Rare diamond seized from money launderer set for online auction
This flawless diamond, known as the "Golden Eye," is up for a minimum bid of $900,000.
August 11th, 2011
08:50 PM ET

Rare diamond seized from money launderer set for online auction

A rare 43-carat yellow diamond that belonged to a convicted money launderer will be auctioned for a minimum bid of $900,000, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.

The flawless diamond, known as the "Golden Eye," will be sold in an online auction on September 6 by the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Department of Justice said in a statement Thursday. The FBI seized the notable diamond in an undercover investigation that led to Ohio businessman Paul Monea's conviction for money laundering.

Known for his involvement in the Tae Bo workout craze and a failed effort to market electric grill lighters as pain relievers, Monea was convicted in 2007 of conspiring to sell the diamond and a mansion once owned by former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson in exchange for $19.5 million and a boat, according to court documents.


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Filed under: Crime
Overheard on CNN.com: Time to leave the country?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to an estimated 30,000 attendees at the prayer event, "The Response," Saturday in Houston
August 11th, 2011
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Time to leave the country?

Comment of the Day:

"Hey, Rick: What brand of gun would Jesus tote?"–RationalDoc

Why Rick Perry is headed to the White House

Why are Americans gearing up to elect another Texan for president? asks fellow Texan James Moore, an Emmy-award winning former news correspondent and co-author of the best-seller, "Bush's Brain." Although Perry "hates to govern, loves to campaign, and barely has a sixth grader's understanding of economics," writes Moore, his "coyote-killer good looks, $2,000 hand-tooled cowboy boots, supernova smile and Armani suits will create a product Americans will want to believe and buy."

His prediction had many CNN.com readers planning to leave the country. nc10t asked, "Do we really want a fundamentalist Christian, who talks to God and believes in Armageddon, with his finger on the nuclear disaster button for the next 4 years? I'm sorry, but that's too scary to even contemplate!" RalphinFL said, "Time to learn to speak Canadian, eh?"

Bethjoyce said, "This is really, really scary. The thought of Rick Perry being president brings thoughts of what happened in pre-WWII Germany. This man will bring down the United States as we know it. I fear for my children and grandchildren. Is it time to leave the country, like many Europeans smartly left Germany and Austria before the Nazis took power."

turdlet said, "He will put Jesus back on the dashboard."

hollywewd asked, "A secessionist who drove Texas $27 billion into deficit in one year? A religious extremist who hates everyone except the right kind of white Christian?"

Some readers argued over whether a rise in low-wage jobs was a bad thing. SlammerBC said, "This writer is soooo liberal he doesn't even know it. This kind if drivel is nonsense. So these jobs at places like Wal-Mart make you less employed how?"

Newmoon2 said, "You cannot build an economy on low-wage jobs, unless you don't mind becoming a third-world economy. It's not just young workers in those jobs, it's skilled workers, older workers, and workers who USED to have middle-income jobs. Again, a thriving middle class is critical to a healthy and growing economy."

Kelce02 said, "Attention American People: Many Texans warned you about Bush; many are warning you about Perry. We are just one state, we can't help it if other states join in. As a Texan I love that our economy is doing well, our housing market declined but never crashed, and we have added many jobs. I don't know how much of this is Rick Perry's doing but that's why he gets re-elected."

EvelynWaugh said, "He's too much like Bush. First, I would like to know if he knows how to pronounce the word "Nuclear."

Scientists: Arctic ice may not go away so quickly
A polar bear sits on sea ice in the Canadian Arctic.
August 11th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Scientists: Arctic ice may not go away so quickly

Earth's Arctic ice is disappearing. In fact, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center told CNN last week that, within three decades, the top of the world would be practically ice free during the summer.

This week scientists are saying, not so fast. You might want to plan for that ice-free Arctic Ocean summer sail about 50 or 60 years from now.

That's because new computer models run by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, show the ice cap could just as easily expand as contract in periods of up to 10 years at a time.

“One of the results that surprised us all was the number of computer simulations that indicated a temporary halt to the loss of the ice,” NCAR scientist Jennifer Kay, the lead author of a new study on the Arctic ice, said in a news release.


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Filed under: Climate change • Environment
Gotta Watch: Animals on the run
Police try to capture a runaway bull in Washington.
August 11th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Animals on the run

This news week has been full of runaways. We had the siblings on the run in Colorado and now a bull on the run in Washington. So, we thought we'd take a look back at animals on the run. You've gotta watch their evasive maneuvers.

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Filed under: Alligators • Animals • Gotta Watch
August 11th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Shots fired at Estonia's Defense Ministry

Shots were fired Thursday at the Ministry of Defense in Tallinn, Estonia, a government spokesman told CNN.

"There has been a security incident in the Ministry of Defense, there has been a shooting and the security forces are currently involved. The situation is ongoing," Peeter Kuimet said.

A local journalist, citing police, said two hostages have been taken.

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Filed under: Estonia
August 11th, 2011
09:09 AM ET

Rights group: NATO must probe allegations it killed Libyan civilians

A leading human rights organization is calling on NATO to investigate allegations that it killed 85 civilians during airstrikes on forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

The demand by Amnesty International Wednesday followed government accusations days earlier that NATO killed civilians in the western part of the country to help clear the way for rebels advancing on the Gadhafi-controlled city of Zlitan.

"NATO continues to stress its commitment to protect civilians. To that effect, it should thoroughly investigate this and all other recent incidents in which civilians were reportedly killed in western Libya as a result of airstrikes," Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International said in a statement.

Eighty-five civilians, including 33 children, were killed in airstrikes Monday near the village of Majer, Gadhafi's government said.

NATO says its warplanes Monday struck two farms used as a staging point for Gadhafi's forces.

"This is a legitimate target. And by striking it, NATO has reduced pro-Gadhafi forces capabilities to threaten and attack civilians," said Col. Roland Lavoie, a spokesman for the NATO operation.

"We do not have evidence of civilian casualties at this stage, although casualties among military personnel, including mercenaries, are very likely due to the nature of the target."

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Filed under: Libya • NATO • War • World
August 11th, 2011
08:59 AM ET

Unemployment claims fall to 4-month low

The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell last week, dipping below 400,000 for the first time in four months.

There were 395,000 initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Aug. 6, the Labor Department said Thursday, down 7,000 from an upwardly revised 402,000 the prior week.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting jobless claims to rise to 409,000.

The figure had stayed above 400,000 since early April.

August 11th, 2011
08:29 AM ET

Skeleton mystery in New Zealand school

It could be the plot for the pilot of "CSI: New Zealand."

That half-skeleton they've been using for years as a teaching aid isn't a model, it's the real thing.

Principal Bastienne Kruger at Totara North School was about to use the skeleton during a presentation recently when she realized it wasn't plastic but real human bones, the Northern Advocate in New Zealand reports.

"When we realized it was real we wanted to do right by this poor person, but we didn't know how," the paper quoted Kruger as saying. She called the local hospital, which advised her to hand the remains, including a skull and complete ribs, hands and feet for one half of a body, over to the authorities.


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Filed under: Education • New Zealand
August 11th, 2011
07:38 AM ET

Thursday's live video events

What's next for Wall Street in a week of unpredictable gains and losses?  Watch CNN.com Live for the latest from the New York Stock Exchange.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - House of Commons debate on British riots - British lawmakers discuss the riots and looting devastating the country.

9:30 am ET - Wall Street opening bell - Stocks look to rebound from Wednesday's 520-point drop.


Filed under: Budget • Economy • Finance • United Kingdom • World
On the Radar: NFL football, PGA golf, Star Trek gathering
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady works out in training camp.
August 11th, 2011
06:06 AM ET

On the Radar: NFL football, PGA golf, Star Trek gathering

Three things you need to know today.

NFL preseason: Are you ready for some football? Earlier this summer, with the NFL owners and players in a labor dispute, there was worry we'd be waiting for college games to begin to answer that question.

But with the league's labor agreement July 25, training camps were able to begin and tonight we get the NFL's first preseason games. The Jaguars are at the Patriots; the Ravens visit the Eagles; the Seahawks travel to the Chargers in an ESPN game; the Broncos are at the Cowboys; and the Cardinals visit the Raiders.

Ten more teams will kick off their preseason schedule Friday.

Even as games begin, SI.com reports that because of the late labor deal, there's still a decent crop of free-agent players looking for a home.

PGA golf: The last of golf's four major tournaments for 2011, the PGA Championship, tees off in suburban Atlanta on Thursday, with the focus on two players, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, writes Golf magazine's Cameron Morfit.

"What will define this PGA is what defines every major, namely whether it will become a memorable step in one player's journey to world domination or a forgettable victory by a less-than-legendary golfer. That means this PGA Championship is all about Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods until further notice," Morfit writes.

Woods, of course, is trying to get back into winning form after dominating the sport for more than a decade until marital problems and injuries took him away from the course.
McIlroy dominated the last major on American soil, the U.S. Open, in June, winning by eight strokes, but he faltered in the most recent major, the Open Championship in Britain, coming in 25th there last month.
"Star Trek" Convention: Trekkies from distant worlds, in a sense, will converge on Las Vegas beginning Thursday for the official Star Trek Convention, in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the space-themed franchise.

Special guests will include William Shatner, called in convention literature “one of the world's pop culture treasures,” along with Leonard Nimoy and several actors from subsequent generations of the show and films.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Golf • Movies • On the Radar • Pro football • Showbiz • Sports • TV