May 2nd, 2012
09:53 PM ET

CNN prime time: Dramatic day in Edwards trial, FAMU charges disappoint mom

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Aide recalls Elizabeth Edwards meltdown

A former aide details a graphic confrontation between Elizabeth Edwards and husband John.

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FAMU hazing charges disappoint mom

Robert Champion's mother tells CNN's Anderson Cooper why charges in FAMU hazing case are disappointing to her.

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Auma Obama on her famous brother

What’s it like to find out your brother is going to be president of the United States? Ask Auma Obama, President Obama’s long-lost sister.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • CNN Prime Time • John Edwards • Justice
Gotta Watch: Dangerous jobs
Calling all alligator hunters - the state of Texas needs you!
May 2nd, 2012
08:41 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Dangerous jobs

There are some men and women who don't fear danger or even risking their lives at work. For some, the adrenaline rush of pushing themselves to the edge keeps their jobs interesting and rewarding.  CNN.com has collected video of some of these risk-takers putting their lives on the line. Watch as an alligator hunter, firefighter and window washer are caught in precarious positions that will put a chill up your spine.

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Need a job? Texas needs gator hunters

Texas officials say the state needs more alligator hunters to provide his or her services.

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Fireman: Roof under him 'just dropped'

A life and death moment for Michigan fighters caught on tape, as a roof collapsed under them. WXYZ reports.

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Window washer saved from fall

A Seattle man is safe on the ground after hanging from a building. KOMO reports.

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Filed under: Alligators • Animals • Fire • Gotta Watch • Michigan • Survivor Stories • Texas • U.S. • Washington state
Overheard on CNN.com: If robots take over, what happens to money, leisure time?
Could robots be doing your job someday? Share your thoughts in the comments area below.
May 2nd, 2012
07:37 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: If robots take over, what happens to money, leisure time?

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.

Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly made a provocative assertion that future generations may deem some kinds of work we do today "inhumane" and reserve it for robots instead. We discussed the posting on CNN's What's Next blog and got some interesting responses from the community of what we assume to be human readers.

The Big Idea: Robots should take our jobs

Some readers opined there could be a major shift in power distribution if robots were allowed to take over jobs.

Matt: "For whoever reads this, the problem isn't technological progress and the gradual replacement of laborers with machines. The problem is the current socio-economic paradigm. Unfortunately, whoever owns the machines of production or the capital that it takes to produce, maintain, and supply them are the ones that will never have to worry about being unemployed. They are the ones, along with political figures, that hold the true power. With AI on the horizon, more jobs, even those that we consider safe, will have laborers either replaced or manufacturing transferred to areas that have cheaper labor."

What if wages and payroll as we know them suddenly went away?

allenwoll: "Folks, For 250 years, machines have been 'taking our jobs.' The result : Unprecedented prosperity, periodically interrupted by 'economic shoals' as is now the case. This continuing process has been termed 'the Industrial Revolution.' This revolution will inevitably continue. Remember, the only reason that a good or service costs money is that human labor is involved. Take out ever, ever more of the human labor (and curtail enterprise greed) and costs go down and down toward an eventual near-zero. The only problem will be to figure out how to equitably distribute goods and services without the use of the present 'wage-salary score card' ... that will not be easy ! Go on, think about this. It will give you a really bad headache, but there it is! We will not see it, but our children will!"

Will humans do more or less work as automation increases? FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Technology
Japanese man claims motorcycle that washed up in Canada
A Canadian man says he found this Harley-Davidson in a storage container on a British Columbia beach in April.
May 2nd, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Japanese man claims motorcycle that washed up in Canada

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle believed to have traversed the Pacific Ocean to western Canada after being swept from coastal Japan during a March 2011 tsunami has been claimed by a Japanese man.

Ikuo Yokoyama, 29, of Yamamoto, Japan, says a Harley-Davidson representative tracked him down after the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ran a story about the bike, which was found in a storage container on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands, the CBC reported.

Harley-Davidson now intends to restore the bike, which had rusted but still had its Miyagi Prefecture license plate, and send it back to Yokoyama, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Wednesday.

Yokoyama, who NHK reported lost three family members and his home in the disaster, said he was "so glad that (the motorcycle) will be returned to me.”

“I would like to thank the man who found my bike in person,” Yokoyama said in an NHK interview aired on the CBC.

Peter Mark, a Haida Gwaii resident, told the CBC that he found the container and the motorcycle, golf clubs, camping equipment and tools inside on a beach on April 18.

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Canada • Japan
May 2nd, 2012
05:33 PM ET

The CNN Daily Mash-up

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We'll top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs. Your comments, as always, are welcome.

You can't herd cats, but you can follow this one

You know about cat litter. This is not that. This is cat Twitter. Mr. Meow, a 37-pound cat who has become a media phenomenon, including a visit to Anderson Cooper's lap, now can weigh in on Twitter, according to CNN affiliate KOAT in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He already has more than 300 followers. Are you next?

iReporter captures Occupy D.C. images

A CNN iReporter, photojournalist Michael Kandel, shot these photos of May Day "Occupy" protesters taking to the streets of Washington, in hopes of reviving the movement through an "American Spring." "People were jovial and charged, a very festive atmosphere," Kandel told CNN iReport. "They then took that energy to the streets in a more serious, much louder way. They hope that this will bring attention back to the movement, but based on what I have seen over the last few months, I'm not sure it will work."

This is why al Qaeda has no field hockey team

If you want to be the best, you have to train with the best. Taking that advice to heart, the U.S. Olympic women's field hockey team has put itself through four grueling training sessions with the Navy SEALs. One player told CNN the ordeal brought the team closer together and made them tougher, both physically and mentally. Watch:

Comments wander on British spy's mysterious death

Readers have been speculating about what happened to British spy Gareth Williams. He was found dead at his home in 2010, with his naked body padlocked inside a large red carrying bag stowed in the bathtub. Coroner Fiona Wilcox said Wednesday that Williams was either suffocated or poisoned, but it is unlikely his death will ever be satisfactorily explained.

Commenter OgleAlThrock offered a forensic analysis that is much too long for this forum. On the other end of the spectrum, a couple of commenters found some humor in the investigative efforts:

TNYC:

They tried 300 times to lock themselves in a similar bag? And you think your job sucks.

Tankeray:

If it's anything like my job, he tried twice, surfed online for the next 6 hours, walked a couple laps around the building, spent 20 minutes figuring out what flavor of Combos to get from the vending machine, then just told his boss it was 300 times.

NFL team signs paralyzed Rutgers player


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand to a contract Wednesday. LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after he collided with an Army player on a kick return during an October 2010 game. LeGrand flouted predictions that he would never recover and would need a respirator for the rest of his life. He still can't walk, but he has been able to stand. He was signed to the Buccaneers' 90-man roster by Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, who was his coach at Rutgers. This is what Schiano said about the move:

This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.

On the horizon: National Day of Prayer ... and reason?

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday. According to organizers, a 1952 joint resolution of Congress, signed by President Harry Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. The law was amended in 1988 to establish the day as the first Thursday in May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-California, is the only known member of Congress to have declared he does not believe in a supreme being. He entered a statement into the Congressional Record in support of the National Day of Reason, which coincides with the Day of Prayer: "The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government."

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Junior Seau's apparent suicide leaves San Diego Chargers "in shock"
Junior Seau had a stellar career with the San Diego Chargers. He was found dead Wednesday at age 43.
May 2nd, 2012
03:43 PM ET

Junior Seau's apparent suicide leaves San Diego Chargers "in shock"

[Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET] Talking to reporters outside Seau's home, a distraught Luisa Mauga Seau, the ex-player's mother, repeatedly thanked those who had shown love to her son.

"I pray to God, take me! Leave my son! But it's too late," she said in tears as those nearby tried to console her.

[Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET] The Oceanside, California, police chief says Junior Seau's death is being investigated as a suicide.

Authorities received a call from a woman who said she was his girlfriend. She said she found the former Pro Bowler unconscious with a gunshot wound to his chest Wednesday morning, Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said in a news conference.

Police officers and firefighters went to the house and found him in one of the bedrooms. They tried to revive him, to no avail, McCoy said, adding that a handgun was found near Seau's body.

[Posted at 3:18 p.m. ET] The San Diego Chargers issued a statement on their website regarding "the passing" of their former Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau, who reportedly killed himself in his Oceanside, California, home Wednesday.

"Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family," the statement said.

After TMZ and other media outlets reported a police presence at his home early Wednesday, the Chargers tweeted that they had no information on the matter. Minutes later, they announced that a conference call with Coach Norv Turner had been canceled before issuing the statement on Seau's passing.

"The outpouring of emotion is no surprise," the team tweeted shortly after 3 p.m. ET.

Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL, 13 of which came with the Chargers. He played his last seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

Read CNN's full coverage of Junior Seau's apparent suicide
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Filed under: California • Football • Pro football • U.S.
Overheard on CNN.com: Football fans ponder bounty scandal, paralyzed player
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is one of four players suspended for their roles in the "bountygate" scandal.
May 2nd, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Football fans ponder bounty scandal, paralyzed player

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.

A few readers pointed out an interesting juxtaposition on CNN's homepage today, featuring one story about a paralyzed player receiving an honorary signing and another about an alleged bounty scheme originating within the New Orleans Saints. Both were the subject of much discussion.

Four players suspended in NFL bounty scandal

Four past or present New Orleans Saints players were suspended Wednesday by the National Football League for their roles in the "bountygate" scandal involving bonuses for trying to hurt opponents.

Quite a few commenters were outraged.

jescott418: "I think its clear that this was way more then just rough playing ball. A clear plan to hurt players to get key ones out of the game was admitted. That is not playing football. That is intent to hurt someone for gain."

A few people said they thought the Saints are getting off easy.

mongoo: "Anyone involved in this should have been banned for life. That would send a real message. This is just a slap on the wrist."

But ... other people were outraged for other reasons. FULL POST

Felony charges filed in death of FAMU drum major
Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion died in November after a hazing ritual on a band bus
May 2nd, 2012
02:37 PM ET

Felony charges filed in death of FAMU drum major

Florida authorities have brought felony charges against 13 people in what they called the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, a prosecutor announced Wednesday.

"Robert Champion died as a result of being beaten," State Attorney Lawson Lamar said. "His death is not linked to one sole strike but is attributed to multiple blows."

Joyce Dawley, the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Orlando division, said one person was in custody and one was being sought out of state. Sheriff's deputies and the FDLE were looking for the other 11 within Florida, she said.

Twenty misdemeanor charges also have been filed, but it was not immediately clear how those applied to the 13 people.

Champion collapsed in Orlando on the bus, which was carrying members of FAMU's Marching 100 after a November football game that included a halftime performance by the group.

Medical examiners ruled his death a homicide, saying he died "within an hour of a hazing incident during which he suffered multiple blunt trauma blows to his body."

"This is a homicide by hazing," Lamar said.

Some university band members have said the 26-year-old died after taking part in an annual rite of passage called "Crossing Bus C," an initiation process in which pledges attempt to run down the center aisle from the front door of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked and assaulted by senior members.

An autopsy found "extensive contusions of his chest, arms, shoulder and back," as well as "evidence of crushing of areas of subcutaneous fat," which is the fatty tissue directly under the skin.

The death prompted the university board of trustees to approve an anti-hazing plan that includes an independent panel of experts to investigate.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • Florida
San Francisco auditorium uses sonic blast, nightly, to disperse homeless
Homeless people camp out a few blocks from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco last year.
May 2nd, 2012
02:30 PM ET

San Francisco auditorium uses sonic blast, nightly, to disperse homeless

Encouraging the homeless to find a new haunt is nothing new, but managers at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium may be breaking ground by attempting to do it sonically.

Of course, Manuel Noriega is and David Koresh was familiar with the acoustic warfare tactic, which at least one now-vanquished homeless San Franciscan felt was a harsh reaction to his and his cohorts' squatting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Between 20 and 40 homeless had been hanging out and sleeping at Civic Center Park, and according to the newspaper, it was a source of frustration for police, the mayor, the city Recreation and Parks Commission and the concert promotion outfit, Another Planet Entertainment, which operates the auditorium.

To combat this scourge, Another Planet began using the building's outside speakers to blare a cacophony of the world's most jarring noises - chainsaws, motorcycles, jackhammers, an aircraft carrier alarm - in hopes of shooing the homeless off of its stoop.

The clamor, which begins nightly at 11 and continues until 7 a.m., prompted building manager Robert Reiter to comment to the paper, "I thought it was the building alarm going off."

FULL POST

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Filed under: California • Civil Rights • Economy • Housing • Jobs • San Francisco • U.S.
Four NFL players suspended in Saints bounty case
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is suspended for one season, accused by the NFL of helping to run the bounty program.
May 2nd, 2012
12:12 PM ET

Four NFL players suspended in Saints bounty case

[Updated at 12:47 p.m. ET] The NFL on Wednesday suspended four current or former New Orleans Saints players for varying lengths including linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the 2012-2013 season for their roles in a scandal involving bonuses for trying to hurt opponents.

The league said the suspended players Vilma, Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith had leadership roles in the pay-for-injury program, for which the NFL suspended three coaches and the Saints' general manager earlier this year.

Vilma, a defensive captain, helped the team's defensive coordinator establish and fund the program, the league said in a news release.

"Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Vilma offered a specific bounty $10,000 in cash to any player who knocked Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 Divisional Playoff Game and later pledged the same amount to anyone who knocked Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game the following week," the league said.

In March, the NFL said an investigation found the Saints had an "active bounty program" during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. During this time, players were purportedly offered "bounty" payments if they managed to hurt opposing players and knock them out of a game.

The following are the details of the other players' suspensions:

Hargrove, a defensive lineman now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended without pay for the first eight games of the season. The league said Hargrove told at least one player on another team that Favre was a target of a large bounty during January's NFC Championship Game. "Hargrove also actively obstructed the league’s 2010 investigation into the program by being untruthful to investigators," the league said.

Smith, a Saints defensive end, is suspended without pay for the first four games of the season. Smith, while a defensive captain, assisted the defensive coordinator "in establishing and funding the program," the NFL said. "Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Smith pledged significant sums to the program pool for 'cart-offs' and 'knockouts' of opposing players," the league said.

Fujita, a linebacker now with the Cleveland Browns, is suspended without pay for the first three games of the season. He "pledged a significant amount of money to the prohibited pay-for-performance/bounty pool during the 2009 NFL Playoffs when he played for the Saints," the league said. "The pool to which he pledged paid large cash rewards for 'cart-offs' and 'knockouts,' plays during which an opposing player was injured."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an NFL news release, "No bounty program can exist without active player participation. The evidence clearly showed that the players being held accountable today willingly and enthusiastically embraced the bounty program. Players put the vast majority of the money into this program and they share responsibility for playing by the rules and protecting each other within those rules.”

In March, the NFL handed down an indefinite ban to Gregg Williams, the former Saints defensive coordinator who, in this past off-season, moved over to take that same position with the St. Louis Rams.

The NFL in March also suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the 2012-2013 season and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for that season's first eight regular-season games. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt was suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games.

The league said in April that it might consider "modifying the forfeiture" of the 2013 draft pick for the Saints, assuming other conditions are met.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Football • Louisiana • Pro football • Sports
May 2nd, 2012
11:11 AM ET

Buccaneers sign paralyzed Rutgers player Eric LeGrand

[Updated at 1:14 p.m. ET] Eric LeGrand's football coach at Rutgers helped him emotionally in the months after his on-field paralysis. Now the coach is symbolically helping him realize his dream of making it to the NFL.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now coached by ex-Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, announced Wednesday they've signed the former defensive tackle who was partially paralyzed in a 2010 game to their 90-man off-season roster.

Schiano, who joined the Buccaneers this year after more than a decade with Rutgers, offered the symbolic deal to his former player by phone on Tuesday, LeGrand told reporters in a conference call.

"I said, 'Are you serious? You want to use this on me?'" LeGrand said. "(Schiano) said, 'It's the least we can do.'

"Honestly, it's amazing. It really is," he said.

FULL POST

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Filed under: College football • Florida • Football • New Jersey • Pro football • Sports
May 2nd, 2012
07:39 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November.  CNN.com Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:30 am ET - Romney in Virginia - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event in Chantilly, Virginia.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
May 2nd, 2012
12:54 AM ET

Myanmar's Suu Kyi takes oath of office

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was sworn in Wednesday as a lawmaker for the first time, a key step in the country's recent shift toward democracy after decades of repressive military rule.

Suu Kyi, a pro-democracy campaigner who spent years under house arrest, traveled to the parliament in the capital, Naypyidaw, to take up the seat she won in elections last month.

She and 33 other newly elected members of her party, the National League for Democracy, took an oath of office for the lower house of parliament that they had initially refused to accept because of its wording, which called for protection of the country's constitution.

The NLD considers the constitution undemocratic and has said it wants to change it.

The party had asked the Myanmar authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that lawmakers would "abide by" the constitution rather than "protect" it.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Myanmar • World