July 12th, 2012
05:13 PM ET

Mash-up: Penn State; reverse birthday gift

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.

Report damns Penn State top brass

Former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh issued the findings of the internal investigation Penn State had him conduct into the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Freeh singled out four former university officials - President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, head football coach Joe Paterno, and Athletic Director Tim Curley - for failing to act on suspicions and reports that former assistant coach Sandusky was sexually abusing boys in his care. In stinging remarks, Freeh said the officials put the reputation of the school's storied football program above protecting children:

Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest.

Louis Freeh delivers his report Thursday at Penn State.

Findings spur strong reactions from readers

The Freeh report generated thousands of comments from CNN.com users. Here is just a small sampling:

Lisa

I will always love Penn State and Penn State football; however, I hate what the top officials, including Joe Paterno, did to protect their own interests with no regard to protecting children. I do not feel the entire school, students, or student athletes should be held accountable for the actions of these men's ignorance. PSU needs to remove all remembrances of the Joe Paterno era and everything he represented. The statue, the uniforms, the helmet, the shoes all should go. Start fresh, a new era, Then they should donate every damn cent the football program makes to a victim's abuse fund. FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
July 12th, 2012
02:13 PM ET

Police to reopen Detroit-Windsor tunnel closed after bomb threat

[Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET] The major tunnel between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit was scheduled to reopen at 5 p.m. ET Thursday following a shutdown because of a bomb threat, Windsor police said.

Police "fully inspected" the tunnel before reopening it, Windsor authorities said.

The bomb threat led to traffic backups as drivers on both sides of the border were rerouted.

Employees at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel received an anonymous phone call around 12:30 p.m. from someone saying there was a bomb in the tunnel, Sgt. Matthew D'Asti with Windsor police told HLN.

Authorities were working together on both sides of the border to investigate and search the tunnel for any possible device, D'Asti said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Canada • Michigan
Clery Act at center of Penn State probe, 26 years after young woman's murder
Ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh presented a report citing a "lack of awareness" about the Clery Act by Penn State officials.
July 12th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Clery Act at center of Penn State probe, 26 years after young woman's murder

In 1986, Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old freshman at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, was found dead in her third-floor dorm room. She had been sodomized, tortured, and then strangled with the uncoiled metal of a toy resembling a Slinky, according to media reports.

Clery's parents had sent her to Lehigh because they thought she'd be safe. She'd also been accepted at Tulane University in New Orleans, but after learning a student there had been murdered off campus, the couple began looking for a safer place to send their daughter for college.

It was only after Clery's murder that her parents learned Lehigh had seen 38 violent offenses rape, robbery and assault among them in a three-year period, according to a 1990 feature in People magazine.

Constance and Howard Clery later settled with the university for an undisclosed amount and began working to ensure campus crime was a more transparent issue in the future. They opened the Clery Center for Security on Campus and pushed for the 1990 legislation requiring public disclosure of crimes on American campuses.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or Clery Act, is now at the center of the investigation into what Penn State University officials did or didn't do after hearing allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting boys.

In a scathing internal review that blasts the upper echelons of the school's administration, investigators cited several failures to disclose information to police by a university leadership that the report said was more concerned about bad publicity than the sex-crime victims who had been molested on campus.

The review also reported "a lack of awareness of child abuse issues, the Clery Act, and whistle-blower policies and protections."

FULL POST

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Filed under: College football • Crime • Education • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports • U.S.
July 12th, 2012
12:18 PM ET

Reactions to Penn State report flood social media

Penn State University bashers and supporters alike took to Twitter and Facebook on Thursday when the report on an internal probe into the school's child sex abuse scandal was released.

Lavar Arrington, a former Penn State player, responded on Twitter after reading the report.

The probe found that top university officials, including former President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno, concealed child sex abuse by ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky  and showed a "total and consistent disregard" for his victims. The concealment was meant to "avoid the consequences of bad publicity," the report said.

Penn State leaders disregarded victims, 'empowered' Sandusky, review finds

The probe's leader, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, said that ex-athletic director Tim Curley consulted with Paterno following allegations against Sandusky and "they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities."

Key players in the Penn State report

This, the report found, resulted in a failure to protect Sandusky's victims or warn the public about his behavior.

How the Sandusky case unraveled

Heated conversations immediately began on Penn State's Facebook page.

"The only important part of that report are the recommendations for the FUTURE! We need to all take a lesson from this, learn from some mistakes and use the recommendations to move on to make PSU a stronger place. It makes no sense discussing what happened in the past and what emails were sent. Complaining about the past does not make for a strong future!" Joey Schwartz wrote.

FULL POST

July 12th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Paterno family's statement on Freeh report

The following is a statement from the family of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, following Thursday's release of an internal report criticizing Penn State's handling of child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky:

"We are in the process of reviewing the Freeh report and will need some time before we can comment in depth on its findings and conclusions. From the moment this crisis broke, Joe Paterno supported a comprehensive, fair investigation. He always believed, as we do, that the full truth should be uncovered.

"From what we have been able to assess at this time, it appears that after reviewing 3 million documents and conducting more than 400 interviews, the underlying facts as summarized in the report are almost entirely consistent with what we understood them to be. The 1998 incident was reported to law enforcement and investigated. Joe Paterno reported what he was told about the 2001 incident to Penn State authorities and he believed it would be fully investigated. The investigation also confirmed that Sandusky's retirement in 1999 was unrelated to these events.

"One great risk in this situation is a replaying of events from the last 15 years or so in a way that makes it look obvious what everyone must have known and should have done. The idea that any sane, responsible adult would knowingly cover up for a child predator is impossible to accept. The far more realistic conclusion is that many people didn't fully understand what was happening and underestimated or misinterpreted events. Sandusky was a great deceiver. He fooled everyone – law enforcement, his family, coaches, players, neighbors, University officials, and everyone at Second Mile.

"Joe Paterno wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions.

"We appreciate the effort that was put into this investigation. The issue we have with some of the conclusions is that they represent a judgment on motives and intentions and we think this is impossible. We have said from the beginning that Joe Paterno did not know Jerry Sandusky was a child predator. Moreover, Joe Paterno never interfered with any investigation. He immediately and accurately reported the incident he was told about in 2001.

"It can be argued that Joe Paterno should have gone further. He should have pushed his superiors to see that they were doing their jobs. We accept this criticism. At the same time, Joe Paterno and everyone else knew that Sandusky had been repeatedly investigated by authorities who approved his multiple adoptions and foster children. Joe Paterno mistakenly believed that investigators, law enforcement officials, University leaders and others would properly and fully investigate any issue and proceed as the facts dictated.

"This didn't happen and everyone shares the responsibility."

More on this story:

Penn State leaders showed 'total disregard' for victims, review finds

Key players in Penn State report

Share your thoughts with CNN iReport


Filed under: College football • Crime • Football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
Gotta Watch: Up-close shark encounters
An 18-foot great white shark appears off the coast of Sydney.
July 12th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Up-close shark encounters

Forget “Jaws.” We’ve seen all sorts of real-life shark encounters in the last few weeks. Whether people are fishing, diving, or kayaking, sharks seem to be showing up everywhere. You’ve Gotta Watch these incredible videos. Have you ever had a close call with a shark? Let us know in the comments below.

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Swimming with a shark

Two friends who were spear fishing off the coast of Australia got a nasty surprise when a great white shark came between them and their boat. See how many times the sharks circled the swimmers.

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Dinner time

Fishers in South Carolina and Australia both had sharks appear out of nowhere to snatch a fish off their lines. It's hard to say what's better: the footage of the sharks or the reaction from the people fishing.

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Shark week

Multiple sightings of great white sharks off Cape Cod have visitors worried. See the incredible shots of a great white shark stalking a kayaker.

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Rocking the boat

Fishermen in Sydney captured unbelievable video of an 18-foot great white biting the smaller blue shark that was on their line. You’ve got to see this huge beast shoot out of the water.

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Filed under: Animals • Gotta Watch • Sharks
July 12th, 2012
08:59 AM ET

PSU officials concealed Sandusky's activities, probe says

An internal probe into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal found that top university officials, including former president Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno, concealed evidence of abuse by ex-assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

An effort to avoid bad publicity "is the most significant, but not the only, cause for this failure to protect child victims and report to authorities," the investigation found.

Spanier and Paterno, as well as former university vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley, participated in "an active decision to conceal" allegations against Sandusky, the probe's leader told reporters Thursday. Additionally, the report says the officials failed to inquire about the victims' well-being, even failing to try to identify a boy who allegedly was sexually assaulted in a Penn State shower in 2001.

Also, Penn State officials were poised to report that February 2001 sex abuse allegation, but they "changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities" after Curley consulted with Paterno, the head of the probe, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, told reporters.

Full CNN report: Penn State leaders showed 'total disregard' for victims, review finds

The full Freeh report

Clery Act at center of Penn State probe, 26 years after teen's murder

Key players in Penn State report

Share your thoughts with CNN iReport.

The 267-page findings of the Penn State-funded internal review were released Thursday morning. The report focuses on what school officials knew about Sandusky's behavior. The scandal led some people to claim the school put its reputation ahead of protecting potential child victims.

A jury last month convicted Sandusky, 68, the Nittany Lions' former defensive coordinator, on multiple charges of sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years.

Here is a running log of the Thursday's developments:

[Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET] Around the time that Nike was announcing that it was changing the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center on Nike's campus in Beaverton, Oregon (see 1:46 p.m. entry), Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight released this statement:

“Other than my parents, my college coach, Bill Bowerman, was the biggest influence in my life. Bill Bowerman and Joe Paterno shared some great qualities. Throughout Joe Paterno’s career, he strived to put young athletes in a position to succeed and win in sport but most importantly in life. Joe influenced thousands of young men to become better leaders, fathers and husbands.

"According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences. I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day. My love for Joe and his family remains.”

– Phil Knight, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, NIKE, Inc.

[Updated at 1:46 p.m. ET] The president of Nike Inc. has announced that the firm is changing the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center, a child care center at the Nike headquarters near Beaverton, Oregon, in the light of the Freeh report.

"I have been deeply saddened by the news coming out of this investigation at Penn State," Mark Parker said.

[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET] As promised, here is the link to the Paterno family's full statement.

[Updated at 11:38 a.m. ET] Another key point from the Paterno family statement: "We have said from the beginning that Joe Paterno did not know Jerry Sandusky was a child predator. Moreover, Joe Paterno never interfered with any investigation. He immediately and accurately reported the incident he was told about in 2001."

A link to the full statement is coming.

[Updated at 11:29 a.m. ET] Paterno's relatives say that although they will need some time to read the report before they can comment in depth, they accept the criticism that Paterno could have done more, but "at the same time, Joe Paterno and everyone else knew that Sandusky had been repeatedly investigated by authorities who approved his multiple adoptions and foster children."

"Joe Paterno mistakenly believed that investigators, law enforcement officials, University leaders and others would properly and fully investigate any issue and proceed as the facts dictated," Paterno's family said in a statement.

The statement adds: "Joe Paterno wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more. To think, however, that he would have protected Jerry Sandusky to avoid bad publicity is simply not realistic. If Joe Paterno had understood what Sandusky was, a fear of bad publicity would not have factored into his actions."

FULL POST

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Filed under: College football • Crime • Football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
July 12th, 2012
08:24 AM ET

At least 9 dead in French avalanche, police say

At least nine mountain climbers were killed when a six-foot-thick wall of snow came crashing down on them in the French Alps on Thursday, French police said.

At least four people are missing, and two were found alive in the snow after the avalanche, French police said.

The dead climbers include people from Germany, Britain, Spain and Switzerland, police said.

The nationalities of the missing are unknown, police said. There were also French climbers in the party.

FULL STORY


Filed under: France • Mountain climbing
July 12th, 2012
08:14 AM ET

Thursday'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...

10:00 am ET - Penn State report briefing - Former FBI director Louis Freeh discusses his findings into how Penn State University handled allegations of child sex abuse by former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

FULL POST


Filed under: Crime • Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
July 12th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

Ratko Mladic taken to hospital, criminal trial adjourned for day

Ratko Mladic, who is on trial on charges he masterminded an army campaign to cleanse Bosnia of Croats and Muslims, was taken to the hospital Thursday as a precautionary measure, a court spokeswoman said.

"Proceedings were adjourned because he wasn't feeling well," said Nerma Jelacic, a spokeswoman for International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She did not release any details about his condition.

Mladic, whose trial began at the Hague in May, is accused of orchestrating a campaign of ethnic cleansing during the bloody civil war that ripped apart Yugoslavia. He has been indicted on 11 counts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the 1992-95 war.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Bosnia • Ratko Mladic
July 12th, 2012
04:27 AM ET

International outrage grows over destruction of Mali shrines

The United States is condemning the destruction of two more tombs in northern Mali as international outrage grows over Islamist militants' attacks on historic and religious landmarks in the nation.

Islamists ordered residents to leave the area and started razing the tombs in Timbuktu this week, witnesses said.

"They were shooting in the air to warn people of going near and entering the area," local resident  Allimam Oumar said of the Tuesday attacks. "The militants think the shrines are idolatrous."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: U.S. • World
July 12th, 2012
02:42 AM ET

Biden to speak to NAACP convention where Romney receives mixed reception

Vice President Joe Biden gives the keynote address at the NAACP convention in Houston on Thursday, a day after presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke there and as President Barack Obama takes a pass.

It will be Biden's first time addressing the convention as vice president, the NAACP said.

"The vice president is a longtime friend to the NAACP," said Roslyn Brock, the group's chairwoman. "He has been a strong advocate for justice and equality over his decades of service in the Senate and the White House."

The president will miss the event due to a "scheduling conflict," his campaign said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • U.S.