June 4th, 2010
10:27 PM ET

UCLA basketball coach John Wooden dies at 99

Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden, who led UCLA teams to a record 10 national championships, died Friday of natural causes at 99, according to UCLA.

Wooden was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on May 26, the university said. At the family's request, funeral services will be private and a public memorial will be held at a later date with a reception for former players and coaches.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Sports
June 4th, 2010
09:47 PM ET

Ohio teen wins National Spelling Bee with 'stromuhr'

Ohio teen Anamika Veeramani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee Friday night with the word stromuhr, an instrument for measuring the flow of viscous substances.

"I'm really, really happy. This is one of the best moments of my life," the 14-year-old said after the annual spell-off.

Anamika, of North Royalton, tied for fifth place last year. Her victory makes Ohio the state to produce the most spelling bee winners with 9.

The 83rd Scripps National Spelling Bee began Thursday with 273 spellers ranging in age from 8 to 15.

Friday's final rounds began with 10 contestants, who were eliminated one by one by words such as ochidore, a shore crab, and terribilita, a term applied typically to the art of Michelangelo describing the power and grandeur of his work.

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June 4th, 2010
09:07 PM ET

Here, there, everywhere: Covering the Gulf oil spill

I've been to New Orleans, Houma, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Mobile, Pensacola....

That's not a bad reworking of the Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere," it's just a few of the places I have visited while covering the growing Gulf oil spill disaster over the last several weeks.

AS CNN has dispatched teams of journalists across the region to cover this vast story, I am constantly amazed by the dedication and tenacity of my colleagues.

For many, there have been too many 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. days to count. I have seen satellite truck engineers lug hundreds of yards of cable so a reporter can be live from an oil slicked coastline; photojournalists trudge down beaches to get that key shot and editors burn the midnight oil to make their pieces perfect.

Even more amazing are the stories that the people affected by the spill have shared with me.

There was the woman, a single mother, who eked out a living her entire life for her family catching shrimp and crab. On the day that fishing was closed because of the slick, I asked her what she was going to do for work. She had no clue.

There was the leader of a survey team that goes out and finds every piece of oil on a beach and photographs, measures and reports it so they can better understand how the slick is traveling. Sometimes, he said they do the same beach day after day as they are cleaned and then covered by oil again.

There was the little kid on the beach who came running up to his mother obviously terrified of something. As he sped by, he held up his oil covered hands. I am afraid, we are going to see a lot more of those kinds of images.

June 4th, 2010
06:18 PM ET

Day 46: Latest oil disaster developments

[Updated at 7:04 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began when the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20:


- Researchers at the University of South Florida have completed laboratory tests confirming that the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has collected into more than one oil plume beneath the surface.

BP, the main party responsible for the spill, has previously denied that such large amounts of oil - which can choke fish and harm their eggs - have formed into underwater plumes.

- A crew of scientists who just returned from an eight-day mission researching the underwater oil impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has found life forms in the vicinity of the breached well head, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday.

The researchers aboard the 224-foot Gordon Gunter found "ample evident of a lot of zooplankton," said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco. "It's not a dead zone, there's still a lot of life there."

The question, she said, is how much of an impact the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster will ultimately have. The researchers took underwater samples from within 3 nautical miles (3.45 miles) of the well head.

Video: Huge tar balls wash up on Florida beach

- President Obama arrived in Louisiana Friday afternoon to get another firsthand look at the environmental damage and to speak with political and business leaders.

- Oil that has already affected Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama is drifting steadily towards Florida. A new trajectory from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued Friday forecast oil onshore as far east as Destin by Saturday afternoon.

- Tar balls, tar patties and sheen were spotted along the Escambia County shoreline, according to NOAA. The primary oil plume was 30 miles from Pensacola.

- Oil is successfully being siphoned from the ruptured undersea well to the surface, where it flowing on board a ship, BP said Friday.

- BP will establish a separate division to manage the ongoing response to the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company's Chief Executive Officer
Tony Hayward said Friday.

- Having placed a cap on the ruptured well head, BP plans to successively close four vents Friday, hoping to halt oil that is still escaping from a runaway well into the Gulf of Mexico, said Doug Suttles, the company's chief operating officer.


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June 4th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Obama expected to pick Pentagon official for intelligence director

President Barack Obama plans to nominate retired Gen. James Clapper to be the new director of national intelligence, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to CNN on Friday.

Clapper, a Pentagon intelligence official, would replace Dennis Blair, who resigned at the end of last month.

- CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report

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Filed under: Politics
June 4th, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Oil disaster takes toll on seafood mainstay in Philly

Snockey's Oyster & Crab House has been serving seafood to Philly residents for nearly a century. The first restaurant opened in 1912, just a few weeks after the sinking of the Titanic.  

CNN's All Platform Journalist Sarah Hoye talked to Ken Snockey, the restaurant's third generation owner, about the impact of the Gulf oil disaster on his business:

CNN: How has the Gulf oil disaster affected your business, so far?

KEN SNOCKEY, OWNER: We have definitely seen seafood prices go up. We're a 98-year-old oyster house. However, very rarely do we buy our oysters from the Gulf, we are more cold water oriented, and buy from the Chesapeake Bay and north. Shrimp come from the Gulf, and I'd say we've seen about a 25 percent jump in price. Crab meat comes from the Gulf.

CNN:  Since you are able to get seafood from other areas in the northeast, do you think you'll be able to avoid a bigger impact?

SNOCKEY: It's going to ripple, and we're well aware of that. I think it will affect everything that comes from the Gulf. It's a big world, but it's a small world now.

CNN:  Your family has been in the seafood restaurant business for the past century: do you know of any other disaster that compares to this?

SNOCKEY: I cannot pinpoint a particular catastrophe that affected the industry like this, but the seafood market and restaurants, is more volatile than most. One week you can buy a crate of broccoli for $25 and the next week its $65 because of a frost in Chile. Luckily, it is a big world today, they [shrimp, crab] come from so many destinations than ever before.

But it's a tragedy for those people in the Gulf: how are they supposed to make a living?

June 4th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Oil confirmed on Pensacola beaches

Tar sits on the beach in Gulf Breeze, Florida, on Friday.

For days, CNN's small army of reporters, photographers and producers has been repositioning toward Florida as oil was expected to come ashore in the Sunshine State.

And on Friday morning, tar balls - hundreds of small bits of hardened oil - littered Pensacola's white beaches. Our iReporters had been saying they had spotted tar balls nearby and in different areas a few days earlier. So we set out to check the beaches.

Tourists were the first to begin cleaning it up. iReporter Marc Sigler said he had been camping in Fort Pickens on Tuesday when he saw tar balls; they spent the next day swimming, picking it up and cleaning the beach. iReport: See Sigler's photos

Further south on the beach on Friday, we saw blobs the size of a Frisbee of reddish-brown oil.

Nobody knew for sure whether the tar was from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Local officials said that so much tar had been piling up that they didn't have the resources to test all the balls and blobs of oil locally, so they would be assuming that if they came in such large amounts now, they were probably from the disaster in the Gulf. Similar tar balls and oil slicks have shown up on beaches along the Gulf since the rig exploded and sank.

iReport: Help us track the oil disaster

Friday afternoon, reporters and residents got the answer they were waiting for: Florida's Division of Emergency Management issued a statement saying, "tar patties and tar balls have been confirmed in widely scattered areas east of Pensacola."

Reconnaissance flights are taking place to determine all of the locations nearby that may be affected. While that goes on, some tourists will keep on cleaning - and worrying.

Tourist Catherine Maloney looked at the blobs of oil with surprise and disgust before taking pictures of them.

"This is going to affect this area for years," she said. "It's already so quiet, it feels like a hurricane came."

June 4th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

How to help Gulf oil disaster, even if you can't make it there

Workers clean an oiled pelican recovered from a barrier island off the Louisiana coast.

Can’t go down to the Gulf Coast to help out with oil spill cleanup? Here are some ways you can be an armchair volunteer following the worst oil disaster in U.S. history.

Adopt a pelican
It is heart-wrenching to watch birds drenched with oil. The International Bird Rescue Research Center, which picks up oiled birds, cleans and rehabilitates them, is asking for support for its 23-member team of bird-rescue experts.

The organization allows individuals to donate or adopt a bird. Adopting a pelican, for example, costs $200, which will go to the cost of raising and eventually releasing the bird.

The organization’s team is working with the Tri-State Bird Rescue, setting up rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Birds that are cleaned – it takes almost an hour to clean a single oiled pelican – and rehabilitated are then released in oil-free areas chosen by federal and state trustee agency personnel and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. The Tri-State Bird Rescue is also taking donations and adoptions.


June 4th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

Sign of the times? Residents voice anger about oil disaster

The graveyard of crosses was created “in memory of all that is lost. Courtesy of BP and our federal government," according to a nearby sign.

Signs in Lafourche Parish in southern Louisiana point to what’s weighing on folks living there.

Outside Larose’s Southern Sting Tattoo Parlor, the words “God Help Us All” are affixed to life-sized models of an adult wearing a gas mask and a child – and fish – dripping in oil.


June 4th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Sports Update: Who will reign in NBA, NHL and at Belmont?

This weekend’s sports highlights (all times Eastern) offers plenty of championship action, from the courts of Paris to the ice of Philadelphia to the paddock at Belmont Park. The NBA Finals will also return on Sunday as the Celtics look to rebound following a dominating performance by the Lakers on Thursday night in Los Angeles:

Blackhawks at Flyers (8 p.m., Versus)
Philadelphia trails the Stanley Cup finals series 2-1 but gets another game at home following a Game 3 overtime win. Keep this stat in mind: The Flyers are 8-1 at home this postseason.


June 4th, 2010
11:39 AM ET

South Korea wants U.N. action over warship sinking

South Korea has formally asked the U.N. Security Council for action over what it says was North Korea's sinking of one of its warships in March, the Mexico U.N. mission said.


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June 4th, 2010
09:53 AM ET

Peru murder suspect to be expelled from Chile, Interpol says

Joran van der Sloot is being investigated in connection with the death of Stephany Flores Ramirez, right, and was a suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

[Updated at 9:23 a.m.] Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in the slaying of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman this week, left Santiago, Chile, aboard a military aircraft in the custody of officers Friday morning. He will be flown to the border with Peru and expelled, Interpol said.

[Posted at 7:51 a.m.] The Chilean government has decided to expel murder suspect Joran van der Sloot to Peru, where he is wanted in connection with the slaying of a 21-year-old woman, Interpol said Friday.

Van der Sloot is expected to be transported aboard a military airplane from Santiago, Chile's capital, to the border city of Arica, said Macarena Lopez, a spokeswoman for Interpol.

The Dutch citizen was previously a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, who was on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba. Van der Sloot was arrested twice in connection with the case but released both times. He denied any involvement and has not been charged.


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June 4th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil disaster, Joran van der Sloot, Gaza aid

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/06/04/am.intv.suttles.cap.cnn"]

Gulf oil disaster - President Obama, who told Larry King he is furious about the oil spill, will be making a third trip to the Gulf Coast today to get an update on the oil spill and examine the cleanup. BP capped the well last night and plans to successively close four vents at the top of the containment cap Friday, hoping to stem oil that is still escaping into the Gulf of Mexico, Doug Suttles, the company's chief operating officer, said.

We could get information today about whether BP's latest attempt to stop the oil is a success. We'll be giving you the latest updates on the story throughout the day.


June 4th, 2010
09:19 AM ET

Rigs taking drilling, jobs abroad in wake of moratorium

With a moratorium in place, some rigs are taking their business elsewhere.

Of the 33 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that have been slapped with a six-month moratorium, at least two are already on track to move abroad, an official in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, told CNN.

The contracts for these rigs are now void and that leaves the door open for these worldwide oil companies to take their drilling – and the jobs these rigs fuel directly and indirectly – elsewhere, said Chett Chiasson, executive director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission.

Port Fourchon is a main service base for the gulf’s oil industry, and the suspension of the rigs – all served by businesses operating from the port – will be “devastating,” the commission executive said.

Chiasson could not say which company or companies had already made plans to leave. Most likely they will head to waters outside Brazil or Nigeria, but he said information he’s been getting from the industry shows two have formed departure plans and several others are weighing options.

“Oil companies are in business to make money,” Chiasson said. “They’re going to shop these rigs around.”

CNNMoney.com: Drilling ban to cost thousands of jobs

June 4th, 2010
08:13 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcams of Gulf Coast oil spill

9:30 am ET - Obama remarks on economy - President Obama visits a trucking company in Hyattsville, Maryland, to take a tour and make remarks on the economy.

10:15 am ET - NASA town hall meeting - NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visit Orlando, Florida, to speak with local officials on the area’s economic future.

11:00 am ET - SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch - The Falcon 9 rocket, created by California-based SpaceX, launches from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

11:15 am ET - Gulf Coast oil spill briefing - Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, briefs reporters from Pensacola, Florida, on the massive oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

2:20 pm ET - Obama arrives in Gulf Coast - President Obama arrives in Kenner, Louisiana, for this third trip to the Gulf Coast since the beginning of the oil disaster.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.

Filed under: On CNN.com today
June 4th, 2010
08:07 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Guion "Guy" Bluford

The first African-American to fly in space is scheduled to be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Bluford entered the astronaut training program in 1978, one of three African-Americans accepted that year. He made history on August 30, 1983, when the Space Shuttle Challenger blasted off with Bluford as one of the crew members.

The NASA website reports that it took a while for the engineer and Air Force colonel to accept the role.

He said, "I wanted to set the standard, do the best job possible so that other people would be comfortable with African-Americans flying in space and African-Americans would be proud of being participants in the space program and encourage others to do the same."


June 4th, 2010
05:58 AM ET

World update: Flotilla victims were shot, autopsies reveal

Gaza flotilla - Autopsy results by forensics experts in Istanbul revealed that all nine of the men killed by Israeli commandoes aboard the humanitarian convoy in the Eastern Mediterranean, died of gunshot wounds.  Five of them had bullet wounds to the head. Read the full story

New Japan PM - The upper and lower houses of Japan's parliament have elected former Finance Minister Naoto Kan as the prime minister of Japan Friday, following the resignation of Yukio Hatoyama from the post earlier in the week. Read the full story