August 30th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Like little kids with the latest Harry Potter sequel, Washington and the rest of the world will be eagerly thumbing through “No Easy Day” when it hits bookshelves Tuesday. The memoir of a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 purports to tell the full story of how the globe’s most-wanted terrorist met his end.

Mentions of the book's author spiked on Twitter on Thursday morning, as did the term "Navy SEAL book." About 4,500 mentions were made by mid-morning. The book was mentioned more than 8,000 times on August 22, when news broke of its release.

Carl Carver tweeted, "This sort of thing is NOT healing relations in Middle East, predicted as the starting point of WWIII !"

"It seems like once a year since I graduated college I get super excited for a book release, this year No Easy Day by Mark Owen is that book," Drake Stahr tweeted.

The RangerUp fan page on Facebook, a popular spot for military folks, had a range of comments.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Alaska • Navy SEALs • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • September 11 • Taliban • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
Almost 1 million without power from Isaac
August 30th, 2012
07:20 AM ET

Almost 1 million without power from Isaac

Nearly a million customers were without electricity because of Isaac on Thursday morning. Power providers say at least 948,564 customers are without electricity across Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Hurricane Isaac • Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
Water trapped between levees
August 29th, 2012
10:28 PM ET

Water trapped between levees

  • New Orleans mayor imposes dusk-to-dawn curfew
  • More than 817,000 without power across 5 states
  • Isaac's maximum sustained winds slip to 60 mph
  • Emergency crews rescue people stranded by floods

Refresh this page for the latest updates or read the full CNN story here.

[Updated 10:28 p.m. ET]

[Updated 10:20 p.m. ET] Water that overtopped levees was trapped in Plaquemines Parish with nowhere to drain. Officials were considering intentionally breaching a levee downstream to allow some of the floodwater to flow back out of the inundated area, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

Parish President Billy Nungesser said parish officials will go out at low tide to check the back levee - a second line of defense - at the town of Braithwaite and determine where to punch holes in it. It will be Saturday, at the earliest, before crews can cut the levee open, letting water flow out into the marsh.

[Updated 10 p.m. ET]

[Updated 9:52 a.m. ET]  New Orleans officials said there had been 12 incidents of looting. Police said arrests were made in each case, but didn't specify how many people were involved.

[Updated 9:48 p.m. ET] Lake Pontchartrain's water levels are "beginning to stabilize," St. Tammany Parish officials said, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Water had spilled out from the lake and flooded low-lying areas of the parish.

Rescues continue in areas around the vast Louisiana lake, including Lewisburg, Guste Island, Lacombe and Slidell, the newspaper's website reported.

[Updated 9:29 p.m. ET] Joey Amann gathered family and friends into his home in Hancock County, Mississippi, to ride out the storm, he told CNN affiliate WALA.

"You know, we just figured we'd be safer in numbers. Since our house is eight feet off the ground, we figured we'd be safer there but the water just kept coming," Amann said.

"It was scary. I mean, I've never seen the water raise this fast on this road and I've been here all my life. It just came out of nowhere."

The group ended up being rescued by emergency personnel in boats.

Amann told the station he lost his home to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"Thirty-six years I've lived here, and it's just devastating," he said. "Seven years ago, we were going through the same thing. No one thought it would be this bad, but it's worse than we anticipated."

FULL POST

Penn State to give back trophies because of NCAA sanctions
Penn State's trophy for their win in the 2006 Orange Bowl game is one of several they will return because of NCAA sanctions.
August 29th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Penn State to give back trophies because of NCAA sanctions

Penn State will have to return all of the football trophies they won during a 14-year span as a result of sanctions handed down by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for school's role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, a school official said on Wednesday.

The move is another blow to the State College community, which has been plagued by the scandal for nine months.

Earlier this summer the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, banned the football program from bowl games for four years, stripped scholarships and vacated the team's wins from 1998 to 2011 following the Freeh Report, which issued a scathing statement about how much the university knew and when.

"Per the NCAA consent decree, all football team trophies won from 1998-2011 are to be returned to the awarding authority and we plan to do so," said Jeff Nelson, assistant athletic director of communications for football at Penn State.

Some of the trophies that the school will have to return include their bowl game wins. Penn State won the Outback Bowl in 1999 and 2007, the Alamo Bowl in 1999 and 2007, the Orange Bowl in 2006 and the Capital One Bowl in 2010.

While those residing in Happy Valley are still trying to resurrect their image in the wake of the scandal and show they still back their team, they do have one thing to smile about this week as they head into their first football game without famed coach Joe Paterno in more than four decades.

Their spirit has won them $10,000 for the school's general scholarship fund after they beat out more than 200 other schools in a voting campaign hosted on ESPN.com, according to a press release sent out by the school.

Penn State led the competition from start to end, the release said.

“We are elated to see this incredible expression of Penn State pride, spirit and support demonstrated by our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends and fans in winning the Pledge Your Allegiance contest,” Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association, said in a statement. “This national victory is what Nittany Nation is all about. We know Penn Staters everywhere will join us in celebrating by wearing their blue and white with great pride.”

August 29th, 2012
12:42 PM ET

Taliban attack on Pakistan border checkpoint

Taliban militants attacked a Pakistani army checkpoint near the Afghan border Wednesday, killing eight Pakistani soldiers, according to military officials.

The battle at Surang Baba Ziarat village in the south Waziristan district killed 18 militants, Col. Nadeem Khan told CNN.

"The militants attacked the check post with heavy weapons last night and in response the soldiers fought the militants," Khan said. FULL POST

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: World
Waiting at 'the wall' for Isaac to hit
Soledad O'Brien walks along "the wall."
August 29th, 2012
07:51 AM ET

Waiting at 'the wall' for Isaac to hit

From CNN's Soledad O'Brien in New Orleans

The concrete is so clean on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal/Surge Barrier that it looks like they poured it yesterday. But the roiling clouds above it made it clear why its completion in May was critical. It's about to face its first test

They call it "the wall" - a two-mile long stretch of concrete that's designed to keep the waters of the Gulf from flooding into Lake Borgne then inundating New Orleans neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward, a surge that destroyed homes and left a trail of dead during Hurricane Katrina.

This massive post-Katrina effort by the Army Corps of Engineers with three 150-foot-wide gates began in 2009. At 10:30am on Tuesday, the two doors were closed for the first time in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac.

"It will keep water from coming from the Gulf of Mexico through Lake Borgne. Last time the surge went into Lake Borgne and into the heart of the city, " said Col. Edward Fleming of the US Army Corps of Engineers. "This wall is built to 26 feet high and we expect to see surges of eight to 10, maybe 15, feet."

FULL POST


Filed under: Hurricane Isaac • Hurricanes • Louisiana • New Orleans • Weather
August 29th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on the U.S. Gulf Coast.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the storm's impact on the region.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Hurricane Isaac tracker and briefings

8:30 am ET - GOP women's breakfast - Ann Romney and Janna Ryan will participate in a "Women for Mitt Romney" breakfast in Tampa.  Ann Romney will then attend a Latina coalition luncheon at 12:15 pm ET.

FULL POST

August 29th, 2012
02:14 AM ET

Will.i.am premieres song - from Mars

Rapper will.i.am can boast of an accomplishment that is out of this world: His latest single premiered from Mars, making it the first song to debut on another planet.

The Black Eyed Peas singer wrote the song, "Reaching for the Stars," to mark the successful landing of NASA's Curiosity rover on the Red Planet this month.

A far cry from his regular hip-hop tunes, it features a 40-piece orchestra set to a futuristic beat.

The song is set to transcend time and cultures, he said.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: U.S. • World
August 29th, 2012
02:11 AM ET

Indian Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Mumbai gunman

he Indian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence for Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving gunman from the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, prosecution lawyer Gopal Subramaniam said.

A court sentenced Kasab, a Pakistani, to death in 2010 on charges of murder, conspiracy and waging war on India. The High Court of Mumbai upheld his conviction and sentence in February last year.

Authorities of the Mumbai prison where Kasab is being held then filed a plea on his behalf to the Supreme Court.

Now that his appeal has been rejected by India's highest court, the last avenue open to Kasab is to file a clemency petition with the president.

During the November 2008 assault on Mumbai, 10 heavily armed men attacked landmarks around the city, including the luxury Taj Mahal Palace and Tower and Oberoi-Trident hotels, the Victoria Terminus train station, and the Jewish cultural center, Chabad House.

More than 160 people were killed in the coordinated attacks that lasted three days.

Indian forces killed nine of the suspects, but Kasab, who was photographed holding an assault weapon during the violence, survived and was arrested.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: India • World
August 29th, 2012
12:50 AM ET

Feds still hunting for ex FBI agent who vanished in Iran 2,000 days ago

Wednesday marks day 2,000 since retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran, and the State Department is urging Tehran to provide information on his whereabouts.

"Determining Mr. Levinson's whereabouts and reuniting him safely with his family continues to be a priority for the U.S. Government. The United States also continues to welcome the assistance of our international partners in this investigation," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

An FBI reward of $1 million for information leading to Levinson's safe return still stands.

Levinson, who became a private investigator after retiring from the FBI, was working on a cigarette smuggling case when he disappeared more than five years ago while on a business trip on Iran's Kish island on March 8, 2007.

The State Department has consistently denied Levinson was working for the U.S. government and has unsuccessfully pressed Tehran for information.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Crime • U.S. • World
August 28th, 2012
11:11 PM ET

Isaac 'producing a dangerous storm surge' along northern Gulf Coast

Governments, business and residents in New Orleans and the central Gulf coast rushed Tuesday to complete last-minute preparations to bear the brunt of Hurricane  Isaac.

The storm made initial landfall Tuesday evening as a Category 1 hurricane after graduating from tropical storm status Tuesday afternoon.

Read the full CNN.com story here.

[Updated 11:29 p.m. ET]

[Updated 11:11 p.m. ET] Hurricane Isaac is "producing a dangerous storm surge" along the northern Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. ET update. Flooding from heavy rainfall will follow the storm surge, the NHC said.

At 11 p.m. ET, the storm's center of circulation was about 75 southeast of Houma, Louisiana, or 75 miles south-southeast of New Orleans, still moving at 8 mph with 80 mph maximum sustained winds.

[Updated 11:01 p.m. ET] Designer John Nelson created this fascinating and oddly beautiful visualization of every hurricane recorded since 1851. It's reproduced by Fast Company.

The image takes some getting used to, as it employs a southern polar projection; that is, Antarctica is in the center of the picture, with the other continents extending away from it. Hovering your mouse over the map enlarges an area so you can see greater detail.

Nelson created the map using data from NASA Visible Earth and NOAA International Best Track Archive, according to Fast Company.

[Updated 10:45 p.m. ET] Tropical Depression 11 rapidly intensified Tuesday evening and became the 11th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Kirk, the National Hurricane Center said. Kirk is located in the middle Atlantic and is not likely to become a threat to land.

[Updated 10:40 p.m. ET] Utility companies in four states report more than 200,000 customers have lost power because of Hurricane Isaac, all but 1,000 of them in Louisiana.

FULL POST

Comments: Readers mostly avoid politics, wish best for Specter's cancer fight
Former Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has overcome serious illnesses in the past two decades.
August 28th, 2012
07:09 PM ET

Comments: Readers mostly avoid politics, wish best for Specter's cancer fight

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

As the Republican National Convention moves forward, politically charged comments flow like water. Readers called for a few tidbits of unity on the story about Arlen Specter's fight against cancer. Specter, 82, was the longest-serving senator from Pennsylvania and switched from being a longtime GOP member to the Democratic Party in 2009.

Ex-Sen. Specter plans to win fight against cancer

Readers mused about Specter's political history in the current divided climate. Several commenters thanked Specter.

Hottampa: "Thank you Arlen Spector for the service for your country. I hope you recover. If you do not, you lived a long productive life that most people envy."

iBod: "It's odd, because I was just thinking about him yesterday - wondering how he is spending his time away from the Senate; how he is doing, overall. Dearly saddened to hear this. I am sure this news is hitting all of us Pennsylvanians pretty hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and that he makes a full recovery."

PeteArk: "He is a man of moderate views and a love of country ... unlike many of those now in the political arena ..."

Push politics aside for a moment, this reader pleaded.

VelveteenLdy: "It is, at once, amazing and disgusting that almost everything in the news today can be turned into a political battlefield. The purpose of these posts is not to argue Sen. Specter's politics, but to comment on the article. The man is dying. His political affiliation, actions, or whether he was liked or disliked are immaterial and inconsequential to that fact. My thoughts and prayers go to Sen. Specter's family and I pray that he passes on in comfort and in peace."

Many of the readers claimed to be Pennsylvanians, and gave a local perspective. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Comments • Health • Politics
August 28th, 2012
10:55 AM ET

One dead after protesters throw grenade at police in Kenya, official says

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) - Protesters threw a grenade at a vehicle carrying anti-riot police in Mombasa Tuesday, killing one officer and wounding 13 others, a police official said.

The violence came on the second day of protests after a radical Muslim cleric was killed in the same city Monday by assailants his wife claims were police.

Provincial police chief Aggrey Adoli told CNN the police were on their way to help beef up security because of the ongoing riots. An unknown perpetrator hurled a grenade at the police truck, causing the fatality and injuries. The wounded are being treated at two hospitals in Mombasa, Adoli added.

FULL STORY
No 'Sweet Caroline' at Penn State games, no public allowed in most athletic facilities
The Penn State football team takes the field against Alabama on September 10, 2011.
August 28th, 2012
10:50 AM ET

No 'Sweet Caroline' at Penn State games, no public allowed in most athletic facilities

Penn State football fans will no longer be singing "Sweet Caroline" while cheering on their Nittany Lions, according to university officials.

Neil Diamond's classic song, often sung at sporting events and particularly at Boston Red Sox baseball games, has been rotated out of the playlist for Beaver Stadium this year.

Chatter quickly began building on the State College campus and on social media platforms after the Altoona Mirror newspaper reported that officials were concerned about the lyrics to the song, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at the university, was convicted in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. He continues to maintain his innocence.

The song, said to be written about Caroline Kennedy, contains the lyrics: "Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you."

But those words, and the scandal, have nothing to do with removing the song from the game day playlist, Penn State spokesman David La Torre told CNN.

"Absolutely no song changes were made based on lyrics. This song has come up on the list in recent years because it happens to be played in so many other professional and collegiate venues and has no real origination here at Penn State," he said. "So while wholesale changes to what happens on game day are not in store, some 'updating' is going to occur, including the music playlist."

La Torre said the updating happened to include "Sweet Caroline" and noted that these changes happen "each year for both recorded music and the Blue Band," which plays at the games. The Altoona Mirror has recently updated its story to reflect that the choice was not made because of song lyrics.

While the playlist update may not be a result of the scandal, there has been one change that grew out of the Sandusky incident.

The numerous athletic facilities around Penn State will no longer be available to the public, a decision that Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers tells CNN was made as a result of several factors.

FULL POST

August 28th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

U.N. slams 'stream of executions' in Gambia

The United Nations Tuesday urged the tiny West African country of Gambia to refrain from executing 39 more death-row inmates, after nine others were recently put to death. FULL POST

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: World
August 28th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

With accelerator jammed at 120 mph, woman fears imminent death

A police dashcam video shows a dark SUV flying past cars and blowing through construction.

The driver's 911 call tells the rest of the story:  Lauri Ulvestad, utterly terrified, frantically steering a 2011 Kia Sorrento with a jammed accelerator taking it to speeds up to 120 mph.

“I told the dispatcher to tell my family I loved them,” Ulvestad, 47, told CNN.com by phone. “I did not think I was going to make it.”

Ulvestad credits dispatcher Kelly Brieg with keeping her calm and ultimately saving her life.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Auto Industry • Automobiles
August 28th, 2012
08:08 AM ET

Bigfoot hoax ends in death, authorities say

A man trying to create a Bigfoot hoax on a highway died after being hit by two cars, officials in Montana said.

Randy Lee Tenley dressed in a Ghillie suit - camouflage designed to resemble the ground and trees - and stepped out onto Highway 93 Sunday night, officials said.

"He probably would not have been very easy to see at all," said Jim Schneider, a state trooper.

A 15-year-old girl hit him with her car, another car swerved, and a third car driven by a 17-year-old ran him over, CNN affiliate KECI reported.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Montana
August 28th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

Tropical Storm Isaac could make landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast as soon as tonight.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the storm.

Today's programming highlights...

Continuing coverage - Tropical Storm Isaac tracker

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony defamation hearing - Attorneys for the woman suing Casey Anthony for defamation will ask a Florida judge to force Anthony to reveal her finances and source of income.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2012 Election • Casey Anthony • Crime • Hurricanes • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tropical weather • Weather
August 28th, 2012
04:32 AM ET

Israeli court: American protester Rachel Corrie's death an accident

Nine years after an American activist was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer, an Israeli civil court ruled Tuesday that Rachel Corrie's death was an accident.

Corrie, 23, was killed in 2003 while trying to block the bulldozer from razing Palestinian homes.

On Tuesday, a judge in Haifa said the family has no rights to damages.

Corrie, an American peace activist and human rights defender, was nonviolently protesting the demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza, when she was fatally struck. She was working with the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement when she died.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense said in 2010 that it regrets Corrie's death. "But she was in a known combat area, so the (Israeli Defense Forces) does not have responsibility," a spokesman told CNN. "The case is with the court, and they will make their decision."

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Israel • World
August 28th, 2012
03:27 AM ET

Legionnaires' disease outbreak kills 2 at Chicago hotel

A Chicago hotel has closed and drained its pool, hot tub and fountain in response to the deaths of two people who contracted the flu-like Legionnaires' disease, authorities said Monday.
Since August 14, health officials have recorded eight confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease, including the two deaths, among guests who visited the JW Marriott Chicago hotel in downtown Chicago.

"We believe that there is no ongoing health threat at the hotel. Individuals who stayed at the hotel during this time period who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are encouraged to get in touch with a healthcare provider because it is important that all potential cases are diagnosed and treated as soon as possible," said Kathleen Ritger, a doctor at the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory bacterial infection usually spread through mist that comes from a water source, such as cooling towers, air conditioning or showers. It is not transmitted person to person. Symptoms of the disease include fever, chills and a cough.


Filed under: U.S.
« older posts
newer posts »