The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse:
CNN sports legend readies kin for his death: Former CNN sports anchor Nick Charles (pictured) looks into the camera, as he's done thousands of times before. Except he's not calling a boxing match for sports fans around the world. He's taping something much tougher: a message from beyond the grave, for his little girl.
Ashley Judd reveals family pain in memoir: In a raw new memoir, "All That Is Bitter & Sweet," Ashley Judd is baring all when it comes to being raised as the daughter of country music's Naomi Judd.
Gadhafi asks Obama to end NATO bombing: As rebel and pro-government forces in Libya maneuvered on the battlefield Wednesday, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi urged U.S. President Barack Obama to end the NATO bombing of his war-torn country.
Fishermen: Utility's actions in Japan's nuclear crisis 'unforgivable': Japanese fishermen have taken the offensive in their fight against the owner of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi power plant, angrily calling the utility's actions insulting, incompetent and "unforgivable" over the course of the weeks-long nuclear crisis.
Obama: Progress made at night meeting, but no budget deal yet: A late evening meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of the House and Senate failed reach agreement Wednesday on a spending plan to avert a government shutdown, but all the participants said progress was made and talks would continue.
As U.S. congressional leaders face a Friday deadline to avert a partial government shutdown, it might be worth looking back at what leaders said during a similar situation less than 16 years ago.
Included in this post is video of a CNN report from November 1995, shortly before a similar spending standoff led to the last series of partial government shutdowns.
"[The 1995 report] is really fascinating because you can just change the names, and it was almost the same as the arguments that we’re hearing from both sides now," CNN's Wolf Blizter said Wednesday.
[Updated at 8:06 p.m. ET] One person was killed and three others, including a woman in her 90s and a 4-year-old child, were injured Wednesday in a shooting on the campus of Southern Union Community College in Opelika, Alabama, police said.
All the victims are members of the same family, police said.
Authorities were searching for suspect Thomas Franklin May III, 34, who was described as a white male who is 5 foot 8, and weighs 200 pounds, police said. He was last seen driving a late-model, white Jeep Liberty with Alabama license plates, police said.
"At this time, it appears the shooting is domestic violence-related. We do not think the general public is in danger. Our officers are currently actively seeking a suspect in this case and hope to make an arrest soon," Capt. Allan Elkins of Opelika police told CNN Wednesday afternoon.FULL STORY
A roundup of the day's business news headlines:
U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as strength in the technology sector offset weakness in energy producers and industrial companies.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33 points, or 0.3%, to close at 12,426; the S&P 500 added 3 points, or 0.2%, to 1,335; the Nasdaq Composite gained 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2,799.
Tech stocks were among the best performers with Cisco leading gainers on the Dow. Shares of financial services companies were also strong, with American Express and JPMorgan both up more than 2%.
Energy stocks came under pressure after the government's weekly inventory report showed smaller-than-expected declines in U.S. supplies of oil and gasoline, raising fears that energy demand is waning. Monsanto fell sharply after the farm products company reported quarterly sales that disappointed some investors, even as profits rose.
After the market closed, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond surged 8% after the homeware retailer reported quarterly earnings and sales that beat analysts expectations.
[Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET] Two crew members on a routine training flight were killed Wednesday when an F/A-18F aircraft crashed near Naval Air Station Lemoore in central California, the U.S. Navy said.
Capt. James Knapp, commanding officer of the station, told reporters the plane, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 122, crashed at 12:08 p.m. PT (3:08 p.m. ET) in a private farm field about one half mile west of the property line.
The crash of the two-seat strike fighter, which occurred southwest of Fresno, is under investigation, Knapp said.
The names of the Super Hornet crew, a pilot and weapons system operator, were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.FULL STORY
White children are now in the minority among people under 18 in 10 U.S. states and 35 large metro areas, according to a Brookings analysis of 2010 Census data.
The number of white children in metro areas including Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona, fell below that of other children in the last decade as the population of white children nationwide declined by 4.3 million, the report said.
The decline occurred as the number of children identified as "new minorities" - Hispanics, Asians and other racial groups apart from whites, blacks and American Indians - grew by 5.5 million, the report said.
Hispanics registered an increase of 4.8 million, which kept the nation's overall child population from declining, the report said. The findings reflect changes in the racial makeup of the overall U.S. population with Hispanics becoming the nation's largest and fastest growing minority group.
It’s the time of year when the game's greatest gather around the azaleas and take part in golf's greatest tradition: the Masters at Augusta National.
Although the world has a new No. 1 golfer in Martin Kaymer - and a new perception of an old No. 1 - Golf.com's Cameron Morfit writes the two golfers to beat this week are the same as always: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Combined, the two have won six of the last 10 Masters, and both seem poised to make a run at another green jacket this week. "Lefty" won last weekend to move up to No. 3 in the World Rankings and ahead of Woods for the first time in 14 years. Woods, meanwhile, hasn't won since November 2009, but is a four-time champion at Augusta and is seemingly more overdue for a victory than the Washington Generals.
Comment exchange of the day:
harrison22: "This is just another move by the Republicans to transfer wealth from the poorest and most vulnerable portion of the American population."
millerjeff: "One percent of the country (the wealthy) pays over 90 percent of the tax revenue. Where is your data to back up your wild statements about transfer of wealth? This is a capitalist country. You have the opportunity to be the 1 percent!"
Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, former adviser on welfare issues in Congress and senior adviser for welfare policy in the George W. Bush administration, says Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan could be a turning point for the United States. But he also wonders if Democrats and Republicans will be able to cut a deal or further burden generations with debt. CNN.com readers weighed-in on the plan.
JoeD said, "The Democrats should refuse to entertain any cuts to social programs, unless the GOP agrees to repeal all the Bush tax cuts for the richest 20 percent of Americans. If there is to be sacrifice, the richest are best able to bear it. I'm in that 20 percent and I'm willing to pay more taxes, because taxes are the price you pay for social stability."
noyesman responded, “Most rich people aren't born rich. They become rich through sacrifice, delayed gratification, education and proper planning. You want those who have worked hard for their success to subsidize your lifestyle so you can have the same toys that they do. PATHETIC!”
abcdef54321 said, "Now Obama is trying to do what Clinton did: mop up the fiscal mess left by Republicans. It took Clinton a whole term to balance the budget. It may take Obama longer because of the opposition of Republicans in the House and Senate AND because Bush2 left a much bigger mess than did Reagan-Bush1."
squeakywheel said, “Why are you making this a Republican issue? The fact is we are in a financial mess, created by both parties and the fiscal idiocy has to stop or we are going to drive the ship of state into an unrecoverable abyss. It is irresponsible to say that Republicans created this problem by adding "X" to the federal debt, so Democrats are going to solve it by adding "3X" to the debt. Unless we tone down the rhetoric and deal seriously with our problems, I really fear for our future.”
Nick Charles, CNN’s first sports anchor, is dying of bladder cancer. He called off chemotherapy treatments in January to fully enjoy the time he has left and has made numerous videos for his 5-year-old daughter. He’s also encouraging people to "fasten onto the positives" of life. CNN.com readers were inspired by his story.
rsmrob100 said, "I don't even know what to write, I am so choked up. I guess it really puts things into perspective when we sometimes run around, worrying about irrelevant things."
candicen4007 said, “What an inspiring life story! May God bless you Nick, and especially your family. I am glad Giovanna knows you will always be in her heart!” dre5005 said, "CNN thanks for sharing this story. God bless Nick Charles and family. I am a 31-year-old father and I just was moved deeply by this story and it also enlightened me about even my own life. Thanks Nick!"
LoriRobin said, "Very inspiring reminder that we choose how to live each moment as well as what is most important at the very end." DowMan5744 said, "That was the most beautiful article I have ever read in my life. PERIOD." ChrisMay said, "It is inspiring to actually read this story, and about what we can do before taking that last step that we can only take alone. Food for thought. You don't need to be sick to consider your time precious."
ZanDan said, "Oh wow. Truly heartbreaking. I'm in tears. What a brave and honorable man. I very much remember watching Nick on CNN many years ago. The best to his family and that beautiful daughter of his and the best to Nick." froggs said, "Heart-wrenching and beautiful, truly inspirational. Thank you for touching so many hearts, it's what is so desperately needed in this world. May peace and blessings be forever yours, Nick."
And IanIJM said, "Man this is a great, powerful, and moving article. I work in the oncology space and I know just how devastating this disease can be. What's promising is the number of new therapies coming to market every year. ... We will beat this thing one day. For Nick, I would say stay strong and be as positive as you can be.”
What do people do when their children aren’t having babies? They heap all of their love and attention on their grandpuppies—and some experts say the relationships are some of the healthiest in a family. CNN.com readers took the opportunity to argue about whether dogs can take the place of having children while a few shared their grandpup experience.
YodarCritch said, “We are big dog owners. While we often joke about the dogs being our ‘kids,’ we never forget that they are dogs. Dogs are not the same as kids. Dogs are a lot better than kids. Dogs are loyal, appreciative, grateful, pleasant to be with, friendly, don't constantly ask for money and generally make life better.”
But Skeptical773 said, “Hope your dog is around to take care of you later on in life.” And inyourhead00 said, “And kids are loyal, appreciative, grateful, pleasant to be with and friendly IF you raise them that way. They also make life better in many ways. You just can't compare children and dogs.”
But doonerist said, “It goes both ways. My mother alienated all of her children and then expected them to be her best friends and caretakers late in her life (she had the means to care for herself monetarily). You get the children you raised. Think about that.”
HollyGirl51 said, “My parents still call my dogs their grandpuppies even though we've given them actual grand children now. I think sometimes they would rather babysit the dogs.” suchitagirl said, “My boyfriend and I have no plans for children. It's just not something either of us have ever wanted. We do love our furry kids, though - and so do their ‘grandparents.’ Very cute article.”
Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video
Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.
A British airstrike has hit an oil field in Libya and caused damage to a main pipeline, according to the Libyan deputy foreign minister.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi must leave power and Libya to stop the NATO military strikes in the country, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
"I don't think there is any mystery about what is expected from Mr. Gadhafi at this time," Clinton told reporters on Wednesday.
Earlier, Gadhafi urged U.S. President Barack Obama to end the NATO bombing of his war-torn country. Gadhafi made the appeal in a letter, a senior administration official said.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to stop the NATO bombings, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
Ex-U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, who met with Gadhafi within the last decade, paid a visit to the Libyan capital with a cease-fire plan and a clear message to the embattled ruler that he must step down.
"It's a very solemn time because there's so much at risk here," said Weldon, who led a congressional delegation to Libya in 2004 and is visiting Tripoli at Gadhafi's invitation.See CNN's full coverage of the Libya conflict
The results of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan have forced the country's professional baseball leagues to make some adjustments.
Opening Day was moved from March 25 to April 12, and some night games are being moved to daytime to save electricity, according to Japanball.com. Some teams that play in domed stadiums are moving games to outdoor venues to save energy.
The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Pacific League are the only team in the quake-stricken region. They play in Kleenex Stadium Miyagi in Sendai, which was moderately damaged in the March 11 earthquake.
The Eagles will play their first two home series in Tokyo's Koshien Stadium and Kobe's Hotto Motto Field, according to baseball blog yakyubaka.com.
Team owner Toru Shimada hopes to have Kleenex Stadium repaired in time for a series that begins April 29, according to the blog.
All 12 teams in Japan's two major leagues played exhibition games Saturday and Sunday, with proceeds going to earthquake victims, Japan Times reported. Players and coaches stood outside the stadium before the games to accept donations.
Former U.S. major league player Alex Ramirez, who plays for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, pledged to donate $1 million to the relief effort. The outfielder also intends to raise money through the sale of special T-shirts and is developing a special salute to follow every home run he hits this season, Japan Times reported.xx
Things often go haywire on the highway but aren't caught on tape. Today however, we bring you three gripping videos that show what happens when things don't go as planned on the road.
Plywood missile – Our team at American Morning showed this harrowing clip where a woman filming two trucks on the road gets a 2×4 through her window.
The Florida congresswoman will be named chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, replacing Tim Kaine, who is running for the Senate from Virginia. Two women have previously been the chairs of the DNC: Jean Westwood in 1972 and Debra DeLee in 1994 and 1995. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has risen in the ranks of the Democratic Party since she took office in 2005. The congresswoman is a breast cancer survivor and the mother of three children. Many Americans may recognize her as one of the friends present at the hospital when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords first opened her eyes after being shot in January.
The former Pennsylvania congressman has arrived in Libya to meet with Moammar Gadhafi. Weldon wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece, "I've met him enough times to know that it will be very hard to simply bomb him into submission." Weldon wrote that he's going on the invitation of Gadhafi's chief of staff and called for an immediate U.N.-monitored cease-fire, "with the Libyan army withdrawing from contested cities and rebel forces ending attempts to advance."
The Warren, Michigan, native found a kidney donor for her husband on Facebook. Though an infrequent user of the popular social networking site, Kurze wrote a post lamenting her husband's deteriorating condition, according to the Detroit News. She wrote, "I wish a kidney would fall out the sky," and "If someone knows a living type O donor, let me know." Not long after, Ricky Cisco replied, offering up his kidney.
The 10-year-old from Pittsburgh gave the Super Bowl ring he bought with his college savings for $8,500 back to retired Chicago Bears player William "The Refrigerator" Perry. Perry had to sell the ring several years ago after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and falling on hard times. Forrest wanted to buy the ring and give it back to Perry, and the avid sports memorabilia collector told ESPN on Monday, "When I Googled Mr. Perry after I got the ring, I saw he had the disease and went through rough times. And I thought he needed it more than I did."
The budget battle continues on Capitol Hill, while the situation in Japan takes center stage at a Capitol Hill hearing. CNN.com Live will be there with all the latest developments.
Today's programming highlights...
9:00 am ET - Japan nuclear crisis hearing - A House energy subcommittee takes a closer look at the U.S. government's response to the ongoing situation in Japan.