November 23rd, 2010
11:08 PM ET

NASA study finds Earth's lakes are warming

Satellite data largely agreed with temperature trends taken from buoys in the Great Lakes, NASA says.

The temperatures of Earth's largest lakes have risen in the past 25 years as a result of climate change, according to a new NASA study.

NASA used satellite data to measure the surface temperatures of 167 lakes worldwide and found an average warming rate of .81 degrees Fahrenheit per decade and in some lakes, as much as 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, NASA said Tuesday.

The greatest increases were in the mid- to high- latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, in a pattern consistent with changes associated with global warming, said Simon Hook, a scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

"The key thing is it’s an independent study that provides a new of piece evidence that warming's taking place; and it's made possible through a comprehensive view that the satellite data provides, by allowing us to look over the entire world, as opposed to a particular region," he said.

"From a scientific point of view, small differences in lake temperatures can have big change in a lake's ecosystem - a new fish species that people don't want, new plants; so from our point of view, what we want to do next is understand what the impact of these changes is going to be on the lake's ecosystem."


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Filed under: Climate change • Science • Space • Weather
November 23rd, 2010
11:04 PM ET

Miners trapped underground in New Zealand dead, police say

All 29 miners trapped underground in a New Zealand mine are dead, Gary
Knowles, superintendent from Tasman Police Command said Wednesday.

Air released from the drilling contained high levels of carbon monoxide and methane but little oxygen, police officials have said.

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Filed under: Australia • Mine accidents
November 23rd, 2010
10:13 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:

After North Korean strike, South Korean leader threatens 'retaliation':  Hours after North Korea's deadly artillery attacks Tuesday, South Korea's president said "enormous retaliation" is needed to stop Pyongyang's incitement, but international diplomats urgently appealed for restraint.

Jawbone not Holloway's, Aruba says:  The piece of jawbone found on a beach in Aruba this month is human, but is not that of long-missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, Aruban prosecutors said Tuesday.

William and Kate set date for wedding: Britain's Prince William will marry Kate Middleton on Friday April 29, at Westminster Abbey in London, the royal family said Tuesday, ending a week of speculation about the date and venue. 

Law enforcement officer left loaded gun magazine on plane: A federal law enforcement officer mistakenly left a loaded gun magazine that was found Tuesday on a Southwest Airlines plane, officials said.

Police: Priest solicited murder of boy: A Catholic priest, facing criminal charges and a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a teenage boy, is now charged with attempting to hire someone to kill the youth, authorities said Tuesday.

Filed under: Most Popular
November 23rd, 2010
08:37 PM ET

North Korea strike prompts comparisons to women's cycle, fears over stock prices

It didn't take long for commenters on a Chinese website to begin weighing in on North Korea's deadly artillery attacks on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.

In the hours since the incident, the popular China-based online forum, Tianya Club, has lit up with chatter on North (and South) Korean temperament, why it happened and fears over stock prices.

Below are some translated comments from the site, which claims to have more than 45 million unique visitors. All the comments are anonymous.

“It’s better for the North Koreans to fire their artillery shells before they expire, otherwise they may have to dump them.”

“(North Korean belligerence) is like a women’s menstrual cycle, you can count on it to occur regularly and you better get used to it.”

“It’s confusing (why the North Koreans would attack)  - I only hope this will not affect prices of any stocks I hold.”

“It seems like the more advanced a country becomes, the more they are in fear of war.”

“The real reason is to garner prestige for Kim Jong-un, apparent heir.”

“If it came to war, the South Koreans will be the first to find a way around it. The Americans will the second and China will be third. The North Koreans are the only ones who are not looking for a way around it.”

“Good excuse for the US troops stay in South Korea for another couple of years.”

“China’s reaction may seem the mildest on its face, but I’ll guess China will do the most toward solving this problem.”

“I work with South Koreans. They are more mentally prepared for a big war than you may think.”

November 23rd, 2010
05:57 PM ET

Death toll in Cambodia stampede now at 375

The death and injury toll from a stampede at a Cambodian festival continued to rise Tuesday as families mourned.

The number of deaths is now at 375 and the number of injured is up to 755, the country's official news agency said Tuesday.

Cambodia has declared Thursday a national day of mourning for those who died Monday in the crush at the annual Water Festival in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the news agency AKP reported.

On Tuesday some victims' families and leaders gathered for a religious ceremony for the dead.


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Filed under: Cambodia • Stampede
November 23rd, 2010
04:57 PM ET

Minnesota governor recount set for Monday

The Minnesota state canvassing board Tuesday formally cleared the way for a recount in the razor-thin governor's race between Democratic candidate Mark Dayton and Republican state lawmaker Tom Emmer.

The recount begins Monday. Just 8,770 votes separate the two, with Dayton leading by less than one-half of one percent.

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Filed under: Minnesota • Politics
November 23rd, 2010
04:05 PM ET

Medical marijuana shops banned in parts of L.A. County

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in their unincorporated areas. Meanwhile, the Orange County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to vote on an identical measure also on Tuesday.

The proposals in the first and third largest counties in California would mark another setback for advocates seeking to advance marijuana into mainstream society. Earlier this month, California voters rejected a proposal to legalize the drug, though medical marijuana is legal throughout the state.

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Filed under: California • Medical Marijuana
November 23rd, 2010
02:40 PM ET

All-clear at Boston airport after package scare

[Updated at 2:39 p.m.] A security scare at Boston's Logan International Airport ended with an all-clear after the two bags that triggered the alert were found to be harmless, Massachusetts State Police said Tuesday afternoon.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m.] Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Phil Orlandella tells CNN the evacuation was sparked by a canine unit getting a "hit" on two duffle bags.

The bags had not been loaded onto a plane, Orlandella said.

[Posted at 1:28 p.m.] The cargo building at Boston Logan International Airport has been evacuated as authorities investigate a suspicious package, Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Phil Orlandella told CNN.

He would not say what about the package sparked suspicions. The cargo building is not near passenger terminals and airport operations are unaffected.

The Massachusetts State Police, State Bomb Squad, Boston Fire Department and Logan Fire Department are all responding to the investigation, Sgt. Matthew Murray of the Massachusetts State Police told CNN.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.

WCVB: Investigators examining suspicious package

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Filed under: Air travel • Massachusetts
November 23rd, 2010
02:17 PM ET

If not body scans, what other technology?

A passenger at Schiphol airport in December 2009 going through a full-body scanner.

At the heart of the uproar over full-body scans is that people are creeped out by the idea that a stranger would see a picture of them naked, much less that those images would be recorded and stored somewhere.

A noted nuclear scientist affiliated with the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says that a relatively inexpensive and simple tweak could be made to body scanners that would assuage passengers' anxiety.

The technology - a tool that could be added without much fuss to 385 body scanners in 68 U.S. airports - would automatically distort the body's image so that something almost cartoon-like would be produced, said Bill Wattenburg, a former member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and a University of California Berkeley electrical engineering professor. He has designed anti-terror devices that the U.S. military uses - imaging that can see around walls, for example.

Wattenburg said he spoke with U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials in 2006 about the tool but the talks went nowhere. "We tried, we really did, anticipating that this kind of embarrassment people are feeling would eventually be heard. But no one listened," he said.


November 23rd, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Pakistan to spare woman facing death for blasphemy

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will pardon a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, the governor of Punjab state told CNN Tuesday.

What basically he's made it clear is that she's not going to be a victim of this law," Gov. Salman Taseer told CNN International's "Connect the World" program.

"I mean, he's a liberal, modern-minded president and he's not going to see a poor woman like this targeted and executed. ... It's just not going to happen," Taseer said.

Asia Bibi, who has been jailed for nearly 15 months, was convicted in a Pakistani court earlier this month of breaking the country's controversial blasphemy law, a crime punishable with death or life imprisonment, according to Pakistan's penal code. She was sentenced to death.

The pope was among those who called for Bibi to be freed.

Prosecutors say Bibi, a 45-year-old field worker, insulted the Prophet Mohammed after she got into a heated argument with Muslim co-workers who refused to drink from a bucket of water she had touched.

In a brief news conference at the prison where she's being held, Bibi said Saturday that the allegations against her are lies fabricated by a group of women who don't like her.

"We had some differences and this was their way of taking revenge," she said.

This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Religion
November 23rd, 2010
12:21 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Rep. Frederica Wilson

The Florida Democrat hasn’t even taken office, but she is already gearing up for a fight over an age-old U.S. House rule.

Wilson is a connoisseur of hats, especially sequined cowboy ones, and she doesn’t take kindly to being told that the House doesn’t cotton to its members rocking Stetsons in its chamber.

“It's sexist,” Wilson told The Miami Herald. “It dates back to when men wore hats, and we know that men don't wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear. People get excited when they see the hats. Once you get accustomed to it, it's just me. Some people wear wigs or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me.”

Wilson had to take off her hat for her official congressional picture, a ruling she said she plans to appeal.

The odds are against the flamboyant freshman, according to PolitiFact. The hat ban has been in place since 1837, and was upheld during the 1970s when Rep. Bella Abzug pushed to sport her trademark broad-rimmed hats.

It will likely take a full House vote to overturn the rule, PolitiFact reported.

But Wilson does not seem deterred. Though she recently said she doesn’t know how many hats she owns, she told the Tampa Bay Times last year that she owns about 300, some of which are custom-dyed to match her suits.

Though it would be unreasonable to expect a photo gallery of all the hats, which take up an entire room in her house, the Miami New Times is showcasing 25 of its favorites.


November 23rd, 2010
12:13 PM ET

Gotta Watch: When Otters attack, baby chills to reggae

Aggressive otter terrorizes neighborhood - This so-called mad otter sounds about as scary as an angry turtle. However, animal control is worried that the otter might be rabid after having bitten Chester, a young golden retriever. Flyers were posted in the neighborhood by officials, but how seriously can you take a memo about an angry otter?


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Filed under: Gotta Watch
November 23rd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

TSA complaints: Warranted outrage? Or all bark, no bite?

In recent weeks there has been growing vocal anger regarding the Transportation Security Administration's procedures relating to pat downs and the use of full-body scanners. But amid all of the noise, what are the real complaints, and how much of the outrage is simply that - a growing chorus of bandwagon anger.

There certainly has been no shortage of horror stories - a shirtless boy receiving a pat down,  a flier had to show her prosthetic breast, a bladder cancer survivor whose urine bag broke during a pat down - and countless other stories of uncomfortable encounters with the TSA.

The coverage of the isolated incidents being reported raises the question of whether they paint a picture that isn't the reality for the vast majority of travelers.

The concerns: Fact vs. fiction

Polls have found a majority of Americans support the scans, though they aren't as supportive of the TSA pat downs.

A CBS News survey showed 81 percent of people polled approve of the use of full-body X-ray machines. A Washington Post/ABC News survey found 64 percent of people supported the use of the machines, while 32 percent were opposed. When it comes to the use of pat downs, respondents were practically split down the middle.  However, 37 percent of all Americans said they "feel strongly" that the pat downs are overly intrusive. Still 70 percent of Americans questioned in the Washington Post/ABC News poll said the new TSA rules made no difference in their decision to fly.

Our partners at, who are taking a look at the TSA procedures, report that the head of the agency John Pistole has said the outcry has partially been fueled by media-fed misperceptions.  He said that only a “very small percentage” of the 34 million Americans who have flown since the new procedures took effect have been subjected to the pat downs.

Politico: Go ahead, touch my junk

The TSA even released a list of "myths and facts" about pat downs and other security measures.

No doubt passengers still have some concerns. What about their 4th amendment rights? Are the scanners safe? Do they even work? Can they actually stop terror attacks? How far is too far when it comes to a pat down? What are the medical implications of the procedures? And who exactly should be getting the pat downs?

For some, it’s a question of  pat down or blown up? Sorry, Folks, We'd Rather Be Body-Scanned Than Blown Up In Mid-Air


November 23rd, 2010
12:02 PM ET

Jawbone in Aruba doesn't belong to Natalee Holloway

Tests were done to see a bone that was found was human -- and if it was a match to Natalee Holloway.

[Updated at 12:02 p.m.] A portion of a jawbone recently found on a beach in Aruba is human - but is not Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who was last seen on the island in 2005, authorities said Tuesday.

Authorities said dental records used to compare the small amount of the DNA on the bone did not match. Solicitor General Taco Stein said there was a molar present in the jawbone and dental records determined Holloway had her molars taken out - ruling out the possibility that the bone was a part of her remains.

"Based on dental records, it can be ruled out that the bone fragment came from Natalee Holloway," the Aruban Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Stein also added that officials had "no new leads" in the Holloway case.

The tests, conducted at the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague, Netherlands, were to first determine whether the jawbone found on an island beach is that of a human or that of an animal. If the bone is human, authorities said, they would attempt to determine through DNA testing if it belonged to Holloway. The Alabama 18-year-old was last seen on the island in 2005.


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Filed under: Aruba • Natalee Holloway
November 23rd, 2010
10:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Korean fire, pat-downs, terror arrests

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Battling Koreas - North Korea and South Korea exchanged fire for about an hour Tuesday as the South's military conducted routine drills in the Yellow Sea off Yeonpyeong Island, about six miles from the North.

"Our revolutionary forces will continue to mount merciless military strikes without hesitation if the puppets in the South trespass even 0.0001 millimeters into our waters," North Korea's military command said, according to South Korea's Yonap news agency. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called on his military forces to use "action" and not talk to punish North Korea for the attacks.

Two South Korean marines were killed, and 15 soldiers and civilians were wounded, South Korean authorities said. The U.S. is strongly condemning North Korea's action and said it is committed to helping its South Korean allies.


November 23rd, 2010
10:41 AM ET

South Korean leader calls for 'action' after strike

South Korea's president called on his military forces to use "action" and not talk to punish North Korea for deadly artillery attacks on Tuesday, but international diplomats appealed for restraint.

"The provocation this time can be regarded as an invasion of South Korean territory. In particular, indiscriminate attacks on civilians are a grave matter," President Lee Myung-bak said at the headquarters of the Joint Chiefs of Staff here, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

"Enormous retaliation is going to be necessary to make North Korea incapable of provoking us again," Lee said.


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Filed under: Military • North Korea • South Korea
November 23rd, 2010
10:19 AM ET

Wintry weather could pose Thanksgiving travel problems in some spots

As millions of Americans prepare to hit the roads and take to the skies for Thanksgiving travel, wintry weather may snarl plans for many in the West, while air travel may be complicated because of a controversy over security measures.

The motor club and travel organization AAA has estimated some 42.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving travel period, which stretches from Wednesday to Sunday. However, some of those may be planning to head out Tuesday, particularly with bad weather forecast in some regions.

The vast majority of those - 94 percent, or 39.7 million people - will be driving, AAA reported. Thanksgiving travel is projected to increase from last year because of "modestly improved economic conditions," the organization said.


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Filed under: Air travel • Thanksgiving • Travel • U.S. • Weather
November 23rd, 2010
09:56 AM ET

Global AIDS report shows drops in new HIV cases, AIDS-related deaths

New HIV infections have decreased by almost 20 percent in the past decade, and AIDS-related deaths are down by about one-sixth in five years, according to a new United Nations report released Tuesday.

Data from the 2010 UNAIDS Report on global AIDS shows that an estimated 2.6 million people became newly infected with HIV, compared with the estimated 3.1 million people infected in 1999.

In 2009, approximately 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses, compared with the roughly 2.1 million in 2004, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said in a news release.


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Filed under: AIDS • Health • United Nations • World
November 23rd, 2010
07:51 AM ET

10 terror suspects arrested in Europe

Authorities have arrested 10 people in a terrorism investigation in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, Belgian officials said Tuesday.

They will face a judge Tuesday, who will determine whether police can continue to hold them for more questioning, they said.

The nationalities of those arrested are Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan and Chechen, authorities said.

- CNN's Alanne Orjoux contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Terrorism • World
November 23rd, 2010
07:47 AM ET

N. Korea fires on S. Korea, killing 2

[Updated at 7:41 a.m.] "The firing of artillery by North Korea against Yeonpyeongdo (Yeonpyeong Island) constitutes an indisputable armed provocation against the Republic of Korea. Making matters worse, it even indiscriminately fired against civilians. Such actions will never be tolerated," South Korea's Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations said in a statement.

[Posted at 7:03 a.m.] North Korea said South Korea started an exchange of fire Tuesday by firing toward its side, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing the North's Korean Central News Agency.

"Our revolutionary forces will continue to mount merciless military strikes without hesitation if the puppets in the South trespass even 0.0001 millimeters into our waters," the North's military command said in a statement, according to Yonhap.

[Posted at 6:54 a.m.] North Korea fired artillery toward its tense western sea border with South Korea on Tuesday, killing two South Korean marines, the South's Defense Ministry said.

Fifteen other South Korean soldiers were wounded, five of them seriously, defense officials said. Three civilians were injured in the attack.

About 100 rounds of artillery hit an inhabited South Korean island in the Yellow Sea after the North started firing about 2:30 p.m. local time, the Yonhap news agency said. Yonhap initially reported that 200 rounds had hit. The Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the number of rounds.


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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea • World
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