The¬†five most popular CNN.com stories during the last 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:
Lohan released from jail: Actress Lindsay Lohan was released from the Lynwood Correctional Facility early Monday morning after less than two weeks behind bars, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Will the female condom catch on?: Major health campaigns in Washington, Chicago, Illinois, and New York City are promoting female condoms to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. But the question remains: Will women actually use them?
Obama: Iraq drawdown proceeding "as promised": The Obama administration's planned drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq is proceeding "as promised" and should lead to an end of America's combat mission there by the end of August, President Obama said Monday.
Alicia Keys weds music producer: R&B power couple Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz have tied the knot, Keys' representatives confirmed to CNN on Sunday.
Sci-fi legend Ray Bradbury on God, 'monsters and angels': Science fiction author Ray Bradbury, who turns 90 this month, says he will sometimes open one of his books late at night and cry out thanks to God.
Bill Cosby is used to winking at internet rumors of his death. But after another one spread Monday, he said he hopes people will give the hoaxes a rest.
After false news of Cosby‚Äôs death spread by Twitter on Monday - "Bill Cosby died" was a trending topic on the microblogging service - the 73-year-old comedian talked to CNN's "Larry King Live" to prove he still is around.
"I don't want [whoever spread the rumor] to do this anymore, because this is my fourth time being reported [dead]," Cosby said by phone to CNN‚Äôs Kyra Phillips, who was sitting in for Larry King on Monday night.
Scientists charged with determining the flow from the leaking BP well said Monday that roughly 4.9 million barrels of oil have seeped into the Gulf of Mexico,. Previously, the same group had put the total estimate of oil leaked from the well prior to it being capped on July 15 at between 3 million and 5.2 million barrels.
The moment the well was capped, scientists said some 53,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking from the well, while roughly 62,000 barrels of oil were likely seeping per day from the oil well at the start of the spill.
Charlie Sheen will serve his 30-day sentence for a Colorado domestic violence conviction in a Malibu, California, rehab center, his lawyer said.
Here‚Äôs a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Monday:
Putting a ring on it: It was quite the celebrity wedding weekend, with former first daughter Chelsea Clinton marrying longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky in a lavish ceremony in Rhinebeck, New York. (After midnight, late-night munchies stole the show.) Recording artist Alicia Keys married hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz at a private residence overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Atlanta rapper T.I. married longtime fianc√©e Tiny Cottle in a glitzy soiree in Miami Beach, Florida.
Gulf oil disaster: The spill continued to make news Monday, with the dispersants used by BP coming under increased scrutiny. The Environmental Protection Agency said tests prove that the oil, not the dispersants, remain "the No. 1 enemy." The oil disaster seems to have leaked into the real estate market as well. For many residents, discovery of oil on their land used to mean guaranteed big bucks (Black gold? Texas tea?). But because of the spill, waterfront residents say home sales may be especially cruddy. In fact, the BP oil spill could cost homeowners $68 million in lost property value over the next year, according to a report released Monday.
#jailbreak: The iPhone 4 ‚Äújailbreak,‚ÄĚ finally legal, is getting a lot of clicks. The hack - available at jailbreakme.com - installs a program that lets iPhone 4 owners and others purchase apps from stores other than Apple's. But be careful! It's still a risky proposition.
Lindsay's out: Speaking of jail, Lindsay Lohan has been released from prison after 13 days in the pokey. It‚Äôs on to rehab for the actress and singer.
Testing has found that eight dispersants, including one used in combating the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, are no more toxic when mixed with oil than the oil alone, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
The tests prove that the oil itself, not the dispersants, is "enemy No. 1," Paul Anastas, EPA assistant administrator for research and development, told reporters on a conference call.
On a sunny morning in March, thousands of anti-war protesters converged on Washington – carrying banners with slogans like "No to War; Yes to Peace." Many groups joined the demonstration across from the White House; some well-established and others less so.
One was RevolutionMuslim, a New York based group whose leaders have in the past voiced support for the 9/11 attacks and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Among its supporters at the event were two young men – one from Virginia and one from New Jersey. Within weeks both would be arrested on terrorism charges, and their alleged links to others in militant Islamic circles would begin to surface.
The backgrounds of these men and how they allegedly met and communicated illuminate the growing phenomenon of 'domestic radicalization" in the United States, and the daunting task facing US intelligence in separating militant rhetoric from plans to wage jihad.
The Obama administration's planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is proceeding "as promised" and should lead to an end of America's combat mission there by the end of August, President Barack Obama said Monday.
Plans to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 50,000 by the end of this month are on schedule, Obama told the national convention of Disabled American Veterans. At that point, the U.S. mission will shift to the training and support of Iraqi security forces.
But there is still danger for U.S. troops on the ground, the president
One of two efforts to seal the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico once and for all is set to take place Tuesday, after a crucial test is conducted Monday to determine whether it will work, BP's senior vice president told reporters.
In the "injectivity" test, a substance called "base oil" will be pumped
into the ruptured well bore to determine if it will go back into the reservoir,
Kent Wells said Monday. The test will start with pumping one barrel per minute, then two, then three. How much is pumped will depend on how the test goes, Wells said.
"We would expect to have the test done in a few hours," he said, and then
the data will be analyzed. The information will tell officials whether
adjustments need to be made on "how and if" the "static kill" procedure will
take place Tuesday, he said.
A massive rescue and relief operation was under way Monday in northwest Pakistan as the official death toll from heavy rains that began last week exceeded 1,100, with more rains forecast.
The Pakistani government said 1.5 million people have been affected,
thousands of homes have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people are homeless.
In village after village, especially those next to rivers, buildings were
demolished. One official predicted recovery could take years.
The veteran Democratic congresswoman and civil rights activist from Los Angeles will face a House ethics trial that may cause tensions between the Democratic leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Waters, who is accused of seeking preferential treatment for OneUnited Bank of Massachusetts, is being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics, a panel that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi hopes will "drain the swamp" of ethical issues in Congress. Waters' husband has ties to the bank, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Office of Congressional Ethics has accused Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, of 13 ethics violations, and it has investigated at least six other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Times reported.
The investigation "fuels the racial dimensions," ethics attorney Ken Gross told the Times. "It's going to be so highly charged considering who the players are."
End of the oil? We might be at the end of a chapter in the long saga of the BP oil spill,¬†which began April 20. Officials say that on Monday night they'll begin¬†the first¬†of two efforts to seal the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.¬†The "static kill" will happen first, followed five to seven days later by a "bottom kill."¬†¬†BP's CEO Doug Suttles says he's "confident" these¬†techniques will do the trick, but federal officials¬†caution that¬†nothing is guaranteed.
"We should not be writing any obituary for this event," said Thad Allen,¬†the retired Coast Guard¬†admiral who heads the government's response to the spill.
U.S. Iraq drawdown - According to a prepared speech President Obama is expected to give in Georgia, U.S. troops in Iraq will be reduced by 50,000 by the end of August. The U.S. military mission in Iraq will switch from combat to a support role in Iraq, including training of Iraqi national security forces, the speech says.¬†Want to see¬†a breakdown of U.S. resources in Iraq?¬†¬†Read CNN's Security Brief.
The U.S. and Iraq disagree on the level of violence in the war-torn country. While¬†the U.S. military¬†reports that¬†bloodshed has decreased,¬†data¬†Iraq released Saturday indicates that July¬†was the deadliest month for civilians since May 2008. Specifically, Iraq says 396 civilians, 50 Iraqi soldiers and 89 police officers were killed last month.
In July, there were 81,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 87,000 in Afghanistan.
Pakistan disaster - Flooding in Pakistan has killed more than 1,100 people, government officials tell CNN.¬†At least¬†30,000 people were stuck on rooftops and other higher areas as they tried to escape rushing floodwaters. "We've got the government sending boats and helicopters to try to reach people and bring them to safety at the same time as trying to deliver emergency relief," said Nicki Bennett, a senior humanitarian affairs officer for the U.N.
C'mon, get happy! - After all that seriousness for your Monday morning, how about some good news? Yes, we said good news¬†- or at least several websites that will make you feel better this week. Try a site that compiles happy news, or todaysbigthing.com, which today features a kid who wasn't thrilled with his trip to the zoo.
Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster
9:15 am ET - Obama heads to Georgia -¬†President Obama departs Andrews Air Force Base and heads to Atlanta, where he will speak at a convention for disabled American veterans.
9:30 am ET - NYSE opening bell -¬†The CEO of Molycorp, a rare earth oxide producer, rings the opening bell on Wall Street to celebrate the company‚Äôs recent IPO.
An update from the newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Monday:
Pakistan diplomacy¬†- Adam Thomson, the British high commissioner to Pakistan, is meeting with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood¬†Qureshi, the British Foreign Office says. The meeting follows Pakistan‚Äôs disgruntlement at comments made by British PM David Cameron last week in India where he referred to Pakistan exporting terror. Pakistan's government has summoned Britain's envoy in Islamabad over the remarks, officials say.
Russia fires - High temperatures and drought have spawned wildfires across Russia with blazes in 14 of the nation‚Äôs 83 regions. The country is one of the world‚Äôs largest exporters of wheat and fears for this year‚Äôs harvest has sent wheat prices spiralling on international markets.
Three people are feared dead after a plane crashed and burst into flames in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.
The multiengine cargo aircraft crashed into the south-facing slope of¬† Mount Healy, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said Sunday. Fister said it appeared that the three people reported onboard did not survive.