Overheard on CNN.com: Enterprise, the space shuttle, brings back memories for readers
“Star Trek” cast members attend the rollout of the space shuttle Enterprise in Palmdale, California, on September 17, 1976.
April 27th, 2012
07:01 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Enterprise, the space shuttle, brings back memories for readers

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.

We've seen a lot of topics sparking conversation among our readers Friday. Check out some of the best comments we've seen.

Space shuttle Enterprise flies again

The space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a 747 jumbo jet, swooped across the New York skyline on Friday before touching down at the city's John F. Kennedy International Airport, bringing an end to its final flight. Earlier in the day, one of our readers compared the flyover of the Enterprise to the recent space shuttle Discovery flyover to Virginia. They were fairly optimistic about New York.

USInDecline: "New Yorkers are mature. They've seen things. They won't let this disrupt traffic like the Disney-minded residents of D.C. and Virginia. I swear - people abandoned their cars on a bridge and disobeyed traffic laws to stake out a place from which to view this thing 20-30 minutes ahead of its fly-by."

In regards to the Enterprise's Star Trek legacy, many readers were proudly talking about their fandom.

markmark1: "I remember running home from a friend's house to watch the Enterprise launched off the 747 and glide in for a landing. I was 5 years old and I remember that I felt like the Flash because it seemed like I was running so fast to get home."

Houston, we have a problem. Some of our readers want the shuttle to go to Texas instead. FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Science • Shuttle • Space • Sports
April 27th, 2012
06:25 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: How should we handle widows, daughters of bin Laden?

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.

Fourteen members of Osama bin Laden's family were deported to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan on Friday, less than a week ahead of the first anniversary of his death at the hands of U.S. commandos. Our readers are debating whether this was the appropriate action, and whether those associated with bin Laden should be adversely affected in turn.

Deported bin Laden widows, daughters go to Saudi Arabia

Some said they felt the bin Laden family is being treated too kindly. This was the most-liked comment.

cooldude2011: "The article says bin Laden and family lived in Pakistan for eight years with the help of Pakistanis who arranged 'everything' for them. Pakistan provides an 'all-inclusive' resort-like package deal to all kinds of terrorists as long as they pay them."

Then there were those who said others should not pay a price for bin Laden's issues.

Bobby62: "So what? These women are not responsible for bin Laden's actions. Being married to him was a big enough punishment as far as I am concerned."

But then, there are different definitions of punishment. FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Pakistan • Saudi Arabia • World
L.A. May Day observances split immigration, Occupy groups
Angelica Salas, executive director for CHIRLA, says she hopes her group can work closer with Occupy protesters.
April 27th, 2012
06:21 PM ET

L.A. May Day observances split immigration, Occupy groups

Two groups in Los Angeles just can’t seem to get together on a day of solidarity.

For more than a decade, May 1 - which is the labor movement's International Workers' Day, or May Day - has been about immigration in Los Angeles. Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, said for many years people in the United States didn't celebrate the day, but CHIRLA has tried to change that in Southern California.

“[It’s] a major day of mobilization. All around the world people mobilize en mass," Salas said. “And we’re very proud to have brought back to the United States the engagement of May 1.”

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

This year, however, immigration will share the day with the Occupy protesters. Nationwide, Occupy organizers are calling for large-scale demonstrations across the country on International Workers' Day, which is Tuesday.

Salas says CHIRLA and other immigrant-rights groups have tried to get together with the Occupy movement for the day. But Michael Novick, an organizer for Occupy Los Angeles, says the two sides just couldn’t “gel.”

FULL POST

Doctor who planted 750K trees gets Arbor Day weekend salute
Dr. James Middleton says proper forestry management is a way forward economically for farmers in his state.
April 27th, 2012
06:16 PM ET

Doctor who planted 750K trees gets Arbor Day weekend salute

On this Arbor Day, when people are encouraged to plant trees, meet a Kentucky physician who has planted more than 750,000 of them on his own land.

Dr. James Middleton, 68, who also is a farmer and forester near Munfordville, Kentucky, began adding to his family’s land holdings in the 1970s, buying areas along the Green River that others had stripped of timber and abandoned. He’d plant trees such as oak and black walnut, and then harvest some of the wood, but replant.

iReport.com: Celebrate Arbor Day with us!

His sustainable management of 3,000 acres of woods not only makes money, but also reduces soil erosion along the river, preserving the river’s quality for communities miles downstream, the Arbor Day Foundation says.

On Saturday, the foundation will give him its annual Good Steward Award, which recognizes stewardship and conservation efforts on private land, in a ceremony in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

“All this was forest at one time. Mankind started farming it and opening it up, and now we’re trying to plant some of it back,” Middleton said by phone Friday.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Kentucky • Nature
April 27th, 2012
05:38 PM ET

CNN identifies key figure in Secret Service scandal

[Updated at 6:16 p.m. ET] The Secret Service agent at the center of the Colombia prostitution scandal has been identified as Arthur Huntington, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Friday.

According to the sources, Huntington was the agent in a seventh-floor hotel room in Cartagena who had a dispute over pay with an escort.

CNN also learned that Huntington has now left the Secret Service.

Also Friday, the Secret Service distributed new rules for its agents on assignment intended to prevent a repeat of such alleged misconduct, according to two government sources familiar with the resulting investigation.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Colombia
Tigers outfielder arrested; hate crime investigation under way
Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was in police custody Friday morning.
April 27th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Tigers outfielder arrested; hate crime investigation under way

Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was arrested in Manhattan early Friday and charged with aggravated harassment after a dispute with another man, New York police said.

Young appeared intoxicated when police arrived at the scene outside the New York Hilton, and he was treated and released from a hospital Friday morning, police Detective Martin Speechley said. The other person involved in the dispute, a 26-year-old male, sustained minor injuries but refused treatment, Speechley said.

Young was in police custody Friday morning, the detective said.

The aggravated harassment charge is a misdemeanor, but Speechley said the case is being investigated as a possible hate crime because of "religious statements made" during the dispute. If there is evidence to support a hate crime, the seriousness of the charge would be "elevated," he said.

The team issued a brief statement Friday afternoon.

"We are aware of the situation, however it is our club policy not to comment on pending legal matters," the statement said. "As we understand it, this is an allegation and we need to allow the legal process to take its course."

The Tigers are in New York for a three-game series against the Yankees beginning Friday.

The team lost to the Seattle Mariners in Detroit on Thursday afternoon before flying to New York.

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Filed under: Baseball • Crime • Hate crime • Sports
April 27th, 2012
07:56 AM ET

Friday's live events

The focus of the presidential election is turning toward November's general election.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Zimmerman court hearing - A court hearing will be held in the case of George Zimmerman, the man accused of killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin.  The hearing is expected to focused on the donations Zimmerman has received, as well as the suspect's criminal file.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Elections • Justice • On CNN.com today • Politics • Trayvon Martin
Spain's King Juan Carlos back in hospital for hip surgery
Spain's King Juan Carlos injured his hip after falling while on a private hunting trip in Botswana.
April 27th, 2012
04:23 AM ET

Spain's King Juan Carlos back in hospital for hip surgery

Spain's King Juan Carlos was recovering Friday after being readmitted to a Madrid hospital for surgery on his right hip, the Royal Palace said.

An update on the 74-year-old king's condition is expected later in the day, according to the palace.

The surgery was performed Thursday at San Jose Hospital to "reduce a dislocation" of the hip, a palace statement said.

He underwent hip replacement surgery earlier this month after falling while on a controversial private hunting trip in Botswana.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
April 27th, 2012
01:36 AM ET

Lawyer to tell judge about Zimmerman donation money

The $200,000 that George Zimmerman got from supporters will be discussed at a court hearing Friday morning in Florida, a defense attorney in the case said.

Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has been given about $204,000 from supporters his lawyer Mark O'Mara said.

O'Mara told CNN's "AC360" that Zimmerman told him Wednesday of the donations as they were trying to shut down his Internet presence to avoid concerns about possible impersonators and problems with his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

"He asked me what to do with his PayPal accounts and I asked him what he was talking about," O'Mara told Anderson Cooper. "And he said those were the accounts that had the money from the website he had. And there was about ... $204,000 that had come in to date."

O'Mara had said earlier this month that he believed Zimmerman had no money. "I think he's indigent for costs," he said, adding that Zimmerman's relatives had few assets.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
U.S.-Japan deal withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa
U.S. military helicopters fly over the Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa, in 2009.
April 27th, 2012
01:34 AM ET

U.S.-Japan deal withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

Thousands of Marines and their families will be transferred off Okinawa under an agreement that will reduce the American military footprint in Japan, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said late Thursday.

Under the agreement, some 9,000 Marines belonging to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force will be moved off Okinawa, with roughly half being reassigned to bases in Guam, according to a joint statement released by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.

"I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action," Panetta said.

The announcement by the committee, which included key U.S. and Japanese defense officials, ends years of seesaw talks aimed at cutting the American presence on the island south of Tokyo.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Politics • U.S. • World
April 27th, 2012
01:30 AM ET

Blind Chinese activist escapes from house arrest, friend says

A prominent blind Chinese activist has made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Shandong province and fled to Beijing, a friend and fellow activist said Friday.

Chen Guangcheng was driven to Beijing on Sunday after evading his guards, according to He Peirong, his friend who says she traveled with him.

Chen, 40, had prepared for his escape for months, He Peirong said, by lying in bed for prolonged periods so that the guards wouldn't be suspicious if they didn't see any activity from him for a long time.

Once escaped, Chen asked He Peirong and a few other activists for help, according to He Peirong. They met him at a rendezvous point, and then drove him to Beijing and hid him in a safe house, she said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: World
April 27th, 2012
01:28 AM ET

The NBA's best owns the NBA's worst

Watching the Charlotte Bobcats stumble around the court this year may make the casual fan wonder who is running this beleagured organization.

Ah ... er, it's Michael Jordan. MJ. His Airness.

After Thursday's 104-84 loss to the New York Knicks, Jordan is now the owner of the worse team in NBA history. It's a feat that may look strange next to all the trophies Jordan garnered in his playing career.

With the loss, the Bobcats end this season with a record of 7-59, finishing with an all-time worst .106 winning percentage.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Sports • U.S.