24 hours through the lens
June 27th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Mash-up: Heroes, poems, stories

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 top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Shaking off the Troubles

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, dressed in green, shook hands Wednesday with former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness. It was a historic gesture as Northern Ireland continues to heal from decades of violence over British rule. Gerry Adams, president of the Irish republican party Sinn Fein, welcomed the meeting:

All in all, it's a good day for Ireland and a good day for the people of these islands. It brings our journey of relationship building within this island and between these islands onto a new plane. I would like to think we will build upon that.

Missing Nora Ephron

The death Tuesday of screenwriter and author Nora Ephron has brought forth an outpouring of grief from celebrities who knew her and worked with her, but regular folks appreciated Ephron too, as evidenced by CNN users' comments. An example:

djreilly

I never saw a Nora Ephron picture I didn't enjoy and I'm a guy. I like guns and body counts in my movies. But, Nora could tell a story even I could enjoy. The warmth, depth and humor she brought to the screen was barely matched, Nora you will be missed. I know Harry and Sally will miss you even more.

 Something about the name Thompson

Two regular guys, both named Thompson, in different cities are being hailed as heroes after coming to the rescue of people in trouble along their routes.

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
What to know about Eric Holder
June 27th, 2012
02:37 PM ET

What to know about Eric Holder

The U.S. House will proceed with a vote Thursday on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Holder has been cited for withholding documents in the "Operation Fast and Furious" weapons operation.

Fast and Furious was a federal operation that involved agents' allowing illegal sales of guns believed to be destined for Mexican drug cartels. The idea was to track the sellers and purchasers, but things went awry when weapons found at murder scenes were traced back to the program.

Fast and Furious: By the numbers

As the proceedings continue with Holder, here's a bit of background on his time as Attorney General, as well as a timeline of the events involving Fast and Furious. (For an in-depth breakdown, you can also read more about the Fast and Furious investigation, which started with an agent's death.):

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Jews, Muslims slam German circumcision ruling as assault on religion
A German court has sparked a furor by ruling that religious-based circumcisions are not in a child's best interests.
June 27th, 2012
02:15 PM ET

Jews, Muslims slam German circumcision ruling as assault on religion

Jews and Muslims are joining forces in outrage over a German court's decision that could prohibit parents from having their children circumcised for religious reasons. The court deemed the oft-religious procedure an act of "bodily harm" to children, according to German media reports.

The Tuesday ruling says doctors who perform the procedure for religious reasons could be charged with committing bodily injury, sparking a debate that pits parents' religious freedom against a child's right to self-determination. The court essentially ruled that circumcision is not in a child's best interests, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

"The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision," the court said. "This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs."

While the ruling is expected to influence other courts, it is not legally binding, Der Spiegel noted.

The procedure, which is relatively common in the United States (roughly six in 10 newborn boys are circumcised), is not so prevalent in Europe. In Germany, only 11% of boys are circumcised, according to 2007 figures. However, many of Germany's 4 million Muslims and its 100,000 Jews consider circumcision a religious rite.

The case began in Cologne in 2010 after a doctor performed a circumcision on a 4-year-old Muslim boy. His parents took him to a hospital two days later because he was bleeding heavily, the Medical Daily website reported. When prosecutors learned of the emergency room visit, they brought criminal charges against the doctor.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Germany • Health • Islam • Israel • Lawsuit • New York • Religion • World
June 27th, 2012
10:51 AM ET

TV station in Syria bombed; report finds growing 'contours of an insurrection'

Bombers killed at least seven people at a pro-regime Syrian satellite channel Wednesday, the government said, as world diplomats were making another try at ending the violence raging across the country.

"Terrorists planted explosive devices" in the headquarters of al-Ikhbaria, located near Damascus, killing three journalists and four security guards, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported. The attackers also ransacked and destroyed studios, the news outlet said.

"The massacre won't go unpunished," Information Minister Amre al-Zoubi said.

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Filed under: Syria
Queen makes history with ex-IRA leader handshake
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands Wednesday with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness.
June 27th, 2012
09:35 AM ET

Queen makes history with ex-IRA leader handshake

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (CNN) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shook hands Wednesday with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness in a historic gesture marking a giant step forward in the peace process around British rule of Northern Ireland.

The handshake comes 14 years after the end of a conflict that claimed about 3,500 lives, including that of the queen's cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten in an IRA bombing.

McGuinness spoke to the queen in Irish as they clasped hands and made eye contact for several seconds in the ground-breaking event.

"Goodbye and godspeed," McGuinness then said, translating his comment for the queen. She smiled throughout the encounter but did not speak.

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Filed under: Ireland • Queen Elizabeth II • United Kingdom
Investigator: Zimmerman missed opportunities to defuse situation
George Zimmerman failed to identify himself twice during a confrontation with Trayvon Martin, a detective says.
June 27th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Investigator: Zimmerman missed opportunities to defuse situation

George Zimmerman failed to identify himself twice during a confrontation with Trayvon Martin and missed opportunities to defuse the situation that led to the death of the teen, a detective says in a newly released report.

Zimmerman, who served as a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of Martin, 17, in Sanford, Florida.

The revelation is part of information Florida prosecutors released Tuesday. It includes a previously undisclosed portion of a video of Zimmerman showing injuries he said he suffered in the altercation with Martin.

Zimmerman, 28, told police he shot the teenager in February in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty. But Martin's family and civil rights activists said Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, racially profiled Martin and ignored a 911 dispatcher's advice not to follow him.

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Filed under: Florida • Trayvon Martin
June 27th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law.  Once a ruling is issued, watch CNN.com Live for reaction and fallout to the decision.

Today's programming highlights...

Continuing coverage - Tropical Depression Debby

9:45 am ET - Waldo Canyon wildfire briefing - The wildfire has forced more than 32,000 people in Colorado out of their homes, are firefighters are struggling to contain it.  Officials update the public on the status of the fire.

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Filed under: Colorado • Health • Health Care • Health care reform • On CNN.com today • Tropical weather • U.S. • Weather
Boxing promotor offers Chris Brown, Drake $1 million each to duke it out
Drake, left, and Chris Brown were allegedly involved in an altercation at the W.i.P. nightclub earlier this month.
June 27th, 2012
02:15 AM ET

Boxing promotor offers Chris Brown, Drake $1 million each to duke it out

A celebrity boxing promoter is hoping to capitalize on the alleged nightclub brawl between singer Chris Brown and rapper Drake by offering them a million dollars each to take their beef to the ring.

The promoter also says he is asking singer Rihanna to be a ring girl at the bout - but acknowledged she'll likely pass.

Damon Feldman says he has the financial backing of businessman Alki David, and that he'll donate a million to a charity that helps abused women if the fight takes place.

The fight, he said, would feature three minute-long rounds with the participants donning oversized gloves and protective head gear

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Filed under: Entertainment • Sports