May 24th, 2010
07:40 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Bob Graham and William K. Reilly

President Obama wants to investigate how to prevent future oil spills. To figure that out, this weekend Obama named Graham, pictured, and Reilly to head a new bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Graham was Florida's governor for two terms, followed by 18 years as a U.S. senator. Since retiring from the Senate in January 2005, he has served on several federal panels, including as chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Reilly was EPA chief in President George H.W. Bush's administration from 1989-93 and is chairman emeritus of the board of the World Wildlife Fund.

CNN Political Ticker: Obama announces oil spill commission

Sarah Ferguson

A British tabloid posted a video on its website Sunday that appears to show the Duchess of York accepting money from an undercover reporter in exchange for access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, a UK trade envoy.

Ferguson was filmed on hidden camera telling the News of the World reporter - who was posing as a wealthy businessman - that a payment of 500,000 pounds ($723,000) "opens doors" to Andrew.

In a statement Sunday, Ferguson apologized for the incident.

"I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused," the statement said. "It is true that my financial situation is under stress, however, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened."

CNN: Video appears to show duchess selling access to Prince Andrew

Simon Monjack

The widower of actress Brittany Murphy was found dead at his California home five months after his wife died.

Monjack, 39, a British screenwriter, was found dead Sunday night in Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Murphy, 32, died in December from a combination of pneumonia, an iron deficiency and multiple drug intoxication, a coroner said.

Monjack wrote and produced the film "Factory Girl," starring Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. The 2006 movie told the story of the avant-garde and short life of socialite and Andy Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick.

CNN: Brittany Murphy's husband found dead

Andrew Cuomo

New York state's attorney general formally announced that he's running for the powerful position his father, Mario Cuomo, was elected to three times: New York governor.

New York's current governor, fellow Democrat David Paterson, said in March that he would not run this year for a full term.

Andrew Cuomo, 52, was secretary of housing and urban development in President Clinton's second term. He unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in New York in 2002, which was followed by a messy public divorce from his wife, Kerry Kennedy. Cuomo bounced back in 2006 to win the attorney general seat.

CNN Political Ticker: Cuomo officially jumps into N.Y. governor's race

CNN video: Cuomo eyes New York governor seat

Alexandra Rosenberg and Elizabeth Betterbed

For the first time, two women graduated with the two top highest honors in West Point's 208-year history.

According to the U.S. Army, 2nd Lt. Alexandra Rosenberg of New York earned the highest cumulative academic quality point average and was named the Class of 2010 valedictorian. Second Lt. Elizabeth Betterbed of Fox Island, Washington, graduated with the highest accumulative cadet performance score.

An Engineering Corps officer, Betterbed is also a Rhodes scholar recipient, a member of a team of mechanical engineers who helped develop a bionic foot, and a four-year letter winner and starter on the women's soccer team. This year was the 31st class to graduate women at West Point, and it included 136 female graduates.

U.S. Army: West Point class of 2010 celebrates landmark accomplishments

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Lisa - Boston, MA

    In 1975 I applied to the Air Force Academy for the entering class of 1976 (it was the first year woman would be admitted) on a dare. I went through the tests, interviews,medical exams. When I was appointed, and accepted, I realized I didn't have the passion it would take to finish the job, and decline the appointment. In 2010, I wouldn't even be a consideration in the appointment process. The women who have graduated this year are head and shoulders above what I was in 1976. Nice job ladies, good luck. We all admire you!

    May 24, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lisa - Boston, MA

    Okay.... I do have passion for these women ...... please excuse the typos!!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lisa - Boston, MA

    It should have read:

    In 1975 I applied to the Air Force Academy for the entering class of 1976 (it was the first year women would be admitted) on a dare. I went through the tests, interviews, medical exams. When I was appointed, and accepted, I realized I didn't have the passion it would take to finish the job, and declined the appointment. In 2010, I wouldn't even be a consideration in the appointment process. The women who have graduated this year are head and shoulders above what I was in 1976. Nice job ladies, good luck. We all admire you!

    May 24, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. bama

    Great job ladies. You have done well, be proud of yourselves.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    So, women are taking over everything....even the military academies.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Women are more than half the population, Rick. They're not "taking over" anything; they're merely taking up the rightful places that have long been denied them.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bub

      Yes because men have done such a great job running things throughout history.

      May 24, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Taking over? Hardly.........we should be happy that two people this bright, regardless of gender, are lending their talents to the military............

      May 24, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Hey Rick, shouldn't you be posting on faux


      May 24, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Rick, I guess its sort of true – and its probably not long before men beat women down and keep their foot on their neck (again), because I suspect you, like many other men, are starting to see the truth – women are smart, capable and perhaps, even possibly so, better leaders than men. What would the world be like if men didnt run everything? Hard to know, because they arent emotionally mature enough to keep their feet off our necks to give us the chance...and frankly, I can now understand why. Its embarrassing isnt it, realizing the only reason men were "better" was simply because they kept women locked up? Its kind of like sports – white people were always best, because they didnt let anyone else play...once you open it up to everyone, the poor white man sucks – again. So, you can see why white men, in particular, have "little man syndrome" and do a lot of damage because of that.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Moore

      It is about time women were recognized as being the intellectual equal or better of men and that they can function just as well as a man in most areas of life and careers. These women were smarter and more determined than their male counterparts and deserve the recognition and rewards they, through their diligence and efforts achieved.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Debra

    Outstanding. And to think that there was a time not long ago when these fine young women would not have even been allowed to attend.

    One day we will say the same thing about gays and lesbians at the service academies. America we do continue our march toward the day when all American's will be able to proudly serve their country to the best of their abilities.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tony

    Not in this lifetime

    May 24, 2010 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. s.ann

    This is fantastic!!!! I love it!! Great work cadets!!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Deborah

    Men of quality are not intimidated by women who work hard for equality. The Army is full of men of quality, including those men among the faculty at West Point who had the character and integrity to recognize these two top cadets' hard work and reward them fairly. Go Army!

    May 24, 2010 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. kelli b.

    Wow! What a great accomplishment. I attended West Point in 1980, but left as I really could not handle being so far from my family and all the pressures required at this fine facility. It takes a very special person both with intellectual and emotional maturity to get through the 4 years of rigorous training. Our military is lucky to have all of these fine men and women who have dealt with many things most of us could never handle and all of that, prior to appt. as a 2nd Lt in the service. Congrats and good luck.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ralph

    I'm a service academy graduate. Actually I graduated exactly 10 years ago today from USNA and I just got back from serving in Kuwait for 8 months. Trust me Tony when I say that gays and lesbians will be able to openly serve soon. Not only within this lifetime but within this decade. They just started letting women on Submarines. It's just a matter of time before these other arbitrary barriers fall aside as well. I, for one, fully support the change. It's about time in my opinion.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim

    I'm sure her soccer playing skills will come in handy in a combat situation.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mil Mitch

      "The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton"

      May 24, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Spoken like a true example of someone with the IQ of oatmeal.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Jim – You're an idiot. Tell you what. Why don't you put down the box of mini-donuts, pick up a rifle and go serve in her place. You know, so she can keep playing soccer. D-bag.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I'm sure they will too, since they kept her in great physical shape. All cadets are required to engage in a sport of some kind.

      Great job ladies! Thankfully we have people like you to defend the country.

      May 24, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Congratulations! Great accomplishment! Now they will have to surmount all the hidden barriers throughout their careers and open new doors for other women. I wish them all the very best! They have to stay strong, determined and courageous – all the qualities of great American soldiers!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. k

    to Jim – how unique, another insecure male spewing stupid, irrelevant comments....yeah, you're right, these women probably should just go make a batch of cookies and get back where they belong, huh Jim?......Oh Wait, maybe YOU should go back where you belong, say 1950 or so?

    Congratulations Officers – well done!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Maria

    The right man for the job is a WOMAN!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Maria, this is just as ignorant and divisive a comment as Rick's from earlier. The right "man" for the job is the best person qualified, be it man or woman.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
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