Friday's intriguing people
Vintage American cars are a common sight in Cuba, but that could change under reforms by Raul Castro.
April 15th, 2011
12:05 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Raul Castro

For the first time since 1997, Cuba's Communist Party Congress will meet this weekend, marking the official debut of Fidel Castro's brother as its leader.

As NPR reports, Raul Castro is expected to propose radical reform measures. One, which may launch a real estate boom, will allow Cubans to buy and sell homes.

Also, the party is likely to lift the ban on the sale of automobiles made after 1959.  Such a move could trigger culture shock in a country where hulking American-made sedans from the 1950s are an everyday sight.

"These cars are part of our national identity - like beans, rice and pork," mechanic Jorge Prats told NPR. "We take care of these old American cars as if they were a member of our family."

Nathan Deal

Georgia's governor plans to sign into law what may be one of the nation's toughest anti-illegal immigration measures, his spokesman, Brian Robinson, said Friday.

Despite threats of boycott, lawsuits and the question of whether such laws are even constitutional, the Republican-dominated state House and Senate passed House Bill 87 on Thursday during the final hours of the 2011 Georgia General Assembly.

HB 87 requires employers to verify citizenship when hiring immigrants and gives law enforcement the right to question the immigration status of suspects in certain criminal investigations.

Deal, who was elected in November, campaigned on the promise to pass such legislation. Spokesman Robinson did not say when the governor would sign the bill.

In an interview Friday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal said, "To try and craft legislation that is within the parameters of what a state can do without overstepping its bounds is difficult. And I commend the General Assembly for trying to put a product together that they felt like met that, and from what I have seen, I believe it does meet that."

Derrick Rose

With the close of the NBA regular season, attention is focused not just on the Chicago Bulls who may be the best team in the league but also on their 22-year-old guard, who will likely be the league's MVP, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Standing at just 6 feet 2 inches, the third-year player averages 25 points, eight assists and four rebounds per game.

"His athleticism is ridiculous," New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said this week after Rose and the Bulls visited Madison Square Garden, according to the paper.

Even more impressive is Rose's demeanor. In an NBA era that has seen some outlandish and outrageous behavior, Rose is sheepishly humble.

"The talent part is obvious," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told the Sun-Times. "But it's his makeup that's so special."

Mary Fallin

Oklahoma's Republican governor turned down a $54 million federal grant Thursday that would have given the state the ability to improve its health technology infrastructure, Politico reports. The move "stops the implementation of the president's federal health care exchange in Oklahoma," Fallin said, according to Politico.

The grant is one of the Obama administration's Early Innovator Grants, which budgeted $241 million to seven states. Oklahoma is one of three states the others are Wisconsin and Kansas to decline the grant, which would target improving health care information and access for patients in largely rural areas.

In February, Fallin embraced the grant but has now bowed to political pressure from fellow Republicans, Politico said.

Kate Middleton

The Boston Channel (CNN affiliate WCVB-TV) reports that the Concord, Massachusetts, bicycle shop manager has found that "having a royal name can be a royal pain."

For six years, this Kate Middleton has fended off jokes about riding in gilded carriages and doing princess duties with good humor until recently when Facebook shut down her page because the social network believed she was using a fake name.

Though she got the page back, she's stopped using business cards and looks forward to April 29, when the other Kate Middleton marries Prince William, just so the hubbub might be over.

What does she think of the future king of England?

"Not my type," she told the TV station.

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Filed under: Cuba • Most Intriguing People
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Canadian Genius

    "the party is likely to lift the ban on the sale of automobiles made after 1959."

    Excellent. Now I might have a buyer for my 97 Suzuki Esteem. How much does it cost to advertise in the Havana Auto Trader?

    April 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazz is a loser

    Good, now one of you take this loser Jazzzzzz out and pork her then dump on the side of the road maybe say in NJ. hahaha. Sorry Jazz just doing this for your own good maybe you'll finally learn.

    April 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary Swanson

    I got intriguing for you, how about Neve Campbell this movie creeped me out its intense

    April 15, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. YesWeDoCare

    Hello CNN,

    You folks continue to befuddle me with these "Intriguing People" blog articles.

    Today we have this "Kate Middleton". How in the world is someone named Kate Middleton a "Intriguing" person? I see the implied connection to the "royal name". But, I could bet the shirt off my back, that there are thousands of women with the name Kate Middleton. Like there are Joe Smith, George Bush (hahah, had to throw that in), geez maybe even Harry Potter. So, do you get my drift here? I really don't find someone named Kate Middleton as a "Intriguing" person.

    So, for some educational purposes, here is what the dictionary says about the word "Intriguing":

    "challenging", "interesting", "arousing great interest or curiosity".......

    Y'all did ok with the rest of the blog article but seriously, a women named Kate Middleton who is a manager of a bicycle shop, arousing great interest of curiosity? C'mon folks.....

    April 15, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian Genius

    Re the royal couple. Agreed, not intriguing. I wouldn't care about these people if I lived next door to them. Why would I care thousands of miles away?

    April 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Going to be interesting to see what changes Raul makes...and what Fidel thinks about it all.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. YesWeDoCare

    @Canadian Genius – Absolutely! The pomposity and theatrics regarding the royals over there is not for me. I too, much rather just ignore them.

    @banasy – Agree and finally a "intriguing" person. I know some about Fidel but really not much about Raul. I do know (or better yet, have read) that they don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. What those "things" are, isn't clear to me.

    I just hope he doesn't get rid of those 50s era American cars. I think that's cool that they have them and keep them in tip-top shape. 🙂

    April 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Col. Bat Guano

    I pick Ronald McDonald!

    April 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Genius

      He has killed more than Hitler and Stalin combined with his vile (yet tasty) products.

      April 15, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    Oh, yeah...DA BULLS!!! DA ROSE!!!

    April 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    DA BEARS. So how long you been married banasy?

    April 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tony Gerards (The Other Side Of Things)

    Banas .... Is a goddess .. We love u and kneel before your feet O fertile ONE ! !

    April 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RiffRaff

    As an affront to Obama the governors are rejecting money that would bring healthcare to rural populations? How does this make sense? Denying healthcare in the name of politics? Its been a heck of a week in the Republican legislatures. Pettiness and politics. Not a pretty sight.

    April 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    The blogging entrance test – ♫♫♫ getting to know you... getting to know all about you... getting to like you...hoping you'll like me too♫♫♫

    1. What is your favorite word?
    2. What is your least favorite word?
    3. What turns you on?
    4. What turns you off?
    5. What sound or noise do you love?
    6. What sound or noise do you hate?
    7. What is your favorite curse word?
    8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    9. What profession would you not like to do?
    10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

    April 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    @Cesar: almost 18 years. Happily. He is one of the finest people to walk the face of the Earth. I love him very much...and he loves me back! I am blessed.

    April 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jazzzzzzzz - something fun for everyone

    Are u still there

    April 16, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
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