August 26th, 2010
10:21 PM ET

Carter returning from North Korea with detained American

Gomes, seen here attending a rally in South Korea in January, was pardoned by North Korea, the Carter Center says.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is leaving North Korea with a U.S. citizen who was imprisoned in the communist country after entering it illegally in January, according to the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 31, of Boston, Massachusetts, was imprisoned in January and later sentenced to eight years of hard labor with a fine of about $600,000 for the crime of illegal entry into North Korea.

"At the request of President Carter, and for humanitarian purposes, Mr. Gomes was granted amnesty by the chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Jong-Il," the Carter Center said in a statement.

Carter arrived in North Korea on Wednesday to negotiate Gomes' release. Carter traveled in his capacity as a private citizen, senior administration officials told CNN earlier. They added Carter had contacted the administration of President Barack Obama about the mission.

Two American journalists - Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who had crossed the border into North Korea in March 2009 and were arrested and sentenced to 12 years hard labor - were released in August after an intervention by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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Filed under: North Korea
August 26th, 2010
10:11 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

HIV-infected German singer convicted: A German pop star was found guilty Thursday of causing grievous bodily harm and attempted bodily harm for failing to tell sexual partners that she was infected with HIV.

National Topless Day Venice Beach: Equality or immorality?: An iReporter tells the story of a group calling for the ability to bare their breasts in the same public places as men, including beaches.

FDA: Feed likely source of salmonella in eggs: Federal investigators have found salmonella bacteria in chicken feed and in barn and walkway areas at Iowa farms at the center of the nationwide outbreak, officials said.

Deciphering kids' texts on drugs and sex: Do you know what this means: %*@:-( ?  Or this: ~~#ZZZZZZ ? If the answers are no, you're not a teenager who uses alcohol or drugs.

'Shock' at film student's arrest in stabbing:  A film student suspected of stabbing a New York cab driver after learning the driver was Muslim was described Thursday as someone who worked to build bridges across religious and ethnic boundaries.

Filed under: Most Popular
August 26th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

GDP fears help push stocks lower

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

Stocks slip as recovery worries return

Stocks slipped Thursday, erasing earlier gains as worries about a sputtering economy overshadowed a better-than-expected report on jobless claims.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 74 points, or 0.7 percent, the Nasdaq composite fell 23 points, or 1 percent, and the S&P 500 ticked down 8 points, or 0.8 percent.


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Filed under: Economy
August 26th, 2010
04:21 PM ET

Child actor ages, Tiger improves, Netflix goes mobile

Sigh. Macaulay Culkin insists on aging. He's 30 today.

Web Pulse is feeling old. Macaulay Culkin turned 30 on Thursday, and even crueler, his skin looks a lot more baby-soft than ours (despite this weird beard). Oookaaay, so it's not really weird to have facial hair, but Macaulay was supposed to remain forever the character he played in the "Home Alone" movies. Everybody, palms to cheeks! Do the scream. You know you want to. 

Let's all observe this high holiday by going to and watching "Home Alone" while we apply an expensive jar of wrinkle cream to our faces and cover the lights in tissue paper. Good thing there's news today that a new iPhone Netflix app allows you to stream television episodes and movies. Go ahead, download that sucker and pull up Macaulay doing the palms-to-cheeks-scream. You know you want to. 

While your gorgeous mug is buried in your iPhone, why not check out  the latest sports headlines ... Hey, it's Tiger. (Remember that voice mail from last year?) 

Tiger Woods has apparently gotten his game back after enduring what was believed to be one of the stinkiest stints in his professional career. He was in contention for the lead at Barclays tournament in New Jersey on Thursday, just a few days after his divorce from Elin Nordegren was formalized. Nordegren gave her first interview to People magazine this week, saying she had been "through hell" with her ex-husband after allegations surfaced of his extramarital trysts. 

Nordegren is doing better than ever, thank you very much, no matter how much this lookalike on the green got attention today. Let's all take a cue from her and just accept that time marches on and we'll be just fine. Just fine. Really.

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Filed under: Sports • Tiger Woods • Web Pulse
August 26th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

HP raises bid, topping Dell offer for 3PAR

[Updated at 4:19 p.m.] HP raises bid for data storage company 3PAR to $27 a share, topping Dell's earlier offer of $24.30 a share.

[Posted at 9:21 a.m.] Storage company 3PAR said Thursday it has accepted Dell's revised offer of $1.6 billion to buy the company after Hewlett-Packard outbid Dell's initial offer.

Dell's new offer of $24.30 per share is 30 cents a share higher than HP's bid and $6.30 a share higher than its first offer of $18 per share, or $1.15 billion. The latest bid represents a 152% premium over 3PAR's closing price of $9.65 the day before Dell's initial bid.

"Storage is at the forefront of this strategy," said Dave Johnson, Dell's senior vice president of corporate strategy, said in a prepared statement. "With the 3PAR acquisition, Dell with have the broadest set of differentiated storage solutions in the market today."

Both Dell and HP submitted bids for the company last week, but HP raised its bid after Dell's offer was announced publicly. On Wednesday, 3PAR told Dell that Dell had three days to raise its offer, or it would go with HP's deal.


August 26th, 2010
03:51 PM ET

Investigators: Hen feed one likely source of salmonella

Feed given to hens - used at both Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms - is one likely source of contamination that led to a nationwide salmonella outbreak, federal officials said Thursday.

The feed and some feed ingredients are believed to have been contaminated and are the source of the salmonella, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said in a conference call.

It's possible the contamination happened at a feed mill that produces the feed or it could have present before feed materials arrived at the mill, officials said.

Read full story on

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Filed under: Health • Recalls
August 26th, 2010
03:01 PM ET

Netflix releases iPhone app, stock jumps

Netflix unveiled its long-awaited app for the iPhone on Thursday, sending the company's shares almost 2% higher.

The free app lets Netflix members stream TV episodes and movies to their Apple iPhone or iPod Touch for no additional cost.

"Apple has changed the game for mobile devices," Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The shows can be streamed over both Wi-Fi and 3G networks, and they are organized based on members' personal preferences, genres, new arrivals and individual instant queues.

Netflix shares were up 1.7% to $126.33 in afternoon trade on Thursday. The stock has been on steady upward streak this year, crossing $100 for the first time in April after the company reported a blowout first quarter.

"Netflix Android" was a trending Google search on Thursday, and Twitter users were also grumbling about when the app would be available for their Android phones.

August 26th, 2010
02:39 PM ET

Aquanauts living on, researching ocean's floor

Scientists live in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research station.

Claustrophobes, this one isn't for you.

Scientists call it being "saturated" or living on the Aquarius, a structure about the size of a school bus that sits at the bottom of the ocean floor, a little more than 5 file miles offshore of Key Largo, Florida.

Only the savviest and most experienced of diving scientists (some with as many as 800 dives under their belt) sign on and make it through five days of training required to take the extended-stay plunge, said spokesperson Thomas Potts, who just recently came up from air.

Owned by the NOAA and managed by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Aquarius has a sophisticated lab on board to study sponges, vital to understanding the underwater ecosystem. Take a peek inside.

"When you're on a typical dive, you're safe spot is the surface so you have to get over that - you can't come up," Potts said. "You've also got to be pretty good friends with the people you're saturated with because it's close living quarters."

The living space is 43 feet by 9 feet.

"It's really not as bad as that sounds," Potts added.

A UNCW professor and several graduate students and technicians just finished a nine-day stay on Aquarius. The next mission for the lab is scheduled for September 14.

To learn more about Aquarius and the research divers are conducting, click here.

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Filed under: Florida • North Carolina • Science
August 26th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

FAA proposes record civil fine against American Airlines

The FAA has proposed a $24 million fine against American Airlines, which would be the largest civil penalty in the agency's history.

The FAA said the fine was because of American Airlines' "failing to correctly follow an Airworthiness Directive involving the maintenance of its McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft."

“We put rules and regulations in place to keep the flying public safe,”  U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a press release. “We expect operators to perform inspections and conduct regular and required maintenance in order to prevent safety issues. There can be no compromises when it comes to safety.”

August 26th, 2010
01:45 PM ET

Third person arrested in Canadian terror investigation

[Updated at 1:45 p.m.] A third person is in custody in the Canadian terror investigation, law enforcement officials said Thursday.

[Posted at 11:05 p.m.] A third suspect is at large after two men were arrested Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada, on terror-related crimes, according to Canadian federal prosecutor David McKercher.

The two men appeared in a Canadian courtroom Thursday.

Hiva Ali Zadeh is facing three charges including facilitating a terrorist act and conspiracy. Misbahuddin Ahmed, 36, has been charged with conspiracy, according to CNN producer Laura Dolan, who was in court.

We expect to learn more about the arrests at 1 p.m. /ET, when Canadian authorities are expected to brief the press.

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Filed under: Crime
August 26th, 2010
01:36 PM ET

NASA announces discovery of 2 new planets

An artist's rendering shows two Saturn-sized planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission.

NASA has announced the discovery of two planets, slightly smaller than Saturn, orbiting the same star in the Milky Way, which have been discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope.

William Borucki, the Kepler Mission Science Principal Investigator, at the NASA Ames Research Center, announced on a teleconference "the first discovery of multiple planets orbiting the same star."

The two planets, known as Kepler 9B and 9C, have a clear gravitational interaction, according to NASA.

A third celestial body, has also been discovered. It's about 1.5 times the size of Earth, but it has not yet, been confirmed as a planet.

"The discovery incorporates seven months of observations of more than 156,000 stars as part of an ongoing search for Earth-sized planets outside our solar system," NASA said in a press release.

Read full story on Read more about Kepler mission

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Filed under: Space
August 26th, 2010
01:36 PM ET

Toyota announced voluntary safety recall for Corollas

Toyota has announced a "Voluntary Safety Recall" on Certain Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix Models, has confirmed.

The company says the recall is to address some “Engine Control Modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured.”

The voluntary recall is for the approximately 1.13 million 2005-2008 model Corolla and Corolla Matrix models sold in North America.

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall, the company says.

There are three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury, the company says in its press release.


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Filed under: Recalls • Toyota
August 26th, 2010
12:35 PM ET

Tiger's teeing much improved; Elin lookalike?

The same week Tiger Woods divorces, he bounces back on the golf course.

Tiger Woods was the Tiger of old Thursday - shooting a 65 and is tied for the lead at the Barclays in New Jersey after his first round.

His performance comes a few days after the formal announcement was made that he and Elin Nordegren are legally splitsville. His performance at Barclays is being noted by who also pointed out a Nordegren lookalike on the green.

Tiger had been playing the worst season of his professional career until Thursday.

Nordegren's first, and perhaps last, interview was published in People Wednesday in which she said she'd "been through hell" with the golfer over his alleged extra-marital trysts. It was last November that this poor SUV and subsequently Tiger's reputation took quite a beating.

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Filed under: Sports • Tiger Woods
August 26th, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Prosecutors dismiss charges against Blagojevich's brother

Prosecutors have dismissed all charges against Robert Blagojevich, brother of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, defense attorney Michael Ettinger told reporters Thursday.

Robert Blagojevich was previously charged with two counts of extortion conspiracy and one count each of wire fraud and extortion.

"I was in shock, and still am," Ettinger said. He said when he told his client, Robert Blagojevich said, "'Oh my God, oh my God.' And I told him 'You're done. You're free.' His wife is hysterical."

Ettinger said prosecutors told a judge at a hearing Thursday they were dropping the charges because of "the disparity in the roles between Robert and Rod" and "in the interests of justice."

Filed under: Justice • Rod Blagojevich
August 26th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Danielle and Earl churn through Atlantic Ocean

A hurricane and a tropical storm spun through the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday morning, and were expected to gain strength, but neither posed an immediate threat to land, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. update.

Hurricane Danielle, currently a Category 2 system with sustained winds of 105 mph, is expected to intensify and could become a "major" Category 3 hurricane later Thursday or Friday, the hurricane center said.

Category 2 hurricanes pack sustained winds of 96 to 100 mph. Category 3 hurricanes bear sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph.


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Filed under: Weather
August 26th, 2010
11:32 AM ET

5 years after Katrina: Fighting back, rebuilding

Imagine your entire town just washing away.

That happened in 2005 to Waveland, Mississippi, during Hurricane Katrina. CNN returns to Waveland and talks to the hard working people who rebuilt the town.  Libraries, roads, school and parks have reopened and 60 percent of the businesses are back. And CNN's iReport pulls together a haunting photography project of areas ravaged by the storm - what they looked like then, and what they look like today.

Also, CNN's Drew Griffin examines the mysterious deaths of nine patients found dead during Hurricane Katrina in a New Orleans hospital. Officials determined that the patients were sedated to death.

August 26th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Ken Mehlman

The former RNC chairman and campaign manager for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential bid has announced that he is gay.

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman said in the Atlantic. He is now calling for the legalization of gay marriage.

Mehlman said that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the Republican Party from pushing an anti-gay agenda that included linking homosexuality to atheism and the Federal Marriage Amendment

He said he plans to be an advocate for gay rights and that he is still a Republican.

The Atlantic: Bush campaign chief and former RNC chair: I'm gay


August 26th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Update on salmonella cases by state

Federal and state agencies are tracking the rising number of reported cases of Salmonella enteriditis, which has been linked to the current egg recall. Here's the latest information provided by state health departments:


The state has seen a twofold increase in salmonella reports, with an uptick beginning in June, said Dr. Joli Weiss, food-borne disease epidemiologist for the state Department of Health Services. The state has seen 51 cases this year; normally it has reports of one to three a month, she said.


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Filed under: Health
August 26th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Stabbings suspect extradited to Michigan from Georgia

A serial killing suspect was extradited Thursday amid tight security from Atlanta, Georgia, to Flint, Michigan, according to a police task force spokesman.

Elias Abuelazam is suspected of slashing 18 victims in Michigan, Virginia and Ohio, killing five of them, from May through August.

Abuelazam left jail at about 9:30 a.m., said Tracy Flanagan, a spokesman for the Fulton County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office.


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Filed under: Crime • Georgia • Michigan
August 26th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Friends of man accused of stabbing cabbie 'shocked'

A film student suspected of stabbing a New York cab driver after asking the driver is he was Muslim was described Thursday as someone who worked to build bridges across religious and ethnic boundaries.

Those who know Michael Enright, 21, a film student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, are "shocked and dumbfounded" by his arrest, said Robert Chase, the executive director of Intersections International which posted a message on its site about the incident.

The cabbie, Ahmed Sharif, is due to address media Thursday afternoon.

Enright volunteered with the nonprofit group, and it partially funded his trip to Afghanistan in the spring, where he shot a film on American soldiers serving there for his thesis, Chase said. FULL STORY

Enright is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

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Filed under: New York
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