On the Radar: New CIA chief, alleged hate crime, UK hacking
New CIA chief David Petraeus was the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan and Iraq.
September 6th, 2011
05:54 AM ET

On the Radar: New CIA chief, alleged hate crime, UK hacking

Three things you need to know today.

Petraeus at CIA: Retired U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, who served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, assumes his new role Tuesday: director of the CIA.

Petraeus succeeds Leon Panetta, who is now the U.S. secretary of defense.

At a ceremony marking his retirement from the military last week, Petraeus said his journey with the military was not coming to an end, even though he and his wife were "about to begin an exciting new journey with another extraordinary organization."

President Barack Obama has cited Petraeus' experience in working with the CIA on counterinsurgency efforts in the field as a reason for his nomination as the agency's director.

Alleged hate crime: The family of James Craig Anderson, a man who was beaten and then run over in a Jackson, Mississippi, motel parking lot, will hold a news conference Tuesday morning.

The family's announcement will come the same day that a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for one of the teens accused in Anderson's death.

Prosecutors have said the killing of Anderson, who was a black man, was racially motivated.

The killing - which sparked national attention after CNN obtained and aired exclusive surveillance video that shows the attack as it took place - is also being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.

Anderson, 49, was first beaten by the group of teens as he stood in a motel parking lot early on the morning of June 26, according to some of the teens who were interviewed by police.

After the beating, a group of teens drove a large Ford pickup truck over Anderson, according to witnesses and officials. Anderson died from his injuries later the same day.

UK phone hacking: British lawmakers will grill former newspaper executives Tuesday as they try to determine whether top News Corp. executive James Murdoch misled them about the scale of illegal eavesdropping at News of the World.

Murdoch, the son of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, has repeatedly told lawmakers that an investigation showed no evidence of widespread phone hacking at News of the World.

But the former editor of the paper has disputed James Murdoch's account, and will testify before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Colin Myler will be joined by Tom Crone, a former top lawyer for the paper.

Former top human resources officer Daniel Cloke and ex-legal affairs director Jonathan Chapman are also due to testify.

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Filed under: CIA • Crime • Hate crime • Justice • Military • On the Radar • Politics • Rupert Murdoch
On the Radar: Texas fire, Clemens' trial, Casey Anthony
Firefighters say they've achieve 50% containment on a blaze that has burned 6,200 acres.
September 2nd, 2011
05:47 AM ET

On the Radar: Texas fire, Clemens' trial, Casey Anthony

Three things you need to know today.

Texas fire: Authorities were working on plans Friday to return home residents forced to flee a wildfire in northern Texas, a day after firefighters made progress battling the blaze that destroyed dozens of homes.

The blaze in Palo Pinto County scorched 6,200 acres by Thursday, according to the Texas Forest Service. The fire is burning near the resort of Possum Kingdom Lake, near the town of Brad, about 100 miles west of Dallas.

"We feel much better about this fire today" as the blaze is now 50% contained, said John Nichols, a spokesman for the Forest Service.

He said evacuations were lifted for some residents forced to evacuate the fire, which was driven by high temperatures and dry winds.

Clemens' trial: A judge will hold a hearing Friday to consider whether former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens should be retried for allegedly lying to Congress.

The case against Clemens - who is accused of one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury - was declared a mistrial in July after evidence previously ruled inadmissable was shown in court.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton will consider how to resolve the case at Friday's hearing in Washington.

Casey Anthony: Casey Anthony's attorneys will be in court Friday fighting a motion by prosecutors to have her  reimburse the costs of  the investigation of her daughter's disappearance  and death.

Court documents filed by the state attorney's office and law  enforcement agencies indicate those costs are more than $350,000.

It is unclear whether Anthony will be at the hearing Friday in front of Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

Anthony has been in seclusion since  her July acquittal on murder charges in the 2008 death of her  2-year-old daughter and her subsequent release from jail.

But  in the same case, a Florida jury convicted her on four misdemeanor  counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.

Prosecutors have cited a Florida law that allows the state to fine defendants in criminal cases to recoup money spent.

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Filed under: Baseball • Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Fire • Justice • Natural Disasters • On the Radar • Roger Clemens • Sports • Texas
On the Radar: Pacific surf, Oklahoma fires, Libya money
High surf and dangerous riptides are forecasts at Southern California beaches into the weekend.
September 1st, 2011
06:20 AM ET

On the Radar: Pacific surf, Oklahoma fires, Libya money

Three things you need to know today.

Pacific surf: While the National Hurricane Center watches Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic and a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, forecasters on the West Coast are warning of high waves and dangerous riptides on southwest facing beaches.

Waves of up to 11 feet could pound Southern California beaches from San Luis Obispo south to San Diego, the National Weather Service said.

"The surf may cause hazards for anyone entering the water," the weather service's forecast said.

The high waves are the result of a winter storm off the coast of New Zealand whose rough seas are now being felt across the Pacific.

Big waves have been pounding Hawaii since Tuesday, CNN affiliate KHNL reports, and forecasters say 8-to-12-foot waves can be expected in the islands today.

Oklahoma fires: One of two wildfires burning in Oklahoma City on Wednesday pushed north toward suburban Edmond, illuminating the windy night sky with spirals of flame and flying embers.

The fire broke out Tuesday in the less densely populated northeast Oklahoma City and was moving in a northerly direction toward more largely residential, Edmond Fire Chief Tim Wheeler said.

"The winds have shifted a bit," Wheeler said. "It's current path it's going to travel through a heavily wooded area, which will allow the fire to grow in intensity."

He said it is hoped the fire can be stopped before it crosses Interstate 44 to the southeast of Edmond, but the department had already initiated its Code Red system, which autodials residents' telephone numbers encouraging them to evacuate.

Money for Libya: The British government has started delivering money that it unfroze to a bank in Libya, the foreign secretary said in a statement Wednesday.

The Royal Air Force delivered 280 million dinars (about 140 million pounds) to the Central Bank of Libya in Benghazi, the statement said.

The money is among billions of dollars ordered frozen by the United Nations when the crisis began.

The money "will be used to pay the wages of Libyan public sector employees, including nurses, doctors, teachers and police officers," the statement said. It also will be used to pay for medicines and food.

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Filed under: California • Fire • Hawaii • Libya • Natural Disasters • Oklahoma • On the Radar • Weather
On the Radar: Irene, hunt for Gadhafi, economy, funeral for troops, Mexico attack
A man buys a generator Thursday in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in advance of Hurricane Irene.
August 26th, 2011
07:54 AM ET

On the Radar: Irene, hunt for Gadhafi, economy, funeral for troops, Mexico attack

Hurricane Irene: – All eyes on the East Coast are on Hurricane Irene as warnings and watches have been issued all along the Atlantic seaboard. The storm is expected to make landfall Saturday in North Carolina and later could bring severe flooding to New York City.

Libya: – Fighting continues Friday around Tripoli's airport and in pockets of the Libyan capital as rebels try to hunt down deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi. More of Libya's frozen assets need to be released to guarantee a successful transition, Mahmoud Jibril, chairman of the rebels' National Transitional Council, said Friday in Istanbul.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hurricanes • Mexico • On the Radar • Weather
On the Radar: Hurricane Irene, the hunt for Gadhafi, Apple's future, unemployment
A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Irene in the Caribbean Sea.
August 25th, 2011
07:28 AM ET

On the Radar: Hurricane Irene, the hunt for Gadhafi, Apple's future, unemployment

Irene

Officials in a stretch of coastal North Carolina ordered all visitors to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irene, which damaged homes in the Bahamas on Wednesday as it churned toward the U.S. East Coast. Irene, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, could jump to Category 4 strength on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said. Federal emergency management officials had a simple message for those in or near the path: Be prepared.

Libya

The future of Libya remained in question Thursday even as rebels moved to solidify their hold on power, while fighters battled forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and the hunt intensified for the embattled leader. Elsewhere, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was to meet in Milan with the interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril of the National Transitional Council, and the Libya Contact Group was to meet in Istanbul.

Steve Jobs

The tech world is reeling from Wednesday evening's news that iconic innovator Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple Inc.

What has Jobs meant for Apple, for technology and for the economy? And who is Tim Cook, the executive who is taking over for him?

Employment

The Labor Department's weekly jobless claims figures will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Investors are looking for unemployment claims to fall by 8,000, to 400,000 claims. President Obama is honing his jobs plan while vacationing on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

African famine

The African Union holds a summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to pledge help for the victims of the drought in the Horn of Africa. According to the United Nations, some 640,000 children are threatened with acute malnutrition. The U.N. is seeking private and government donors.

On the Radar: Labor Day travel, hurricane forecast, BART protest
About 27.3 millions are expected to make trips by car during the Labor Day weekend, AAA forecasts.
August 24th, 2011
05:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Labor Day travel, hurricane forecast, BART protest

Three things you need to know today.

Labor Day travel: The lousy economy has put a damper on travel plans for this Labor Day weekend, according to a report from motorist group AAA.

A total of 31.5 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles away from home between September 1 and September 5, the group says. That's down 2.4% from last year, when 32.3 million Americans traveled for Labor Day.

The gloomy outlook for the economy is weighing on consumer confidence according to the report, which was produced in cooperation with IHS Global Insight. In particular, it says consumers' discretionary income has not risen enough to keep up with rising travel costs.

Despite the anticipated decline in overall travel, the number of Americans traveling by car over Labor Day weekend is expected to edge up 0.5% to 27.3 million.

Read the full report from CNNMoney.

Hurricane forecast: Hurricane Irene is forecast to become a powerful Category 3 hurricane with winds of more than 110 mph by Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.  The storm could threaten large sections of the Eastern Seaboard, from the Carolinas northward.

Bill Read, director of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, said the Atlantic Ocean up to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina is warm enough to sustain a major hurricane.

The hurricane center's five-day forecast map shows the storm approaching North Carolina on Saturday and hugging the coast throughout the weekend.

BART cell phones: Officials with San Francisco's transit system have scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to discuss the agency's decision earlier this month to cut off cell phone signals at select stations to ward off protests.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit's board of directors will discuss whether its officers should continue to use the controversial move that has riled up free speech activists.

On August 11, demonstrators had planned a rally to bring attention to a number of transit police officer shootings, including the death of 45-year-old Charles Hill. Hill was shot July 3 after a confrontation with officers.

The transit agency said protests during rush hour endangered the safety of commuters and employees.

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Filed under: Civil Rights • Crime • Economy • Hurricanes • On the Radar • Travel • Tropical weather • Weather
On the Radar: MLK memorial, battle for Libya, Hurricane Irene
A live camera feed from the MLKMemorial.org site shows the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr.
August 22nd, 2011
06:45 AM ET

On the Radar: MLK memorial, battle for Libya, Hurricane Irene

Three things you need to know today.

MLK Memorial - Members of the media will get a first hand look at the new MLK memorial during a special  preview Monday between 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

"The composition of the memorial utilizes landscape elements to powerfully convey four fundamental and recurring themes throughout Dr. King's message: justice, democracy, hope and love," according to the memorial's site. "The semicircular geometry of the memorial, juxtaposed within the triangular configuration of the site, engages the Tidal Basin and frames views to the water."

The memorial will be near the Roosevelt Memorial and give viewers a direct line of sight to the Lincoln Memorial.

"The approved site creates a visual "line of leadership" from the Lincoln Memorial, which honors the President who protected the United States from internal strife, and where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech; to the Jefferson Memorial, which honors the President who helped create the United States as the author of the Declaration of Independence," the site says.

FULL POST

On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates
Mounted police patrol in Kansas City, Missouri.
August 19th, 2011
06:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates

Three things you need to know today.

Kansas City curfew: Kansas City, Missouri, is imposing a 9 p.m. curfew for those age 17 and younger in five areas of the city after violence last weekend in which three teens were wounded by gunfire in the city's Country Club Plaza entertainment district.

Last Saturday's gunfire occurred just yards from the city's mayor, Sly James, who was making an appearance in the Plaza district to address problems of large groups of teens gathering in some of the city's entertainment and shopping areas, CNN affiliate KCTV reported.

The new curfew, which the City Council passed Thursday night and the mayor is expected to sign Friday, will cover the city's downtown, Westport, Zona Rosa and 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District as well as Country Club Plaza, according to local media reports. It will be in effect through the last Sunday in September and will begin again the Friday before Memorial Day.

Violators face fines of up to $500 and court costs, KCTV reported.

Kansas City is the second major city this month to impose earlier curfews in popular entertainment districts. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began earlier curfews last weekend in reaction to violence from mobs of teens.

Norway massacre: The families of the victims of a mass shooting rampage on a Norwegian island are due to visit the scene Friday, a month after two attacks plunged the Scandinavian nation into mourning.

Sixty-nine people died July 22 on Utoya island, where hundreds of mostly young people were gathered for a summer camp held by the youth wing of the governing Labour Party.  Eight others died in the bombing of Oslo government buildings hours earlier.

Anders Breivik, the man accused of carrying out both attacks, is expected to appear in court in Oslo on Friday.

Police or prosecutors are expected to speak to reporters after his appearance, which will not be open to the public or media.

Mortgage rates: The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan dipped to 4.15% this week, the lowest level recorded in 50 years, CNNMoney reports.

The average rate beat the previous low of 4.17%, set last November, according to mortgage backer Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed rate loan was 3.36%, according to the report.

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Filed under: Crime • Curfews • Economy • Missouri • Norway • On the Radar
On the Radar: Little League World Series, Syria violence, 9/11 remembrance
Members of Japan's team celebrate their 2010 World Series victory, which snapped a five-year winning streak by U.S. teams.
August 18th, 2011
08:19 AM ET

On the Radar: Little League World Series, Syria violence, 9/11 remembrance

Little League World Series: Watch out Major League Baseball, you've got a little competition. That's right. Thursday marks the official beginning of the Little League World Series, where the best of the best young players show off their skills in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The 65th World Series will be played out on the diamond through August 28. It offers a chance to see some young talent who may end up playing on your favorite college or professional baseball team one day. And this year, for the first time, several new squads will be making their first start in Williamsport. Among them a team from Montana, a state that has never been represented in the series.

"Just to think, in 65 years," 12-year-old Andy Maehl told the Billings Gazette, "we're the only team from Montana to do that."

But perhaps most eyes may be trained on a team with a hometown advantage. For the first time in decades, a local team one from Keystone, Pennsylvania is competing in the World Series.

"Being 25 minutes away, the turnout should be amazing,” Keystone manager Bill Garbrick told the Centre Daily Times. “It will be exciting for us. These guys have been through some tough games, some real close ones, and they just showed the same kind of heart that they showed the last two days. And that’s what got us here.”

FULL POST

August 17th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Reopening of Joplin schools, Syria violence, Yosemite deaths

Back to school in Joplin Wednesday is the start of the school year for students in Joplin, Missouri, a bittersweet time for a town still rebuilding from a May tornado that killed more than 150 people.

For Joplin's 2,200 high school students, reopening the schools means separating grades that usually study in the same building. Ninth- and 10th-graders will go to an existing middle school, while upperclassmen will attend classes at a mall.

Officials say the mall was the only place big enough to house the students. The school district spent $5.5 million to convert a 95,000-square-foot retail facility.

"Every time I drive by it, it's still really sad," said senior Lydia McAllister, looking at the ruins of Joplin High School, one of 10 school buildings damaged or destroyed by the storm.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • On the Radar • Syria
On the Radar: Obama in Iowa, violence in Syria, sweat lodge guru's lawyers in court
President Barack Obama brings a town-hall style meeting to Decorah, Iowa, on Monday as part of his Midwest tour.
August 16th, 2011
07:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Obama in Iowa, violence in Syria, sweat lodge guru's lawyers in court

President's Midwest tour On his bus tour's second day in the nation's heartland, President Barack Obama is set to meet with farmers and business owners in Peosta, Iowa, an enclave of about 1,700 people in Dubuque County with a large industrial park and a handful of new businesses. The White House has billed the Midwestern tour as an opportunity for the president to talk about job growth and the effects of national economic policy with people in their own communities. Obama also is scheduled to sit down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer for a one-on-one interview Tuesday.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iowa • On the Radar • Politics • Syria
On the Radar: Obama bus tour, Aruba missing case, market turmoil
President Barack Obama discusses jobs in an event in Holland, Michigan, last week.
August 15th, 2011
06:12 AM ET

On the Radar: Obama bus tour, Aruba missing case, market turmoil

Three things you need to know today.

Obama on tour: President Barack Obama is expected to talk about strategies for creating jobs and improving the economy during a three-day bus tour through part of the Midwest beginning Monday.

"Many Americans are hurting badly right now.  Many have been unemployed for too long.  Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority," the president said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.

Obama is scheduled to take a 360-mile trip through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, meeting groups of small-business owners and other people at rural events. On Monday, he'll have town hall events in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, and Decorah, Iowa. (CNN's Wolf Blitzer takes you along for the ride on Obama's bus tour. Join Wolf for a one-on-one interview with the president, Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET on "The Situation Room.")

On Thursday, the president and his family will head to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts – his summer vacation site of choice for the third straight year.

Missing in Aruba: A U.S. man being held in Aruba in connection with the case of a missing American woman will appear in court Monday, a judicial official said.

An investigating magistrate could order Gary Giordano, 50, held for at least eight more days, order him to remain on the island or release him due to a lack of evidence, according to Aruban Solicitor General Taco Stein.

Giordano was arrested by Aruban police on August 5, three days after Robyn Gardner, 35, was last seen near Baby Beach on the western tip of the Caribbean island.

Financial markets: This week could be just as bumpy as last week's wild ride, as Wall Street continues to deal with the fallout of S&P's downgrade, the problems in Europe and the fate of the U.S. economy, CNNMoney reports.

On Monday, investors will get the Empire Statement manufacturing index at 8:30 a.m. ET. The manufacturing survey fell into negative territory in July, which means manufacturing activity contracted during the period. Investors will be looking to see if that trend continues for a second month.

Retailers reporting their results Monday include Urban Outfitters and home improvement chain Lowe's. Analysts expect that Lowe's earned 66 cents a share and Urban Outfitters earned 32 cents a share.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Business • Crime • Economy • Jobs • On the Radar • Politics
On the Radar: Meteor shower, flash-mob curfew, custody death
The Perseid meteor shower in 2008.
August 12th, 2011
06:18 AM ET

On the Radar: Meteor shower, flash-mob curfew, custody death

Three things you need to know today.

Meteor shower: The Perseid meteor shower will peak for the year overnight, and NASA wants the viewing to be a shared online experience.

The space agency is hosting a live web chat beginning at 11 p.m. ET and lasting until 5 a.m. ET Saturday. Astronomers Bill Cooke, Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw from the Marshall Space Flight Center will lead the chat.

While you're chatting, a camera on the Marshall Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will stream pictures of the night sky in search of meteors. NASA says because of a full moon, about 20 to 30 meteors an hour will be visible. Best viewing will be in the northern hemisphere.

The Perseids come from dust and debris left behind the Swift-Tuttle comet. Every August, Earth passes through the comet's debris cloud, and the meteors visible are bits of that debris burning up in the atmosphere.

Flash mobs: Youths in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, face earlier curfews Friday and Saturday nights in response to recent flash-mob violence in the city.

Minors under the age of 18 must not be on streets in Philadelphia's City Center and University City districts after 9 p.m. In other areas of the city, the curfew remains 10 p.m. for those under 13 and midnight for those under 18.

Violators will be taken home or to police stations and face fines of $100 to $300, Philadelphia police say. Parents of violators will receive a warning for a first offense and could be fined up to $500 for a subsequent offense.

A "flash mob"  is a group of people who decide to gather at a given place after organizing via e-mail and social media. The city blames the flash mobs for several assaults by teens on residents in recent weeks. The beatings have left people badly injured.

Police custody death: In a growing controversy over the death of a homeless man during an arrest, a city council in Southern California will meet Friday to decide whether to hire a consultant to review its police department.

Kelly Thomas died last month after what the prosecutor called "a violent and desperate struggle" with police officers in Fullerton.

The Orange County District Attorney and the FBI are investigating the incident, with the latter looking at civil rights violations.

The death of Thomas, a schizophrenic, has led to temporary changes at the local police department.

Police Chief Michael Sellers took a paid medical leave this week amid a call for his resignation from at least one council member.

Six Fullerton police officers allegedly involved in the "in-custody death" of Thomas have been placed on paid administrative leave, city officials said

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Filed under: California • Crime • NASA • On the Radar • Pennsylvania • Space
On the Radar: NFL football, PGA golf, Star Trek gathering
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady works out in training camp.
August 11th, 2011
06:06 AM ET

On the Radar: NFL football, PGA golf, Star Trek gathering

Three things you need to know today.

NFL preseason: Are you ready for some football? Earlier this summer, with the NFL owners and players in a labor dispute, there was worry we'd be waiting for college games to begin to answer that question.

But with the league's labor agreement July 25, training camps were able to begin and tonight we get the NFL's first preseason games. The Jaguars are at the Patriots; the Ravens visit the Eagles; the Seahawks travel to the Chargers in an ESPN game; the Broncos are at the Cowboys; and the Cardinals visit the Raiders.

Ten more teams will kick off their preseason schedule Friday.

Even as games begin, SI.com reports that because of the late labor deal, there's still a decent crop of free-agent players looking for a home.

PGA golf: The last of golf's four major tournaments for 2011, the PGA Championship, tees off in suburban Atlanta on Thursday, with the focus on two players, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, writes Golf magazine's Cameron Morfit.

"What will define this PGA is what defines every major, namely whether it will become a memorable step in one player's journey to world domination or a forgettable victory by a less-than-legendary golfer. That means this PGA Championship is all about Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods until further notice," Morfit writes.

Woods, of course, is trying to get back into winning form after dominating the sport for more than a decade until marital problems and injuries took him away from the course.
McIlroy dominated the last major on American soil, the U.S. Open, in June, winning by eight strokes, but he faltered in the most recent major, the Open Championship in Britain, coming in 25th there last month.
"Star Trek" Convention: Trekkies from distant worlds, in a sense, will converge on Las Vegas beginning Thursday for the official Star Trek Convention, in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the space-themed franchise.

Special guests will include William Shatner, called in convention literature “one of the world's pop culture treasures,” along with Leonard Nimoy and several actors from subsequent generations of the show and films.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Golf • Movies • On the Radar • Pro football • Showbiz • Sports • TV
On the Radar: SCRABBLE finals, News Corp. earnings, stadium beating
Play goes on during Day 4 of the National SCRABBLE Championship Tuesday in Dallas.
August 10th, 2011
06:12 AM ET

On the Radar: SCRABBLE finals, News Corp. earnings, stadium beating

Three things you need to know today.

SCRABBLE championship: America's SCRABBLE champion will be crowned in Texas on Wednesday afternoon.

Jesse Day, a Berkeley, California, graduate student, holds a slim lead over Nigel Richards, a former SCRABBLE national and world champion from Malaysia, and Kenji Matsumoto, from Aiea, Hawaii, as the competition heads into the final day of play.

Twenty-eight rounds have been completed and three will be played on Wednesday. The winner gets a $10,000 prize.

Nearly 350 players have been involved in the National SCRABBLE Championship at the Hotel InterContinental Dallas.

You can follow the play live online. Play begins at 10 a.m. ET and finishes around 3:30 p.m. ET.

News Corp.: News Corp. will release its fiscal year-end earnings report Wednesday, likely thrusting embattled chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch back into the spotlight after a brief respite.

A phone-hacking scandal that has brought a 168-year-old newspaper to its end and caused a parliamentary investigation in the United Kingdom will likely draw attention to a routine report that is usually only combed over by stockholders.

A key group of News Corp. investors is calling for the company to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. The group also wants the majority of the company's board of directors to be independent, according to the report.

Dodger Stadium beating: Two California men are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning in Los Angeles on charges relating to the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in March.

The victim, Bryan Stow, is still hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Marvin Norwood, 30, and Louie Sanchez, 29, both of Rialto, California, are each charged with mayhem, assault and battery, and all three charges are felonies, according to the complaint provided by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Sanchez is also charged with two misdemeanor counts - one for battery and the other for assault - against two other persons on the same day, according to the complaint.

Sanchez and Norwood, arrested at their San Bernardino County homes July 21, are being held on $500,000 bail each, the prosecutor's office said.

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Filed under: Business • Crime • Games • Media • On the Radar
On the Radar: Oil prices, heat eases, Jeffs' sentencing
Gas prices in Mill Valley, California, hovered around $4 a gallon in late July.
August 9th, 2011
06:27 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil prices, heat eases, Jeffs' sentencing

Three things you need to know today.

Gas prices: Will steep losses in the world's stock markets bring relief at the gas pump?

Oil prices have fallen more than 17% in the past month, finishing the day Monday at $83.10 a barrel, CNNMoney reports. That's down from almost $100 a barrel just two weeks ago. And at that time prices were expected to rise this year.

The government will issue its monthly price outlook Tuesday. Whether oil prices go up again may depend on whether market forecasters see a weakening of global economic demand after the stock market sell-offs.

Meanwhile, the national average gas price fell about a penny a gallon overnight to $3.65 a gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The average was $3.70 a week ago.

Heat warnings: The National Weather Service said Tuesday it has dropped excessive heat warnings for most of the U.S.

Eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Louisiana must endure excessive heat watches or warnings for at least another day, forecasters said, while heat advisories are in effect in parts of the Southern Plains and the Southeast.

Polygamist trial: Closing statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning in the penalty phase of Warren Jeffs' trial.

The polygamist sect leader was convicted last week on two counts of sexual assault on a child.

The prosecution and the defense will have 30 minutes to offer their statements Tuesday. Deliberations are expected to begin immediately thereafter.

On Monday, the two sides rested their cases, without the defense calling any witnesses.

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Filed under: Crime • Energy • Heat • Justice • On the Radar • Weather
On the Radar: Waves threaten chemical plant, excessive heat, LeBron biking
Waves from Tropical Storm Muifa cover the coastline in China's Shandong province on Monday.
August 8th, 2011
06:36 AM ET

On the Radar: Waves threaten chemical plant, excessive heat, LeBron biking

Three things you need to know today.

Waves threaten plant: Workers in China were repairing a dike damaged by huge waves from Tropical Storm Muifa in an effort to protect a petrochemical plant, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Waves as high as 65 feet (20 meters) broke through the dike in Dailan, Xinhua reported, citing military personnel working on the repair. Officials fear a toxic spill could occur if sea water reaches the plant.

The Fujia chemical plant produces paraxylene, a carcinogenic chemical used in making polyester film and fabrics, Xinhua reported.

Dangerous heat: Most of Oklahoma and parts of Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are under excessive heat warnings Monday as the heat indices in those areas could reach 110 degrees.

The National Weather Service warned against most outdoor activities, saying life-threatening situations could develop, especially if proper hydration isn't practiced.

Some areas may get limited relief from thunderstorms, forecasters said, but they also warned the dangerous heat may not break until midweek for other areas.

LeBron's bikeathon: Miami Heat star LeBron James is headed back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, on Monday, this time to lead a 2.6-mile bike ride through the city’s streets as part of his “Wheels for Education” initiative.

James and 20 high school students will pedal from the University of Akron to East High School where hundreds of students in the program will await them.

The bike ride will be the first event since the program underwent a name change from the King for Kids Bike-A-Thon. The initiative strives to improve the academic success of third-graders from single-parent households.

“We felt it was time to change the Bikeathon to something that could be more educational at the same time,” James told the Akron Beacon Journal. “We feel great about it.”

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Filed under: China • Heat • LeBron James • Ohio • On the Radar • Sports • Tropical weather • Weather • World
On the Radar: Jupiter mission, jobs for vets, Tiger's return
LEGO mini-statues of the mythological god Jupiter, left, his wife Juno, and the astronomer Galileo will be aboard the Mission Juno satellite.
August 5th, 2011
06:02 AM ET

On the Radar: Jupiter mission, jobs for vets, Tiger's return

Three things you need to know today.

Jupiter mission: NASA plans to launch its Mission Juno satellite on Friday to begin a five-year, 400-million-mile journey to Jupiter that the space agency hopes will help reveal how our solar system was formed.

Liftoff is scheduled for 11:34 a.m. ET.

Mission Juno will offer unprecedented insight into the formation of our solar system by investigating what lies underneath Jupiter's atmosphere, astronomers said at Kennedy Space Center. Jupiter is known for its violent storms and gaseous atmosphere.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Golf • Jupiter • Military • On the Radar • Politics • Space • Sports • Tiger Woods
On the Radar: Weather, food recall, Syria, New Orleans trial, famine in Somalia
The remains of a cow lie on parched farmland last week near Tulia, Texas, as drought and record heat threaten the state.
August 4th, 2011
08:32 AM ET

On the Radar: Weather, food recall, Syria, New Orleans trial, famine in Somalia

Extreme weather – The heat wave is taking a deadly toll across the nation, particularly on athletes, as two football players and a coach died during summer football practices this week. The heat wave, now in its second month, is responsible for record-setting electricity use in Texas and dozens of deaths across the U.S. heartland.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Emily is bringing heavy rains to Haiti on Thursday, heading directly over Port-au-Prince, where many quake victims live under precarious conditions. Nearly 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers are on emergency standby.

And Typhoon Kabayan, forecast to be a category 4 storm, could hit or pass Okinawa, Japan, late Thursday. The typhoon has boosted monsoon rains over the northern Philippines.

Turkey recall – Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. announced an immediate recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey meat because it may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Cargill's plant in Springdale, Arkansas, processed the fresh and frozen ground turkey products between February 20 and August 2, the company said. At least one person has died and 76 have been sickened in 26 states.

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Filed under: Golf • Haiti • Heat • Japan • On the Radar • Somalia • Texas • Tiger Woods • Tropical weather • U.S. • Weather
On the Radar: Extreme weather, debt deal fallout, Mubarak trial, Syria unrest
Tropical Storm Emily is moving toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the Caribbean Sea.
August 3rd, 2011
07:36 AM ET

On the Radar: Extreme weather, debt deal fallout, Mubarak trial, Syria unrest

Tropical Storm Emily – The government of the Bahamas issued a tropical storm watch in preparation for Emily, the storm that continues to churn toward the northeastern Caribbean, according to the National Hurricane Center. Emily is expected to strengthen slightly before moving over the Dominican Republic and Haiti by late Wednesday.

Post-deal market watch – Tuesday saw the Dow's biggest one-day loss in two months as double-dip recession fears run rampant. What will Wednesday bring? Also, CNN correspondents look at some of those who likely will get squeezed by the debt-ceiling deal: hospitals, airports, job-seekers and students.

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Filed under: Economy • Egypt • Oklahoma • On the Radar • Syria • Texas • Tropical weather
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