Who's the monkey? Lesula's famous lookalikes
Who do you think Lesula looks like?
September 12th, 2012
10:29 PM ET

Who's the monkey? Lesula's famous lookalikes

A new species of monkey was unveiled to the world Wednesday after scientists discovered the little guys living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo three years ago.

But after years of studies to confirm the species - Cercopithecus lomamiensis, Lesula for short - was indeed the first known of its kind, many who gazed upon the primate's face had the feeling they'd seen him somewhere before.

More monkey photos

From heartthrob celebs to  favorite family members and friends, the CNN community has gone ape trying to figure out just who this monkey looks like. Here's what some of our commenters had to say. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

family and friends

StraightDs Thats not a new species of monkey, thats David Schwimmer.

lizzy10 Sorta looks like my Uncle Vic, only with kinder eyes.

Jameserizer Hey, I know that dude!  Man, I went to school with that dude!

Rob LeeI don't think it was very nice for them to post my high school yearbook photo. That was 10 years ago and I was really tired and I didn't shave because I wanted to look old and cool. Besides, do you know how long it takes to shave your entire forehead and face?

Sexy celebs

FBr David Lee looks like a cartoon version of jake gyllenhaal, no offense to that good actor.

Abdullah719,Muslim.I can totally see the resemblance of this one with Paris Hilton, can't you??

NavChief Hey, It's Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors.

A blast from the past

MeJustMe The monkey looks like a woodcut of Isaac Newton.

HoneyBee1234 Beautiful monkey. Looks so calm. My first thought upon seeing it was that it reminds me of The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

Jesus... or something like that

Scazman Hey its the restored spanish Jesus!

foofighter73 I see the face of a sad Jesus in that monkey.

Dash Erkina It's Fresco Jesus!

dicyanin hahaha....first thing in mind

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Filed under: Monkeys • Overheard on CNN.com
Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya
September 12th, 2012
10:16 PM ET

Six things to know about attack that killed Ambassador Stevens

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, were killed Tuesday as gunmen set fire to and fought security forces at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack came as protesters outside the compound rallied against a movie that unflatteringly portrays Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. U.S. sources are giving conflicting accounts about whether the attack was planned before the protest and whether the attackers used the protest as a diversion.

If you’re new to the story and need to catch up, here are six key things to know about the incident.

1) What happened?

On Tuesday night, protesters were outside the consulate in Benghazi, demonstrating against the video "Innocence of Muslims," which reportedly was made in California by a producer whose identity is unclear.

Eventually, a group of heavily armed militants "infiltrated the march to start chaos," according to Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Libya
American to be freed from Nicaraguan prison after nearly two years
“I don't know the reason that I'm here," Jason Puracal has said.
September 12th, 2012
09:05 PM ET

American to be freed from Nicaraguan prison after nearly two years

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

An American who has been imprisoned for nearly two years in Nicaragua will be freed Thursday, and all the charges he was convicted of will be vacated, according to members of his legal team and a judicial order they gave to CNN.

Jason Puracal, a 35-year old native of Washington state, had been serving a 22-year sentence for drug-related crimes in one of the Latin American country's most notorious prisons. He is one of 12 people ordered freed.

Since his arrest in 2011, Puracal had many vocal defenders who said the charges were baseless and there was not a shred of evidence presented at his trial to support the charges. Those defenders included prominent human rights activists, renown international attorneys, a former FBI investigator and a U.S. congressman. 

Why defenders believe Puracal is innocent

As his attorneys got word of the release order, it was unclear if Puracal was aware that he was to be a free man, said his attorney Jared Genser.

“We are trying to get word to Jason, but it’s after hours in the prison,” he said. “But we can say this is very, very good news, and we’re pleased that justice can be had in Nicaragua.”

In August, Puracal spoke by phone with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, saying he has been imprisoned in a “hellhole” and that he was “100 percent innocent.”

“I don't know the reason that I'm here," Puracal said. "That's been a mystery from the very beginning. What the motives behind the police and the prosecution have been." 

Wednesday’s order from the court was the result of an appeal hearing that concluded earlier this summer in which Puracal’s legal team argued for his release.

"The family is thrilled to hear the news that they are another huge step closer to bringing Jason home. There is one thing we have known all along over the past two years: Jason is innocent," said Eric Volz, a spokesman for Puracal's family


Filed under: Nicaragua • TV-Anderson Cooper 360
September 12th, 2012
08:29 PM ET

Comments: Deadly Benghazi attack illustrates complexity of Middle East politics

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Readers often post thought-provoking comments about issues in the news, and we like to highlight them when we can.

It has been an eventful week in the Middle East, and readers are talking about a lot of things. Here are three themes that came up:

1. AMBASSADOR KILLED IN ATTACK

A pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack that killed Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say.

Pro-al Qaeda group seen behind deadly Benghazi attack

Readers shared their thoughts and theories about connections to al Qaeda, and talked about their views on what should be done about the attack.

CNN's sources note that the attack followed a call from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for revenge for the death in June of a senior Libyan member of the terror group Abu Yahya al-Libi. Several commenters on this particular article were eager to see action taken.

JohnRJohnson: "I think, with that phone call, al-Zawahiri has just increased the likelihood that he will soon be vaporized by a missile from out of the blue. Al Qaeda declared war on the United States back in 1998. Since then, I've heard no declarations of peace coming from any of the al Qaeda leadership; therefore they should continue to expect our ongoing efforts to eliminate them from the face of the Earth. Al-Zawahiri is a mental case who gave up being a healer to become a murderer of innocent people. His time will come soon enough."

justice786: "As an American Muslim, I agree with you. Al Qaeda needs to be terminated."

WWWYKI: "Does anybody think trying to make peace with a culture that murders their own daughters in a public setting for the audacity of getting raped is even possible?"

One commenter said they are from Libya and are upset about what happened to Stevens. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Egypt • Libya • Politics • Religion • World
Slain ambassador warned in '08 about extremists near Benghazi
September 12th, 2012
03:32 PM ET

Slain ambassador warned in '08 about extremists near Benghazi

Before he became U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens warned in a 2008 diplomatic cable of jihadist sentiment growing not far from Benghazi.

Stevens, who became ambassador to Libya this year,  was killed this week in an attack that U.S. sources tell CNN was planned by a pro-al Qaeda group of extremists. While it is not definitively clear whether this group, or what group specifically, is behind the attack, it's clear that Stevens expressed concern about a radical movement fomenting in the port city of Derna.

The cable was leaked in the trove that WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, and CNN reported on it last year.

In his 2008 missive Stevens, who at the time was U.S. deputy chief of mission in the North African nation, wrote about that "one Libyan interlocutor likened young men in Derna to Bruce Willis' character in the action picture "Die Hard", who stubbornly refused to die quietly."

There is "frustration at the inability of eastern Libyans to effectively challenge" Moammar Gadhafi's regime, Stevens wrote.

That and "a concerted ideological campaign by returned Libyan fighters from earlier conflicts, have played important roles in Derna's development as a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters in Iraq."

Moammer Gadhafi was killed in October 2011, at the hands of Libyans.

"Other factors include a dearth of social outlets for young people, local pride in Derna's history as a locus of fierce opposition to occupation, economic disenfranchisement among the town's young men. Depictions on satellite television of events in Iraq and Palestine fuel the widespread view that resistance to coalition forces is justified and necessary," Stevens wrote.

Stevens describes Derna: "The lower-middle class neighborhood, comprising poured concrete homes crowded along largely unpaved streets, sits on a hill overlooking the town ... A number of residents were on the streets; however, they were visibly more wary and less friendly than in other Libyan towns."

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Filed under: Libya
September 12th, 2012
01:41 PM ET

Pentagon to review video of Libya attack

Editor's Note: Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. This story is continuing to develop. Follow along below for our continued coverage of the attacks, reaction and what impact it will have. For coverage in Arabic, please visit CNN Arabic.

[Updated at 5:36 p.m. ET] U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, referring to last year's revolt of Libyans against Moammar Gadhafi, said on the Senate floor Wednesday that Libyans "rose up last year to free themselves from exactly the kinds of murderers and terrorists who killed our American citizens yesterday in Benghazi."

"Their enemies are our enemies," McCain said.

[Updated at 4:38 p.m. ET] In 2008, Stevens who then was the deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Libya warned in a diplomatic cable about jihadist sentiment growing not far from Benghazi, CNN's Ashley Fantz reports.

[Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET] A statement released on the behalf of the 80 cast and crew members of "Innocence of Muslims," a film that reportedly prompted Tuesday protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, indicates that they are not happy with the film and were misled by the producer.

"The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose," the statement says. "We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred."

As this post has previously noted, U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity say they believe the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi was planned before the protests and was not prompted by the film, and that the attackers perhaps used the protest as a diversion. (See 2:48 p.m. update.)

[Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET] A U.S. official has said that there was no clear stream of intelligence that indicated the Benghazi attack was coming, CNN's Suzanne Kelly reports.

[Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET] Pakistan's foreign ministry has issued a statement condemning the film that reportedly sparked Tuesday protests outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and perhaps the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. As this post has previously noted, U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity say they believe the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi was not prompted by the film. (See 2:48 p.m. update.)

Here's the Pakistani statement on the film, which it says maligns "the revered and pious personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)":

"Such abominable actions, synchronized with commemoration of atrocious events like 9/11, provoke hatred, discord and enmity within societies and between peoples of various faiths. The event has deeply hurt the feelings of the people of Pakistan and the Muslims all over the world. Pakistan is a strong proponent of inter-faith harmony and believes that all manifestations of extremist tendencies must be opposed."

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] The Pentagon and other U.S. agencies will review a video of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, according to a senior defense official. The official had not seen the video and provided no details about the source of the video, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.

[Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET] U.S. sources say they do not believe the attacks that killed Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, were in reaction to the online release of a film mocking Islam, CNN's Elise Labott reports.

"It was not an innocent mob," one senior official said. "The video or 9/11 made a handy excuse and could be fortuitous from their perspective, but this was a clearly planned military-type attack."

This meshes with information recorded earlier in this post, including that U.S. sources told CNN that the Benghazi attack was planned, and that perhaps a protest against the film was used as a diversion. Also, a London think tank with strong ties to Libya speculated Wednesday that Stevens was the victim of a targeted al Qaeda attack "to avenge the death of Abu Yaya al-Libi, al Qaeda's second in command killed a few months ago." (See 12:51 p.m. update.)

The Libya attacks came on the same day that protesters in Cairo, Egypt, scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Protesters there reportedly were upset about an online film considered offensive to Islam.

The U.S. sources also say that two U.S. properties were attacked in Benghazi: first, the main compound where Stevens was, and later, and attack on another U.S. compound in Benghazi.

Regarding the attack on the main compound, a U.S. source says three people Stevens; Sean Smith, a U.S. Foreign Service information management officer; and a security officer were in a safe room. The house was on fire (CNN has previously reported the building was on fire after a grenade attack), and the security officer got out. The officer then went back in for Stevens and Smith, and he found Smith's body and retrieved it. The officer could not find Stevens, the source said.

CNN previously reported that, according to a senior U.S. official familiar with the details of the attack, four Americans - including Stevens and Smith - died after succumbing to smoke inhalation.

[Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET] The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force issued a joint statement Wednesday condemning the killing of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

"As the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, 'Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.'"

[Updated at 1:41 p.m. ET] Seattle Children’s Hospital released the following statement on behalf of the sister of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who is a doctor at the hospital.

"Dr. Anne Stevens is deeply saddened by the tragic death of her brother U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens," the statement said. "She and her family request that you respect their privacy at this time."

[Updated at 1:19 p.m. ET] The ambassador of Libya to the United States, Ali Aujali, released the following statement regarding the attacks:

"We condemn yesterday's deplorable attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and those who are responsible for it in the strongest terms. The Government of Libya stands by the U.S. in opposing acts of terrorism. We are committed to bringing the attackers who perpetrated these crimes to justice.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other American who were killed served the U.S. Government bravely. Ambassador Stevens worked tirelessly in support of freedom in Libya. When Stevens was appointed as Special Representative of the U.S. to the National Transitional Council of Libya in April 2011, he faced enormous challenges. He served as the principal liaison of the U.S. to the opposition in Libya and he helped coordinate the U.S. response to the enormous humanitarian crises in Libya. He handled these responsibilities with a calm demeanor and strong determination in the midst of a war.

After the liberation of Libya, the new Libyan Government was overjoyed to learn that Stevens had been appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. He served in that role with great distinction and all Libyans owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of service in support of Libya. The acts that led to the tragic loss of his life and the other Americans who served with him were perpetrated by a small group of criminals and are not supported by the Libyan people. We stand with the U.S. Government in offering our deepest condolences to the family of Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans who were killed and to the entire State Department.

I have had the honor to work side by side with Ambassador Stevens and to call him a friend for many years. I will never forget the zeal and passion that he brought to his work. He was a dedicated diplomat and a true gentleman. The families of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and the two American security staff who were killed in yesterday's terror attack are in our thoughts and prayers today."

[Updated at 1:19 p.m. ET] The United Nations Security Council released the following statement with regard to the attack:

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack on the United States of America’s diplomatic mission and personnel in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September, which resulted in the deaths of four American diplomatic personnel, including the Ambassador, and injuries to diplomatic personnel and civilians. They expressed their deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the victims of this heinous act and to their families.

The members of the Security Council also condemned in the strongest terms the attack on the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt on 11 September.

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these acts to justice.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

The members of the Security Council recalled the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, and the obligations on host Governments, including under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and consular premises against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or impairment of their dignity, and to prevent any attack on diplomatic agents and consular officers.

In this context, and expressing their deep concern at these attacks, the members of the Security Council called on all authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to respect their international obligations in this regard.

The members of the Security Council underscored the durable commitment of the international community to support Libya’s successful transition to a peaceful and prosperous democracy."

[Updated at 1:16 p.m. ET] Vice President Biden was delivering remarks at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and had strong words for those responsible for the attack.

"Let me be clear we are resolved to bring to justice their killers. We will work to do just that,"Biden said. "There is no place in the civilized world for senseless murder like what occurred last night."

FULL POST

September 12th, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Wednesday'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...

9:35 am ET - Romney in Florida - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney may discuss the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya when he speaks at his campaign office in Jacksonville, Florida.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Libya • On CNN.com today • Politics • World
September 12th, 2012
03:29 AM ET

Chicago school strike hits third day

Talks were set to start again Wednesday morning with Chicago's school board and striking public school teachers seemingly miles apart from reaching a deal to get 350,000 children back in school.

And as rhetoric and accusations came from both sides, mothers like Terrilyn Alexander scrambled to turn her family dining room into a classroom. Alexander and her husband are giving their three children four hours of schoolwork daily and say they can't help but resent it.

"What bothers me is the selfishness," Alexander told CNN affiliate WBBM. "The fact is, there should never be a reason to keep children out of school."

Talks ended Tuesday night with neither side expressing optimism that an agreement was near.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Politics • U.S.
September 12th, 2012
01:19 AM ET

LA mayor backs weighing student performance in evaluating teacher quality

School teachers should be held accountable for the performance of their students, the Conference of Mayors said Tuesday, according to the group's leader.

"The conference of mayors unanimously supports student growth over time as a measurement in teachers," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who presides over the conference as president. "That should be at least one of the elements of their evaluation, and if you ask mayors across the country, they will agree."

The 59-year-old Democrat told reporters that the issues in New York and Los Angeles, the largest and second-largest public school districts in the nation, are similar to those in Chicago, the third-largest, where thousands of teachers have been on strike since Monday.

"These aren't radical notions, and my hope is the parties will sit down and figure it out - the public wants to see more accountability," he said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Politics • U.S.