Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says
Kelley Williams-Bolar served nine days in January for her conviction on two counts of falsifying records.
September 2nd, 2011
08:17 PM ET

Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says

The Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for a mother who lied about her residency so her children could attend school tuition-free in another district.

Kelley Williams-Bolar admitted in a July hearing that she was wrong to enroll her two daughters in the Copley-Fairlawn school district from under her father's address while she lived in subsidized housing in Akron. She claimed she did so because she did not want to leave her daughters home alone after school while she was attending classes at The University of Akron, fearing for their safety after a 2006 burglary.

The eight-panel board concluded that she could have investigated other options, such as looking at other districts, asking friends or neighbors to babysit, or actually moving into her parents' home. Instead, she chose "a pattern of deceitful behavior," the Board wrote in its clemency report, released Friday.

"Ms. Williams-Bolar was faced with a no more difficult situation than any other working parent who must ensure that their children are safe during, before and after school hours in their absence," it said in its ruling. "Most parents find legitimate and legal options to address this issue. Ms. Williams-Bolar's only response was to be deceitful."

The recommendation goes on to Gov. John Kasich, who expressed sympathy for Williams-Bolar earlier this year after her sentencing.

"Although we are disappointed with the Parole Board's recommendation, we remain confident that justice will ultimately prevail," Williams-Bolar's lawyer, David Singleton, said. "The Governor, not the Parole Board, has the last word on Kelley's clemency petition."


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Filed under: Crime • Education • Ohio
September 2nd, 2011
06:35 PM ET

Gulf system intensifies into Tropical Storm Lee

[6:35 p.m. ET] A state of emergency has been declared in Biloxi, Mississippi, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Lee, Mayor AJ Holloway told CNN.

[2:30 p.m. ET] A slow-moving tropical system with the potential to douse summer-ending beach plans and bring up to 20 inches of flooding rain to parts of the Gulf Coast strengthened into a tropical storm Friday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Tropical Storm Lee could bring winds of 65 mph when it makes landfall this weekend, CNN meteoroloigist Sean Morris said.

The state of Louisiana and 10 of its parishes had declared states of emergency as of Friday afternoon, Gov. Bobby Jindal said. LaFourche Parish and the city of Grand Isle also issued voluntary evacuation orders, he said.

"This is going to be a slow-moving storm. It's going to bring a lot of rain," Jindal said.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour also declared a state of emergency for portions of southern Mississippi expected to be affected by the storm.

The storm was likely to reach land in the next 48 hours, forecasters said.

The storm is over water as warm as 90 degrees and atmospheric conditions that are limiting its development should become more favorable to strengthening over the next 24 hours, CNN meteorologist Sean Morris said.

Tropical storm-force winds are being reported at several oil rigs in the Gulf, according to Morris and the National Hurricane Center.

The current track suggests a possible landfall west of Morgan City, Louisiana on Sunday morning, Morris said.

Tropical storm warnings were up for the Gulf coast from Pascagoula, Mississippi to Sabine Pass, Texas.

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Filed under: Tropical weather • Weather
September 2nd, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Government sues 17 banks over risky mortgages

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sued 17 financial firms Friday to recoup losses from risky mortgage loans.

The targets of the lawsuits include Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and even General Electric, among others.

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Filed under: Economy • Finance
Overheard on CNN.com: Son is responsible for his own actions
Aicha el-Wafi blames herself for failing to note the terrorist path of son Zacarias Moussaoui.
September 2nd, 2011
04:31 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Son is responsible for his own actions

Comments of the Day

"Such a nice boy... growing up hated, with schizophrenic sisters, and an abusive bipolar Dad... I just don't understand how my son ..."–CANEMAN

" 'Get me some fertilizer Mom,' he said. 'I'm going to need a one-way ticket; can I borrow your Visa? he said. 'I'm going next door to Habib's to work on some bombs,' he said. The signs just weren't there."–Fartmanz

Mother of 9/11 '20th hijacker': I was blind to son's extremism

Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested in the U.S. three weeks before the September 11 attacks and indicted in December 2001 as part of a broader terror conspiracy. His mother, Aicha el-Wafi, blames herself for failing to realize that her son had become involved with radical Islamists. She said he grew up fatherless and subjected to daily racism in France. According to a clinical social worker, mental illness runs in the family, and Moussaoui is delusional.

CNN.com readers had some sympathy for her as a mother, but not much. Shellysmom said, "She has my sympathy as a mother until she starts claiming that her son is innocent." 13pearls said, "She denies her son's involvement while doing all this; she has an agenda even if it's just to settle her own heart. I don't care about her."

PhDinSarcasm said, "How dare you, CNN! Trying to pull at our heartstrings by showing the grieving mother of this terrorist? Sorrowful music playing underneath? This is a time of our collective grief, fear, and anger as the tenth anniversary of the mass attack on Americans on American soil is upon us. Guess what, Mum: your kid is still breathing."

Others said that regardless of his upbringing, her son's extremism was his own responsibility. alison112 said, "I think anyone who does something like this is mentally ill in some form. No sane person would do something like this. But it doesn't excuse their actions."

2HONEST4CNN said, "Lost of people get bullied or discriminated against in all nations and they do not become terrorists. Only a few twisted souls with murder in their heart do that." angryasian said, "As an Asian growing up in the U.S., I was told to 'go back to my country' and made fun of for the shape of my eyes and the color of my skin. You don't see me running off to kill people."

Merryl agreed, "Excuses, excuses. I moved to Raleigh N.C. from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. when I was five years old and was ostracized for being Jewish. I endured all kinds of name-calling. Parents wouldn't let kids play with me because of my religion. Our next-door neighbors vandalized our property continuously because they were KKK-types. I could have become some kind of radical terrorist. Instead, I am a law-abiding citizen who still lives in N.C. (views are different now), and all of my friends are Christians."

But a few readers said el-Wafi's message was a good one. PSAGuy said, "This woman is claiming she missed the signs. She is telling everyone not to miss them in their own children. This country is FULL of parents who do not deal with their children, particularly teens. These kids need firm guidance and parents who are tuned in to their lives." TonyXL said, "No dad around. Only a matter of time before trouble began..."

The5thSeal asked, "What are the signs that someone will be a terrorist? I'm just curious."

September 2nd, 2011
03:19 PM ET

New trial set for Roger Clemens

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton on Friday granted federal prosecutors a new trial for former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens.

A starting date was set for April 17.

The case against Clemens, accused of one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury, was declared a mistrial in July after evidence ruled inadmissible was shown in court.

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Filed under: Baseball • Roger Clemens • Sports
September 2nd, 2011
02:04 PM ET

Judge blasts prosecution in Clemens case

 U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton blasted federal prosecutors urging a retrial for former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens Friday, declaring that they had intentionally ignored his earlier rulings in the case.

"I would hate to believe they just blatantly disregarded rulings that I made, but it's hard for me to reach any other conclusion," Walton said.

Walton made his remarks during a hearing to determine if Clemens should face a new trial for allegedly lying to Congress.

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Filed under: Baseball • Crime • Roger Clemens • Sports
September 2nd, 2011
01:06 PM ET

Mexican fight against cartels will continue

Mexico will accelerate the purge of corrupt elements within its federal attorney general's office, President Felipe Calderon said Friday, as he reaffirmed his conviction to fight the country's drug cartels with all the nation's might.

The attorney general's office, or PGR, was already undergoing an unprecedented shake-up with the July announcement that more than 400 police officers and investigators had been dismissed or where in the process of being dismissed.

Calderon made the announcement during his annual state of the nation speech, as an example of the seriousness with which his administration is tackling corruption.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 45% of Mexicans believe that the government is making progress in its fight against the drug cartels. A full 29% say that the government is losing ground. At the same time, more outspoken critics of Calderon's strategy against the cartels have come forward, including poet Javier Sicilia, who led massive marches against the drug war.

But Calderon said he is sticking with his offensive.

"The only way to beat this cancer is for this strategy to persevere," the president said.

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Filed under: Drug violence • Mexico
Toddler does Dolly: Where's the line between dress-up, hyper-sexualization?
In an episode of TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras" Maddy Jackson uses a padded bra for her Dolly Parton outfit.
September 2nd, 2011
12:22 PM ET

Toddler does Dolly: Where's the line between dress-up, hyper-sexualization?

TLC's "Toddlers and Tiaras" has no doubt been the subject of massive verbal barbs from viewers and online users when it comes to the way young females are being portrayed on the show.

It started with spray tanning and slightly edgy outfits. But the outrage is growing as the latest round of debate is making many people's heads spin. The latest call for action centers on a mother's decision to allow her 4-year-old child to wear fake padded breasts and padding on her behind in an attempt to play out the role of Dolly Parton on the show.

"This makes me want to puke," one Twitter user wrote.

The "Toddlers and Tiaras" flap is the latest in a seemingly endless line of stories about the level of appropriateness when it comes to how young girls should be dressing and how companies are marketing to them. There was the breastfeeding children's doll that caused uproar. There was the 10-year-old star of an editorial in Vogue Paris that also caused a media firestorm because of her suggestive photo shoot. Then there was the lingerie line made for young girls that made people's jaws drop.

Now people are asking, "What exactly is going on with the pervasive need to over sexualize children?"

Has there been a change in culture and our perception of what's acceptable? Or is it just a case of how far can you push the envelope?

Where do you draw the line in the sand?

For many people, it seems that line is with Maddy Jackson, 4, and her extra padding on TLC.


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Filed under: Media • Showbiz • TV
September 2nd, 2011
11:20 AM ET

Katia becomes hurricane again

The storm named Katia has become a hurricane again in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

It had briefly weakened into a tropical storm but has since regained strength, the Center said.

As of 11 a.m. ET, Katia was roughly 700 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. Its maximum sustained winds were 75 mph - near the minimum level required to be classified as a hurricane.

Katia is continuing to move in a west-northwest direction at about 14 mph.  It is expected to strengthen over the weekend, the Center said.

Potentially dangerous swells created by Katia are expected to begin affecting the Caribbean by late Friday, the Center noted.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
Gotta Watch: Anchors and animals
An anchorman teases a weatherman with a large spider and scares his co-worker out of the studio.
September 2nd, 2011
10:47 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Anchors and animals

Broadcast journalists are seasoned professionals, but even they can get unnerved, especially when animals are involved. You've gotta watch how nature tackles television personalities with tons of humor.

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Filed under: Animals • Gotta Watch • Showbiz • Snakes • TV
Report: Astro trash poses increasing dangers to spacecraft, satellites
It seems prescient now that an artist in 1978 performed this rendering to highlight the danger of orbital debris.
September 2nd, 2011
09:43 AM ET

Report: Astro trash poses increasing dangers to spacecraft, satellites

It sounds like the theme of a 1980s video game, but the National Research Council say NASA should seriously consider ways to better tackle the problem of space debris.

In a 180-page report out this week, the council said NASA, partly because of slashed funding, is facing mounting pressure to find ways to lessen the dangers "posed by abandoned equipment, spent rocket bodies, and other debris orbiting the Earth." Oh, and meteoroids, too, an ex-NASA department head added.

Some models show that the amount of debris has reached a “tipping point,” meaning there is enough junk already in orbit that it could keep colliding, creating more debris and endangering spacecraft, satellites and the International Space Station.

The council said debris has already destroyed satellites, and the space station recently experienced a near miss. CNN reported another close call in March 2009.

Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

Read the full post on CNN's Light Years blog
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Filed under: NASA • Space
September 2nd, 2011
08:58 AM ET

Taliban abducted young people, officials believe

Authorities in Pakistan's tribal region believe the Taliban have abducted around 30 young people on an outing there.

Islam Zeb, a senior administrator in Bajaur Agency, told CNN on Friday the people were between the ages of 10 and 20 and elders were meeting to discuss the recovery of the children.

Zeb said the youth were walking to a picnic spot along a river to mark the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.

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Filed under: Pakistan
Police grab $2 million worth of cars after Canadian street race
This Lamborghini was among 13 high-end cars impounded by Canadian police.
September 2nd, 2011
08:55 AM ET

Police grab $2 million worth of cars after Canadian street race

This could be the plot for a movie, "Fast and Furious Canada," or maybe "Fast and Furious, the Young and the Rich."

Police in British Columbia say they impounded $2 million worth of high-end vehicles this week after witnesses reported the 13 cars racing on a metro Vancouver highway at speeds of 125 mph (200 kph).

The high-end race cars included a Ferrari, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, an Audi, an Aston Martin, Nissans and a Mercedes, according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police press release.


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Filed under: Canada • Crime • Justice
September 2nd, 2011
08:52 AM ET

No jobs added in August

Hiring slammed to a complete halt in August as several fresh challenges put the American economy in turmoil.

Employers added no jobs during the month and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%, the Labor Department said Friday.

The report was partially distorted by 22,000 state workers in Minnesota returning to work after a temporary government shutdown in July, as well as 45,000 Verizon workers on strike in August.

Those effects made it hard to compare the August jobs number to the 85,000 jobs gained in July.

Still though, the overall figure is considered weak in comparison to job gains of about 200,000-a-month, earlier this year.

Economists typically estimate the nation needs to add about 150,000 jobs each month to keep up with population growth alone. It needs even stronger growth to recover the millions of jobs lost during the financial crisis.

September 2nd, 2011
07:52 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Hurricane Irene may be long gone, but a tropical depression could cause trouble for the U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.  Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of all things weather.

Today's programming highlights...

9:50 am ET - Romney opens Florida HQ - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes remarks at the opening of his Florida state campaign headquarters in Tampa.


Filed under: Elections • Tropical weather • Weather
7.1 quake strikes off Alaska
The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude temblor was in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska's coast.
September 2nd, 2011
07:23 AM ET

7.1 quake strikes off Alaska

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Friday off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was 6.2 miles deep - a relatively shallow temblor capable of causing damage.

The epicenter was in the Aleutian Islands, about 120 miles from Atka, Alaska.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for coastal areas of Alaska, from Unimak Pass, Alaska to Amchitka Pass, Alaska, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the sparsely populated area near the epicenter.

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Filed under: Alaska • Earthquake • Natural Disasters
September 2nd, 2011
06:23 AM ET

Turkey downgrading ties with Israel

Turkey is downgrading its military and diplomatic relations with its one-time close ally Israel amid longstanding tensions over the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla headed to Gaza last year.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Friday that his government has suspended its military agreements and lowered its diplomatic relationship with the Jewish state.

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Filed under: Israel • Turkey
On the Radar: Texas fire, Clemens' trial, Casey Anthony
Firefighters say they've achieve 50% containment on a blaze that has burned 6,200 acres.
September 2nd, 2011
05:47 AM ET

On the Radar: Texas fire, Clemens' trial, Casey Anthony

Three things you need to know today.

Texas fire: Authorities were working on plans Friday to return home residents forced to flee a wildfire in northern Texas, a day after firefighters made progress battling the blaze that destroyed dozens of homes.

The blaze in Palo Pinto County scorched 6,200 acres by Thursday, according to the Texas Forest Service. The fire is burning near the resort of Possum Kingdom Lake, near the town of Brad, about 100 miles west of Dallas.

"We feel much better about this fire today" as the blaze is now 50% contained, said John Nichols, a spokesman for the Forest Service.

He said evacuations were lifted for some residents forced to evacuate the fire, which was driven by high temperatures and dry winds.

Clemens' trial: A judge will hold a hearing Friday to consider whether former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens should be retried for allegedly lying to Congress.

The case against Clemens - who is accused of one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury - was declared a mistrial in July after evidence previously ruled inadmissable was shown in court.

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton will consider how to resolve the case at Friday's hearing in Washington.

Casey Anthony: Casey Anthony's attorneys will be in court Friday fighting a motion by prosecutors to have her  reimburse the costs of  the investigation of her daughter's disappearance  and death.

Court documents filed by the state attorney's office and law  enforcement agencies indicate those costs are more than $350,000.

It is unclear whether Anthony will be at the hearing Friday in front of Orange County Chief Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

Anthony has been in seclusion since  her July acquittal on murder charges in the 2008 death of her  2-year-old daughter and her subsequent release from jail.

But  in the same case, a Florida jury convicted her on four misdemeanor  counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers.

Prosecutors have cited a Florida law that allows the state to fine defendants in criminal cases to recoup money spent.

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Filed under: Baseball • Casey Anthony • Courts • Crime • Fire • Justice • Natural Disasters • On the Radar • Roger Clemens • Sports • Texas