November 17th, 2010
10:54 AM ET

TSA chief faces lawmakers on pat-downs, body scans

The head of the Transportation Security Administration Wednesday defended his agency's security procedures, telling lawmakers it is "using technology and protocols to stay ahead of the [terrorist] threat and keep you safe."

John Pistole's testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation follows a controversy that broke out over the past week about the agency's full body scans and pat-downs.

"We've adjusted our pat-down policy that is informed by the latest intelligence," Pistole told lawmakers, acknowledging that the procedures "may
challenge our social norms."


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Filed under: Air travel
November 17th, 2010
10:52 AM ET

On the Radar: Pat-downs, publicist slain, terrorism trial

To pat or not to pat? - Amidst a flurry of complaints from passengers who said they'd been inappropriately touched while airport security screeners patted them down, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration is expected to  defend the method Wednesday. John Pistole will testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. His appearance was scheduled before this week's "Don't touch my junk" controversy, during which a passenger videotaped his pat-down experience. Two pilots who refused full body scans and pat-downs are suing the Department of Homeland Security. Former commercial pilot C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger, who famously landed a plane in the Hudson River, says pat-downs for flight crews aren't "an efficient use of our resources." The organization suing TSA on behalf of the pilots said the agency is "forcing travelers to consent to a virtual strip search."

Movie publicist killed - Hollywood is reeling after a well-known publicist was gunned down in Los Angeles, California, early Tuesday after a party celebrating the new Cher/Christina Aguilera movie, "Burlesque."  Ronnie Chasen, 64, died after "multiple shots" were fired into her Mercedes, seconds after she drove past the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, police said. Chasen crashed the car into a light pole at 12:20 a.m. She died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

"We were all on such a high," songwriter Diane Warren said. "And then she left - I'm guessing about 10 minutes before I did. What on earth? What happened? Why?"


November 17th, 2010
10:51 AM ET

Smart's story: Months of what ifs, near misses

Maybe Elizabeth Smart wouldn't have spent "nine months in hell" if her mother hadn't burned the potatoes.

Maybe she wouldn't have been stolen in the night if she and her father had closed the kitchen window and set the alarm as they made their nightly rounds after family prayers.

And maybe her ordeal wouldn't have lasted so long if somebody - anybody - had just spoken up after seeing a veiled teenager who didn't seem to have a will of her own.

There are so many maybes in Elizabeth Smart's story.


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Filed under: Elizabeth Smart
November 17th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Clinton urges quick ratification of nuclear arms treaty

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the lame duck Senate Wednesday to ratify the new Russian nuclear arms control treaty, warning that a failure to do so would undermine a critical need for "stability, transparency and predictability."

Clinton, appearing on Capitol Hill to push for approval of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, said the administration intends "to do everything we can during this lame duck session to get a vote to ratify this treaty."

"This is not an issue that can afford to be postponed," she said.


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Filed under: Russia
November 17th, 2010
10:46 AM ET

Professor to implant camera in the back of his head

Professor Wafaa Bilal, known for his eyebrow-raising experiments, like having people shoot paintballs at him over the Internet, has a new idea sparking concerns.

Remember when your mom warned you she had eyes in the back of her head? She might have been onto something.

Because a New York University professor is doing exactly that - surgically implanting a camera in the back of his head in the next few weeks. Why? It's art, duh.

Professor Wafaa Bilal, who works at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' photography and imaging department, is causing a stir because of his artistic experiment raises privacy concerns.

Bilal, who has a countdown on his website for the project - dubbed 3rdI - will have images from the camera broadcast live from the back of his head to an exhibit in a museum in Qatar scheduled to open in December.

The camera, which will be the size of a thumbnail, will be attached using a method similar to piercing, according to The Wall Street Journal, which spoke to Bilal's colleagues familiar with the project.


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Filed under: Art • New York • Technology
November 17th, 2010
09:52 AM ET

Interviewer: Why Prince Will and Kate's marriage will last

We’re royal watching in London this morning, and bringing you all the inside engagement scoop from the U.K. reporter who spoke with the couple first hand.

Tom Bradby, political editor for ITV news, sat down with Prince William and his princess-to-be Kate Middleton, for the exclusive first interview that aired yesterday.

Bradby told American Morning what it was like to talk to Kate, who previously has not spoken to the press. And, he tells us why he thinks the couple will never get divorced.

November 17th, 2010
08:23 AM ET

Air in 16 areas exceeds EPA lead limits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named 16 areas in 11 states that don't meet EPA standards for lead in the air.

Exposure to lead may impair a child's IQ, learning capabilities and behavior.

The 16 areas that don't meet the standards are: FULL POST

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Filed under: Alabama • California • Environment • Florida • Health • Illinois • Indiana • Minnesota • Missouri • Ohio • Pennsylvania • Tennessee • Texas
November 17th, 2010
07:42 AM ET

Haiti cholera outbreak spreads to Dominican Republic

The cholera outbreak in Haiti has spread to the Dominican Republic and that nation has issued a maximum health alert, its health ministry said.

The first confirmed case is a 32-year-old Haitian construction worker who returned to the Dominican Republic last Friday with symptoms of the intestinal illness, the health ministry said.

Are you there? Share your story with CNN iReport

- Journalist Diulka Perez contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Cholera • Dominican Republic • Haiti
November 17th, 2010
07:38 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

9:30 am ET - TSA oversight hearing - TSA Administrator John Pistole testifies before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation about the agency’s ongoing efforts and initiatives.

10:00 am ET - Senate hearing on health care - The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on ways to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid services.


Filed under: On today
November 17th, 2010
05:56 AM ET

World update: Aid agencies appeal over Haiti violence

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

Cholera epidemic continues: Aid agencies call for an end to violence in Haiti as demonstrators accuse U.N. peacekeepers of starting a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,000 people.

Wedding speculation: Bookies have stopped taking bets and are predicting a July 2011 wedding for the UK’s Prince William and his fiancée Kate Middleton. The couple announced their engagement Tuesday.

Ireland refusing bailout? Ireland’s Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said that Ireland does not need a bailout. European finance ministers meet at in Brussels Wednesday, with the state of Eurozone top of the agenda.


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