August 12th, 2010
09:28 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories during the last 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:

Michigan charges Israeli citizen in stabbings: A 33-year-old Israeli citizen was charged with assault with intent to murder in Michigan Thursday in connection with 18 stabbings that left five people dead across three states, according to a Michigan prosecutor.

Family: Mitrice Richardson's remains found: Skeletal remains found in a remote area of Malibu Canyon on Monday are those of Mitrice Richardson, a California woman who disappeared last year, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said Thursday.

French chef's body found stuffed in freezer: The body of a retired restaurateur who's been missing for two years has been found in a freezer in the French city of Lyon, police said.

Rare 2,200-year-old gold coin found: A rare gold coin dating back 2,200 years was discovered by a combined university research team in Israel, a top Israeli antiquities official said Thursday.

Capello ends Beckham's England career: David Beckham's glittering international career has been brought to an end after England coach Fabio Capello announced his fate in a pre-match television interview.

Filed under: Most Popular
August 12th, 2010
09:06 PM ET

JetBlue flight attendant: What really happened?

he attorney for the flight attendant who activated an emergency slide to exit a plane at New York's JFK Airport after allegedly cursing over the plane's public address system is optimistic he'll reach a settlement with prosecutors.

"I think we'll reach a satisfactory outcome for all sides," Howard Turman said Thursday after revealing he had held discussions with the Queens district attorney's office.

JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater is charged with two felonies - reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. If convicted Slater could face a theoretical maximum of seven years in prison.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor did not respond directly to Turman's optimistic remarks.


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Filed under: Air travel
August 12th, 2010
08:58 PM ET

19 dead in Nigerian building collapse

A three-story building collapsed in Nigeria's capital Wednesday, killing 19 people, according to a police spokesman.

The building collapsed around 5 a.m. Wednesday (12 a.m. ET) in the Garki area of Abuja, said deputy police spokesman Yemi Ajayi.

He said 12 people were rescued.

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Filed under: Nigeria
August 12th, 2010
06:09 PM ET

Dollar advances on global slowdown fears

Treasurys retreat as stocks firm
Treasurys fell Thursday as the government completed the last of three auctions this week totaling $74 billion and a recovery in the stock market undermined demand for the safety of U.S. debt.

"We had a large swing in the equity market and the Treasury market is waning a bit," said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic and bond strategist at Miller, Tabak and Co.

As prices fell, the yield on the 10-year rose to 2.75 percent from 2.62 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the 2-year note rose to 0.55 percent after falling to a record low in the previous session.


Filed under: Business • Economy
August 12th, 2010
05:06 PM ET

U.S. issues travel warning for Bolivia

The U.S. State Department on Thursday issued a travel warning for U.S. citizens living in or visiting Bolivia because of the massive protests in the country's southwest.

The travel alert says Bolivia is suffering "unstable social and security situations" in several regions.

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Filed under: Bolivia • Travel
August 12th, 2010
04:56 PM ET

WikiLeaks: More Afghanistan documents to come

The founder of WikiLeaks says the whistle-blower website is preparing to release another roughly 15,000 documents about the war in Afghanistan.

"We are about halfway through them," Julian Assange told reporters in London, England, on Thursday. "This is a very expensive process."


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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • WikiLeaks
August 12th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Judge: Same-sex couples in Calif. can marry Wednesday

A federal judge has made it possible for same-sex couples to legally marry in the state of California starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT, unless a higher court intervenes.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco on Thursday lifted a temporary stay that had been placed last week in the case that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Last week, Walker struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that California's voter-approved Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution. A temporary stay on that ruling was put in place immediately afterward.

Thursday's decision will allow same-sex marriages to legally take place starting Wednesday "unless the supporters of Proposition 8 can get a higher court to overturn the ruling," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.


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Filed under: California • Proposition 8
August 12th, 2010
02:43 PM ET

The road to terror training camps sometimes begins in the U.S.

Omar Hammami is living proof that there is no one road to terrorism.

U.S. officials believe the journey for Hammami - one of 14 U.S.-born and naturalized citizens to be indicted last week on charges of conspiring with a Somali terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda - took him from a small town in Alabama to a radical command role in Somalia.

Hammami was a late convert to Islam, becoming passionate about his father's faith during high school in Alabama. He was born in Daphne, a small town nestled in the Bible belt where Islam was not only uncommon, but rebuffed. His hijab and public prayer made Hammami a target for insults in the conservative community.

He dropped out of the University of South Alabama in 2002, moving to Toronto, Canada, and then to Cairo, Egypt, as he searched in vain for a setting where Islam was practiced as rigidly as he believed it should be.

It is possible that Christof Putzel - a correspondent for Current TV's documentary series, "Vanguard" - once brushed arms with Hammami. Putzel was finishing a story in Somalia in 2006 as Hammami entered the country to seek out al-Shabaab. Putzel later created a documentary that retraces Hammami's steps from young American to "American Jihadi."

"American Jihadi" culminates in Somalia, where Hammami joined the ranks of al-Shabaab, or "The Youth."

Hammami is a top commander of al-Shabaab and the organization's most successful recruiter, Putzel says. Since he appeared on the Al-Jazeera TV network and the YouTube website in 2007, more than 30 young Muslims have disappeared from Hammami's old stomping grounds in the U.S and Canada, only to reappear fighting with al-Shabaab. FULL POST

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Filed under: Security Brief
August 12th, 2010
02:39 PM ET

Stevens' funeral set for next week

Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens' funeral will be held next Wednesday in Anchorage, according to Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) at the Anchorage Baptist Temple, Manley said.

Stevens, who served in the U.S. Senate for 40 years, was killed after the
plane he was in crashed Monday night near Dillingham in southwestern Alaska. He
was 86.


Filed under: Politics
August 12th, 2010
02:35 PM ET

Work on relief well resumes as storm dissipates

The dissipation of Tropical Depression Five in the Gulf of Mexico means that preparations are being made to resume drilling of a relief well intended to permanently seal BP's ruptured deepwater oil well.

Earlier, officials had said the storm would stall the crucial work for about four days.

As is currently stands, the Development Driller III, the rig that is drilling the relief well, is cleaning the area out ahead of drilling the remaining 30 to 50 feet to reach the Macondo well, BP spokesman Robert Wine said.


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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 12th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

BP to pay $50 million fine for fatal explosion in Texas

BP says it has agreed to pay a $50.6 million fine to settle some of the
citations related to the 2005 explosion at the Texas City, Texas,
refinery that killed 15 people.

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Filed under: BP • Environment • Oil disaster solutions
August 12th, 2010
01:40 PM ET

Judge to Blago jurors: Deliberate some more

The judge in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich told the jury Thursday to re-examine their opinions and try to reach a unanimous verdict in the complex case.

"We received a response," the judge said,  adding that the jury said, "We have deliberated and have reached unanimous agreement on two counts and haven't been able to come to an agreement on the rest of the counts."


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Filed under: Barack Obama • Crime • Justice • Politics • Rod Blagojevich
August 12th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

Jim Gray vs. Ryder Cup captain in PGA drama

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin insists he was misquoted by Jim Gray.

As the PGA Championship gets under way this week  in Haven, Wisconsin, the latest brouhaha over Tiger Woods (no, he hasn't misplaced his cell phone) pits Golf Channel contributor Jim Gray against U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin.

Gray reported this week that Pavin told him he'd use a captain's pick on Woods if he failed to make the U.S. PGA team on points. (Now, why would Woods fail to make ... the ... oh, never mind).

Pavin took to his Twitter account Wednesday to counter Gray's account of events. "For the record, @golfchannel and Jim Gray has misquoted me re: picking Tiger. I never said such a thing and will not say a thing until 09/07," he tweeted.


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Filed under: LeBron James • Sports • Tiger Woods
August 12th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Youth unemployment across the world hits record high

The number of young unemployed across the world has soared to a record high and is likely to climb further this year, a United Nations agency reported Thursday, amid a U.S. government report that that jobless claims in America jumped to five-month high.

The International Labor Organization said in its 2010 report that out of 620 million youths ages 15 to 24 in the global work force, 81 million were unemployed at the end of 2009, and warned of a “lost generation” as more youths lose hope of finding work.

The youth unemployment rate increased from 11.9 percent in 2007 to 13.0 percent in 2009, the report said.

According to International Labor Organization projections, the global youth unemployment rate is expected to continue its increase through 2010, to 13.1 percent, followed by a moderate decline to 12.7 percent in 2011.

The report found that unemployment has hit youths harder than adults during the financial crisis and “that the recovery of the job market for young men and women is likely to lag behind that of adults.”


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Filed under: Jobs • World
August 12th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

$3.7 billion sought for repairs at military base schools

The Seoul American Elementary School in South Korea is among those seeking repairs.

Most of the U.S. Defense Department’s schools are in such a bad state as a result of years of neglect and deferred maintenance that the Pentagon is urgently seeking almost $4 billion for repairs and replacements, said the civilian agency that oversees the schools on military bases.

In all, 70 percent of schools for Defense Department dependents were rated as under-maintained or failing, the Department of Defense Education Activity said this week. It is asking for $3.7 billion in repairs and upgrades over the next five years for its 134 school facilities across the world.

Almost half of Department of Defense Education Activity schools have facilities that are 45 years or older. “What’s happening now behind the walls that people can’t see, the electrical systems are 50 years old, the roofs are leaking …,” said Kevin Kelly, associate director of the civilian agency's financial and business operations.

There simply wasn’t enough money to upkeep all the schools, Kelly said. “We were getting funding to take care of one school, maybe two schools a year, and our schools were aging too fast and problems were being caused,” he said in a video statement.

Problems range from aging plumbing that has resulted in a stench, to roaming rats at the Seoul American Middle School, military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported. Conditions there prompted $600,000 in repairs this summer, according to the paper.

The Department of Defense Education Activity has 191 school facilities and serves more than 84,000 children of military service members and Defense Department civilian employees.

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Filed under: Education • Military
August 12th, 2010
10:55 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Rod Blagojevich

The jury overseeing his criminal trial has hinted that it cannot agree unanimously on all of the charges filed against the controversial former Illinois governor and his brother.

Much has been learned about Blagojevich since video tapes were leaked indicating he was willing to sell Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder. Yet no other political figure has oddly fared so well. Blagojevich's own slate of media appearances before and during the trial have clearly contributed, said one critic.

"Blago's neverending media appearances (Letterman, Leno, Celebrity Apprentice, etc.) have already ensured his post-courtroom cache," reported NBC Chicago's "Ward Room." "To the national public, if not to Illinois, he'll always be an amiable, jazz-handed, brassier-than-thou rodent."

NBC Chicago Ward Room: Rod Blagojevich

NBC Chicago Ward Room: How Dan Rostenkowski Gave Us Rod Blagojevich

CNN: Blagojevich jury deadlocked on some counts


August 12th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

On the Radar: Stabbings arrest, Fantasia, Beckham, Section 8

Arrest in stabbings case made: A man was taken into custody Wednesday night at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in connection with the stabbings of 20 people, police said Thursday. Five of the victims died. The attacks began in May and occurred in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. Police were conducting a multistate search for a suspect and had recently released a composite sketch.

Former 'Idol' behavior: Singer Fantasia Barrino is out of the hospital and resting Thursday after overdosing on "aspirin and a sleep aid", her manager Brian Dickens said. The incident happened when Barrino become overwhelmed while reading a court complaint from a woman who alleged that the singer carried on a year-long affair with her husband.  Release of the 911 call has prompted broad speculation on the internet that Barrino's pill-popping was a suicide attempt. North Carolina is one of only a few states that allow a spouse to sue a third party who interferes with a marriage for alienation of affection.

End it like Beckham? David Beckham's glittering international career has been brought to an end after England coach Fabio Capello announced his fate in a pre-match television interview. Capello said the 35-year-old Beckham was now "a little bit old" - ending the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star's hopes of adding to his 115 caps. Who knows? Maybe this will allow Beckham to delve deeper into acting.

Crush for subsidized housing: Officials in East Point, Georgia, got a snapshot of the housing woes Americans face when 30,000 people showed up Wednesday to apply for Section 8 housing.  The city took measures Thursday to avoid the disorder that erupted when thousands of people - many of them camped out for days - clamored for housing vouchers in the summer heat.  The crush is widely seen as a side effect of the diminished U.S. job market.

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Filed under: Justice • Michigan • On the Radar • Race • Tiger Woods
August 12th, 2010
09:29 AM ET

Military trial for Canadian-born terrorism suspect Omar Khadr is underway

Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba (CNN) The Obama Administration’s first full military trial of a terrorist suspect at Guantanamo Bay Navy Base in Cuba formally started Thursday morning.

The panel of 7 military officers seated for the Military Commission began hearing opening statements in the case against Canadian-born terrorist suspect Omar Khadr, captured on the Afghanistan battlefield in 2002, when he was 15 years old.

The prosecution says Khadr was an enemy combatant in violation of the laws of war, that he was helping assemble and plant roadside bombs for al Qaeda and that he killed a special forces solider, Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer with a grenade. Speer’s wife, Tabitha, is expected in the courtroom and will be a key prosecution witness in the sentencing phase if Khadr is found guilty. FULL POST

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Filed under: Security Brief
August 12th, 2010
09:07 AM ET

Strong car bomb explosion rocks Colombia radio station

A strong car bomb explosion caused considerable damage Thursday to the headquarters of Caracol Radio and other buildings in Bogota, Colombia, authorities said.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who was sworn into office Saturday, called it a "terrorist act."

"We will not be intimidated," Santos said as he toured the bombing site. "We will continue battling terrorism with all determination."


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Filed under: Colombia
August 12th, 2010
09:04 AM ET

'Non-local fighters' killed aid workers, group says

The deaths of 10 medical aid workers in northeastern Afghanistan last week appear to be the work of insurgents from outside that remote corner of the country, an international humanitarian aid organization said Thursday.

"Our own research suggests that the murders were not a robbery as initially reported in the press," said a statement from the International Assistance Mission (IAM). "We are now working on the assumption that the attack was an opportunistic ambush by a group of non-local fighters."

Gunmen shot and killed the 10 members of the medical team a week ago in Badakhshan, a remote northeastern region.


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Filed under: Afghanistan
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