August 23rd, 2010
11:30 PM ET

Carter to travel to N. Korea to free American

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is planning to go to North Korea this week in the hopes of securing the release of an American man being held there, a senior administration official and another source familiar with the trip said on Monday.

Filed under: North Korea
August 23rd, 2010
11:12 PM ET

6.1 magnitude quake rattles coast of southwestern Mexico

A strong earthquake rattled the Pacific coast of southwestern Mexico Monday evening, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The 6.1 magnitude quake was centered about 185 miles southwest of Puerto Vallarta, according to the USGS.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Mexico
August 23rd, 2010
10:58 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Bloody end to Philippines hostage drama: Hong Kong urged its residents to cut short or cancel planned trips to the Philippines on Tuesday in the aftermath of a bloodbath that left at least eight dead on a Manila tour bus.

Young female pitcher grabs the spotlight: A young baseball phenom has received one of the sport's highest honors - recognition from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for pitching not one, but two perfect games.

Town wonders: Why did two boys have to die?: The owner of a motel in Orangeburg, South Carolina said Shaquan Duley appeared "nervous" when she asked for a room last week. Police say Duley would end up suffocating her two boys inside a room in that motel.

Toddler walks 2 blocks to save her dad: Alesaundra Tafoya's parents have been teaching their daughter about safety in their Northern California community. They weren't, however, expecting 3-year-old Alesaundra to call upon those lessons when one of them needed help.

Trapped Chilean miners: 'We are fine': The 33 miners trapped inside a mine in Chile survived for more than 17 days by sharing small amounts of tuna and mackerel that were in a shelter, along with water, President Sebastian Pinera told CNN en Español on Monday.

Filed under: Most Popular
August 23rd, 2010
09:01 PM ET

Miners shared limited food to survive, president says

The 33 miners trapped inside a mine in Chile survived for more than 17 days by sharing small amounts of tuna and mackerel that were in a shelter, along with water, President Sebastian Pinera told CNN en Español on Monday.

"They had very little food," the president said, revealing new details about the conditions affecting the trapped miners. "They told us they ate tuna and mackerel every other day, and that they shared ... a jar of peaches among the 33."

A second probe reached the miners Monday, making a total of two devices that are capable of relaying communications, food and water between the trapped miners and those on the ground.

Using a video camera on one of the probes, Pinera said he saw the miners.

"I saw them jumping like children, with an infinite joy. They moved their arms, they turned on their flashlights," Pinera said.


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Filed under: Chile • Mine accidents
August 23rd, 2010
08:56 PM ET

Ex-marine gets life sentence in death of fellow marine

Former U.S. Marine Cesar Laurean was convicted in North Carolina on Monday of first degree murder in the 2007 death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who was eight months pregnant when she died.

An autopsy showed that Lauterbach, 20, died of blunt force trauma to the head. Police unearthed her charred body from beneath a barbecue pit in Laurean's backyard in January 2008. She had disappeared the month before.

Laurean, who was dressed in black slacks and wore a white shirt and black tie, did not show any emotion as the judge read his sentence of life in prison without parole. He either said or mouthed something to someone in the audience of the courtroom before he was led out in handcuffs, video showed.


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Filed under: Crime • Military • North Carolina
August 23rd, 2010
08:52 PM ET

Texas school rejects 4-year-old over lesbian parents

A private religious school in Texas has denied admission to the daughter of a lesbian couple who wanted to enroll the child in preschool, citing its "clear teaching of the Christian faith" for the refusal.

In a statement e-mailed to CNN sister network HLN, the dean of St. Vincent's Cathedral School in the Dallas suburb of Bedford, Texas, said the school is standing on its principles "in matters of marriage and sex outside of marriage" by refusing to seat 4-year-old Olivia Harrison.

"St. Vincent's School as a ministry of St. Vincent's Cathedral upholds the clear teaching of the Christian faith, the Holy Bible, and the Anglican Church in North America," the Rev. Ryan Reed said.


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Filed under: Gay and lesbian • Religion
August 23rd, 2010
08:49 PM ET

Saudi official: Paralysis not considered as punishment

Saudi authorities backed away Monday from reports last week that a court was preparing to order a man paralyzed as punishment for paralyzing another man, allegedly in a fight.

The paralyzed man, identified by the Saudi newspaper Okaz as 22-year-old Abdul-Aziz al-Mitairy, requested the paralysis under sharia law, and, Okaz reported, the judge in the case had sent letters to several Saudi hospitals asking if they could sever a man's spinal cord.

But the Saudi Ministry of Justice denied that paralysis was ever considered as a punishment in the case, a high ranking Saudi government official told CNN.

The president of the court in the northwest province of Tabuk, where the incident took place, also disputed the reports.


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Filed under: Crime • Human rights • Saudi Arabia
August 23rd, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Stocks end lower ahead of GDP revision

A look at highlights from the day's business news:

Stocks slump at the close

U.S. stocks ended a choppy day of trading lower Monday, as a dismal economic outlook overshadowed earlier optimism fueled by takeover talk.

After starting the session sharply higher and seesawing throughout the day, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 39 points, or 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 ticked down 4 points, or 0.4 percent, and the Nasdaq composite dropped 20 points, or 0.9 percent.


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Filed under: Business • Economy
August 23rd, 2010
02:23 PM ET

FDA chief: More egg recalls could be ahead

[Update 2:22 p.m.] The House Energy and Commerce Committee requested documents and information Monday from Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa related to the recent salmonella outbreak and egg recalls, according to a news release from the office of the committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California.

The recall of more than half a billion eggs over the past two weeks is the "largest such egg recall in recent history" and the Food and Drug Administration "may need to continue with smaller subrecalls," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said on CNN's "American Morning" on Monday.

"We have a very complicated network of food distribution in this country," Hamburg said. "You start with a couple of farms in Iowa and you can get nationwide exposure."

Hillandale Farms of Iowa announced Friday it was recalling more than 170 million eggs. Another 380 million have been recalled by another Iowa producer, Wright County Egg, after the FDA linked the eggs to an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened hundreds of people nationwide.


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Filed under: Health
August 23rd, 2010
02:08 PM ET

Independent agency takes over Gulf claims payments

The Gulf Coast Claims Facility "is fully functioning and will begin to process claims for emergency payment," according to a Monday press

The independent agency, headed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg - who
handled the 9/11 victims' compensation fund - was established in June as part of an agreement between the Obama administration and BP to facilitate processing of the personal and business claims from those affected by the Gulf oil disaster stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20.

BP said last week that it was no longer accepting claims as the
transition to the new entity was taking place. The oil giant, which said it has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in claims so far, will continue to handle claims put in by government entities.


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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
August 23rd, 2010
01:54 PM ET

Company to pay $52.4 million in Minneapolis bridge collapse

A $52.4 million settlement has been reached between victims of a 2007 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the engineering firm responsible for the bridge's inspection, the victims' attorneys said Monday.

Thirteen people were killed in the collapse, which occurred at rush hour.

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Filed under: Minnesota • U.S.
August 23rd, 2010
01:37 PM ET

Nurse charged with murder in Romanian hospital fire deaths

A nurse at a Romanian hospital has been charged with murder in the deaths of five newborns killed in a fire in an intensive care unit, prosecutors said Monday.

Florentina Daniela Cirstea will remain in police custody for 24 hours and appear before a judge Tuesday, said Marius Iacob, chief prosecutor in charge of the investigation. She is accused of failing to fulfill duties of her job by not constantly supervising the newborns in the unit.

She left the unit unattended for 12 minutes, Iacob said, and then was unable to evacuate and rescue the newborns after the fire broke out.

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Filed under: Romania • World
August 23rd, 2010
01:11 PM ET

SeaWorld fined $75,000 after death of animal trainer

SeaWorld has been fined $75,000 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three safety violations, including one classified as willful, after the death of one of its animal trainers in February.

The agency's investigation "revealed that SeaWorld trainers had an extensive history of unexpected and potentially dangerous incidents involving killer whales at its various facilities, including its location in Orlando," said an OSHA statement Monday. "Despite this record, management failed to make meaningful changes to improve the safety of the work environment for its employees."

There was no immediate response from SeaWorld to the announcement.

- From CNN's Dugald McConnell

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Filed under: Uncategorized
August 23rd, 2010
12:52 PM ET

Danielle becomes hurricane in Atlantic

[Updated at 4:53 p.m.] The former Tropical Storm Danielle is now a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the National Hurricane Center says.

Shortly before 5 p.m., the hurricane was about 1,320 miles (2,120) kilometers east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west-northwest at 17 mph, according to the hurricane center.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

[Posted at 12:52 p.m.] Tropical Storm Danielle was strengthening in the Atlantic on Monday, and could become a hurricane by Monday night, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 11 a.m. ET, the center of the storm was about 1,025 miles (1,650 kilometers) west of the Cape Verde Islands. Danielle's winds had reached about 65 mph (100 kph), shy of the 74 mph that would classify it as a Category 1 hurricane.

"Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and
Danielle could become a hurricane by this evening," forecasters said.


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Filed under: Weather
August 23rd, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Religious leaders speak out against International Burn a Quran Day

Response so far to an event billed as a Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope has been "overwhelmingly positive," a minister in Gainesville, Florida, told CNN on Monday. The event is planned in response to a local church's International Burn a Quran Day.

As part of the Gainesville Interfaith Forum - made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus - Trinity United Methodist Church will host the event September 10, the night before the planned burning of the Quran.

The nondenominational Dove World Outreach Center said it will host the Quran-burning event on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. The group said it will remember 9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, it invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Filed under: Uncategorized
August 23rd, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Betty White

She received her first Emmy nomination in 1951, and this past weekend, White captured her sixth Emmy for guest-hosting “Saturday Night Live.” The 88-year-old actress had previously won Emmys in 1975, 1976, 1983, 1986 and 1996.

The Emmy win is yet another accomplishment for White, who started her career on the 1950s sitcom “Life with Elizabeth.” Known for her years on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls,” White continued to capture accolades with various guest parts on television.

This past year, however, White saw a major resurgence when her Super Bowl Snickers ad became a fan favorite. Shortly thereafter, Facebook fans petitioned “Saturday Night Live” Executive Producer Lorne Michaels on her behalf. She hosted an acclaimed show on Mother’s Day 2010. The wife of the late “Password” host, Allen Ludden, White announced earlier this month that she’d signed a two-book deal with G.P. Putnam.

Betty White, Neil Patrick Harris win Emmys Betty White


August 23rd, 2010
09:03 AM ET

Philippine hostage standoff ends

Updated at 9:10 a.m.] At least seven people survived a hostage-taking in the Philippines, and the hostage-taker was killed by a shot to the head, police at the scene said.

At least two hostages were killed, police said.

[Updated at 9:03 a.m.] Police removed dead bodies from a bus that was hijacked in the Philippines Monday, a CNN producer at the scene saw.

At least four hostages appear to have survived the 10-hour ordeal, which ended with an exchange of gunfire between police and the hostage-taker.

There were 15 hostages on the bus when police stormed it. Nine had been released earlier.


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Filed under: Philippines
August 23rd, 2010
07:45 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Ongoing coverage - BP webcam of Gulf oil disaster

10:00 am ET - Gulf oil disaster hearing - The U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management hold their fourth session of their investigation into the Gulf oil disaster.


Filed under: On today
August 23rd, 2010
07:33 AM ET

World update: UK 'leading the way' on Pakistan donations

An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're following on Monday:

Aid to Pakistan - Donations from the British public to help flood victims in Pakistan reached £29 million on Monday, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said.  Chief executive Brendan Gormley said it was the first time that donations had risen in the second week of an appeal.  "The UK public are leading the way and shaming politicians across the world," he said.

Wikileaks founder - After a warrant over an accusation of rape against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was dropped, one warrant on a lesser charge of molestation is still being considered by Swedish prosecutors. A decision on that is apparently being made this week.