Criminal record top reason for U.S. gun-check rejection
January 14th, 2013
04:04 PM ET

Criminal record top reason for U.S. gun-check rejection

More than a million people failed background checks to buy guns during the past 14 years because of criminal records, drug use or mental health issues, according to FBI figures.

But only about 1 percent of federal background checks are rejected.

Nearly 60 percent of those failing background checks, or nearly 578,000 people, were rejected because of a felony or serious misdemeanor conviction, according to information on the FBI website that was updated this month.

Federally-licensed gun sellers are not allowed to sell a firearm without a completed review by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Statistics show about 1 percent of applicants who failed a background check, or 10,180 people, were turned down for reasons related to mental health.

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Filed under: Gun violence
Lance Armstrong over the years
January 14th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Lance Armstrong apologizes to Livestrong staff

[Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET] Lance Armstrong was “tearful” during his comments to the staff at Livestrong but did not admit to using steroids or talk about that issue at all, according to Rae Bazzarre, Director of Communications for the Livestrong Foundation.

[Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET] We just received a comment from the Director of Communications for the Livestrong Foundation about what Armstrong said today.

"Lance came to the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s headquarters today for a private conversation with our staff and offered a sincere and heartfelt apology for the stress they’ve endured because of him and urged them to keep up their great work fighting for people affected by cancer," Rae Bazzarre said.

[Posted at 12:34 p.m. ET] Cyclist Lance Armstrong apologized to staff on Monday at the Livestrong foundation's office in Austin, Texas, according to a publicist for the foundation.

Katherine McLane did not provide any information about what Armstrong was apologizing for.

The apology came ahead of Armstrong's scheduled interview with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey - his first since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in a doping scandal.

Armstrong's Oprah interview: Why now?

Can even Oprah save Lance Armstrong?

Justice Clarence Thomas speaks on the bench after years of silence
January 14th, 2013
03:03 PM ET

Justice Clarence Thomas speaks on the bench after years of silence

He speaks.

Justice Clarence Thomas spoke from the bench Monday during a Supreme Court session, ending a nearly seven-year span of silence.

And he broke his streak to seemingly mock his alma mater, Yale, by making a joke about the competence of Yale lawyers when compared to their Harvard colleagues, according to two witnesses.

Thomas is known for being one of the less boisterous justices on the high court. He often leans back in his chair and stares at the ceiling. He uses written opinions to express himself.

The last time he spoke during oral arguments was February 22, 2006, in a capital appeal, Holmes v. South Carolina. Near the end of the argument, Thomas offered a brief question about standards a judge can use when allowing evidence in a criminal case.

Movie star Natalie Wood
January 14th, 2013
02:30 PM ET

Coroner amends Natalie Wood's death certificate

Citing questions about bruises on the body of actress Natalie Wood, whose body was found floating off Catalina Island in 1981, the Los Angeles County coroner's office has changed the cause of death from "accidental drowning" to "drowning and other undetermined factors."

"With the presence of fresh bruises in the upper extremities in the right forearm/left wrist area and a small scratch in the anterior neck, this examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries," wrote Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, the chief medical examiner.

"The location of the bruises, the multiplicity of the bruises, lack of head trauma, or facial bruising support bruising having occurred prior to entry in the water. Since there are unanswered questions and limited additional evidence available for evaluation, it is opined by this medical examiner that the manner of death should be left as undetermined."

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Filed under: California
Former President George H.W. Bush to be discharged, source says
January 14th, 2013
01:03 PM ET

Former President George H.W. Bush to be discharged, source says

Former President George H.W. Bush is being discharged today from a Houston hospital, a source familiar with the situation the situation told CNN.

Bush, 88, was initially hospitalized on November 23 with bronchitis and remained there with what his spokesman described as a "lingering cough." His office originally expected a release in late November or early December.

Obama talks debt ceiling, assault weapons ban at news conference
January 14th, 2013
12:09 PM ET

Obama talks debt ceiling, assault weapons ban at news conference

[Posted at 12:09 p.m. ET] Risking the nation's credit standing by using the debt ceiling debate to force spending cuts would endanger economic recovery and goes against the nation's founding principles and the will of the people, President Barack Obama said Monday at a news conference.

"What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people," he said.

Obama added that demands by congressional Republicans that a debt ceiling increase must be accompanied by dollar-for-dollar spending cuts is an expectation that is "impossible to meet without doing severe damage to the economy."

You can follow the rest of the news conference live or by reading our Political Ticker live blog.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
Rory McIlroy scores big with Nike deal
January 14th, 2013
10:17 AM ET

Rory McIlroy scores big with Nike deal

Northern Irish golf star Rory McIlroy has confirmed he's in a sponsorship deal with Nike, a pact that could net him between $200-250 million according to media reports.

Nike - who also have Tiger Woods on their books - confirmed their new "multi-year" arrangement with golf's rising superstar but refused to reveal any extra details.

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Filed under: Golf • Rory McIlroy
January 14th, 2013
07:35 AM ET

Monday's live events

President Obama will be sworn in for a second term in office on Monday, January 21.  Watch CNN.com Live for all your inauguration coverage.

Today's programming highlights...

11:00 am ET - Sandy Hook briefing - On the one-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, a non-profit group will reveal its plan to honor the victims.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Connecticut • Crime • On CNN.com today • Politics • U.S.
Ram 1500, Cadillac ATS picked as best of the year
January 14th, 2013
07:31 AM ET

Ram 1500, Cadillac ATS picked as best of the year

The Ram 1500 and the Cadillac ATS were just announced as best truck and car of the year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The Ram won for the 2013 Truck/Utility of the Year and the Cadillac ATS was chosen as the 2013 North American Car of the Year. The Ram 1500 had already won the Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors, one of the more prestigious car or truck awards.

Cool cars from the Detroit Auto Show

New Corvette Stingray unveiled

The car collector's ultimate garage

Royal baby due in July
WiIliam and Catherine leave the King Edward VII Hospital in central London on December 6.
January 14th, 2013
06:36 AM ET

Royal baby due in July

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are looking at July for the arrival of their first child, the palace announced Monday.

The baby will be third in line to the throne, after Prince Charles and Prince William.

Catherine was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital for three days in December for acute morning sickness. The hospitalization prompted an early announcement of her pregnancy.

The couple were married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, in London's biggest royal wedding in three decades.

Their baby would be the first grandchild of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Filed under: Prince William • United Kingdom