The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:
18 charged in alleged gang rape of Texas girl: Thirteen adults and five juveniles have been arrested as part of an investigation into the alleged rape of a Texas girl, police said.
Wisconsin Democrats' proposed border meeting rejected: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Monday dismissed as "ridiculous" a letter from a Democratic state Senate leader who suggested a meeting "near the Wisconsin-Illinois border" to discuss the state's budget impasse.
20-year-old Mexican police chief fired amid reports she fled:Â A woman who became police chief ofÂ a violence-plagued Mexican town when she was 20 was fired Monday when she didn't appear for work.Â Â An official with the U.S.Â Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencyÂ told CNN she is in the United States.
Capt. Kirk wakes up shuttle crew: Actor William Shatner on Monday reprised his "Star Trek" role to wake up the crew of the space shuttle Discovery in a recorded message.
High court turns aside lawsuit questioning Obama citizenship:Â The Supreme Court has again rejected an appeal from a "birther" proponent questioning the citizenship of President Barack Obama.
A powerful storm Sunday and Monday dropped more than 2 feet of snow in parts of upstate New York and northern New EnglandÂ - and heavy rain and freezing rain in other parts of the U.S. NortheastÂ - cutting power to thousands and challenging motorists.
Thirty inches of snow was recorded in Jericho, Vermont, and New Yorkâ€™s Saranac Lake received 29 inches, according to CNN affiliate WPTZ. The roughly 24 inches of snow that fell in South Burlington, Vermont, is the fifth-largest amount from one storm recorded there, according to WPTZ and CNN affiliate WCAX.
Nearly all flights to and from Burlingtonâ€™s airport were grounded on Monday, more than 10,000 Vermont utility customers were without power and many roads across the state were impassable, WCAX reported.
Editor's note: CNN's Ben Wedeman filed this first-person account of the scene in rebel-controlled Ras Lanuf, Libya, as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces prepared to launch an aerial strike against the town Monday.
"Down! Down!" the man at my hotel room door said. It was 4:30 a.m. Monday in Ras Lanuf, and I had hoped to get a decent night's sleep for the first time in weeks. Yet again, my hopes were dashed.
Through the haze of sleep deprivation and exhaustion, I could say nothing. I understood nothing.
The staff of the Fadeel Hotel was going from room to room, telling guests - journalists only - that they had to leave, at once.
I quickly dressed, packed my bag, and went downstairs.
It was still pitch black outside, and the lobby was teeming with still photographers, cameramen, translators, fixers, producers and print and TV reporters, all trying to understand why the urgent need to leave.FULL STORY
A roundup of today's CNNMoney news:
Tapping U.S. oil reserves is a bad idea: There are growing calls to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the face of rising gas and oil prices. But prices are largely being driven by speculators.
Tech companies desperate for "rockstarninja engineers": A flood of startups has sparked a talent war over the industry's scarcest resource: Skilled engineers and developers.
Warner Bros. Television has fired actor Charlie Sheen from its comedy "Two and a Half Men" after a two-week public meltdown by the star that has included attacks on the show's creator.
"After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Television has terminated Charlie Sheen's services on 'Two and a Half Men,' effective immediately," the company said in a statement issued Monday.
Warner Bros. Television is a division of Time Warner Inc., also the parent company of CNN.FULL STORY
ď»żU.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States will resume using military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
The announcement said the Obama administration remains committed to closing the controversial detention facility, but will rescind its previous suspension on bringing new charges before military commissions.
The commissions are military proceedings rather than trials in civilian courts.
Obama previously pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay facility within a year of taking office in January 2009. However, it still is open due to legal complexities involving the status of some detainees and congressional opposition to holding trials for high-profile suspects in U.S. criminal courts.FULL STORY
Police chief Marisol Valles Garcia has been fired, an official in Praxedis G. Guerrero, Mexico, said Monday.
The 20-year-old criminology student made headlines when she took the reins of the police force in one of the most violent cities in the border state of Chihuahua. It's common for police officers in Praxedis to be abducted and killed.
"Marisol did not show up for work this morning as she was expected," town secretary Andres Morales said. "Since she was on a personal leave that expired today and did not reach out to us over the weekend, she now faces termination.Â It is now an official matter.Â We don't know anything about her whereabouts. Our attempts to get a hold of her during the weekend were unsuccessful."Read CNN's full coverage of the young police chief's firing
Brandon Davies, who was suspended from the Brigham Young Cougars basketball team last weekÂ for an honor code violation, sat with his team for the last regular season game against Wyoming this weekend.
And the crowd went wild.
Davies was allowed to sit on the bench Saturday with his teammates, and about 5,000 students chanted â€śWe love Brandon!â€ť and â€śWe love Daviesâ€ť before the game and during timeouts, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
After the game, during which No. 3 BYU clinched a conference title, the street-clothes-clad sophomore forward climbed up the ladder to help cut down the net. â€śDavies! Davies!â€ť the crowd roared.
This is starting to become a habit for the Miami Heat. The team saw another close game slip out of their hands Sunday in the final seconds when stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade missed shots that could have tipped the match-up in the team's favor. The Chicago Bulls won with a 87-86 victory, making them No. 3 in the Big East. Those missed opportunities by James and Wade were the 12th and 13th consecutive shots that could have tied the game or put the Heat on top in the final seconds of the game or overtime. While few would contest the talent on the Heat roster or their scoring ability but when it comes to actually sealing the deal in crucial moments of games, the team has struggled.
"I told my team, I'm not going to continue to fail late in games," James recently said. "I put a lot of blame on myself tonight. I told the guys that I just keep failing them late in games and I won't continue to do that."
The players' performance against the Bulls marked the Heat's fourth-straight loss. A three-pointer and lay up courtesy of Mario Chalmers put the Heat up 86-84 with just 25 seconds left. A foul called against Mike Miller turned the ball over to the Bulls and Luol Deng made two free throws to push Chicago ahead. When the ball made its way back to the Heat, James missed a lay up, which was rebounded by Wade. Unfortunately for the Heat, Wade missed the shot as time expired.
"The Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games," Wade remarked sarcastically. "The world is better now because the Heat is losing."
So what exactly is going on with the Heat? While it may not be time to panic just yet, the team's closing troubles will come back to bite them if their star players are unable to step up their clutch playing.
There is plenty more NBA action tonight: Utah Jazz vs. New York Knicks - Knicks fans will be waiting to see if Carmelo Anthony takes the court after getting knocked around during New York's game against Atlanta. If he does, look for the Knicks to give Utah quite a challenge.
By The Numbers
18.5 - Ben Hansbrough scoring average this season, that helped the Fighting Irish to finish in second-place behind Pittsburgh. Hansbrough was the sole unanimous selection for the All-Big East team.
4th - Finish that driver Danica Patrick notched at this weekend's Nationwide stop in Las Vegas. Patrick made history by earning the highest NASCAR finish by a woman in a national series race. Tim Tuttle takes a look at Patrick's NASCAR future.
$15 million - Amount of Matt Thornton's contract with the White Sox. The left hander signed the three-year contract Sunday.
Miley as Bieber - Miley Cyrus talking to herself got big laughs on "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend. Well, it was Miley as Justin Bieber talking to Vanessa Bayer as Miley Cyrus, actually.
NATO has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence in the war-torn country, America's ambassador to the organization told reporters Monday.
Representatives of key Western powers also highlighted the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Libya - part of growing campaign to break strongman Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power.
France, Britain, and the United States are working on a draft text that includes language on a no-fly zone over Libya, diplomatic sources at the United Nations said Monday.
The possible resolution will deal with triggers rather than timelines, one diplomat said.Â If gross violations of human rights are committed, the diplomat added, the elements could be quickly turned into a resolution.
The text would be subject to a vote by the 15 members of the Security Council.Â A Security Council diplomat said they were looking to submit the ideas to the council soon.
Any kind of military intervention in Libya could face sharp criticism from Russia and China who rarely approve of such measures.
The filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning documentary "Bowling for Columbine" appeared before union activists in Wisconsin and praised them for "arousing a sleeping giant," the Wisconsin State Journal reported.Â Moore addressed at least 30,000 protesters, urging them to continue their demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals. "America is not broke," he told the crowd, according to the Madison newspaper. "The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers."
Libya - Supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue to battle anti-Gadhafi forces throughout the country. The unrest has been going on for weeks and is affecting oil prices worldwide as gas prices have spiked in recent weeks. Check out CNN's reporting around Libya, city by city. On Monday, air strikes continued to target the opposition-controlled oil town of Ras Lanuf as Gadhafi supporters tried to take back the city. CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman was just outside Ras Lanuf and heard someone say, "We'll capture [Gadhafi], put him on top of this car and drive all around Libya. Every Libyan will get one shot [at the leader]." Wedeman was one of the first journalists inside the country when the protests began, and he reports on who will be fighting in the conflict.
CNN's Nic Robertson reports that fighting is getting closer to the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Also Monday, as several families in Ras Lanuf fled for cover, Gadhafi's forces made headway in the city of Bin Jawad, which was hotly fought over during the weekend. Anti-government protesters have been rallying for weeks in the hopes that Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for 42 years, will leave power. Similar uprisings occurred earlier this year in Egypt and Tunisia, and other protests have raged throughout the Middle East and North Africa as demonstrators have called for changes in leadership and power structures in their countries. What's next in Libya? Do you have a story that relates to the country? Are you there? Send an iReport.
Hearings on radical Islam - Over the weekend, protesters demonstrated in New York ahead of congressional hearings on radical Islam scheduled for this week. Other critics of the hearings include music mogul Russell Simmons. The topic is sure to remain hot all week as CNN covers every angle of the debate. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called the for hearings on what is being called "the radicalization of American Muslims." Critics say the hearings would unfairly target Islam and could stoke fear and fuel violence againstÂ Muslims. King and Rep. Keith Ellison, who is the first Muslim elected to Congress, talked about the reasons for the hearings on CNN on Sunday with Candy Crowley.
Freedom Project begins - CNN has launched its Freedom Project, a first-of-its-kind global effort to draw attention to and end all forms of slavery around the world, including in the United States. SeeÂ what the project is about, and read the first story in the series. It's about a group of boys from Zambia who were trafficked into the U.S. to make money for a faith-based organization. The boys saw little profit for their work and were not given the education or school in their home country that they were promised.
Another teen athlete has died suddenly during a game.
Matthew Hammerdorfer of Fort Collins, Colorado, collapsed during a rugby match Saturday. The 17-year-old's death was caused by complications from a heart condition, according to CNN affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver.
Friends of the teen told reporters that he was a multi-sport athlete, the station said. He loved mountain biking and reggae, a friend told CNN affiliate KCNC who saw Hammerdorfer collapse.
Witnesses said Hammerdorfer took a hit on the field Saturday, fell and did not get up,Â Â KMGH reported. "We got reports that the victim was in seizure at some point before and during our response," said Patrick Love, spokesman for the Poudre Fire Authority, according to the station. The teenager was taken to a hospital, where he died, the station reported.
On Sunday, hundreds attended visitation of a Michigan high school basketball player who died during a game last week. Wes Leonard, 16, of Fennville, died moments after scoring the winning basket in overtime Thursday, securing a perfect season for the Fennville High School Blackhawks. Leonard scored his team's last four points in the 57-55 victory.
An autopsy Friday revealed Leonard died of cardiac arrest due to an enlarged heart, according to Dr. David A. Start, the Ottawa County chief medical examiner.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Libya and the final journey for space shuttle Discovery.
10:30 am ET - Sweat lodge manslaughter trial - The manslaughter trial of James Arthur Ray FULL POST
Even a seasoned firefighter said it was the worst blaze he had ever seen. Six people were killed when they were trapped inside a burning mobile home in Hood County, Texas, near Dallas.
The fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. Sunday after a party in a double-wide on the shore of Lake Granbury. Three people escaped, and a neighbor called 911, according to CNN affiliate WFAA.
"It's just a shock to see a house totally engulfed," neighborhood resident Paul Woods told the station. "Especially when the people are still inside. There's nothing you can do ... literally nothing you can do. The flames are pouring out and no way you can get anywhere close to the house."
Other neighbors said that the party, thrown by a group of boys, was loud enough to wake them up. The six who died were between the ages of 18 and 30, and were among 14 at the party, the local fire marshal told the Star-Telegram.
More than 100,000 watched Charlie Sheen's Web show "Sheen's Korner" over the weekend. There were seven parts posted on UStream. On the show, the actor appears to be capitalizing on some of his more popular bizarro quips. At one point he says something about a "blind train wreck of puppies."
Episode 2, "Torpedoes of Truth," is just more rants. An example: "Know that I'm better solo. Don't think, just know," he tells someone on the phone in front of a camera.Â "I invented solo. There was, like, two guys in a plane and one jumped out and said, 'It's Charlie Sheen. It's called solo.'"
The show starts out with Simon Rex, famous for once dating Paris Hilton. Then there's an appearance by one of the "goddesses,"Â Sheen's many porn star confidantes. He continues to insult "trolls" and tell assistants to tweet. Sheen also talks about the movie "Network," urging his viewers to stand up and scream, "Winning!"
And oh, Charlie?Â The warlocks are getting mad.
Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano was shooting as high as 80 feet in the air Sunday after the collapse of the floor of the volcano's Pu'u 'O'o crater a day earlier.
Hawaii Volcano Observatory scientists said the floor of the crater dropped 377 feet over almost three hours on SaturdayÂ and a fissure developed between the Pu'u 'O'o and Napau craters on Kilauea.