October 28th, 2010
11:40 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

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

Time traveler spotted in silent film: It wouldn't be shocking to see a woman talking on her cell phone while walking down the street. It would be, however, if the woman were an extra in a silent film from 1928.

Somali militants execute two teenage girls: A Somali militant group publicly executed two teenage girls Wednesday after accusing them of being spies for the Somali government, according to the group, eyewitnesses and a relative of one of the girls.

'You don't forget': Medic's Holocaust diary tells story of hell: The tattered journal, its pages yellow with age, contains the painful memories of a U.S. medic, a man who recorded the deaths of soldiers who survived one of World War II's bloodiest battles yet met their end as slaves in Nazi Germany.

Obama visits Jon Stewart and 'The Daily Show' in D.C.: President Obama gently sparred with Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" in the final run-up to next week's midterm elections, after the comedian called his legislative progress "timid."

Rachel Dratch reveals her son's father: "Saturday Night Live" alum Rachel Dratch wasn't trying to be a Debbie Downer by keeping mum about the identity of her baby's father during her pregnancy. She was just trying to preserve his privacy

Filed under: Most Popular
October 28th, 2010
08:50 PM ET

Meek says he's staying in Senate race

[Updated at 10:35 p.m.] Florida's Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate said Thursday night that he was staying in the race and called earlier reports that he was asked to drop out "inaccurate at best."

[Original post] Former President Bill Clinton last week tried to persuade Florida Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek to drop out of the three-way contest, according to a report by Politico that was confirmed by CNN.

A senior Democratic official told CNN that the White House was aware of Clinton’s negotiations, and that Democrats believed the move would prevent Republican candidate Marco Rubio from winning the Florida Senate seat.

As part of the deal, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist would then caucus with Democrats in the Senate. Meek was considering the option until two days ago, but the deal eventually fell apart, according to the source.


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Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida • Kendrick Meek • Marco Rubio • Politics
October 28th, 2010
08:02 PM ET

Ozzy Osbourne on genome testing, Neanderthal lineage

In July, rocker Ozzy Osbourne became one of few to submit his blood to have his full genome sequenced and analyzed.

The results are in, and it turns out his genome reveals some Neanderthal lineage, according to Scientific American.

Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, are expected to discuss the testing and its results Friday at the TEDMED 2010 scientific conference in San Diego, California.

In a Sunday Times of London column (registration required), the former Black Sabbath front man said he was reluctant to submitting to the test at first. He eventually gave in to his curiosity over how he had managed to survive years of hard living and substance abuse.

"Given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years—not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol... there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive," he wrote.

"Maybe my DNA could say why."

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Filed under: Science • Showbiz
October 28th, 2010
07:37 PM ET

Speculation prevails ahead of next week's Fed meeting

Stocks waver amid investor caution

Stocks pared earlier losses and ended virtually unchanged Thursday, as investors remained cautious ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting.

Starting the session with strong gains, stocks were fueled by optimism from corporate earnings and a report showing fewer people filing for first-time unemployment. However, skittishness prevailed and stocks seesawed throughout the session.


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Filed under: Economy
October 28th, 2010
05:39 PM ET

Replica weapon behind Texas A&M scare

[Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET] Authorities said there was no danger at Texas A&M University
after a report of a gunman on campus Thursday turned out to be a person with a replica weapon.

A partial lockdown and campus-wide alert system went into effect after a bus driver spotted what he described as a man carrying what looked like an AK-47, officials said.

The alert was issued at 4 p.m. CT. It asked those on campus to "seek safe shelter until further notice."


[Earlier post] Texas A&M University police were searching for a possible gunman on campus Thursday after a bus driver spotted what he described as a man carrying what looked like an AK-47, officials said.

The heart of the university, Rudder Complex, was on lockdown and officials sent out a campus-wide alert urging people to seek shelter.

No gunman was immediately found, the university said, yet officials asked those on campus to remain under shelter.

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Filed under: Texas
October 28th, 2010
05:24 PM ET

Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend, doctor guilty in drug trial

Anna Nicole Smith died in 2007 of a drug overdose.

Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and one of her doctors were found guilty Thursday of two counts of conspiracy to provide drugs to a known addict and using false names to obtain the drugs.

A second doctor was found not guilty on all counts.

Read the full story on CNN.com.

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Filed under: Anna Nicole Smith • Courts • Crime
October 28th, 2010
03:24 PM ET

U.N. investigates allegations of cholera source in Haiti

Preliminary tests on a suspected source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti were negative, U.N. peacekeepers said Thursday.

The U.N. mission in Haiti is testing waste and sewage water at the back of a Nepalese military base that is part of the U.N. operations. The first tests showed no signs of cholera, officials said.

Read the full story on CNN.com.

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Filed under: Cholera • Haiti
October 28th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

WebPulse: Scary politics, meatheads, Rocky's 'tranny'

We're five days out from midterm elections and three days away from Halloween. Let's get this fear wagon moving, shall we?

'Daily Show,' the morning after - President Obama's congenial yet somewhat tense conversation with Jon Stewart is one of the most viewed 30 minutes online today. Obama is trying to avoid what would be a scary scenario to the Dems if the Republicans sweep the polls. Heck, it could be a virtual GOP wave on Tuesday, writes CNN contributor John P. Avlon.

Obama's appearance was just part of his campaign to inspire voters, particularly the younger ones who helped put him in office (and apparently a lot of guys who watch the Daily Show). It also comes in the days before the Washington rallies "A Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" that Stewart and comedian foil Stephen Colbert are hosting this weekend.

The rallies don't seem to have spooked Republicans so much as some of their own candidates. The search term "Karl Rove" was at the top of Google Trends, leading to stories about President Bush's former senior adviser saying Sarah Palin lacks "gravitas."

Does Rove not get how frightening a pit bull can be?

Oooh ... WebPulse is in transition heaven right now ... Let's talk about meatheads.

Vegetarians beware - We're not sure if this meathead recipe is trending, but it should be. So gross, so creative, so stinky. Pinch your nose like the many critics of last night's "Glee." "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" never sounded so lame as it did on the show, Gawker says. The Huffington Post said the show neutered "Rocky" by replacing the word "transsexual" with "tranny." Changing the lyrics to a classic musical? A scary statement on today's generation if you ask us. Next thing you know those kids will pose half-naked in a national men's magazine.

(Mega-fancy) House on the Hill - If $5 is all you can spare for a magazine, you'll be pretty well freaked out by this home built by Asia's richest man. It's in Mumbai, overlooking the city's slums. It has 27 floors for his family of six, three helipads, a 168-space parking lot, a pool, health club and an ice room with man-made flurries. Jeez, and we thought our rent was too damn high.

October 28th, 2010
02:28 PM ET

Lots of Earth-size planets out there, astronomers say

Astronomers observed sun-like stars from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

There may be more Earth-size planets in the universe than astronomers suspect, according to a University of California-Berkeley study published Thursday.

Using NASA's powerful Keck telescope in Hawaii, university astronomers Andrew Howard and Geoffrey Marcy tracked 166 sun-like stars within 80 light-years of Earth, according to their report published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science.

Howard and Marcy found a notable number of planets of the smallest size currently detectable: about three times the size of Earth.

"If we extrapolate down to Earth-size planets - between one-half and two times the mass of Earth - we predict that you'd find about 23 for every 100 stars," Howard said in a press release. FULL POST

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Filed under: Earth • Space
October 28th, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Probe: BP, Halliburton knew of well cement problem

Oil giant BP and Halliburton knew of potential flaws in the cement slurry used to reinforce the oil well below the Deepwater Horizon rig before it exploded in April, according to a letter Thursday from the lead investigator for a federal probe of the Gulf oil disaster.

The letter from Fred Bartlit Jr. to the National Commission on BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling said tests in February on a cement slurry similar to what was used on the Macondo well showed instability.

According to the letter, the cement was poured to stabilize the well on April 19 and 20, the day of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig above that killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

"Halliburton and BP both had results in March showing that a very similar foam slurry design to the one actually pumped at the Macondo well would be unstable, but neither acted upon that data," the letter said.

"Halliburton (and perhaps BP) should have considered redesigning the foam slurry before pumping it at the Macondo well," the letter continued.

Read full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
October 28th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

Sports: Don't count Texas Rangers out

Cliff Lee, of the Texas Rangers, doing his thing.

Things didn't go quite as planned for the Texas Rangers last night. Game 1 of the World Series at San Francisco favored the hometown boys as the Giants routed Texas with a commanding 11-7 victory. In all fairness, as SI.com's Joe Posnaski writes, fans shouldn't think it's over for Cliff Lee and the boys after just one game. Remember the ALCS when they rallied and subsequently steamrolled the Yankees after a Game 1 loss? The Rangers have definitely been in this situation before and made it work.

But there is much to be said about how last night's game unfolded. Seemingly invincible Cliff Lee faltered, his 7-0 postseason record, 1.26 ERA, and 67-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio not holding up against monstrous hits from the Giants. Freddy Sanchez smacked a record-setting three doubles off of Lee bringing the score to 5-2 in the fifth, before the Rangers turned to reliever Darren O'Day. Maybe they should have just stuck with Lee because in the same inning, Juan Uribe knocked a three-run homer bringing the Giants to a commanding 8-2 lead. Though the Rangers attempted to rally later, it simply wasn't enough.

The loss was not only a knock against a team expected to take a dominant role in the series, but it also chipped away at Lee's aura of invincibility, which could end up hurting the team where it matters most.

But the past is in the past - well, sort of - and it's on to Game 2:

Rangers vs. Giants (7:57 p.m., ET, FOX) - After last night's disappointing loss, the Rangers look to even up the Series before heading back to Texas on Thursday. All eyes will be on pitchers Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum, who struggled mightily in Game 1.

By The Numbers

30 - Number of points Dwyane Wade scored in the Heat's first victory of the season against the Sixers. After a disappointing loss to the Celtics, the Heat rebounded in their 97-87 rout of Philadelphia.

2344 - Number of passing yards Philip Rivers has racked up this season.

291 - Brett Favre's currently NFL streak of 291 consecutive games started, 315 if the playoffs are included.

Filed under: Baseball • Sports
October 28th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

Swiss use steamroller to make statement on counterfeiting

Fake goods were crushed to make a statement against counterfeiting Thursday.

Thousands of watches, CDs and DVDs were crushed by a steamroller Thursday as part of a Swiss campaign against counterfeit goods.

The smashing of the counterfeit goods at an airport in Bern, Switzerland, highlighted Stop Piracy Day 2010 and launched the Swiss Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Platform’s “Piracy is Cruel” campaign.

The public-private Swiss group is trying to educate consumers on how purchasing goods they know to be counterfeit puts themselves and others in danger.

“Consumers who use or buy counterfeit goods also care too little about the consequences of their actions,” the group said in a press release.


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Filed under: Consumer safety • Crime • Jobs • Switzerland
October 28th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

Huckabee: Dems Pentagon request a sign of desperation

Democratic officials recently sought information from the Pentagon on nine prominent Republicans who could challenge President Obama in 2012, according to report by ABC News Wednesday.

Among them was Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008 but has since remained cagey about whether he plans to abandon a cushy Fox News gig to take another shot at the White House.

Read full CNN Political Ticker post

October 28th, 2010
11:01 AM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Paul Rusesabagina

One of the foremost heroes in the horror that was the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Paul Rusesabagina now stands accused of helping rebels in that country, charges he denies.

Rwanda’s general prosecutor, Martin Ngoga, says he has evidence that Rusesabagina wired money from San Antonio, Texas, to commanders of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, via banks in Congo, Tanzania and Burundi.

Ngoga said top rebel leaders in custody have confirmed the transactions, and he flatly accuses Rusesabagina of “financing terror.” The prosecutor is pushing for the U.S. to help in the investigation.

In an interview from Brussels, Belgium, the inspiration for the Oscar-nominated “Hotel Rwanda” told CNN that Ngoga is “lying with bad logic.”

A critic of President Paul Kagame, Rusesabagina says the charges are politically motivated. Ngoga insists they are not.

Rusesabagina, played by Don Cheadle in the movie, saved hundreds of people from being slaughtered by tapping his connections as a popular hotel manager.

More than 800,000 people in the central African nation were killed amid the genocide. The White House awarded Rusesabagina a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his heroism.


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Filed under: Art • California • Georgia • Health • Most Intriguing People • Rwanda • Sports • Terrorism
October 28th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

'Year of the Woman' on ballot but not at polls

GOP candidates Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle and Nikki Haley have captured the attention of the country this election season, but they're just a few of the record number of women pursuing office this year.

More than 160 women congressional and gubernatorial candidates won their primaries and will be on the ballot next week, leading some observers to dub 2010 the "Year of the Woman."

Read full CNN.com story

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Filed under: Politics
October 28th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Ballplayer mounts a comeback for the ages

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had the best batting average in the American League in 2010 and is playing in his first World Series. But he's already won a huge victory in his life, overcoming a severe drug addiction that took him to rock bottom. CNN's Mark McKay reports:

Filed under: Baseball • Sports
October 28th, 2010
10:29 AM ET

iReport daily challenge: #BeAHero for humor

Editor's Note: Learn about the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2010 and vote for the CNN Hero of the Year at CNNHeroes.com.

The Internet is buzzing about U.S. President Barack Obama’s interview on “The Daily Show” with comedian Jon Stewart last night - the first sitting U.S. president to appear on the late-night comedy show.

Stewart reserved most of the 30-minute interview for serious questions about Obama’s on healthcare and the economy, but there were some lighter moments, like when he called the President of the United States “dude.”

We all need a little laughter in our lives. And it’s even good for our health. Studies have indicated laughter can decrease the hormones that regulate stress, lower blood pressure and boost immune function. 

Today, “Be A Hero” for humor and share your favorite joke, funny story or laugh-out-loud video. Spread the joy in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #BeAHero.

October 28th, 2010
10:02 AM ET

Poll: Sink leading, Rubio still up in Florida

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink has a slight advantage over her opponent, Republican Rick Scott, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

Sink, the state's chief financial officer, leads 45 percent to 41 percent over Scott, a former health care executive, while 11 percent of likely voters said they are still undecided in the October survey. Sink's four point advantage is within the poll's sampling error.

Read full CNN Political Ticker post

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Filed under: Alex Sink • Florida • Marco Rubio • Politics
October 28th, 2010
09:54 AM ET

On the Radar: Anti-gay official, Obama on 'Daily Show'

School official mocks gays –A school board official in Arkansas is facing fierce criticism for allegedly writing hateful comments about gay people on his Facebook page, including that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, the Advocate reports.

According to the national newspaper, Midland School District Vice President Clint McCance wrote "queer" and "fag" repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they were gay, and stated that he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] often give each other AIDS and die."

State officials have strongly condemned the comments, saying that the school district tries to foster an environment of tolerance and safety from bullies. Because McCance is elected he cannot be fired.

He's up for re-election Nov. 2 and is running unopposed, according to The Advocate.

Obama on The Daily Show - President Obama had a serious conversation with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart less than a week before Tuesday's midterm elections. Stewart called the president's legislative progress "timid," a contrast to Obama's more aggressive style of campaigning. In a gentle way, Stewart challenged Obama about whether the president has lived up to the big promises he made in 2008. Many who missed the show last night are watching this morning.

Halloween lanterns recalled –– The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Dollar Tree Stores are recalling 682,000 battery-operated lantern skulls, ghosts and pumpkins that can overheat. The bulb in the lanterns poses fire and burn hazards to consumers, according to the agency.

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Filed under: Arkansas • Facebook • Halloween • Jon Stewart • Politics
October 28th, 2010
09:24 AM ET

'I was almost rendered a non-person' because of weight

Eating habits and weight come out of a complicated set of psychological issues, says Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a psychology professor and cast member of the Bravo series "Thintervention." Durvasula responds to Marie Claire.com writer Maura Kelly's incendiary blog piece about overweight television characters, a piece that has prompted more than 30,000 responses and an apology from Kelly.

Filed under: Health • TV-American Morning
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