October 18th, 2010
10:30 AM ET

Your iReport challenge: #BeAHero for charities

STOP what you’re doing. This is about YOU. I know you read news, and I know you feel happy on the days when miners are freed in Chile, concerned when a kid is missing and sad when tragedy strikes.

But YOU also make news every day. Hopefully not the kind to appear on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, but you change the world around you. And, through Thanksgiving, we are using what’s new and what’s buzzing to ask you to make it a better place. We have one task for you: Be A Hero.

Each day, we will offer one simple challenge that you can do to be a hero in your own life.

Here's your first challenge:

Donations to the country's 400 biggest charities plunged last year by 11 percent, the worst decline since the Chronicle of Philanthropy started ranking the fundraising organizations two decades ago.

Here's what you can do: By 3 p.m. EST today, contribute $5 to the cause of your choice. Check out CNN's list of ways to help, or pick another organization that is important to you.

Then tell us about it. You can post your response in the comments here, tweet what you did with the hashtag #BeAHero or send us an iReport about your experience. Which organization did you choose? Why?

Check back here in the evening, when we will post a roundup of the most standout daily heroics.

October 18th, 2010
09:48 AM ET

On the Radar: Osama bin Laden, midterm elections, typhoon

Where's bin Laden hiding? - Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are believed to be hiding close to each other in houses in northwest Pakistan, but are not together, a senior NATO official said.

"Nobody in al Qaeda is living in a cave," said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the intelligence matters involved.

Rather, al Qaeda's top leadership is believed to be living in relative comfort, protected by locals and some members of the Pakistani intelligence services, the official said.

Election marathon now a sprint - With only 15 days remaining before Election Day 2010 and early voting already open in several states, the midterm marathon is now a sprint as Democrats work frantically to establish a beachhead to protect their congressional majorities, while Republicans hope voter anger over the economy propels them into power.


October 18th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

WikiLeaks to release secret Iraq documents

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces a criminal investigation in Sweden.

The controversial website WikiLeaks is expected to release 400,000 documents related to the war in Iraq.

The last huge WikiLeaks leak came in July when the site published what was dubbed The Afghan Diary, a compilation of more than 70,000 classified documents about the Afghanistan war. WikiLeaks was heavily criticized by human rights organizations, leaders within the U.S. government,  high-ranking Pentagon officials and security experts for publishing the names of Afghan informants, thereby possibly putting their lives at risk.

Bradley Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, is the military's focus in the investigation into the leaks. The 22-year-old remains behind bars in Washington.

Since the July leak, WikiLeaks as an organization has suffered as a criminal investigation against its director Julian Assange continues in Sweden and several volunteers have quit. The company that was collecting donations for WikiLeaks recently ended its business relationship with the site.

Watch CNN.com for breaking news on the leaks and CNN.com's Afghanistan Crossroads blog for the latest about the conflict.

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Filed under: WikiLeaks
October 18th, 2010
08:28 AM ET

From North to South Pole to Everest in one year

Arctic explorer Eric Larsen has spent the past 15 years of his life traveling to some of the most remote places on earth. He even sent the first tweet from the North Pole on Earth Day.

Larsen reached the top of the Mount Everest on Friday. He talks to American Morning's Kiran Chetry about his 'Save the Poles' expedition to focus attention on global warming.

Filed under: TV-American Morning • World
October 18th, 2010
06:13 AM ET

World update: France warned of al Qaeda threat

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

Europe terror threat - In a radio interview Sunday, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said that Saudi Arabian intelligence services are warning of a new terrorist threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targeting Europe, especially France.

Congo rape - Nima Elbagir visits the village of Kahungu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where only a few days ago, armed militants launched an attack of rape and sexual abuse.


October 18th, 2010
02:48 AM ET

Missing California boy found safe

A 3-year-old boy who was the subject of an Amber Alert has been found safe and sound, authorities in Pasadena, California, said late Sunday night.

The boy, Dylan Kurihara, had been missing since Saturday night.

"The great news here is that he was in his car seat. He was asleep at the time we found him. He's in good shape," said Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
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