July 6th, 2010
08:08 PM ET

Lohan facing 90 days in jail for violating probation

A judge on Tuesday ordered actress Lindsay Lohan to serve 90 days in jail for missing alcohol counseling sessions in violation of her probation.

The judge also ordered Lohan to spend 90 days in a drug and alcohol rehab program after her jail term is completed.

The actress must begin serving her sentence on July 20, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel said.

After Revel ruled that Lohan had violated her probation in a 2007 drunken driving conviction by missing weekly alcohol counseling sessions, Lohan began sobbing as she addressed the court. "I did do everthing that I was told to do and did the best I could," she said.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Justice • Lindsay Lohan • Showbiz
July 6th, 2010
07:58 PM ET

Queen Elizabeth II makes first U.N. speech since 1957

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday addressed the United Nations for the first time in more than 50 years, saying she has "witnessed great change, much of it for the better" since her previous speech there in 1957.

Later Tuesday, the queen visited ground zero to lay a floral wreath at the site of the September 11, 2001, terror attack. In a separate event in New York City, she cut the ribbon to officially open the Garden of Remembrance for British citizens killed in the attack.

The seven-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly touched on her first visit decades earlier, when she was a young monarch and the United Nations itself was a young organization.

"When I was first here, there were just three United Nations operations
overseas," the queen noted. "Now over 120,000 men and women are deployed in 26
missions across the world."

She spoke of the importance of leadership and how critical the role of the United Nations continues to be in upholding human rights in the 21st century.

Read the full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Queen Elizabeth II • United Kingdom • United Nations • World
July 6th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Nasr explains controversial tweet on Lebanese cleric

Fadlallah died Sunday in a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon.

My tweet was short: "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot. #Lebanon"

Reaction to my tweet was immediate, overwhelming and a provides a good lesson on why 140 characters should not be used to comment on controversial or sensitive issues, especially those dealing with the Middle East.

It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all.

Here's what I should have conveyed more fully:


July 6th, 2010
05:29 PM ET

Security Brief: Somali fights deportation

A Somali man from Minneapolis who is wanted on a slew of terrorism charges in the United States is fighting deportation from the Netherlands, and legal sources say the process could continue well into next year.

Mohamud Said Omar is accused of providing material support to the terrorist group al Shabaab, which is affiliated with al Qaeda and fighting a western-backed transitional government for control of Somalia.


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Filed under: Security Brief
July 6th, 2010
03:29 PM ET

'70s board game contains eerie BP oil spill scenarios

The BP Offshore Oil Strike game from the 1970s has popped up on eBay recently.

A nearly 40-year-old board game is getting a lot of new attention because of eerie similarities between the scenarios of its play and the 78-day-old BP Gulf oil disaster.

The game BP Offshore Oil Strike, which came out in the 1970s and is adorned with an old BP logo, revolves around four players exploring for oil, building platforms and constructing pipelines - all in the name of being the first to make $120 million.

But like the real-life oil game there are some big hazards, too. Players have to deal with the possibility of large-scale oil spills and cover cleanup costs. You struggle with "hazard cards" that include phrases now part of our daily vernacular, including: "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick cleanup costs. Pay $1 million."

Sound a little familiar? The similarity has led to discussions all over the Web. It's prompted people to dig in their attics and put their old games up on eBay - many of which have promptly been snatched up.


July 6th, 2010
01:49 PM ET

LeBron James joins Twitter

He may not have decided what team he's on but LeBron has decided one thing this week - to join Twitter.

Hornets point guard Chris Paul (@Oneandonlycp3) announced on his Twitter account hat he had convinced the King James to join the Twitter fray.

Appropriately, you can find LeBron on Twitter now at @kingjames, James' publicist told ESPN.

July 6th, 2010
01:37 PM ET

Obama praises 'real progress on the ground' in Gaza

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] President Barack Obama Tuesday commended Israel for easing limits on goods going to Gaza, saying there had been "real progress on the ground" that was happening "more quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated."

Speaking to reporters after talks with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama said the United States wanted to "ensure the people of Gaza are able to prosper economically while Israel is able to maintain its legitimate security needs in not allowing missiles and weapons to get to Hamas."

[Updated at 1:37 p.m.] Netanyahu said Tuesday that recent sanctions adopted by United Nations are helping to delegitimize Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions "have teeth" and "bite," he said.

[Updated at 1:36 p.m.] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that reports of damaged relations between his country and the United States "aren't just
premature, they're just flat wrong."

[Posted at 1:30 p.m.] President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "wants peace" in the Middle East and is "willing to take risks for peace."


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Filed under: Barack Obama • Israel • Middle East
July 6th, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Power outages, death reported in Northeast heat wave


[Updated at 9:03 p.m.]

Power outages in Connecticut, rail service disruptions in Washington and warnings to conserve electricity in New York City marked the second day of the Northeast heat wave.

As many as 9,000 customers of Connecticut Light and Power in Stamford were without electrical service Tuesday, according to the power company's website. A heat-related transformer failure at a substation in Stamford caused the outage, according to a spokeswoman for the utility company. Power could be restored by midnight, she said.

With temperatures near or above 100 along the seaboard Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a heat alert for Washington and parts of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Similar temperatures are expected in those areas on Wednesday.

The heat wave has claimed the life of at least one person. A 92-year-old Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, woman died as a result of the heat this week, according to a spokesman with the city's medical examiner's office.

In Washington, at least one rail line was delayed when Metrorail officials found a "heat kink" on the Red Line. A kink occurs in extremely hot weather when overheated tracks expand but can't be constrained by cross ties or ballast, and when a kink is found, train speed is reduced to ensure passenger safety, Metro said. Track inspectors will continue to monitor all conditions should other tracks become affected.

New York residents are being encouraged to conserve electricity during the heat wave, according to officials with Con Ed Power. "We are on the brink of setting a record in peak electricity use," said Con Ed spokesman John Miksad, "but it's not a record we are hoping to break."

Read the full CNN.com story about the heat wave

[Updated at 5:09 p.m.] Racing officials at New York's Belmont Park won't be taking any chances with the heat wave that has hit the eastern seaboard with triple-digit temperatures.


July 6th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

Despite choppy Gulf weather, optimism for oil cleanup efforts

[Updated at 5:43 p.m.] Crews are in the process of connecting a vessel to the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, said newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. The hookup has been partially completed.

The vessel Helix Producer could draw up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day when it becomes operational, Allen said in Houston, where he traveled to meet with BP

[Posted at 12:52 p.m.] Despite rough weather, the man leading the federal response to the oil disaster believes that the placement of a new containment cap and the deployment of key air and sea resources will eventually stop the massive amounts of oil now gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Newly retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told CNN on Tuesday that over the next seven to 10 days, officials will be monitoring weather patterns to determine when to try to install the cap, a process that will involve unbolting the jagged edge that exists on the structure now. Once completed, the new containment cap, he said, will achieve a perfect seal and keep oil from escaping.

Allen said the new cap "would let us get to a capture rate of 80,000 barrels a day," and said he was planning a trip to Houston, Texas, to talk to BP officials about the plan.

Read the full CNN.com story

July 6th, 2010
12:51 PM ET

U.K. to investigate detainee torture claims, PM announces

The British government will establish an investigation into allegations that members of its intelligence services were aware that detainees were being tortured, Prime Minister David Cameron
announced Tuesday.

The investigation will be conducted partly in secret to protect intelligence information, he told the House of Commons. Cameron also raised the possibility of compensation for some detainees who were held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  There are about a dozen court cases alleging that British officers were complicit in the torture of detainees, Cameron said.

"There is no evidence any British officer was directly engaged in torture in the aftermath of 9/11," Cameron said.

But, he said, British officers have been accused of "working with foreign security services who were treating detainees in ways they should not have done."

Cameron said the three-member panel will ask questions including:

"Should we have realized sooner that what foreign agencies were doing mayhave been unacceptable and that we shouldn't be associated with it?"Did we allow our own high standards to slip – either systemically or individually? "Did we give clear enough guidance to officers in the field?  "Was information flowing quickly enough from officers on the ground to the intelligence services and then on to ministers so that we knew what was going on and what our response should be?"

The investigation will focus primarily on what happened at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, but will not be limited to that time or place, the prime minister said.

He also published the government's new guidance to the military, police and intelligence services on the treatment of detainees.

Human rights campaigner Clare Algar cautiously welcomed the announcement, but expressed concerns.

"The worry is the weight that David Cameron placed on the amount that is going to be done in secret," she said. "Obviously not all of this could be public, but my listening to his speech suggested that more of it was going to be private than public."

Algar is executive director of Reprieve, which campaigns for legal rights for prisoners around the world. The organization has been demanding an inquiry into detainee torture allegations.

She was pleased about the publication of the new rules for security services, but said it was "interesting that they are refusing to publish the old guidance, which suggests to me that it's dodgy."

Cameron hopes the panel will deliver its report within a year, he said. It is not entirely clear when the investigation will begin.

The prime minister said it was not "feasible" to start it while many civil suits against the government "remain unresolved."

Algar said the timeline "may be a bit optimistic to think they can clear all of the cases and report within a year."

July 6th, 2010
12:50 PM ET

LeBron will need help wherever he goes

Finding the right partner for LeBron James may be half the battle in where he is playing.

While the basketball world waits for LeBron James to decide where he’s going to play next year, who he plays with could be as big a factor in his decision as the money he can make and the city he picks.

Recent NBA history indicates that no matter how great one individual player is, the superstar needs an all-star, if not an all-time great player to team up with to win a championship.

All-star Kobe Bryant’s Lakers have won five championships since 2000.  He won his first three playing with Shaquille O’Neal, a dominant center who was voted one of the NBA’s top-50 players ever in 1997.

When O’Neal left, Kobe didn’t win another championship until he was joined by Pau Gasol, an all-star player.  Since Gasol joined the Lakers they’ve won two championships in the last three years.


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Filed under: Sports
July 6th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

Source: Justice Department to challenge Arizona immigration law

The Justice Department is expected to file a legal challenge Tuesday against Arizona's controversial immigration law, according to an administration official.

During a recent interview with CNN's John King, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said that, if the Obama Justice Department winds up suing her state over the law, she'll go to court.

Administration officials have indicated the question of Arizona usurping federal authority to control the border and enforce immigration law is the most likely federal point of attack against the state law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer earlier this year.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as we get it.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Justice
July 6th, 2010
11:55 AM ET

China panda abandons twin, crushes other


Panda are among the world's most endangered species. There are only about 1,600 left in the world.

A panda at the Beijing Zoo accidentally crushed her new cub to death after abandoning its twin, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

Eight-year-old Yinghua gave birth to female twin cubs on Friday but the mother nursed only one of them, the zoo's deputy president, Zhang Jinguo, told the China Daily newspaper.

“Mother pandas are always like that. Twins are rare and all mothers take only the first cub as their own,” Zhang was quoted as saying. FULL POST

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Filed under: China
July 6th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

Sports Update: Knicks get Amar’e, Lebron watch

Another piece of the NBA’s free-agent puzzle has fallen into place. Amar’e Stoudemire has agreed to a deal with the Knicks that’s believed to be for five years and close to $100 million. But just what does it mean for the biggest prize of the summer, LeBron James? SI.com’s Jack McCallum says it means one of three things for the King.

The free-agent derby is the biggest game being played off the field and you can check out all of the latest news and news and rumors with SI.com’s blog. As for the games being played on the field, the World Cup, MLB and tennis fill the docket. Here are a few highlights (all times Eastern).

Netherlands vs. Uruguay (2:30 p.m., ESPN).
The Dutch haven’t been to the World Cup final since 1978. Uruguay hasn’t played for the title in 60 years. Who will end their drought? SI.com’s Ben Lyttleton expects a Netherlands team that hasn’t lost in 24 games to continue its run.


July 6th, 2010
11:22 AM ET

French parliament debates burqa ban

The French parliament begins debate Tuesday on a bill that would ban women from wearing Islamic veils, such as the burqa, that fully cover the face and body.

A vote is not expected until next week, after which the measure, if passed, will go to the French Senate for a vote likely in the fall.

The French Council of Ministers approved the measure in May, saying veils that cover the face "cannot be tolerated in any public place." Their approval sent the bill to parliament.


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Filed under: France • World
July 6th, 2010
11:11 AM ET

Northeastern states bracing for scorching temperatures

Metropolitan areas along Eastern Seaboard states are bracing for scorching, triple-digit temperatures as a hot air mass that settled into the region Sunday promises hotter and more humid weather Tuesday.

The National Weather Service issued a heat alert for areas along the so-called "megalopolis region" - Boston, Massachusetts, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Washington as well as all of Delaware and New Jersey awoke to unusually high morning temperatures.

The NSW also issued an additional "excessive heat warning" to be in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday for Philadelphia, Trenton, New Jersey and parts of Delaware.


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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
July 6th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Military: U.S. soldier to be charged in leak of strike video

[Updated at 11:46 a.m.] The U.S. military said Tuesday it is pressing criminal charges against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, for allegedly transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system.

Manning of Potomac, Maryland, is suspected of leaking a classified 2007 video of an Apache helicopter strike that killed 12 civilians in Baghdad, including two journalists from the Reuters wire service, the military said.

Manning was deployed with the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, in Baghdad, Iraq, according to the military.

According to Wired.com, Manning leaked the video to the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.com, which posted the video in April. Wired.com reported that Manning confessed to the leak in a series of online chats with a former computer hacker.

He allegedly owned up to leaking other items to WikiLeaks, including a classified Army document assessing the threat level of the website, according to the article, as well as State Department cables.

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Filed under: Iraq • Justice • Military • National security • Security Brief
July 6th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Caster Semenya can return to track, compete against women

Caster Semenya has been cleared to return back to the track.

South African world champion track star Caster Semenya, who was hampered by allegations regarding her gender, can return to her sport and compete alongside of other women, the International Association of Athletics Federations said Tuesday.

The 19-year-old track star was sidelined for 11 months because she was forced to undergo gender tests after she broke onto the scene with a stunning 800-meter victory at the world championships in August 2009 and controversy broke out over whether she is a man or a woman.

During the Berlin championships, where she won the gold in her first major event, Semenya attracted a lot of attention. Her muscular build, largely-improved times and widespread allegation about her gender sparked the IAAF to order the gender verification tests.

"The IAAF accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with immediate effect," the group said in a statement on the site. "Please note that the medical details of the case remain confidential and the IAAF will make no further comment on the matter

July 6th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

A.M. Security Brief

As the long hot summer wears on in southern Afghanistan, attention turns to Kandahar, the second-largest city and spiritual home of the Taliban. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, is fond of saying: "As goes Kandahar, so goes Afghanistan." He told a congressional hearing last month: "It is my belief that should they [the Taliban] go unchallenged there and in the surrounding areas, they will feel equally unchallenged elsewhere."

The senior Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee agrees. Sen. John McCain of Arizona was in Kandahar on Monday. He told a news conference in Kabul: "The Taliban know that Kandahar is the key to success or failure. ... And if we succeed there, we will succeed in the rest of this struggle."

A long-heralded operation to deprive the Taliban of substantial influence in and around Kandahar is beginning to take shape. Hundreds of members of an elite police unit - the Afghan National Civil Order Police or ANCOP - have begun staffing checkpoints around the city in partnership with international troops. They are replacing ordinary police units, who are being retrained. FULL POST

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Filed under: Security Brief
July 6th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

On the Radar: Oil disaster, Northeast heat wave

Gulf oil disaster - A massive, silver-colored blimp is expected to arrive on the Gulf Coast on Tuesday to aid in oil disaster response efforts. The U.S. Navy airship will be used to detect oil, direct skimming ships and look for wildlife that may be threatened by oil, the Coast Guard said Monday. The 178-foot-long blimp, known as the MZ-3A, can carry a crew of up to 10.

The blimp hopefully will give authorities the chance to get a better idea of where the oil is and how far-reaching the impact is. On Monday, Texas authorities said they traced a small number of tar balls found near Galveston to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The tar balls collected from beaches in Galveston County over the weekend could fit in a 5-gallon bucket. They have been confirmed to have originated from the ruptured BP well off Louisiana, said Jim Suydan of the Texas General Land Office.

Heat wave - A heat wave of historic proportions could strike some Northeastern states as forecasters warn of prolonged triple-digit temperatures that could trigger "a dangerous situation," the National Weather Service advised Monday.


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