September 7th, 2012
01:14 PM ET

Philadelphia man charged over phony flight threat

(CNN) - The caller thought to be at the center of a phony threat that forced a US Airways flight to return to Philadelphia has been federally charged for the hoax, authorities said Friday.

Kenneth W. Smith Jr., 26, is accused of "knowingly engaging in conduct with intent to convey false and misleading information," after allegedly making a Thursday morning phone call to police, reporting a false threat about a passenger with "liquid explosive" aboard Flight 1267.

The Philadelphia resident has since been arrested and could face up to 10 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and possible restitution, according to federal prosecutors.

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Filed under: Travel
September 7th, 2012
12:02 PM ET

Kids shoes with bone on beach an 'abhorrent' hoax, police say

Children's shoes filled with a meat-like substance and bone that turned up on a British Columbia beach last week were placed there as a hoax, Victoria police say, and now they want to find the person responsible.

The first shoe was spotted by a tourist on the Clover Island beach August 30. He called police, who found two more shoes that day and two the next. Three of the shoes were stuffed with meat and bones that investigators now say was from poultry, CNN affiliate CTV reported.

The shoes were apparently planted to raise fears after other shoes with human remains have turned up on British Columbia beaches over the past several years.

“It was disturbing, and it was sad to think if it was authentic, this could be the remains of a small child,” Victoria Police Detective Lori Beauvais said.

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Filed under: Canada • Crime
September 7th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Police seek clues in French shooting

French police investigating the mysterious shooting deaths of four people in the foothills of the Alps hope autopsies to be performed Friday will provide new clues to the identity of the killer.

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud has opened a judicial investigation for murder and attempted murder in the case, Joelle Robert of the Annecy prosecutor's office told CNN.

She declined to confirm media reports that Maillaud has said he is investigating a potential family feud, among other leads.

A man and two women, all thought to be British nationals, were found dead in a car, two of them shot in the head, on Wednesday in a parking lot in the Haute-Savoie area of eastern France, near Lake Annecy.

The fourth victim, French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, was found with a gunshot to the head in the same parking lot off a forested road.

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Filed under: France • Iraq • United Kingdom
You can drive 85 - in Texas
The new Texas State Highway 130 tollway runs from near Austin to near San Antonio.
September 7th, 2012
09:57 AM ET

You can drive 85 - in Texas

The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas. This fall that will apply to speed, too.

The Texas Transportation Commission has approved an 85-mph speed limit for a new toll road between Austin and San Antonio. It will be the highest speed limit in the United States, according to local news reports.

The toll road is a 41-mile stretch of  Texas State Highway 130 known as Segments 5 and 6, running from Mustang Ridge near Austin to Seguin outside of San Antonio. If motorists drive at the speed limit, they'll cover the 41 miles in less than a half hour.

The 85-mph limit surpasses the current high in the United States, set on portions of Interstate 15 in Utah and sections of I-10 and I-20 in west Texas, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

But are the higher speeds safe?

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Filed under: Texas • Transportation
September 7th, 2012
09:39 AM ET

Italy rescuers search for dozens feared missing from migrant boat

 Rescuers searched for dozens of people feared missing at sea when a boat carrying as many as 100 migrants ran into trouble overnight, Italian officials said Friday.

At least 56 people have been rescued so far - some from the sea and others from the small island of Lampione, said Filippo Marini, a coast guard commander. They are believed to be Tunisians, he said.

At least one body has been found, said Capt. Davide Miserandino of Italy's finance police, which is helping in the search.

Survivors picked up during the night reported that there were about 100 people on board, said Laura Boldrini, head of the U.N. refugee agency in Italy.

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Filed under: Italy • Rescues • Tunisia • World
September 7th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

Officials: Clinton to label Pakistan-based group terrorists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will notify Congress Friday of her intent to formally designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani network as a terror organization, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The designation of the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization would make it easier to pursue those who provide support for the al Qaeda- and Taliban-linked movement. But it could further deteriorate relations with Pakistan.

"The secretary expects to send the report on the Haqqani network to Congress today," said a senior State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to offer details of the report ahead of its submission to Congress.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan
September 7th, 2012
07:34 AM ET

Friday's live events

The conventions have come to a close, and the candidates are back on the campaign trail.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest coverage from the presidential election.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - The best of the conventions - Check out the best speeches from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  The special will also air 12:00 pm ET, 3:00 pm ET and 6:00 pm ET.

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Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
British military sends Prince Harry to Afghanistan
September 7th, 2012
06:09 AM ET

British military sends Prince Harry to Afghanistan

Prince Harry has been deployed to Afghanistan in his role as an Army helicopter pilot, the British military said Friday. He will be based at Camp Bastion, in Helmand province, on what is his second deployment to Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • United Kingdom • World
September 7th, 2012
03:51 AM ET

Chicago braces for possible teachers' strike - its first in 25 years

Chicago is bracing for a teachers' strike that could affect hundreds of thousands of students next week in the nation's third-largest school district.

Teachers and support staff set a walkout date for Monday, which would mark the first time they have gone on strike in 25 years.

"This is a difficult decision for all of us to make," said Karen Lewis, the union president . "But this is the only way to get the board's attention and show them we are serious about getting a fair contract which will give our students the resources they deserve."

If it happens, it will affect about 400,000 students, including some from neighborhoods struggling with crime and gang problems.

City officials scrambled to minimize the disruption by setting up 144 sites to provide a "safe environment, food and engaging activities" for students if the strike occurs.

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Filed under: U.S.
September 7th, 2012
02:32 AM ET

Quakes hit southwestern China, killing at least 5

A series of earthquakes in southwestern China on Friday killed at least five people and damaged more than 20,000 houses, the state run news agency Xinhua reported.

The four quakes struck near the border of the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou between 11:19 a.m. and 1:12 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Their magnitudes ranged between 4.8 and 5.6, it said.

The first quake took place at the border area of Yiliang County in Yunnan and Weining County in Guizhou, Xinua reported. The news agency cited unidentified "government sources" for the initial death toll and damage.

All four quakes hit at a depth of about 10 kilometers, the USGS said.

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Filed under: World
September 7th, 2012
01:07 AM ET

Bermuda closes schools as Hurricane Leslie advances

Public schools will be closed Friday and government offices will also shut down early as Bermuda braces for the slowly approaching Hurricane Leslie.

Bermuda officials have told residents to "prepare for the worst" as the Category 1 storm is predicted to move close by the British territory Sunday.

"Leslie could be a historic storm for Bermuda as it is very large and forecast to intensify rapidly as it approaches," Bermuda's Emergency Measures Organization said in a statement earlier this week. "The island could experience hurricane force winds for a sustained period of time, possibly up to two days."

The hurricane seemed to stall Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm was about 430 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, and was stationary, the center said in an evening statement.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather • World