August 13th, 2010
09:39 PM ET

The day's most popular news

The five most popular stories during the last 24 hours, according to Newspulse.

Dr. Laura apologizes for using N-word: Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has issued an apology for saying the N-word several times during an on-air conversation with a caller this week.

Family of 4 killed by wrong-way driver: A family of four is dead after a man driving the wrong way on an interstate highway in Idaho slammed into them head-on, authorities said.


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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Most Popular • Politics
August 13th, 2010
09:17 PM ET

Slow summer months boost appeal for treasurys

A look at the day's business news.

Stocks end lower for 4th straight day 
Stocks ended lower Friday, the fourth consecutive day of declines, as investors digested dour economic reports in the retail and consumer sectors.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 17 points, or 0.2 percent, to end at 10,303.15. The S&P 500 lost 4 points, or 0.4 percent, to settle at 1,079.25 and the Nasdaq fell 17 points, or 0.8 percent to close at 2,173.48.

All three indexes had been trading on either side of breakeven in morning trade.


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Filed under: Economy • Jobs
August 13th, 2010
05:46 PM ET

USGS: 7.2 quake strikes near Marianas

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake has struck south of the Mariana Islands, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Mariana Islands - an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean - are made up of two U.S. territories, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands sit about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a tsunami warning after the quake, which struck at 7:19 a.m. Saturday (5:19 p.m. ET Friday).

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Filed under: Earthquake
August 13th, 2010
04:45 PM ET

Dr. Laura's rant: In her own words

Racial comments made by talk radio host Laura Schlessinger during an on-air conversation with a caller this week have created a national furor. The issue has spawned heated responses from commentators and her listeners. iReporters are also weighing in.

In an apology posted on her blog, Schlessinger acknowledged she "did the wrong thing" in using the N-word several times during a conversation with a caller on Tuesday. The African-American woman had called to seek advice on how to deal with racist comments from her white husband's friends and relatives.

The conversation evolved into a discussion on whether it's appropriate to ever use the word, with Schlessinger arguing that it's used on HBO and by black comedians.

"I was attempting to make a philosophical point," she said on her blog. "I ended up, I’m sure, with many of you losing the point I was trying to make, because you were shocked by the fact that I said the word."

Here is a complete transcript of the exchange after the break, with the exception of the full N-word when used by Schlessinger and the caller.


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Filed under: Race
August 13th, 2010
04:13 PM ET

Alaska crash victims died of blunt force trauma, official says

The deaths in the crash Monday night of a private plane  in Alaska were a result of blunt force trauma, Alaska State Medical Examiner Katherine Raven said Friday.

She also found the injuries were not survivable.  Brutal terrain and bad weather on the remote mountain where the plane crashed kept survivors waiting 12 hours for rescue, officials and witnesses said.

Former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and four other people died in the crash of the DeHavilland DHC-3T Otter.

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Filed under: Alaska
August 13th, 2010
02:57 PM ET

It's Friday the 13th, as luck would have it

As luck would have it, Friday happened to fall on, well, you know by now.

Much has been made about the superstitions of this fateful day. Having a bad time at the office? Blame it on Friday the 13th. Starbucks barista screwed up your white chocolate mocha? Blame it on Friday the 13th.

If you're dreadfully afraid of all things Friday the 13th, there's even a word for it: friggatriskaidekaphobia.


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Filed under: Google • Twitter
August 13th, 2010
02:42 PM ET

New Wikileaks documents feared "even more damaging"

The Pentagon fears that the 15,000 leaked documents about the war in Afghanistan that website WikiLeaks says it will soon post are "potentially even more damaging" than the more than 70,000 already published, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan.


August 13th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Portrait of stabbing suspect: 'Good guy' or violent, abusive

Israeli Elias Abuelazam, 33, faces one count of assault with intent to commit murder in Michigan.

It’s a pattern after police arrest a suspected serial killer: A confusing portrait quickly emerges as friends and relatives paint the suspect as a nice person, while others who knew him purport to have seen worrisome signs.

The case of Elias Abuelazam, an Arab-Israeli suspected in 18 attacks, five of them fatal, is no different, according to CNN, its affiliates and other media.

The attacks, which involved a hammer and knife, occurred in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio. Police have charged Abuelazam only once - with one count of assault with intent to commit murder - though authorities say to expect more counts.

His mother was quick to defend him. She told Reka Radio in Israel that her 33-year-old son is a Christian, God-fearing man who helps anyone in need, according to CNN affiliate WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan, where most of the attacks occurred. The station reported on the Arabic-language interview Friday.

A cousin further heaped praise on Abuelazam, calling him a “charming boy,” WJRT reported.

Other Israeli media spoke to people in his hometown of Ramla, about 13 miles southeast of Tel Aviv. They remember a violent streak that forced his mother to send him abroad when he was 19 or 20.

The newspaper Haaretz quoted one resident saying Abuelazam, whose father left the family when Abuelazam was a child, had been involved with criminals.

A former neighbor and classmate, identified only as “A.,” said Abuelazam was pleasant when they were in high school, but he had lately begun to pick fights with “anyone who looked him in the eye.”

When he became angry, A. told Haaretz, it took three people to hold him back.

“In recent years he experienced something that changed him entirely. He started using drugs, so his family sent him abroad," the source said.

WJRT spoke to people in the U.S. who continued the unflattering theme. Among them was Abuelazam’s former mother-in-law, who said her daughter was “afraid of him.”

His former father-in-law, Jim Hirth, a city councilman in Crowley, Texas, explained to WFAA-TV in Dallas that Abuelazam married his daughter in 2004 when she was 17.


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Filed under: Crime • Israel • Michigan • Ohio • U.S. • Virginia
August 13th, 2010
01:04 PM ET

Second hearing set for suspect in Michigan killings

Serial killing suspect Elias Abuelazam agreed in an Atlanta court Friday to be sent back to Michigan to face murder charges but will have a chance to change his mind because his lawyer was not present at the hearing.

The judge has scheduled a second session for later in the day.

Abuelazam is suspected of slashing 18 victims in three states, killing five of them.


Filed under: Crime • Georgia • Michigan • U.S. • Virginia
August 13th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Obama signs border security bill

President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday that provides $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

A day earlier, two senators - Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Ben Cardin of Maryland - returned from their August recess to give the chamber's approval for the bill.

The House of Representatives had already approved the measure.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Immigration • Politics • Uncategorized
August 13th, 2010
11:45 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Laura Schlessinger

Weeks after she was nominated for her second Marconi award, the veteran talk show host used the N-word repeatedly while speaking with a black caller on her radio talk show.

Schlessinger apologized on her radio show on Wednesday for her remarks. "I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing," she said.

The Marconi nod, her string of best-selling books and her accomplishments raising money for injured vets indicated that the good doctor was on the rebound after a group of gay activists nearly shut her down altogether. In 2000, the activists launched "Stop Dr. Laura," because of a series of remarks she'd made about homosexuality. In one incident in 1998, she called homosexuality "a biological error." By 2001, she'd lost her syndicated television show as well as the support of significant advertisers.

Despite that setback, she slowly recovered. Her syndicated advice program has continued for 30 years, most recently on the Sirius/XM satellite radio network. Her most recent book came out in 2009 from Harper Collins, "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms." She also received an award from Pentagon for raising money to help injured war veterans and their families.

She posted this comment about bigots on her blog in June:

"The callers who tell me they know a relative or friend is hostile, bigoted, or opinionated about something always get the following question from me: Tell me, do they act out on it? Do they proclaim it in public and insult or hurt people because of it? If the answer is "yes," then that person is to be shunned and, perhaps, hated If the answer is "no," that person should be commended for having a strong opinion but never hurting anyone in any form because of it."

"I don't hate people with stupid opinions or ideas," Schlessinger concluded, "I just think they're kinda stupid, that's all."

Dr. Laura blog: Pity Stupidity, But Hate Evil

National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Awards finalists for 2010

Stop Dr. Laura


August 13th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Red-bearded monkey discovered, but risks extinction

A new species of monkey that sports a bushy red beard has been discovered in the Amazon, researchers announced this week, but the primate is at risk of becoming extinct.

The species of titi monkey, Callicebus caquetensis, is a cat-size creature and has grayish-brown hair. Its long tail is stippled with gray, and it has a bushy red beard around its cheeks.

Unlike other monkeys closely related to it, Callicebus caquetensis does not have a white bar on its forehead, environmental nonprofit group Conservation International said Thursday. The finding was also published in the journal Primate Conservation.

Hints that an unknown primate species was living in Colombia’s Caquetá region, close to the border with Ecuador and Peru, surfaced 30 years ago, but researchers were never able to access the region because of violence and insurgent fighting.

It was only two years ago that professors Thomas Defler, Marta Bueno and their student, Javier García, from the National University of Colombia were able to travel up the upper Caquetá River. They used GPS to find their way around the area, searching for the monkeys on foot and listening for their calls.

"This discovery is extremely exciting because we had heard about this animal, but for a long time we could not confirm if it was different from other titis,” Defler said in a statement.


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Filed under: Animals • Colombia • Environment
August 13th, 2010
10:28 AM ET

On the Radar: Racial rant, bodies found, suspect's past

Dr. Laura and N-word -  Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has issued an apology for saying the N-word several times during an on-air conversation with a caller this week. "I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing," Schlessinger said on her radio show. "I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the N -word all the way out - more than one time. And that was wrong. I'll say it again - that was wrong." That word has been making a lot of news lately.

Wayward JetBlue attendant wants to fly again - Steven Slater's attorney told reporters outside his client's home that Slater's exit via an emergency slide that vaulted him to national attention is not really how things should have gone down. "His father was a pilot; his mother was a flight attendant. That's in his blood. That's what he likes to do," attorney Howard Turman said. Apparently, how it all went down is increasingly being scrutinized. "There's certainly a decent amount of doubt at this point,"  a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official familiar with the investigation told The Wall Street Journal.

Sentencing for white supremacist - A man accused of planning a "killing spree" against African-Americans in a plot that also targeted then-presidential candidate Barack Obama will be sentenced Friday in a federal courtroom in Tennessee.

Also, on the radar is the trial of Robert Bourgeois, 47, a Louisiana property owner who,  in the chaos of Hurricane Katrina, is accused of issuing an ominous warning that "anything coming up this street darker than a brown paper bag is getting shot."


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Filed under: Barack Obama • Crime • Justice • On the Radar
August 13th, 2010
07:35 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster

10:00 am ET - Rep. Maxine Waters speaks - Embattled Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, speaks out against ethics charges laid out against her.


Filed under: On today
August 13th, 2010
06:49 AM ET

World update: First Myanmar general election in 20 years

Vote announced: Myanmar will hold general elections on November 7, Myanmar National Radio announces - the first since 1990 when the opposition's victory was rejected.

Ashtiani’s lawyer speaks: Mohammad Mostafaei, lawyer for the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning over charges of adultery and murder, says Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s apparent “confession” on Iranian state TV was in order “to save her life.”


August 13th, 2010
01:43 AM ET

'How did anyone survive that?'

Five people died in the plane crash, including former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Editor's note: CNN All-Platform Journalist Patrick Oppmann visited the site of the Alaska plane crash that killed five people earlier this week, including former Sen. Ted Stevens. Here is his account of what he saw.

High over the Muklung Hills, I spot the broken plane below me.

It was the float plane that had crashed into the side of the hills injuring four people and killing five others, including former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.


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Filed under: Air travel • Alaska