To Sam McNair, a 17-year-old high school senior in Duluth, Georgia, it was an innocent hug.
"You never know what someone's going through," McNair told CNN affiliate WGCL in Atlanta. "A hug might help."
It didn't in this case because after McNair hugged a teacher, he ended up with a year-long suspension from Duluth High School, putting his college plans in jeopardy.
"He's a senior; he plays football. He was getting ready for lacrosse season, and you are stripping him of the opportunity to even get a full scholarship for athletics for college," April McNair, Sam's mother, told WGCL.FULL STORY
It could have had a much different outcome. A family of six spent two days in the Nevada wilderness in sub-zero temperatures after their Jeep rolled off the side of a dirt road and into a crevice.
James Glanton and his girlfriend Christina McIntee huddled with their two children, and her nephew and niece, keeping everyone together and keeping everyone warm.
After they were found Tuesday, all six were in stable condition with "no frostbite, just some exposure issues," said Patty Bianchi, the CEO of Pershing General Hospital. Dr. Doug Vacek told reporters they all were doing "very well."
So how did this family manage to survive two days when others may not have been so lucky? Here are five things the family did right.FULL STORY
The Los Angeles Police Department is responding to a report that a Transportation Security Administration agent was shot at Los Angeles International Airport. A suspect is now in custody, according to a source, and the fire department reports that seven people were injured. Here are the latest details:
[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] TSA Administrator John S. Pistole issued a statement: "I am deeply saddened to inform you that a TSA employee was shot and killed today while on duty at Los Angeles International Airport. Other TSA employees also were injured in the shooting. ... Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been injured and their loved ones."
[Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET] The shooter is not a current or former TSA officer, a federal source and an intelligence source briefed by the LAPD say.
[Updated at 3:53 p.m. ET] The Transportation Security Administration seized 1,556 guns last year at airports around the country, almost double the 2007 total. Through September, the agency has seized 1,343 guns.
This week 29 firearms, 27 of them loaded, were discovered at TSA checkpoints, according to a TSA blog.
[Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET] Based on September traffic totals from LAX, it's estimated that about 177,000 passengers pass through the airport each day.
[Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET] Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has admitted three males from the LAX shooting. One is in critical condition and two are in fair condition, said medical director Lynne McCullough.
She said the wounds were from "gunshot and other injuries as well," she said.
[Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET] An intelligence officer briefed by Los Angeles police tells CNN that the suspect in the LAX shooting was shot multiple times in the chest, "center mass."
[Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET] Nick Pugh told CNN affiliate KTLA he was momentarily handcuffed by police during the chaos following the LAX shooting.
Pugh was standing near the Virgin America Airlines check-in counter when he heard the gunshots.
“Somebody started shooting and everyone dropped to the ground and started crawling,” Pugh told KTLA.
“It was definitely chaos… It was crazy,” Pugh said. “I just saw an emergency exit and ran.”
Police initially handcuffed Pugh, thinking he might be the gunman, he said, but they let him go quickly.
[Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET] Almost every flight out of Los Angeles International Airport will be "significantly late," according to Gina Marie Lindsay, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports.
The airport is still accepting incoming flights, but doing so at less than half the normal rate, she said.
[Updated at 3:06 p.m. ET] "This individual was shooting as he went into the terminal," and police in the airport "didn't hesitate" to confront the suspect, said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon. He called officers' actions "heroic."
He further said that officers three weeks ago "practiced the exact scenario that played out today" during a training exercise.
[Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET] There were seven people injured, six of whom were transported to area hospitals, said acting Los Angeles Fire Chief James Featherstone.
[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says he will not discuss the nature of the injuries or the identification of the suspect. The FBI is handling the investigation, he said.
[Updated at 2:57 p.m. ET] Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said there are "multiple" victims in addition to the suspect.
[Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET] Airport police tracked the suspect through the airport and "engaged him in gunfire in Terminal 3" before taking him into custody, Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said, adding there was only one shooter.
[Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET] The gunman had multiple clips for his assault rifle, according to a former LAPD officer, who said one TSA agent was fatally shot and another agent was shot in the leg.
Police are looking for the shooter's car in the parking lot, the former officer said.
[Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET] CNN now has two sources - an intelligence source briefed by Los Angeles police and a federal source - both of whom confirm the TSA agent was killed
[Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET] A federal source briefed by the LAPD confirmed that a TSA officer was killed in the shooting at LAX. The source cautioned that information from the scene is still preliminary.
[Updated at 2:33 p.m. ET] A local hospital released the following statement: "Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center received three male victims from the LAX Airport shootings. One arrived in critical condition and two are listed in fair condition."
We currently have enough blood for the situation at hand. The hospital would appreciate it if members of the community would like to call in early next week to replenish the supply."
[Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET] A former LAPD ranking officer provided further details of the shooting, saying the gunman approached the security checkpoint, pulled out a concealed assault rifle and shot a TSA agent before walking through the checkpoint.
It was then a police officer opened fire, wounding the gunman, the source says.
[Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET] A witness describes the popping noises and screams he heard during the incident.
[Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET] American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued a statement saying the union was "sickened" by news of the shooting.
"Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and Transportation Security Officers killed or injured in this heinous act. Thank you to all of our brave TSOs who put their lives on the line every day to keep the flying public safe," he said.
CNN has not yet verified the condition of the TSA agent.
[Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET] "There was a guy downstairs who started shooting. One guy fell down. Panic erupted,” a witness who gave his name as Alex told CNN affiliate KTLA.
The shooter appeared to have a rifle, Alex said.
[Updated at 2:01 p.m. ET] Two people were shot - one of them a TSA agent , the other the gunman, and both have been transported to local hospitals, according to a law enforcement source.
Ten shots were fired, the source said. There were roughly 100 witnesses, all of whom are being interviewed.
[Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles International Airport has confirmed, on its Twitter account, that a suspect is in custody.
The airport's post also said there are "multiple victims." Earlier, a law enforcement source close to the investigation told CNN that a suspect was shot and is in police custody.
[Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport and will continue to be updated, but the White House had no further information at this time on what happened, spokesman Jay Carney said.
[Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET] Eyewitness Chuck Ocheret says he was at Terminal 3’s gate 30 near a food court. He thinks the gate is close to the checkpoint where the shooting happened.
“I was actually at Gate 30, just walking towards the food court. … I heard a couple of popping noises. I (turned) to look. ... There was a stampede of people coming my way and I realized something was … wrong.”
“People were screaming, ‘Run into the bathroom, get behind something,’ ” he said.
He picked up his carry-on bags, ran down a corridor, came upon the point-of-no return spot (where if you leave, you can’t get back without going through security again). The guard there didn’t appear to immediately know what was going on because he was telling people they couldn't return if they left.
Police then came and told everybody to get down on the floor. They then told everyone to go outside, and police eventually escorted them to the international terminal.
[Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET] The number of people injured is still unclear.
[Updated at 1:48 p.m ET] Kari Watson Told CNN affiliate KABC she was at LAX Terminal 3 with her 3-year-old daughter moments before gunshots rang out.
"All of a sudden we heard people screaming, 'Go, go, go!' and I heard a couple of pops that sounded like gunfire," she said. "People were just running, so we left everything on the ground and we took off."
[Updated at 1:46 p.m. ET] Witness Alex Neumann was at a food court, waiting to travel to Miami, when the incident unfolded. He said Terminal 2 was put into lockdown.
"People were running and people getting knocked down. There was luggage everywhere," Neumann told CNN. "Mayhem is the best I can describe it."
Several police officers moved about the airport with guns drawn, he said.
[Updated at 1:43 p.m. ET] A witness describes the scene after the shooting.
[Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET] A suspect has been shot and is in police custody after a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, a law enforcement source close to the investigation tells CNN.
[Updated at 1:39 p.m. ET] There is a local media report that a large box of ammunition was found at the scene.
[Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET] "The City of Los Angeles is on Tactical Alert due to a major incident occurring at LAX," police tweeted.
[Updated at 1:34 p.m. ET] A former Los Angeles Police Department ranking officer tells CNN a shooter approached the checkpoint and shot a Transportation Security Administration agent.
Multiple shots from a rifle were fired in quick succession, and it's not clear whether the shooter breached the security checkpoint, the source said.
[Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET] "All upper/departures level roadways are temporarily blocked by law enforcement. General public are being held back at law enforcement block," LAX tweeted.
It later sent another tweet: "Other than arriving flights, flight operations have been temporarily held."
[Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET] Firefighters were laying down tarps on the street at the airport, which appear to be triage tarps. Several ambulances are at the airport, and at least one person was loaded into an ambulance.
The area around the airport was jammed with cars as police shut down access to the airport.
[Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET] A "ground stop" has been issued for planes scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.
A ground stop means flights destined for the airport are held at their departure point, according to the FAA.
[Updated at 1:18 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles Fire Department says it is assisting with a "multi-patient incident" at the airport.
[Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET] "After the initial burst of gunfire and hiding, people started jumping over one another, jumping off chairs, pushing each other. Chaos & fear," tweeted Bill Reiter of Fox Sports.
[Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET] Passenger Robert Perez, who was getting ready to fly Virgin Air, was taking a nap in the terminal when panic erupted, he told CNN affiliate KCAL/CBS.
"I heard a popping sound, and everybody was diving for cover," Perez told the station. "The TSA said there was a shooting in the terminal and evacuate the building."
At least 100 people came down a staircase. "Everybody started to panic," Perez said.
The passengers were directed to board a bus and were taken to a smaller terminal, he told the affiliate.
[Posted at 1:06 p.m. ET] Police are responding to an incident at Los Angeles International Airport that began at 12:30 p.m. ET at Terminal 3, the airport said on Twitter.
Police earlier said evacuations are under way at the airport after reports of shots fired there.
State and federal police fanned out across Florida on Friday in search of two murderers who walked out of prison after documents bearing forged signatures resulted in their release, authorities said.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Corrections said it was merely following a court order and no one in the department is at fault for the men's release.
"It's our responsibility to carry out the order of the court. It's not our job to question what the court does," said department spokeswoman Misty Cash. "We were given the info from the court that their sentence was modified, and we did our role."FULL STORY
One of the most dangerous asteroids on record zipped close by Earth last month.
It made headlines on Thursday, when reports said that there's a chance it could strike our planet in less than 20 years. Such a collision could unleash a force as powerful as a couple of thousand atomic bombs.
But NASA was quick to calm nerves and point out some very good news. The most dangerous known asteroids don't really pose much of a threat. And there are very few of them.FULL STORY
Former U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley died at his home in Washington, D.C., his wife Heather confirmed Friday.
Foley, 84, was a Democrat who represented Washington state in the House for 30 years and served as speaker from 1989 to January 1995.
After his tenure on Capitol Hill, he was appointed U.S. ambassador to Japan by President Bill Clinton. He served from 1997 to 2001.FULL STORY
Attorneys for the family of a 17-year-old student found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at a southern Georgia high school called on authorities Thursday to release surveillance video that they say could show what happened.
Kendrick Johnson, they allege, was slain in January – counter to authorities' conclusions that the three-sport athlete suffocated in the mat while reaching for a sneaker.
"There is one eyewitness that we know is available – it is the video recordings made from surveillance cameras there in the gymnasium where the body was found," attorney Chevene B. King Jr. told reporters in Valdosta, Georgia.FULL STORY
Rebels kidnapped Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan at dawn Thursday and took him to an undisclosed location, his spokeswoman told CNN.
Armed rebels escorted the prime minister from the Corinthian Hotel in Tripoli into a convoy of waiting cars, said a hotel clerk who was not authorized to speak to the media.FULL STORY
Oracle Team USA successfully defended the America's Cup yachting race Wednesday, completing a seemingly improbable comeback in the series of contests against Emirates Team New Zealand by winning the deciding 19th race.
Oracle Team USA, which once trailed 8-1 in yachting's most prestigious competition, tied the series 8-8 Tuesday in San Francisco Bay to set up likely the most exciting finish in the 162-year history of the event.
On Wednesday, the U.S.-based team won by 44 seconds to claim the title.
Two victories for Oracle Team USA, bankrolled by billionaire Larry Ellison, were scratched off because it was deemed to have illegally tinkered with its boat prior to the finale.
Tehran, Iran (CNN) - Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights advocate, was among several prisoners released Wednesday from a Tehran prison where she had been jailed since 2010.
"I'm glad, but I'm worried for my friends in prison," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in a telephone interview soon after her release, citing other political and human rights activists who remain in prison.
Sotoudeh said authorities at the notorious Evin Prison initially told her she would be allowed out on a short break. They then put her into a car.
It was only after she had been driven out of the gates that one of the prison heads told her, "No, you are free forever, and that's why we're taking you home," she said.
Colorado residents kept a wary eye on the sky as more rain is forecast for Sunday, and with it more fears of gushing rivers and cascading mudslides.
Boulder County officials said up to 4 inches of rain could fall by afternoon, an amount Sheriff Joe Pelle described as "devastating."
Authorities are worried that any additional water on a ground already soaked by up to 15 inches of rain will cause more flooding, and dislodge mud and debris.FULL STORY
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits down with his Russian counterpart Friday for a second day of talks about a possible diplomatic solution on Syria, he faces a proverbial standoff with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Imagine two men facing one another holding guns. One says: You drop yours first, then I'll drop mine. The second answers: No, you drop yours first.
Al-Assad demanded on Thursday that the United States call off any potential strike on Syrian government forces before he gives up his large chemical weapons arsenal.
But Kerry made it clear that the threat of a U.S. military strike remains on the table, if Syria does not hand over its stockpiles.
Washington (CNN) - Russia's proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to international control was a "potentially positive development," but could be a stall tactic, President Barack Obama told CNN on Monday.
"We're going to run this to ground," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, adding that the United States will work with Syrian ally Russia and the international community "to see if we can arrive at something that is enforceable and serious."
An al Qaeda-linked rebel group has wrested control of the historic Christian town of Maaloula from regime forces, opposition groups said Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the hardline Islamist rebels of the al-Nusra Front seized control Saturday night.
Videos posted on YouTube in recent days showed fighting between rebels and government forces in the tiny sleepy town, an hour's drive from the capital Damascus.
Who's the daddy? Is it a boy or girl?
The National Zoo in Washington will answer those questions Thursday morning when it announces the gender and paternity of a giant panda cub that was born last month.
"Stay tuned! We're going to announce the sex and paternity of the panda cub tomorrow around 9 a.m.! #cubwatch," the zoo tweeted Wednesday.
The news was greeted by joyous tweets from fans of Washington's celebrity panda, Mei Xiang.
Beleaguered New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got into a war of words Wednesday with a man who lashed out at him for being "married to an Arab," in addition to chastising the former congressman about his well-documented sexting scandal.
The comment is an apparent reference to Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, whose parents are from India and Pakistan.
After the man described Weiner "disgusting," the former congressman shot back by calling him a "jackass."
A U.S. special envoy is expected to fly to North Korea on Friday to try to secure the release of Kenneth Bae, an American citizen imprisoned there for carrying out "serious crimes" against Kim Jong Un's regime.
North Korean authorities detained Bae, widely reported to be a Christian missionary, last year and sentenced him to 15 years of hard labor earlier this year. They said he had planned an operation to bring down the government through religious activities.
Bae's family has said he was the owner of a tour company who was in North Korea for work.FULL STORY
Before he went missing, Jonathan Croom had developed an obsession with the movie "Into the Wild," in which a young man leaves society to go live off the land.
The movie's main character dies. So did Croom. The 18-year-old's body turned up in rural Oregon Monday, authorities say.
It was a 1,000 feet away from his abandoned car, which officers found last week.
Bradley Manning, the Army private whose disclosure of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents gave American officials a global case of heartburn, was sentenced to more than three decades in prison Wednesday.
A military judge sentenced Manning to 35 years – less than the 60 years prosecutors sought, as well as the 90 years he could have received – minus credit for the about three and a half years he's already been behind bars.
He showed little to no reaction when the judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, sentenced him at Fort Meade, outside Washington. But in a statement read by his attorney afterward, he said he acted "out of a love for my country and a sense of duty," to expose what he said were abuses committed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.FULL STORY