Armstrong stops fight against doping probe
August 23rd, 2012
10:55 PM ET

Armstrong stops fight against doping probe

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said early Friday it will strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and impose a lifetime ban, a move that came just hours after the cyclist announced he would no longer fight charges of illegal doping.

A formal announcement by the USADA is expected later in the day, "but his choosing not to contest the charges means that there will be a lifetime ban and a loss of all results beginning from August 1, 1998," agency spokeswoman Annie Skinner told CNN in an emailed statement.

Even so, there is a question about whether the USADA - a quasi-government agency recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports in the United States - has the authority to take action against Armstrong.

The International Cycling Federation, whom Armstrong has said should be the arbiter in his case, has opposed the American agency's actions by claiming it has jurisdiction. That position has been recently backed by USA Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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Filed under: Cycling • Sports
August 23rd, 2012
07:13 PM ET

British tabloid to publish nude photos of Prince Harry

British tabloid The Sun announced on Thursday that it plans to publish photographs of a vacationing Prince Harry in the nude, making it the first mainstream British paper to do so.

The pictures of the prince, showing him naked in a hotel suite while he was on vacation last week in Las Vegas, were widely available on the Internet after website TMZ published them Tuesday. But British newspapers initially declined to publish them.

David Dinsmore, managing editor of The Sun, said Thursday that his group "thought long and hard about this," but ultimately decided to publish the images because news consumers could access them elsewhere.

FULL POST

August 23rd, 2012
06:24 PM ET

Comments: Time for another Civil War? Or not? Readers debate disagreement

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's some comments we noticed today.

The Civil War we read about in U.S. history books took place in the 1860s, but even today people are talking about the possibility of it happening again. A Lubbock County, Texas, judge named Tom Head stirred up controversy when he said the United States would enter such a civil war if Obama were re-elected. Texas Democrats are calling for his resignation. The story got more than 17,000 comments about political boundaries, and about what it means to disagree and fight.

Texas Democrats: Judge who said Obama could trigger civil war should resign

Does it matter who is president? (Putting aside views about what constitutes a "good president" for a moment.)

Picturamadoj: "If we didn't have a Civil War when Bush was in office, why would anyone think we'd have a Civil War with a good president like Obama?"

bhartman36: "We had a civil war when Abraham Lincoln was in office, too. The quality of the president has nothing to do with whether or not there's civil war."

Some readers griped about Republicans.

kkhjlh: "Talk about extreme politics. Does the Republican party really endorse this garbage? And they want to run the country."

But some blamed the president.

Jakerman: "Proof of how Obama has divided the country? Read the posts on here."

And a few others said maybe secession isn't such a bad idea.

RubinL: "So secede already! This time, not only won't we try to stop you, we'll even help you pack."

What do you think? Does the judge's commentary matter? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Comments • Politics • U.S.
August 23rd, 2012
05:30 PM ET

Mash-up: Tampa stripper confidential

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.

Naked ambition

Strippers in Tampa, Florida, are looking forward to next week's Republican National Convention. It's difficult for most folks to imagine what it's like to disrobe for a living, so the women who do it form close bonds. An exotic dancer, Go-Go, explains it in stark terms:

We see each other naked every day, so we kind of open up to each other.

Blind man mugged at gas station

A blind, wheelchair-using man from Rumford, Maine, tells CNN affiliate WMTW he fears a pair of men who robbed him won't face prosecution because he won't be able to identify them. The 31-year-old victim says he was outside a Lewiston gas station Tuesday night waiting for his brother when the men approached and asked for a cigarette. Things went bad from there.

Truck drags man in wheelchair

A man in a wheelchair was injured by a hit-and-run driver in Houston on Wednesday, CNN affiliate KTRK reports. Police say the victim was trying to cross the street in the early afternoon when he was struck. "I saw the truck coming and the truck hit the guy and I started screaming, 'Stop! Please stop! You've got a man under your car,'" said witness Jacquelin Pineda. Police say the man was dragged by a white pickup a few blocks until another driver pulled in front of the truck and blocked it.

Artists' canvas going away

CNN iReporter Ameer Hassoun shot some terrific photos of a graffiti hotspot in Long Island City, Queens, New York, that's slated to be demolished in September. He lives not far from the graffiti-covered warehouse that has long attracted artists from around the world to paint on its walls (with permission of the owner).

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
August 23rd, 2012
03:17 PM ET

Strauss-Kahn settlement talks under way, source says

(CNN) - A year ago Thursday, a high-profile criminal case over attempted rape allegations in New York came to an end when a judge dismissed all charges against the former chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Now, there are talks of an out-of-court financial settlement over a civil suit that Dominique Strauss-Kahn still faces in Bronx Supreme Court, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

"Negotiations are under way," the source said.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
Pakistan, India hit by deadly flooding
Indian residents wade through floodwaters in Jawahar Nagar colony in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, on August 23.
August 23rd, 2012
01:13 PM ET

Pakistan, India hit by deadly flooding

Dozens of people have died in Pakistan and India's northern Rajasthan state amid flash floods and landslides caused by heavy monsoon rains, officials said Thursday.

At least 21 deaths are confirmed in Pakistan, said Maj. Iftikhar Ahmed Taj of the National Disaster Management Authority.

Hundreds of homes have been damaged in the flooding, which has hit parts of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, he said.

Rescue workers are seeking to deal with a major landslide in the Kashmiri city of Muzaffarabad, according to the disaster agency.

Roads are blocked, some 390 houses have been damaged and an unknown number of people are dead and injured, the agency said. Some families trapped by the landslide have been given emergency food and water supplies.

Elsewhere in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, seven people were killed in Bagh by a flash flood and a landslide, while more than 100 houses were damaged in Koti, the disaster agency said.

More rainfall is on the way in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, some isolated places in northeast Balochistan, and the country's capital, Islamabad, according to the agency.

Clean-up also was under way Thursday in neighboring India, where heavy rain in Rajasthan left 20 dead, the Rajasthan state department told CNN. Ten died in the capital, Jaipur, it said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Flooding • India • Pakistan • Weather • World
August 23rd, 2012
01:06 PM ET

Isaac threatens to bring more destruction, cholera to Haiti

Tent camps dot the streets in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The shelters, sometimes just draped tarps, are all that stand between residents and Mother Nature.

More than 400,000 of those residents live in the tents, all they've called home since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the Haitian capital in 2010, reducing many of of the structures in the capital and its suburbs to rubble.

Two years removed from the earthquake, Haitians are praying again. This time, they hope they will be spared Tropical Storm Isaac, which appears to be headed straight for them.

Track the storm

The country is still trying to battle back from a deadly cholera outbreak after the 2010 earthquake. So as the storm threatens to bring winds of about 74 mph and 12 inches of rain, the challenges are mounting. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that the rain could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Aid organizations are preparing for the worst.

FULL POST

Church masterpiece 'restored' as Mr. Bean would do it
Pictures provided by the Center for Borja Studies show the original version of the painting Ecce Homo, by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, from left, the deteriorated version the center recently documented, and the version "restored" by a parishioner.
August 23rd, 2012
10:54 AM ET

Church masterpiece 'restored' as Mr. Bean would do it

The efforts of an elderly parishioner to restore a 120-year-old fresco on a column inside a Spanish church have some wondering if a Mr. Bean movie was the inspiration for the effort.

The fresco, titled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), is a depiction of Jesus Christ with a crown of thorns. It was painted on a wall of the Sanctuary of Mercy at Borja, near Zaragoza, Spain, by artist Elias Garcia Martinez more than a century ago.

Its troubling "restoration" occurred after the local Center for Borja Studies received the donation of a canvas done by Garcia from one his granddaughters who lives nearby, according to the center's blog.

Center staff noted that the only other known work by Garcia in the area was Ecce Homo, went to the church to photograph the fresco, and realized it was in bad shape.

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Filed under: Art • Spain
Gambia vows to execute all death row inmates by September, sparking outcry
Gambian president Yahya Jammeh says all 44 people on death row will be executed by mid-September.
August 23rd, 2012
03:23 AM ET

Gambia vows to execute all death row inmates by September, sparking outcry

Gambia plans to execute all death row prisoners by September, the president said this week, sparking condemnation from human rights groups worldwide.

The tiny West African nation last executed an inmate about 30 years ago.

It is unclear what prompted the change in stance.
By the end of last year, Gambia had 44 people on death row, including two women, according to human rights activists.

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Filed under: Crime • World