Libertarian for about 12 years. It is frustrating to watch Republicans and Democrats split down the middle so severely. You can vote Democrat and know that you are getting four years of fiscal irresponsibility or you can vote Republican and know that you're getting four years of your civil liberties being stripped if they don't line up with Christian Bible tales. The U.S. war machine has been going for most of my life. I've had friends and family killed in wars that were not needed. I've watched as my own job prospects went from great to waitress and maybe a temp even though I have a college degree and am working on my master's. Frankly, Ron Paul sounds great. Stop policing the world. (Isn't that the job of the U.N.? International cooperation and a dream of world peace?) Stop invading the private lives of citizens, stop taxing to pay for bloated and redundant (and wasteful!) federal budgets."

That was the most-liked comment, and it spurred other readers to respond with their own views about Paul. FULL POST

Paterno hospitalized for cancer treatment complications, son says
Joe Paterno, 85, was diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer in November, his family has said.
January 13th, 2012
04:50 PM ET

Paterno hospitalized for cancer treatment complications, son says

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has been hospitalized for minor complications from his ongoing
cancer treatments in Pennsylvania, Paterno's son Scott Paterno told CNN on Friday.

The family hopes his hospitalization is brief, Scott Paterno said.

Joe Paterno's family announced in November days after he had lost his job as Nittany Lions head coach amid a scandal involving one of his former assistants that he had been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer. Paterno, 85, has received chemotherapy treatments, CNN reported last month.

He was hospitalized for a few days last month after fracturing his pelvis when he slipped and fell at his home, sources told CNN at the time.

Paterno, the all-time winningest football coach in Division I history, was fired amid criticism that he hadn't done more when a sexual assault allegation surfaced regarding his longtime defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Sports
4 GOP candidates fail to make Virginia ballot, judge rules
The names of Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich will not appear on the Virginia primary ballot.
January 13th, 2012
04:05 PM ET

4 GOP candidates fail to make Virginia ballot, judge rules

A federal judge has ruled against four GOP presidential candidates seeking a spot on Virginia's March 6 primary ballot: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Those four had sued the state's board of elections because they were left off Virginia's ballot.

Virginia requires candidates to obtain 10,000 signatures from registered voters in the state, with at least 400 signatures coming from each of the commonwealth's 11 congressional districts.

Huntsman and Santorum did not file such a petition with the Virginia State Board of Elections. Gingrich and Perry filed petitions that were later rejected by the Republican Party of Virginia for not meeting requirements.

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Filed under: Politics • Republican Party • Virginia
January 13th, 2012
03:13 PM ET

This day in history: 1982 Air Florida crash in nation's captial

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge across the Potomac River in Washington, immediately after takeoff in a severe snowstorm - an incident that would leave 78 people dead, including four on the ground.

Freezing weather gripped much of the East Coast that morning when the Boeing 737-222 airliner took off from Washington National Airport with 79 passengers and crew members. The plane was scheduled to stop in Tampa, Florida, before continuing to Fort Lauderdale.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the captain and crew's reactions to the icy conditions outside put the plane in jeopardy. It failed to get airborne enough to clear the 14th Street Bridge, where it slammed into seven occupied vehicles, killing four people in those vehicles. The plane then lurched into the Potomac, where it sank quickly into the ice-strewn river, leaving only the tail section afloat for survivors to cling to.

About 20 minutes after the plane plunged into the Potomac, a rescue helicopter from the U.S. Park Service arrived and began lifting weakened survivors from the water. The nation watched newscasts showing the helicopter hovering over the icy river and rescuers plucking survivors from the fast-sinking wreckage.

Only six passengers were not killed on impact. A blizzard slowed rescue efforts as icy roads and traffic jams kept emergency vehicles from reaching the scene.

One of initial survivors was Arland D. Williams Jr. As rescuers frantically threw lines to survivors, Williams continually handed off the ropes to others.

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Filed under: History
Source: John Edwards has life-threatening heart condition
Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is seeking a delay in his upcoming trial on campaign finance charges.
January 13th, 2012
02:59 PM ET

Source: John Edwards has life-threatening heart condition

A federal judge has disclosed that former presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening heart condition, a court source told CNN.

Attorneys for Edwards were in a North Carolina courtroom Friday seeking a delay in his criminal corruption trial, scheduled to begin this month. The attorneys also sought a delay last month, saying Edwards had an unspecified medical issue.

Edwards a former U.S. senator from North Carolina who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008 was indicted in June on six counts including conspiracy, issuing false statements and violating campaign contribution laws. He pleaded not guilty.

If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.5 million.

In September, the trial was delayed until January 30 after Edwards' attorneys said he needed more time, in part due to his position as the sole caretaker of his two youngest children, ages 11 and 13, after his wife, Elizabeth, passed away in December 2010.

A chief issue in the upcoming trial is whether money given to support Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, by the then-candidate's benefactors should have been considered campaign donations, a contention Edwards' team has disputed. They maintain the money was a gift to Hunter.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • John Edwards
Missing Montana schoolteacher found dead
January 13th, 2012
01:40 PM ET

Missing Montana schoolteacher found dead

Montana schoolteacher Sherry Arnold, missing since Saturday, has been found dead, according to a posting on the Sidney Public Schools website.

The school district provided no other information.

Law enforcement officers have taken "one adult male into custody, and another adult male is being questioned" in relation to Arnold's case, the FBI said Friday in a statement.

The 43-year-old schoolteacher was last seen out on a morning jog through her small town.

One of her running shoes was found along her route, but authorities indicated there had not been any other sign of Arnold.

Sidney police Chief Frank DiFonzo said earlier this week that teams had been using dogs and aircraft to search for Arnold and have gotten help from National Guard members as well as volunteers.

On Thursday, the FBI put out a poster of Arnold and added her to its "kidnapping and missing persons" website.

Arnold's disappearance has hit the small community hard, including at Sidney High School, where she is a math teacher. Situated near North Dakota and about 100 miles south of the Canadian border, Sidney has a population of just under 5,200 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Filed under: Crime • Montana
January 13th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Van der Sloot sentenced to 28 years in prison for Peru murder

Joran van der Sloot on Friday was sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

With credit for time served, his sentence would end on June 10, 2038.

He was also ordered to pay about $74,500 to the victim's family.

On Wednesday, the 24-year-old Dutch national confessed to the charges of "qualified murder" and simple robbery.

It was an apparent attempt to win a more lenient sentence, using a plea called an "anticipated conclusion of the process" under Peruvian law.

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Filed under: Alabama • Aruba • Courts • Crime • Joran van der Sloot • Justice • Natalee Holloway • Peru
Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, right, breaks ice around the Russian tanker Renda last week about 250 miles south of Nome.
January 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome

Two ships trying to break through ice to resupply ice-bound Nome, Alaska, are nearly there after a 10-day journey but have paused to identify the safest path into harbor, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, and the Russian fuel tanker Renda were in the Bering Sea about eight nautical miles from Nome on Friday morning, Coast Guard Lt. Veronica Colbath told “CNN Newsroom.”

The Healy will have broken through nearly 300 miles of ice for the Renda, which is transporting 1.3 million gallons of fuel for Nome on a journey that began last week from southern Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ships’ leaders and an ice expert are discussing “the best way to proceed” to Nome on northwestern Alaska’s coast, Colbath said.

“We have (had) … ice and weather challenges on this 300-mile journey, so we will not be rushing into the harbor of Nome until we have identified the best course of action to navigate in,” Colbath said.

FULL POST

Gotta Watch: Shopping frenzies over 'it' products
Brides-to-be participate in a 2011 "Running of the Brides."
January 13th, 2012
11:50 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Shopping frenzies over 'it' products

Sometimes the hype for the season’s “it” item can really get over the top. When customers just have to have it, bad behavior can ensue. Check out the chaos that these hot products caused.

Apple attack — Apple’s loyal followers love to have the latest product. In Beijing today, fans braved subzero temperatures to get the iPhone 4S. The store decided not to open in the morning, citing safety concerns over the large crowd. The throng got unruly and even threw rocks and eggs at the store. Police were forced to break up the fray. Apple has now delayed the launch of the 4S in Beijing because of the incident.


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Filed under: Apple • Gotta Watch
January 13th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Suspect in Norway killings faces new sanity test

The man accused of killing 77 people in Norway last summer will undergo a new psychiatric evaluation, justice officials said Friday, after an earlier test found him to be insane.

Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen told reporters Friday that the court wanted a second opinion because of the importance of the question of his sanity to Anders Behring Breivik's trial, due to start in April.

This was not a criticism of the previous report, she said.

Breivik has been assigned two new psychiatrists to carry out the evaluation, court spokesman Geir Engebretsen told CNN.

The decision follows requests from the families of some of the victims, amid wide public debate in Norway over the initial psychiatric report, he said.

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Filed under: Norway • World
January 13th, 2012
09:21 AM ET

Two Marines in urination video interviewed

Military officials have interviewed two of four Marines in a video that shows them urinating on dead bodies sprawled out on the ground, a Marine Corps official told CNN Friday.

The Marines were not detained after the interview, the official said.

The names are not being made public, said the official, who did not want to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

The identities were determined as officials in the United States and Afghanistan expressed shock and outrage regarding the video, which was posted Wednesday on a number of websites.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military • War
January 13th, 2012
09:19 AM ET

White House: Obama seeks more power to shrink government

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for more power to shrink the federal government, a White House official said Friday.

Obama plans to speak at 11:20 a.m. about his plans to make the federal government "leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly," the official said.

The president's proposal includes plans to combine several agencies that focus on commerce and trade.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
January 13th, 2012
07:42 AM ET

Friday's live events

The GOP presidential candidates are now focusing their attention on South Carolina ahead of next week's primary there.  CNN.com Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Van der Sloot sentencing - Joran van der Sloot will be sentenced today in Peru for the murder of Stephany Flores, just two days after pleading guilty to the charges against him.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Elections • Joran van der Sloot • Politics • Republican Party
January 13th, 2012
05:41 AM ET

New Orleans police headquarters evacuated after grenades found in car

(CNN) - Authorities briefly evacuated the New Orleans police headquarters after officers realized a car they had towed had live grenades in it, a spokesman said.

The car connected to a home invasion earlier that day was taken to police headquarters Thursday evening, said Frank Robertson, a New Orleans police spokesman.

Two grenades were found in the trunk, prompting the evacuation of 15 to 20 people in the police station, Robertson said.

The bomb squad was called in and the police station was reopened later, Robertson said.

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January 13th, 2012
05:37 AM ET

Police: California woman bites two children at book store

(CNN) - A Northern California woman was arrested on suspicion of taking a bite out of two kids in the children's section of a book store, police said.

Polly Beltramo, 46, of Palo Alto, is accused of biting a 2-year-old girl and a baby boy on the cheek at BookBuyers in Mountain View on Thursday, police said.

The incident began when Beltramo allegedly bit the girl, whose mother was in the children's section of the store, witnesses said.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
January 13th, 2012
05:33 AM ET

Japan hands over whaling activists to Australia

Tokyo (CNN) - Japan on Friday handed over to Australian authorities three anti-whaling activists held aboard a Japanese vessel after illegally boarding the ship to protest Japan's annual whale hunt in Atlantic waters.

The three Australian men were transferred onto Ocean Protector, an Australian customs ship, a spokesman for the Japanese Fisheries Agency said, declining to be identified as is customary in Japan. The activists were released without charge.

The men had been questioned by Japan's Coast Guard after boarding the Shonan Maru #2, a patrol vessel supporting the whaling mission in Antarctic waters, on Sunday.

Australia engaged in diplomatic discussions with Japan to ensure the well-being and release of the three men. Australia opposes Japan's whale hunt, but the incident did not occur in Australian territorial waters, meaning that the country's law did not automatically apply to the case.

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January 13th, 2012
05:29 AM ET

U.S. warns citizens of terrorist threat in Bangkok

(CNN) - The United States on Friday warned its citizens in Thailand of the possibility of imminent terrorist attacks in busy tourist areas of Bangkok.

"U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution when visiting public areas where large groups of Western tourists gather in Bangkok," a statement on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said.

"Foreign terrorists" may be planning attacks "in the near future," the statement said. The embassy did not provide any further information on the source of the threat.

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