The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
Apple unveils iPad 2: Okay, what's white and black and read all over? If you're thinking the second-generation iPad, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled Wednesday, then you've jumped the gun. But after March 11 release date? All bets are off.
Police: Father stabs baby to death: A California teenager kidnapped his 5-month-old baby and fatally stabbed the child as pursuing deputies watched before police shot and killed the teen, authorities said.
17-year inmate was innocent, DA says: Houston prosecutors are asking a court to formally exonerate a Texas man after DNA tests ruled out his guilt in a rape for which he served 17 years in prison.Â George Rodriguez was freed in 2004 after an appeals court found that faulty scientific evidence had been used against him in his 1987 trial.
Two U.S. airmen killed in Germany shooting: A 21-year-old man from Kosovo is in custody after two U.S. airmen were killed and two others were wounded Wednesday in a shooting incident on a U.S. military bus at Germany's Frankfurt Airport, authorities said.
The man who hipped us to bi-winning: In 24 hours, actor Charlie Sheen managed a marathon of appearances that kept viewers enthralled.Â His acting is sitcom gold. His quotes are comedy platinum. Why can't we look away?
Editor's note: Nancy Grace's new show on HLN, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," is dedicated to finding 50 people in 50 days. As part of the effort, which relies heavily on audience participation, CNN.com's news blog This Just In will feature the stories of the missing.
This is the 33rd case, and it will be shown Wednesday night on HLN.
Johnny Gosch had been on the job as a Des Moines Register paperboy in Iowa for a year when he disappeared on September 5, 1982. The 12-year-old was last seen picking up newspapers at the paper drop, but those papers never made it to customers' doorsteps. It was not until people along his route called to complain of undelivered papers that people realized something was wrong.
Gosch's case went on to be one of the most publicized in Iowa of its time. But after 28 years, Johnny has yet to come home.
Itâ€™s no surprise to hear college football has a problem. Many of the sportâ€™s vices are well-documented, from its shady recruiting to its controversial BCS playoff system. But most fans, school officials and coaches have no idea about the extent of college footballâ€™s biggest problem these days: crime.
In a six-month investigation spearheaded by Sports Illustrated and CBS News, a background check was run on every college football player on every team in SIâ€™s preseason Top 25. Of the 2,837 players examined, shockingly, 204 had criminal records â€“ or one in every 14 players on a Top 25 team.
A roundup of today's CNNMoney news:
$4 billion down, $57 billion to go Congress passed a spending bill Wednesday that will keep the government open for another two weeks. Get ready for a knock-down fight between now and March 18 over the next round.
Libya: Spending oil money across the globeÂ From Italian football team Juventis to Financial Times owner Pearson publishing, just what is Libya invested in?
Gas station owners: Don't call us gougers! In the past month, Mike Bellman has raised gas prices by a penny a day at his Sunoco station in Columbus, Ohio. And he's not apologizing for it.
iPad 2: Thinner, faster, coolerÂ Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance to present the second generation of the iPad tablet. As expected, it will feature front-Â and rear-facing cameras and will be capable of FaceTime video chatting - a feature that debuted last year on the iPhone 4.
How to avoid drowning in debt Sam's credit card debt is out of control and he's asked Chuck to help him get a handle on his spending.
The eastern cougar has been declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, confirmingÂ decades of suspicion that the elusive subspecies was no more.
The large, solitary predatory catÂ once lived in every Eastern U.S. state in a variety of habitats, including coastal marshes, mountains and forests, said Dr. Mark McCollough, the agency's lead scientist for the eastern cougar. But you've probably never seen an eastern cougar - the last confirmed identification was in 1938 in Maine.
Other subspecies of the cougar, also known commonly as mountain lions, wildcats, panthers and pumas, still exist in the United States, including the Florida panther.
Scientists have held out hope, based on scattered reports, that a few eastern cougars remained. Those sightings turned out to be other subspecies from the Western United States - where the cougar population is growing and expanding its range eastward - or captive animals that were freed or escaped.
"We still have cougars and mountain lions in the United States that look identical to what we had in eastern North America, and that's probably what people are still seeing," McCollough said. "But the scientific and historical evidence point to the conclusion that the eastern cougar subspecies has not existed for a while."
Wisconsin Senate Republicans have voted on a resolution that would fine missing Democrats $100 every day they remain away from the state capital, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told reporters.
Fourteen Democratic state senators have fled to Illinois to prevent a
quorum on a budget bill that would curtail the collective bargaining rights of most public sector workers. Wisconsin state constitution says they only need a quorum of 20 votes for fiscal issues.
The measure would take effect Friday and could also force the absentee lawmakers to forfeit their parking spaces and discretionary spending accounts.
Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.
Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:
[LIBYA, 3:55 p.m. ET, 10:55 p.m.]The USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge have traversed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean, a U.S. official said. The two ships have been sent with humanitarian relief equipment to aid in Libyan relief and evacuation efforts. The ships join the USS Stout, USS Barry and the USS Mount Whitney in the Mediterranean.
[LIBYA, 10:11 a.m. ET, 5:11 p.m.] At least four people have been killed and 23 have been wounded in the fighting Wednesday between pro-Gadhafi forces and the opposition in the town of al-Brega, a doctor who runs a hospital in the area told CNN.
[LIBYA, 9:37 a.m. ET,Â 4:37 p.m. local] The International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is opening an investigation into the situation in Libya, the court said in a statement Wednesday.
[LIBYA, 9:09 a.m. ET, 4:09 local] Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi abrubtly ended a 2-hour, 20-minute speech by saying, "The American president will leave office, the European leaders will leave their offices, and Gadhafi will still be a leader."
[LIBYA, 9:03 a.m. ET, 4:03 p.m. local] Two hours into his speech, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi mentioned President Obama.
"I think Obama is quite reasonable," he said. "He is not a yankee like Bush or Clinton, he's a reasonable person. He's capable to avoid another Iraq or Afghanistan. ... (However,) if they want to challenge us, we accept the challenge. Then we will distribute arms to 2 or 3 million and we won't care about killing them. We will defend the honor of all our innocent people. ... We will enter an honorable battle."
Gadhafi said if his country's rebellion cannot be resolved peacefully, "we'll see what can be done."FULL STORY
[Update 1:40 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama said Wednesday he was "saddened and outraged" by an attack in Germany that killed two Americans and wounded two others. "We will spare no effort in learning how this outrageous attack took place," Obama said, adding that American officials are working with German authorities to investigate.
[Update 11:19 a.m. ET] Two people were shot and killed Wednesday in an incident involving a U.S. military bus at Frankfurt Airport in Germany, a police spokesman said.
Another person is severely wounded, Juergen Linker told CNN, and one person is in custody.
A U.S. military official said initial reports were that two people had been killed, including the driver of the bus.
It is not clear if the driver was German or American, or military or civilian.
Two others are wounded, said the source, who is not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.
Philadelphia prosecutors say they may seek the death penalty against abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who is charged with murder after allegedly performing illegal late-term abortions at a dirty facility.
Authorities allege that some of the infants were born viable and alive during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy and then were killed with scissors, which were used to cut their spinal cords.
Gosnell, 70, faces eight counts of murder in the deaths of seven babies and a 41-year-old woman.FULL STORY
It's a sweet ending to a story that was hard to swallow.
The city manager of Savannah, Georgia, has decreed that Girl Scouts may sell their famous cookies on the sidewalk in front of their founder's birthplace.
A city ordinance prohibits commercial sales in the public right of way, but the same ordinance allows the city manager to grant exemptions, according to the city's announcement of the decision.
Cookie sales in front of the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, a Savannah landmark, had been halted at the start of the four-week cookie season because there was no private space between the building and the street, CNN affiliate WJCL-TV reported.
However, City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney issued the exemption late Tuesday to allow the tradition to continue.
"We get a lot of tourists who get real excited about taking the girls' pictures under the sign because you're seeing actual Girl Scouts in uniforms with Girl Scout cookies at the Girl Scout birthplace," Fran Arnsdorff, co-leader and "cookie mom" of Savannah's Troop 511, told CNN affiliate WSAV-TV.
Sales will resume Saturday, WSAV reported.
Apple caught the technology world off guard when it introduced the iPad more than a year ago. Competitors have spent much of that time trying to catch up, and worthy tablet computers have started to surface.
Apple is hoping to maintain its lead on Wednesday. Rumors are swirling about what new features will get packaged into the iPad 2 and about the complementary services that could launch here. CNN is in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts live blogging the announcements.
[9:55 a.m. PT] Songs from The Beatles (an iTunes exclusive) are blaring on the stereos, and Apple executives are schmoozing at the front. No sign of Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO who is currently on medical leave.
[10:03 a.m. PT] "Sun, sun, sun, here we come." Music down; lights down; Apple execs coming up. CEO Steve Jobs takes the stage to a standing ovation.
[10:04 a.m. PT] Jobs: "We've been working on this product for a long time, and I just didn't want to miss the day."
[10:05 a.m. PT] Random House partners with Apple for iBooks, adding the sixth and final big book publisher to the e-book store.
[10:07 a.m. PT] Jobs on the iPad: "People laughed at us for using the word magical. But you know what? It's turned out to be magical."
Jobs on the "unbelievable price" bit of the marketing slogan: "Ask our competitors."
[10:10 a.m. PT] Demonstrating some of the popular iPad apps. (There are 65,000 in total, Apple says.) Hey, there's CNN's!
[10:13 a.m. PT] Showing a new iPad marketing video. Apple keeps using this "post-PC" term. Hey, Apple, aren't computers still your biggest source of revenue?
[10:15 a.m. PT] For anyone concerned about Jobs' health based on those tabloid reports, he looks fine and happy.
[10:18 a.m. PT] "Is 2011 going to be the year of the copycats? Well, I think if we did nothing, maybe a little bit. ... Most of the tablets aren't catching up with the first iPad."
New iPad is indeed called iPad 2, with an "all new design."
[10:20 a.m. PT] Apple says iPad 2 is faster: perhaps most important, very fast in terms of graphics.
[10:22 a.m. PT] iPad 2 has a camera on the front and another on the back. It also has a gyroscope, which is good for gaming. (There's also a gyroscope in the iPhone 4.)
iPad 2 is one-third thinner, and has a tapered look, which looks more like the MacBook Air. It's thinner than the iPhone 4. Yikes. It weighs 1.3 pounds.
[10:24 a.m. PT] iPad 2 will have versions for Verizon Wireless and AT&T. It comes in black and white. We're still waiting on a white iPhone 4. A nod to that, Jobs says: "We'll be shipping white from Day One."
[10:25 a.m. PT] iPad 2 will have the same pricing structure as the original. In other words, it starts at $499. It will be available in stores on March 11 in the U.S. Two weeks later, Apple will add at least 26 more countries. "This thing is going to be everywhere in the month of March," Jobs says.
[10:27 a.m. PT] Jobs now talking about some iPad accessories. First, a $39 HDMI cable that lets you project whatever is on the iPad's screen onto a TV. "Teachers want to hook iPads up to their flatscreens in the classrooms," Jobs says. "And you can even charge the iPad while you're using it."
[10:30 a.m. PT] Jobs is dissing on Apple's own case. Can't argue with that; it looks like a cheap Batman accessory. Apple is introducing Smart Covers, a bendable case that comes in several colors.
This is cool: iPad automatically wakes from sleep when you peel back the cover. The Smart Covers use magnets that automatically align the case so it covers the screen. A microfiber cover on the screen-facing side "cleans it" when it's on. I never thought I'd be impressed by a case. Must be the JobsÂ distortionÂ field.
[10:31 a.m. PT] The commercial for this case is really clever. Jobs says: "It kind of reminds me of a Pixar short or something."
Smart Cases cost $39 forÂ polyurethane, $69 for leather.
[10:33 a.m. PT] Mobile exec Scott Forstall takes the stage to talk about the new iOS 4.3 software. The browser is much faster.
[10:35 a.m. PT] This iOS 4.3 is not a very exciting update - must be why Apple is calling it 4.3 instead of 5.0. In addition to Safari changes, there will be improvements to iTunes media sharing and AirPlay features, which are both nice for Apple TV owners.
[10:38 a.m. PT] Uber geeks will be happy to know that they can change whether the switch on the side will mute or changeÂ orientation. The update also adds the Mobile Hotspot feature, for sharing your wireless internet to a few other gadgets.
Non-geeks will have fun playing with the Photo Booth app. It's similar to the one for the Mac.
[10:41 a.m. PT] Of course, Apple is adding FaceTime to take advantage of the iPad 2's cameras. The app lets you video chat with Mac users or owners of the new iPhone or iPod Touch.
[10:44 a.m. PT] Apple is introducing two new mobile apps.
First, iMovie for iPad. "This is not a toy," Jobs says. "You can really edit movies on this thing." Was the iPhoneÂ versionÂ from last year a toy?
[10:48 a.m. PT] Spotted during the demo: the iMovie app has CNN iReport built in!
[10:53 a.m. PT] iMovie will cost $5, and it'll come to the App Store on March 11 - same day as iOS 4.3.
Second app: GarageBand, which includes musical instrument simulators. "They turn the iPad itself into a musical instrument that you can play wherever you go," saysÂ Xander Soren, Apple's director of music marketing. iPad's accelerometer sensor simulates how hard you hit a piano key.
There are tons of music apps already out there, but this one looks pretty well thought out.
[10:56 a.m. PT] Apple has posted the iPad 2 specifications on its website. In case it wasn't clear before, the new iPad has the same sort of screen as the previous version. In other words, no high-resolution Retina Display.
[10:59 a.m. PT] Back to GarageBand, Apple is reinventing instruments - guitars, keyboards, bass, drums - for touchscreens. Calling them "Smart" instruments. Is nothing sacred?
"They're kind of like musical training wheels - makes it so you can't play a bad note," Soren says.
[11:04 a.m. PT] GarageBand mobile app is the same deal: $5 on March 11.
[11:12 a.m. PT] "It's in Apple's DNA that technology isn't enough," Jobs says. "Nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in, and they're looking at this as the next PC."
"These are post-PC devices, that need to be even easier to use than the PC," he adds. "They need to be even more intuitive than a PC."
[11:14 a.m. PT] "As always, I'd also like to thank everyone's families because they support us and let us do what we love to do," Jobs says, getting a bit emotional. He leaves the stage smiling, and grabs a bottle of water.
What's this newfangled "mouse" you speak of? – As we hear collective whines about the new iPad, we'd like to take you back to a time where there were no iPads–or "i" anythings. The year was 1984,Â and the computer mouse made its debut on the world stage. It was large, clunky and had one giant clicker. Also making an appearance in this video, our old friend the floppy disk.[cnn-videoÂ url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2011/03/01/vault.apple.mouse.cnn"%5D
The 90-year-old actor will appear Wednesday on Capitol Hill, testifying on elder abuse before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Rooney recently was granted court protection - and saw his finances placed with an independent conservator - after alleging that his stepson was physically and emotionally abusing him, the Los Angeles paper reported.
Rooney, who began in vaudeville, is perhaps best known for starring in the "Andy Hardy" films as well as musicals with Judy Garland, who died in 1969.
A Kansas church that attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members has won its appeal at the Supreme Court, an issue testing the competing constitutional limits of free speech and privacy.
The justices by a 8-1 vote on Wednesday said members of the Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars.
The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.
"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and– as it did here– inflict great pain," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker."FULL STORY
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the mission of space shuttle Discovery.
Today's programming highlights...
9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony hearing - A critical hearing takes place in the case of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.Â At issue is whether specific evidence and statements can be used at trial.