October 7th, 2010
10:47 PM ET

Groupon study looks at culture of 'cheapskates'

Groupon.com the popular social promotion website, may have won over many a tech-savvy bargain hunter, but how do businesses fare when they offer $30 worth of sushi for $10 or other services through the site?

The answer, in short: good and bad, according to a recent Rice University study.


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Filed under: Technology
October 7th, 2010
10:45 PM ET

Investors gear up for jobs report

A look at the day's business news headlines:

Stocks sag ahead of monthly jobs report

Stocks finished mixed after a sluggish session Thursday afternoon, as cautious investors paused and geared up for the monthly jobs report due Friday.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) closed down 19 points, or 0.2 percent. The blue chip index started off the day with a pop and was less than 2 points shy of the 11,000 mark, a level it hasn't traded at since May. But the Dow drifted as the session wore on and sank almost 75 points before recovering.


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Filed under: Economy
October 7th, 2010
10:31 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Man tells of chase that led to girl's freedom: Some may call it chance, but Victor Perez believes a higher power was involved Tuesday when he chased after a vehicle suspected of carrying an abducted 8-year-old.

'Sexted' photo leads to bullying: At age 13, Hope Witsell struggled in middle school. Not because her class work at Shields Middle School in Ruskin, Florida, was challenging, but because Hope was being bullied.


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Filed under: Bullying • Crime • Death Penalty • Most Popular
October 7th, 2010
08:28 PM ET

Water ice found on second asteroid this year

Researchers who showed the first evidence of water ice and organic molecules on an asteroid in April have found a second instance.

Scientists have found evidence of an asteroid carrying water and organic molecules for the second time this year, bolstering the theory that the building blocks of life on Earth came from an asteroid, according to the authors of a new study.

Researchers from the University of Central Florida who announced in April the first evidence of water ice and organic molecules on an asteroid have discovered the same material on the new asteroid, 65 Cybele.


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Filed under: Space
October 7th, 2010
05:59 PM ET

Donations accepted for fallen soldier's unborn son

A trust account has been set up for the unborn son of a soldier who died in action last week in Afghanistan.

The body of Sgt first Class Lance Vogeler returned home this week to his family in Georgia. The 29-year-old Army Ranger served eight tours in Afghanistan and four in Iraq.

His wife, Melissa, is expecting a child. Those wishing to donate to a trust fund for Baby Boy Vogeler can contact the Coastal Bank Johnson Square office and mention Baby Boy Vogeler or the parents' names.

Home and Away: Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
October 7th, 2010
05:41 PM ET

Max Weinberg: Health issues part of decision to leave Conan

Drummer Max Weinberg says heart surgery and the lure of New Jersey is keeping him put.

Bandleader Max Weinberg says he had open heart surgery two weeks after Conan O'Brien left "The Tonight Show" in a life-changing experience that influenced the famed drummer's decision not to follow O'Brien to TBS.

Weinberg confirmed last week that he was not going to join O'Brien on his upcoming late-night show on TBS, which is set to debut in November. TBS is owned by CNN's parent company, Turner Broadcasting.

In an interview with Fancast.com, Weinberg disclosed that he underwent 12 hours of "massively invasive open heart surgery" to repair a valve that became life-threatening two years ago.


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Filed under: Showbiz
October 7th, 2010
02:37 PM ET

Trick-or-treaters going Gaga over vampires


Lady Gaga's bizarre fashion sense is a major inspiration for Halloween costumes.


An insatiable thirst for blood and publicity is causing a Situation at stores that sell Halloween costumes.

Get-ups inspired by teen vampire books, movies and TV shows, such as "Twilight" and "True Blood"; the TV reality show "Jersey Shore"; and pop singer Lady Gaga are among this year's top sellers, costume retailer Party City reports.

Also moving briskly are costumes reviving '80s fashions and mimicking movie characters, such as Iron Man and Alice in Wonderland, the retailer says. FULL POST

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Filed under: Showbiz
October 7th, 2010
02:10 PM ET

Nobel laureate once punched fellow author, paper says

In 1976, writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, left, caught a punch to the eye from Mario Vargas Llosa. Both men have Nobel prizes for their literary works.

[Update 2:10 p.m.] The "cuentas iguales" tweet attributed to Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a hoax.

Gina Sosa of Garcia Marquez's Iberoamerican New Journalism Foundation says the famed author does not have a Twitter account. She referred CNN to the foundation's Twitter account, where Director Jaime Abello explained the account in question belongs to either imitators or the author's followers.

The Twitter account greets visitors with a smiling photo of Garcia Marquez and proclaims in its bio, "I am Gabo, writer and journalist," using Garcia Marquez's sobriquet. The tweets, which began in 2007, are in first person as if they are from the author. They include book promotions, pontifications on the state of journalism and links to articles at Garcia Marquez’s foundation.

The account has more than 132,000 followers, as opposed to about 7,000 at the foundation's account.

CNN and several other media outlets, including BBC and The Associated Press,  reported news of the seemingly conciliatory tweet, so the hoaxster - whoever he or she is - duped a few of journalism's big dogs.

[Updated 12:17 p.m.] It is a tale of literary rivals, romantic intrigue, divergent politics, a black eye and a Nobel laureate taking to Twitter in what may be a fitting end to a 34-year saga.


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Filed under: Colombia • Fidel Castro • Nobel • Peru
October 7th, 2010
01:58 PM ET

Green group sends message by blowing up kids - on film

Gillian Anderson before the gore in "No Pressure."

There are ways to get out one's message about saving the planet.

Then there's pretending to blow up schoolchildren.

The British environmental group 10:10 apparently chose both. 10:10 published a short film on its Web site last week that has supremely bombed with a lot of people. The group removed it and apologized.

"No Pressure" depicts climate change naysayers, including schoolkids and famous footballers, getting blown up. Chunks of red fake flesh shoot at the camera. Kapow.

Richard Curtis directed. He is the same person who brought the world "Notting Hill."

The film is so violent - and the violence happens so unexpectedly - that CNN has chosen not to post it here. But it's widely available on the Web and is drawing lots of attention.

P.S. At the end of the film, "The X-Files' " Gillian "Scully" Anderson implodes. It's the least disturbing scene.

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Filed under: Environment • Showbiz • United Kingdom
October 7th, 2010
01:35 PM ET

Officials rule France burqa ban legal

France's plan to ban the burqa and other Islamic face coverings in public places is legal, top constitutional authorities in France ruled Thursday, clearing the final hurdle before the ban becomes law.

In September the French senate approved the law – making France the first European country to nationally impose such a measure. The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the lower house of parliament in July. It is scheduled to come into effect in the spring.

French people back the ban by a margin of more than four to one, the Pew Global Attitudes Project found in a survey earlier this year.

Some 82 percent of people polled approved of a ban, while 17 percent disapproved. That was the widest support the Washington-based think tank found in any of the five countries it surveyed.

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Filed under: France
October 7th, 2010
01:08 PM ET

Roy Halladay, Albert Puljos and the MLB playoffs

Leave it to the Phillies – and Doc Halladay - to finish Game 1 with a bang. If beating the Reds 4-0 in the first game of the NLDS wasn’t even for Philadelphia to hang its collective hats, then maybe it was Roy Halladay’s historic performance that did the trick.

The pitching phenom managed to throw only the second postseason no-hitter in history Wednesday night. Just days before the 54th anniversary of Don Larsen’s no-hitter, Halladay hurled 104 pitches, none of which the Reds could come close to turning into runs.

SI.com’s Michael Bamberger talks about being in Citizens Bank Park when Halladay rang in his watershed pitching moment after retiring Brandon Phillips. As in other games, Halladay’s slow, deliberate style was evident in his face-off against the Reds, a team unable to get more than just a walk for right fielder Jay Bruce in the fifth.

"It's surreal, it really is," Halladay said. "I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the postseason. To go out and have a game like that, it's a dream come true."

The Reds will have a chance to avenge their embarrassing series opener on Friday in Philadelphia for Game 2. In the meantime, there is plenty of baseball playoff action to dive into.

Game 2 action:

Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays (2:37 p.m., ET) – Things aren’t looking so great for the Rays after a 5-1 loss at the hands of Cliff Lee and the Rangers. They will need an impressive performance from pitcher James Shields to make an impact in Game 2.


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Filed under: Sports
October 7th, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Authorities find woman, daughter she allegedly snatched in 1984

A former New Jersey woman now living in Nevada was arrested on suspicion of abducting her daughter during a custody struggle more than 25 years ago, authorities said.

Nancy Dunsavage Fiedler, 57, of Incline Village, Nevada, was arrested Tuesday, according to the Somerset County, New Jersey, Prosecutor's Office and the Washoe County, Nevada, Sheriff's Office. She is accused of fleeing a courthouse in Somerville, New Jersey, with her then-6-year-old daughter, Eva Marie Fiedler, during a custody hearing on August 23, 1984.

At the time, the girl's father had full custody of her, according to New Jersey prosecutors. On June 28, 1985, Nancy Fiedler failed to appear for an arraignment on charges of interference with custody, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The case resurfaced Tuesday, when Eva Marie Fiedler, now 32, attempted to change her name to Melissa Reed in order to obtain a marriage license in Washoe County, Somerset County prosecutors said in a release. A background check found a listing in the National Crime Information Center for Eva Marie Fiedler as a missing child out of New Jersey.


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Filed under: Crime
October 7th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Sgt. 1st Class Lance Vogeler

On the ninth anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, the remains of the 29-year-old Army Ranger received a hero’s welcome Thursday at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Georgia. Vogeler was killed on Friday during a firefight in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, officials told the Washington Post.

Vogeler was a career soldier who once turned down an opportunity to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, choosing to stay with his men, the Post reported. When he was killed, he was serving his 12th tour of duty. The service in Afghanistan was his eighth tour there. He had also served four tours in Iraq.

In a statement, Col. Michael E. Kurilla, the commander of Vogeler's regiment, called him "the quintessential Ranger" and "a hero to our Nation, the Army and his family."

Vogeler was known for the respect he received from other soldiers, his Christian faith, and his devotion to family, his friends and colleagues said. His parents, Tim and Donna Vogeler, are deaf. Vogeler and his brother Chris, 27, served their parents as interpreters. Vogeler obtained a certificate to perform marriage ceremonies for fellow soldiers, after many of his men asked that he officiate at their weddings, his parents’ pastor told the Post.

He was a native of Frederick, Maryland, and the married father of two young children. His widow, Melissa, is pregnant.

"He died doing what he felt called to do," his parents’ pastor, the Rev. Peter C. Myers, told the Post. "Lance did not love war. But he had a job to do, and he took it extremely seriously."

Savannah Morning News: Fallen Ranger remembered for leadership, faith and love of his family


October 7th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

Plane evacuated in Philadelphia


A plane was evacuated Thursday, and dogs are inspecting all luggage, police say.


Authorities evacuated a plane at the airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Thursday after one of three people loading the plane failed to produce identification and then disappeared, police said.

U.S. Airways Flight 1070 was bound for Bermuda with 102 passengers and five crew members, police said. It has been towed to a secure part of the airport.

Federal and local police at the Philadelphia International Airport were searching for a person in uniform who was not wearing identification on the tarmac, a law enforcement official said.


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Filed under: Air travel • Bermuda • Pennsylvania
October 7th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

In Vietnam, death toll rises from flooding

The death toll from devastating floods in central Vietnam now stands at 48, state-run news reports said Thursday, citing emergency officials

At least 19 people have been injured and 41 ships sank or were damaged as the government urgently pursued measures to deal with the disaster. Flooding has inundated more than 100,000 dwellings and has caused millions of dollars in damage, the reports said.

More than 900 troops were sent to help with rescue operations, with hundreds of flotation aids, more than 1.5 million tons of food and 2.5 million liters (656,250 gallons) of water.

Central Vietnam has seen record rainfall this week, with some areas getting twice as much rain as is normal for this time of year. The flooding there is the latest in a series of deadly floods across the world recently.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai inspected the flood-hit central region, including the worst-flooded district of Quang Trach, news reports said.

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Filed under: Vietnam
October 7th, 2010
11:27 AM ET

N.C. Republican calls gays 'fruitloops' in e-mail

Rep. Larry Brown is in hot water over a "fruitloops" e-mail.

A gay rights group is asking people to flood a North Carolina state representative's office with cereal after the Republican referred to gays as "queers" and "fruitloops" in an e-mail to other lawmakers.

Rep. Larry Brown, a Republican, was replying to an e-mail that state House Minority Leader Paul Stam sent to members of his caucus. That message, dated September 27, discussed Democratic House Speaker Joe Hackney receiving an award from Equality NC, according to Hackney spokesman Bill Holmes.

The e-mail string, which Holmes provided to CNN, had about 60 recipients. Brown's response consisted of two sentences: "I hope all the queers are thrilled to see him [Hackney]. I'm sure there will be a couple of legislative fruitloops there in the audience."

Messages left at Brown's legislative office were not returned Thursday morning. The cell number listed on his official state page is not working, and a message sent to Brown's e-mail address was not returned.

Brown is running unopposed for re-election this year.

The e-mail was made public recently when Equality NC Executive Director Ian Palmquist received a copy of it. "I was pretty shocked to see a legislator using that language," Palmquist said.

"Rep. Brown needs to apologize, but we haven't received any contact from him, not a word. It's offensive, but I really don't think he reflects what most North Carolinians think about gay people."

Stam told News 14 North Carolina that Brown's language was inappropriate but that he was not "the speech police."

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Filed under: North Carolina
October 7th, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Halladay no-hitter conjures up baseball trivia

Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay delivers an unhittable pitch Wednesday night.

Baseball is a game of statistics, and feats like Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter Wednesday for the Philadelphia Phillies bring out the trivia geek in fans.

Here are some of the more interesting factoids surrounding Halladay's gem:

  • Halladay's no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds is only the second postseason (playoffs and World Series) no-hitter in Major League Baseball history. Don Larsen's perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series was the only other one.
  • Halladay threw 104 pitches to 28 batters in his nine innings of work, 79 of them strikes.
  • He also had a good day on offense, gathering a hit, a run and a run batted-in in three at-bats. FULL POST
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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
October 7th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Five dead after explosions near prominent Pakistan shrine

Two explosions took place near a prominent shrine in Karachi, a senior Karachi police official told CNN Thursday.

At least five people were killed and 20 were injured, a spokesperson for Pakistan's Rescue Services said.

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Filed under: Pakistan
October 7th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

On the Radar: Gay student leader, Afghan war, oil spill

Student under fire by blogger speaks out - Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's first openly gay student body president, said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide led him to break his silence about his own hurtful experience of being targeted online and in high school.

For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog "Chris Armstrong Watch," which Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general's office, publishes. Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is Shirvell's personal project and that it's done during nonwork hours without any official resources. Shirvell, a graduate of the university, has taken issue with what he calls Armstrong's "radical homosexual agenda."

Nine years in Afghanistan - U.S. intelligence operators were some of the first Americans in Afghanistan when the war started in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Their mission was clear get Osama bin Laden and stop the Taliban.

Nine years later, CNN takes a look at what the endgame is for covert operations in the war.


October 7th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Snyder: Pastor Phelps' actions 'cause emotional stress'

It is an emotional battle at the Supreme Court of the United States, pitting free speech, no matter how vile and hate-filled against the right to privacy.

Al Snyder is suing Pastor Fred Phelps for protesting at his son’s funeral, Lance Cpl. Mathew Snyder. Al was inside the supreme court when arguments were made and talks to John Roberts on American Morning.

John Roberts: So take us into the Supreme Court. What's your sense of the arguments that you heard? Many people who were there believe that it looks like the justices sort of would like to help you out, but their hands may be tied by the first amendment?

Albert Snyder: Well, I don't think their hands are tied by the first amendment because there's no such thing as absolute free speech. As far as in the courtroom, you know, the big thing that they went over was pride of a public figure. Well, there's no way I was a public figure at the time.

When the Phelps get up there and talk and says I gave all of these interviews before they did this to me and I talked about the war. And I called and talked to John Murtha, well, they're all wrong. I gave a couple interviews to my local paper. And I called John Murtha to see if he could find out for me what happened in that vehicle accident. I didn't call him to protest the war or anything else. And one of the articles they may have asked me, you know, what I thought about the war. And I said, I thought it was senseless. But, you know every parent that loses a child, somebody from that family gives a statement because your local papers want to know.


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