Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco
Maurice, Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees pose together in 1973. Robin Gibb died Sunday at the age of 62.
May 21st, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Robin Gibb fans say Bee Gees' legacy far beyond disco

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.

As readers remember Robin Gibb, 62, who died Sunday, they're also looking back at The Bee Gees' legacy. While the Brothers Gibb are sometimes associated with the disco era, many commenters pointed out that they had a career well before "Saturday Night Fever." They performed together as kids and had several hits in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Robin Gibb, member of the Bee Gees, dies after battle with cancer

The Bee Gees were more than "Saturday Night Fever," many readers said.

ganderse: "They call this guy a disco singer, but the Bee Gees were so much more than that. These guys wrote some amazing songs! They were not just rockers, but balladeers as well. Songs like 'The First of May,' and 'Dearest' still make me cry. Thanks, guys for some great music."

Laura Shafer: "I'm pretty sure that people who don't appreciate the brilliance of the Bee Gees are those that have never listened to music outside of their favorite FM radio station. There were Bee Gees before SNF, during SNF and after SNF. And if disco music itself was such a travesty, why are we still listening to it and talking about it 30 years later? Godspeed, Robin. With now only one brother left to us, it is a sad day."

One reader paid tribute to the songwriting.

WmPreece: "First of all it's sad to loose another music talent. Robin was one of the key voices of the Bee Gees. The song 'I Started a Joke' always endured time and really made people think a lot about things. Every time he performed it, the level of excellence was always the same ... The other thing is that while some never heard of the Bee Gees or remember them have probably heard a song or two that was written by them done by other performers and groups. Almost anyone in the music business that scored a hit in the past 20 years probably have had a it written or co-written by one of the Bee Gees. As for the people getting on here making stupid or rude comments, you would think that there would be more respect or maturity rather than acting too poorly. It takes less effort if you just let people who do care make comments and move on.

Getting back to Robin's passing, he will be missed by millions of fans and condolences goes out to the Gibb family on another loss. Andy was to young and unfortunately was beyond saving. Maurice and Robin endured a lot of suffering before they passed on. May his children and beautiful wife know his voice touched a lot of people. The rest of the Gibb family and especially Barry the last of the brothers know prayers and support goes out to them during this time. Thanks to all the Gibb brothers for making such great music over several decades and endured the test of time. Whether it was an early hit or later hit background harmonies on many tunes or writing some of the best tunes the talent you shared is much appreciated ... bless you all ..."

iReporter Allen Mealey of Moreno Valley, California, looked back fondly on the stages of the Bee Gees' career and said the loss of Robin Gibb leaves a hole. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz
What is altitude sickness?
Unidentified mountaineers descend from the summit of Everest on May 19, 2009.
May 21st, 2012
06:39 PM ET

What is altitude sickness?

The 8000ers is an exclusive group, and the of cost of entry is high. Really high.

There are only 14 peaks in the world that extend 8,000 meters (26,247 feet)  into the atmosphere, including, of course, Earth's highest point - Mt. Everest. Unfortunately for some, the thrill of reaching that monumental 8,000-meter mark comes with more than just bragging rights. Altitude sickness, a potentially deadly risk of climbing, can set in at 8,000 feet (2,400 meters). And during the weekend, that was the fatal illness that befell some Everest hikers who paid the ultimate price.

Here are some of the telltale signs of and tips for combating altitude sickness:

Climb slowly. According to the National Institutes of Health, you are more likely to get acute mountain sickness if you climb faster and exert a lot of energy.

Stay hydrated, and eat your carbs. Expert's can't say for sure what causes altitude sickness, but longstanding advice says drink lots of (nonalcoholic) fluids, avoid sleeping pills or medicine that can affect breathing, and eat your carbs.

Take ibuprofen. Ibuprofen fights brain swelling, which, in rare cases, can be a fatal aspect of altitude sickness.

Know the symptoms. Other symptoms the National Institutes of Health says to look out for:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid pulse (heart rate)
  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin (cyanosis)
  • Chest tightness or congestion
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Decreased consciousness or withdrawal from social interaction
  • Gray or pale complexion
  • Inability to walk in a straight line, or to walk at all
  • Shortness of breath at rest
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Filed under: Health • Uncategorized
24 hours through the lens
May 21st, 2012
04:49 PM ET

CNN Mash-up: Aesha, bullying, duct tape

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.

Woman's story draws strong reactions

Sunday's heartrending story about Aesha, a young Afghan woman who was mutilated by her family for seeking her freedom, drew hundreds of comments from CNN readers. Here is one that sums up many people's reactions:

cherry8853

Jessica Ravitz wrote the article so well that the difficulty in trying to help Aesha is palpable. I became frustrated just reading the article with her behavior, but also couldn't stop reading. Admittedly, my reaction was to think of her as a "spoiled little brat" and that she needed to "act her age". But when I see Jamila's words about how she never had a real childhood, when I think about being given away at 12 to pay for someone else crimes, and when I look at the pictures of the brutality, I understand that her psyche and the torment she has endured is something that I will never comprehend.

It's hard because this is not a success story. But I think this article keeps the ugly face on what is happening to women over there. A success story makes you feel good and this one does not; there are women who will be abused and struggle their entire lives with no happy ending. It's important to bear that in mind.

A year later, Joplin on the mend

A year after an F5 tornado devastated her city and killed 161 people, Judy Lowe finds reasons to be hopeful:

I'm proud of Joplin. We have a long way to go. Seeing it every day you just want it over, want it done, want it fixed. Unfortunately we're not there yet, but we will be.

The heavily damaged St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, is being rebuilt.

Jennifer Parr, a CNN iReporter in Joplin, Missouri, used a series of photographic iReports to document the recovery process along the path of the tornado. While terrible scars remain, signs of progress are everywhere.

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address Monday night for graduates at Joplin High School, which has met in a shopping mall since the storm destroyed the school.

Rutgers bullying defendant sentenced

New Jersey Superior Judge Glenn Berman on Monday sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi. Clementi killed himself in September 2010 after Ravi surreptitiously recorded him in a sexual encounter with another man. Berman told Ravi:

I haven't heard you apologize once. (Clementi) placed his trust in you without any conditions, and you violated it.

Ravi could have faced 10 years in prison and deportation to his native India, but the other man involved in the encounter, identified in court only as "M.B.," said in his victim impact statement he did not believe Ravi should be deported. In his statement, M.B. said:

I do not mind that Mr. Ravi has never apologized to me for what he did and said, but I do wonder if it ever has entered his mind that he has caused me a great deal of pain and yet he knows nothing about me.

What you gonna do when they come for you?

It was not just another Saturday night's work for police in Seattle. Officers had their hands full Saturday as they tried to control a bar patron who took off her clothes, covered her upper body in hot pink duct tape, and fought off all comers. Apparently back flips and kicks to the officers' heads were involved as well. CNN affiliate KCPQ has all the details.

99 bottles of beer on the road ...

A tractor-trailer carrying thousands of bottles of beer overturned on Interstate 95 in Volusia County, Florida, early Monday, spilling the brew and forcing authorities to close the road, CNN affiliate WKMG in Orlando reports. Watch out for drunken alligators.

This little piggy never made it to market

CNN affiliate KCRG tells the story of Olivia, a piglet who was badly hurt when she fell off a truck in Iowa but who fell into a new future away from the breakfast table.

On the horizon: Launch attempt, Colin Powell memoir

The private space company SpaceX will make a second attempt to send the first private spacecraft to the International Space Station, after Saturday's launch was aborted at the last possible second. Launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center is now scheduled for 3:44 a.m. Tuesday.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's eagerly awaited memoir will be released Tuesday. Friends and foes of the George W. Bush administration are hoping the book, titled "It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership," will shed light on the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003.

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Is 30-day sentence fair for student who bullied gay roommate?
May 21st, 2012
04:33 PM ET

Is 30-day sentence fair for student who bullied gay roommate?

Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail for spying on his gay roommate, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide in September 2010.

Ravi will also serve three years of probation, complete community service and pay more than $11,000 in restitution for the conviction. But after potentially facing deportation and 10 years of jail time for using a webcam to spy on Clementi, who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in the Hudson River, the world is taking to the web with their opinions on the sentence.

On Twitter:

A miscarriage of justice? 

Faiza S Khan ‏@BhopalHouse If the law means vile Dharun Ravi gets 30 days for bullying his roommate to point of suicide, surely something wrong with the law?

Karl Frisch‏ @KarlFrisch 10 years and deportation was a bit excessive, but 30 days? Really? Ravi gets 30 days in Rutgers spying case: http://ow.ly/b3cvy

Kashmir Hill‏ @kashhill Ravi sentence in Clementi case is more a deterrent for future prosecutors than for future privacy invaders. http://onforb.es/Lb3Ax8

Ms. Tee  (Bawse) ‏@TheTeester Dharun Ravi only gets 30 days. I'm sorry but this is making a mockery of the justice system #RutgersTrial

A missed opportunity? 

Ethel Mertz ‏@boyalexboy Best community service is having Dharun Ravi go out and speak at high schools as a warning to bullies to mind their own business.

John Kultgen‏ @getitsally I believe in learning from even the worst mistakes. I don't have any "should" belief of what should happen to Dharun Ravi.

On HLN.com:

Childish prank or heinous crime? 

Bryan Jones: He is a kid that did what hundreds of thousands of kids do everyday... something stupid. The judge did a great job. Don't make it into something it isn't.

Anthony Negron: I think you don't know what you are talking about. If an U.S. citizen did this overseas, they would of made the U.S. kid an example in that country

Heather Anne: Yes, but that there not here and it not what we're about.

On CNN.com 

An issue of privacy, or an issue of prejudice? 

eyeofsauron: That's it? He went out of his way to spy on what people did behind closed doors. He builds his joy on someone else's pain, and he has a fundamental character problem. He should have been locked away and pay for a good part of his life. It would be unfair for him to have a life after what he has done while the other family ended up with a dead kid.

TheTurth: That was his room. The other guy went behind to have some gay fun in their shared room.

CapnHowdyxkl: Once again the homosexual haters are out in force, but in the end you have to ask yourselves , what if this were your son? Would you feel this is justice. Same as the Trayvon case, put yourself in the shoes of those people who lost the light of their lives, would you feel the same?

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Filed under: Justice
Death penalty sought for ex-Marine charged in 'serial thrill-kill spree'
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Itcoatl Ocampo is charged in four homeless men's deaths.
May 21st, 2012
03:07 PM ET

Death penalty sought for ex-Marine charged in 'serial thrill-kill spree'

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a 24-year-old former Marine charged with a "serial thrill-kill spree" that killed four homeless men and a mother and her son, the Orange County, California, district attorney said Monday.

Itzcoatl Ocampo is scheduled to be tried in September on six counts of murder with special circumstances for the stabbings.

Ocampo served in the Marines from July 2006 until July 2010 and was deployed to Iraq for six months in 2008, according to Marine service records. He completed his service, with the rank of corporal, with the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, south of Orange County.

The first killings happened on October 25, 2011, when Raquel Estrada, 53, and her 34-year-old son Juan Herrera were left dead on the floor of their Yorba Linda home, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. Estrada was stabbed more than 30 times and Herrera was stabbed more than 60 times.

DNA evidence links Ocampo to the crime scene, which is a mile from his home, Rackauckas said. The defendant was a childhood friend with a man who was the son and brother of the victms, he said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: California • Crime
Babe Ruth jersey sells for record $4.4 million at auction
May 21st, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Babe Ruth jersey sells for record $4.4 million at auction

A jersey worn by New York Yankee Hall of Famer Babe Ruth has sold at auction for $4.4 million, the most ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia, a California auction house announced.

The $4,415,658 paid for the 1920s away jersey eclipsed the $4,338,500 paid in 2010 for an original copy of James Naismith's founding rules of basketball, SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel said in a statement.

The 1920s jersey was on display in a Baltimore museum.

"We are honored to, once again, be a part of history,” David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said in a statement. “This proves again that Babe Ruth is king in the sports memorabilia world."

The jersey was bought by Lelands.com, a New York auctioneer of memorabilia from sports, rock 'n' roll, American collectibles and vintage photography.

"We are ecstatic about the purchase of his earliest known Yankees jersey," Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com, said in a statement. "It's like buying a priceless painting, the pinnacle of sports memorabilia."

The company plans to offer the jersey to a private buyer.

The jersey had been on display in the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore.

Also sold during the auction was a Ruth cap from the 1930s. Owned by former Yankees pitcher David Wells, it went for $537,278, a record for a cap, according to the auction house. Wells wore the cap while pitching for the Yankees on June 28, 1997, it said.

Ruth played for the Yankees from 1920 through 1934, part of a 22-year career that began in 1914 with the Boston Red Sox and finished in 1935 with the Boston Braves.

Ruth hit 714 home runs in his career and was baseball's all-time home run leader until Hank Aaron passed him in 1974. Barry Bonds subsequently passed both Ruth and Aaron to become baseball's home run king.

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Filed under: Auctions • Baseball • Sports
Former Rutgers student sentenced to 30 days in webcam spy trial
May 21st, 2012
12:41 PM ET

Former Rutgers student sentenced to 30 days in webcam spy trial

A New Jersey judge on Monday sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail for spying on and intimidating his gay Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi, who then killed himself by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge in September 2010.

Ravi will be on probation for three years. He must also complete 300 hours of community service and attend alternative lifestyle counseling.

The September 2010 death of Tyler Clementi, and Ravi's trial this year, thrust the issue of cyberbullying and prejudices against homosexuals into the national spotlight.

Ravi's sentencing hearing stretched to more than two hours Monday and was punctuated by emotional victim impact statements offered by Clementi's parents and brother.

"My son Tyler was a kind and gentle soul," Joe Clementi said of his son. "... Nobody other than Tyler understood how vulnerable he was, but the fact is that he was very vulnerable - and he was shaken by the cold, criminal actions of his roommate."

FULL STORY
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Four tons of marijuana pulled from ocean off California
Agents move some of the four tons of marijuana to vans on Sunday night in Dana Point, California.
May 21st, 2012
11:51 AM ET

Four tons of marijuana pulled from ocean off California

Authorities found almost four tons of marijuana with a street value of $3.6 million floating in the ocean off Dana Point, California, on Sunday.

Boats from the Border Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Orange County sheriff's office were involved in recovering the 160 bales of marijuana, according to a report from CNN affiliate KCBS.

A tip led authorities to the marijuana floating in the Pacific Ocean about 13 miles off Dana Point, the station reported.

Border Patrol spokesman Michael Jimenez told the Orange County Register that the fact that the pot was found with no suspected drug boats in the area was unusual.

"At other events, they've dumped the bales to get rid of weight if they're being chased. Generally in these cases we're aware they're being dumped. What's more unusual is that the bales were floating with no boat in sight," the Register quotes Jimenez as saying.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Drugs
Judge denies request to delay Sandusky trial
May 21st, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Judge denies request to delay Sandusky trial

A judge Monday denied a request to postpone Jerry Sandusky's trial on allegations of sexually assaulting young victims over 14 years.

The trial of the former Penn State assistant football coach is scheduled to begin on June 5.

Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, filed a motion earlier this month asking for the trial to be delayed.

Judge John Cleland denied the motion in a brief written ruling Monday.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Football • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State • Pennsylvania
May 21st, 2012
11:14 AM ET

NATO takes up Obama timetable to end war in Afghanistan by 2014

President Barack Obama called Monday for NATO countries to sign off on his exit strategy from Afghanistan that calls for an end to combat operations next year and the withdrawal of the U.S.-led international military force by the end of 2014.

Against a backdrop of demonstrations that saw violent clashes between protesters and police, NATO and world leaders opened the second day of their Chicago summit with a focus on the unpopular war and how to pay for shoring up Afghanistan's security forces.

Obama told the dozens of heads of state in attendance, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that NATO can agree on both the timetable for withdrawing foreign forces from Afghanistan and a long-term plan for the strategic alliance to support the central Asian country's security forces.

The goal is to "responsibly bring this war to an end" in the next 19 months, Obama said in welcoming remarks Monday. He cited a recent strategic partnership agreement he signed with Karzai as a step toward ensuring that "as Afghans stand up, they will not stand alone."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Barack Obama • Illinois • NATO • U.S. • World
May 21st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Top U.S. nuclear regulator to resign

Embattled Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko announced Monday he is resigning.

Jaczko, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, has been under fire after Democratic and Republican members of the commission complained about his management style earlier this year.

In his statement Monday, Jaczko said he would stay on until a successor is confirmed by Congress.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Congress • Energy • Nuclear • U.S.
'Whale Wars' captain freed on bail from German jail
Activists put up a poster calling for a German court to free Sea Shepherd leader Paul Watson.
May 21st, 2012
11:02 AM ET

'Whale Wars' captain freed on bail from German jail

Controversial Sea Shepherd conservationist and "Whale Wars" star Paul Watson was released from a German jail on Monday after posting 250,000 euros ($318,000) bail in an extradition case from Costa Rica.

Watson, whose attempts to disrupt Japanese whalers at sea gained fame through Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” TV show, was detained last weekend at the Frankfurt airport after Costa Rica issued an international request for his arrest.

Costa Rican authorities allege that Watson’s crew aboard Sea Shepherd’s Ocean Warrior ship endangered a Costa Rican fishing vessel during a confrontation off Guatemala’s coast in 2002, according to the Frankfurt court.

The court ruled Friday that Germany will consider the request and that Costa Rica will have 90 days to make its case. The German Ministry of Justice then will decide whether to extradite Watson.

Speaking outside the prison Monday, Watson defended what happened in the Costa Rica case.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Costa Rica • Crime • Germany • Nature • Showbiz • TV
May 21st, 2012
10:36 AM ET

More than 2,000 wrongfully convicted people exonerated in 23 years, researchers say

More than 2,000 people have been exonerated of serious crimes since 1989 in the United States, according to a report by college researchers who have established the first national registry of exonerations.

Researchers say their registry is the largest database of these types of cases and showcases some of the major issues with the criminal justice system, including that the leading causes of wrongful convictions are perjury, faulty witness identification and misconduct by prosecutors.

"No matter how tragic they are, even 2,000 exonerations over 23 years is a tiny number in a country with 2.3 million people in prisons and jails," says a report released by the authors. "If that were the extent of the problem we would be encouraged by these numbers. But it’s not. These cases merely point to a much larger number of tragedies that we do not know about."

Read the report (PDF) | Exonerations by state and county (PDF)

The registry itself, which looks deeply into 873 specific cases of wrongful conviction, examined cases based on court documents as well as from groups that have long documented wrongful convictions. That group of wrongfully convicted spent more than 10,000 total years in prison, according to the report, with an average of 11 years each.

Many of the cases of the wrongfully accused were championed by the Innocence Project, a well-known group that works with many inmates to try to clear their names based on DNA evidence. The group has documented 289 post-conviction DNA exonerations. The earliest came in 1989, when DNA testing was being heavily used to re-examine cases for the first time.

The database is a fully searchable list of those who were convicted, broken down by their crimes, sentences and reason for exoneration. Some go into extensive detail about the long and treacherous roads to exoneration that prisoners have undergone.

Check out the database

James Bain is the longest-serving prisoner to be exonerated by DNA evidence, spending 35 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He was convicted in 1974, at age 19, of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old boy in Lake Wales, Florida.

His life was returned to him in December 2009, when a Florida judge freed him after DNA testing proved he did not commit the crime.

"Bain’s photo was included in a lineup of five photographs, and the victim picked Bain as his attacker. Based on the identification and little else, Bain was convicted and sentenced to life in prison," according to the database. "Bain had no criminal record at the time of his arrest, and insisted he was at home watching television with his sister when the crime occurred."

In the backyard of his mother's home in Tampa, Bain stood among grapefruit and orange trees that weren't even planted when he went to prison and said he'd like to tour the country on his motorcycle.

"You spend 35 years in prison, and just the little things, like a grapefruit tree or an orange tree ... Those had vanished for me," he said. "I never thought I'd get a chance to see another one of these." FULL POST

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Justice
Fatal Mississippi prison riot quelled, authorities say
Prisoners rioted at the Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi, on Sunday.
May 21st, 2012
10:09 AM ET

Fatal Mississippi prison riot quelled, authorities say

Authorities said early Monday they had put down a prison riot that claimed the life of a guard as it continued into the late evening Sunday.

A 23-year-old guard died of head injuries in the disturbance at the Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, Mississippi, according to county coroner James Lee.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the riot, which began about 2:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m. ET) Sunday, officials said.

FULL STORY
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May 21st, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Monday'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...

9:00 am ET - Dharun Ravi sentencing hearing - Former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi will be sentenced for spying on an intimidating gay roommate Tyler Clementi, who killed himself in 2012.  Ravi could face prison time and deportation.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Justice • On CNN.com today • Politics
May 21st, 2012
05:27 AM ET

Interim missile defense shield now in place to protect Europe, NATO chief says

(CNN) - NATO's chief says the alliance now has interim ballistic missile defense capability in Europe, a move that is likely to further heighten tensions with Russia over its objection to a missile defense shield.

"It is the first step towards our long-term goal of providing full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces," Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters Sunday, the first day of a two-day NATO summit in Chicago.

Among the so-called interim capabilities are missile interceptors loaded on a U.S. ship in the Mediterranean, the first of four anticipated warships with the defense system, Rasmussen said. A defense radar is also operational in Turkey, he said.

NATO has asked Russia to participate in the system but negotiations have been deadlocked over Russia's demand for a legally binding treaty guaranteeing the shield would not be used as a deterrent to Moscow's own systems.

FULL STORY
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May 21st, 2012
05:20 AM ET

French police to open inquiry into new allegations against Strauss-Kahn

French prosecutors have widened an investigation into former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged participation in a prostitution ring.

Authorities said Monday that Lille police will open a preliminary inquiry into acts alleged to have taken place between 15 and 18 December 2010 in Washington D.C..

CNN was waiting to hear back from Strauss-Kahn's lawyers Monday morning.

The French newspaper Liberation reported earlier this month that the allegations stemmed from statements made by two women it describes as "escort girls," who were interviewed by Belgian police as part of an investigation into a prostitution ring run out of the Carlton Hotel in Lille, near France's border with Belgium.

According to the newspaper's account of the depositions, the women said they had accompanied two associates of Strauss-Kahn on a visit to Washington, where they had stayed at the W Hotel.

One of them alleged that Strauss-Kahn had used force against her during a sexual encounter at the hotel, despite her protests.

The newspaper did not specify how it obtained the statements. CNN could not independently confirm the report.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: District of Columbia • Dominique Strauss-Kahn • France • Justice
May 21st, 2012
05:19 AM ET

Arrests and allegations of brutality between Chicago police, protesters

CHICAGO (CNN) - Protesters vowed to carry out disruptive demonstrations Monday in Chicago, a day after baton-wielding police clashed with demonstrators in a violent confrontation that left dozens injured just blocks from where NATO leaders were gathered.

Security was expected to be tight on the final day of the two-day NATO summit, which has played out against a backdrop of protests that has seen thousands taken to the street to protest everything from the war in Afghanistan to the economy.

Occupy Chicago, one of the groups that helped organize the demonstrations, took to social media to urge people to join in another planned demonstration at 10 a.m. ET on Monday.

Dozens were injured in a melee Sunday that came at the end of a largely, peaceful demonstration that began in Chicago's Grant Park, where President Barack Obama delivered his presidential acceptance speech in 2008.

FULL STORY
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May 21st, 2012
05:12 AM ET

Sri Lanka orders release of jailed former army leader Fonseka

The Sri Lankan authorities on Monday set in motion the release of Sarath Fonseka, the former head of the country's armed forces who had been in prison since 2010, a senior government official said.

A letter rescinding Fonseka's sentence, issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is being sent to the prison authorities, said Justice Secretary Kamalini de Silva.

Under the Sri Lankan constitution, the president is empowered to pardon "any offender convicted of any offense in any court of Sri Lanka."

Rajapaksa had signed an order and placed it with the Justice Ministry before he flew to Doha to attend the Qatar Forum, according to his spokesperson Bandula Jayasekera.

Fonseka, who led troops to victory over Tamil Tiger rebels exactly three years ago this week, had fallen out of favor with Rajapaksa and his powerful brother, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

That split came after Fonseka unsuccessfully challenged Rajapaksa at presidential elections in early 2010.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Sri Lanka
May 21st, 2012
03:26 AM ET

NATO takes up Obama timetable to end war in Afghanistan by 2014

NATO countries are expected to sign off Monday on U.S. President Barack Obama's exit strategy from Afghanistan that calls for an end to combat operations next year and the withdrawal of troops by the end of 2014.

Against a backdrop of massive demonstrations that saw violent clashes between protesters and police, NATO and world leaders gathered at the summit in Chicago to sketch out the end of an unpopular war and figure out how to pay for shoring up Afghanistan's security forces.

Obama made clear Sunday as the summit opened that he expects the NATO nations and their strategic partners to agree to the withdrawal plan, while assuring Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the 28-nation alliance would not abandon the country.

"Just as we have sacrificed together for our common security, we will stand together united in our determination to complete this mission," Obama said at the start of the summit.

Obama and Karzai, who met a day ahead of Monday's planned NATO talks on Afghanistan, both agreed that the end of the war was close at head.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Politics • U.S. • World
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