November 11th, 2011
10:15 PM ET

Nationals catcher Ramos found, Venezuela media reports

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been "found alive" after he was reported kidnapped, Venezuelan state TV reported Friday.

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Filed under: Baseball • Crime • Venezuela
November 11th, 2011
07:34 PM ET

Police: Fraternity pledge severely injured in paddling; 9 arrested

Nine South Carolina college fraternity members were arrested this week on hazing charges, accused of beating and severely injuring a pledge with a paddle, authorities said.

The victim, a Francis Marion University student who was pledging Phi Beta Sigma, was paddled at an off-campus residence on October 23 “to such an extent as to have resulted in serious bodily injury” requiring hospitalization, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

CNN affiliate WBTW, citing investigators, reported that the victim suffered temporary injuries to his kidneys.

Florence County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Nunn told CNN that his office wasn’t releasing details of the student’s injuries, but he said the student had “an extended hospital stay.”


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Filed under: Crime • South Carolina
November 11th, 2011
06:20 PM ET

Oops! Share your stories of Rick Perry-style brain freeze

Let's face it. We've all had our flubs or gaffes or "stepped in it" before. But when you're running for president of the United States, it just seems a whole lot worse.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been the butt of just a few jokes since his failed attempt Wednesday night to name three federal agencies he'd like to get rid of. His last word on the matter has been dubbed "the 'oops' heard round the world."

Sure, many a politician before him has frozen in front of the camera, from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to former President George Bush, who stared into space in a fruitless effort to name his "biggest mistake." There's even a scientific explanation for it: a "retrieval failure" in a moment exacerbated by stress, according to The Washington Post.

Now in damage control overdrive, Perry has been trying to make people laugh with him as he smiles and jokes his way through interviews, culminating in an appearance Thursday on the Tonight Show with David Letterman.

His campaign even sought to do some fund-raising off the gaffe, encouraging supporters to send $5 for every government agency they "would like to forget."

How about you? What's been your most embarrassing pregnant pause? We promise not to tell!

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Filed under: Rick Perry
Overheard on Elephant rescue is uplifting story
Despite efforts from their herd to help, the pair were unable to free themselves.
November 11th, 2011
04:24 PM ET

Overheard on Elephant rescue is uplifting story

Comment of the Day:

"If you see an animal in pain or distressed and you can help, why wouldn't you? Screw non-intervention, I'll intervene every time." -luked

Dramatic rescue of mother and baby elephant

A dehydrated mother elephant and her calf were pulled from a mud pit by a conservation team in Zambia. Previous attempts by the elephant herd to save the pair had failed. This story was a favorite: readers said it was a bright spot amongst the usually depressing news stories.

fjrchooser said, "I raise my bottle of the Gods must be Crazy juice in salute to the rescuers!"

hedgehog said, "I think we all need a few positive stories now and again. It sure beats the heck out of the normal, depressing stuff I read."

taffd said, "I'm sure things like this happen all the time around the world–we need to hear about them so that we know the earth isn't just a place of war, criminals, falling economies etc. This story did me a world of good."

RandyinOC said, "This is a great story! I believe there are many great stories around us every day, but they don't make good news so we usually only hear the bad. That's why it seems like everything is always so doom and gloom. It would be great to read more of these and by looking at all the 'Likes' on these comments below, I think most of your readers would agree, CNN!"

doonerist said, "Wait ... this is not a complete story. Was there any aftercare, or were the mother and baby just left to rejoin the herd? I want to know what happened AFTER the rescue."

lidetector said, "Mankind has already negatively interfered way too much with nature, elephants in particular, so, when the opportunity presents itself to help a species, we should do so. Elephants are proven to be especially intelligent and to have a sense of feeling for herd members, so I am really glad to read this article. It is really a great ending."

CWarden said, "I agree that the community behavior exhibited by elephants is really lovely and they are such gorgeous animals that we should be doing everything we can to protect them."

Shelama said, "Wow! It made me cry. Not only primates among the social animals show the evolutionary traits of empathy and altruism."

Laboy75063 said, "I'm so happy to read pleasant news for a change. I love that the other elephants came to help." TechIsReady said, "They always try to help when a herd member is in trouble."

XoriusM said, "I had to read the article twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things. A heartwarming article? You mean no war in the Middle East, a flood in Thailand, or a European financial collapse? *Smile*, thank you elephants."

crackiswhack said, "Well done, humanity. There's hope for us yet."

Blind man uses his ears to see

Daniel Kish lost his sight when he was a baby, but he has since learned to navigate much like a bat–by clicking his tongue and listening for the echoes. He aims to teach others his techniques. In a PopTech presentation, he showed videos of his blind students riding mountain bikes through obstacle courses, playing basketball and skateboarding. Most readers were amazed and enthusiastic.

DexterDexter said, "I'd be interested in seeing brain activity. Has he awakened some sectors in the human brain that have long been dormant?" Lokari replied, "He hasn't awakened any dormant part of his brain, he's just learned to pay attention to the minute echoes from his clicks, and interpret what they tell him about his environment. It's very impressive, and no doubt an extremely skill to have, but it's just a question of training and practice."

myslant said, "I am skeptical as to the efficacy of this procedure, particularly outdoors. One would have to possess a superhuman hearing ability just to hear the reflected sound waves." Persuter replied, "Try this as an experiment. Stand near a bend in a hallway. Have your friend stand around the bend where you can't see him or her. Have them make a sound. If you hear the sound, then your assertion is incorrect."

Basil999 said, "When I was in college there was a guy at UofH who echolocated by clapping his hands. He didn't even have a cane. It was absolutely fascinating to watch. He was spot on with locating objects–people, curbs, streets–amazing."

Riggan said, "Hats off to Kish! The blind community has often resisted adaptive technologies. I don't know about today, but not too long ago, many schools for the blind would not allow guide dogs on their campus."

wagn asked, "Why do advocates for the blind rule it out if it could make the lives of blind people easier? What's the hurt? I think that it's silly to just shoot it down when a blind person is successfully using this."

ringobabe said, "There are people trying to figure out dolphin language. Daniel need to talk to these folks; he'll be able to give them some pointers."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

November 11th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

Penn State puts wide receivers' coach on leave

[Updated at 4:18 p.m. ET] Mike McQueary - the Penn State coach who told head coach Joe Paterno about a child sex abuse allegation involving a former coach in 2002 - has been placed on administrative leave, interim school President Rodney Ericson said Friday.

The leave is "indefinite," Ericson said.

McQueary, who coaches the team's wide receivers, was a 28-year-old graduate assistant when he told Paterno of the allegation in 2002.

The scandal revolves around Jerry Sandusky, the football team's former defensive coordinator who is accused of sexually assaulting children. The scandal has led to the departure of four top university figures, including Paterno, amid widespread outrage over their perceived failure to contact police.

[Updated at 12:19 p.m. ET] Officials on Friday picked the leaders of a special Penn State University panel to investigate allegations that a former assistant football coach sexually abused children.

Kenneth Frazier, a Penn State trustee, will chair the university's special committee looking into the child sex abuse allegations. Frazier told the board of trustees on Friday that the inquiry will be "rigorous, objective and impartial."

State Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis will be the vice chairman and other committee members will be determined later, it was announced at a board meeting.

[Initial post, 10:16 a.m. ET] The interim president of Penn State University said Friday the board of trustees will vote on a proposal "to form a special committee to undertake a full and complete investigation of the circumstances that gave rise to the grand jury report" into child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Rodney Erickson said it has been "truly difficult to comprehend the terrible nature of the allegations" of child sex abuse. He told the board of trustees his "heart aches" for the victims of the abuse.

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Filed under: College football • Crime • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
Mexico's interior minister killed in copter crash
Mexican Interior Minister Jose Francisco Blake Mora was appointed in 2010.
November 11th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Mexico's interior minister killed in copter crash

[Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET] Mexico's interior minister, Jose Francisco Blake Mora, was killed in helicopter crash Friday, the government said.

The Super Puma helicopter crashed in the Xochimilco area south of Mexico City, government spokeswoman Alejandra Sota said.

Also killed in the crash were deputy minister Felipe Zamora and the ministry's press office chief, Jose Alfredo Garcia, she said.

In all nine people perished - seven passengers and two crew members, she said.

In July 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon appointed Blake Mora to the post that oversees security efforts against drug cartels in Mexico. That battle has has cost thousands of lives.

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Filed under: Air travel • Mexico • Travel
Why many vets are struggling to get jobs
Some troops’ skills are great for civilian jobs, but licensing and jargon sometimes keep them from getting offers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says.
November 11th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Why many vets are struggling to get jobs

They worked in some of the most adverse conditions in the world, often achieving their missions while under fire on the battlefield. But while the men and women of the U.S. military are highly trained in job skills and leadership, their experience doesn't always immediately translate into jobs in the civilian sector.

(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum)

The unemployment rate among veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is several points higher than the national average. The unemployment rate for veterans who left the military after 2001 was 12.1% last month, leaving about 240,000 veterans out of work, according to the White House. The national jobless rate is 9%, according the Department of Labor.

Fourteen percent of veterans who served in the National Guard or Reserve units are jobless, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business association.

And the rate is worse for all post-9/11 veterans under the age of 24, said Kevin Schmiegel, the chamber’s vice president of veterans’ employment programs. "Roughly one out of every four in that cohort is out of a job," he said.

Veterans’ unemployment rate is expected to rise as the U.S. troop drawdown in Iraq shifts into high gear - virtually all of the 39,000 troops still in Iraq in October will be withdrawn by December 31. Also, about 100,000 National Guard members and reservists will be demobilized in the coming months. Most of those men and women will enter the civilian job market.

The U.S. House next week is expected to pass a bill - already passed by the Senate - that will give employers up to a $5,600 tax credit for hiring a veteran who has been unemployed for six months.

But the incentive may not be enough for many veterans to get a job.


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Filed under: Economy • Jobs • Military • Veterans • War
Overheard on How do we protect children?
Most children are abused by someone they know and trust, the American Psychological Association says.
November 11th, 2011
01:14 PM ET

Overheard on How do we protect children?

Comment of the morning:

"People prefer the stereotype of the bush-dwelling, candy-waving, trench-coat-wearing, ... van-driving pedophile because it is far safer than the reality." - Stitches77

News stories such as the Penn State sex-abuse scandal raise questions about how to identify a sexual predator or to know if a child is being secretly abused. Two reports on those concerns prompted some readers to suggest ways to protect children and even to tell their own stories of sexual abuse.

Warning signs of sexual abuse often overlooked

The myth of the 'monster' pedophile

BethTexas1 said, "Parents have a responsibility to teach their children to listen to that nagging feeling that tells them something is not right with a person or situation. In most cases, they're right. Also, times have changed, and those meek little mommies who teach their children to worship adults and be good little boys and girls are setting their kids up for this kind of thing."

DeathStalker said, "I often instinctively like or do not like a person from the first five minutes of meeting them. I have ignored that instinct in the past and been burned by it. I now pay much closer attention to that instinct. I use this not only at a personal level but at a professional level as well."

KtinME said, "Tell your children that it's not OK for anyone to touch them if it makes them feel uncomfortable, and that includes all family members, including yourself. Tell them that if someone does make them feel uncomfortable, that you will believe them without question if they tell you."

johnsole said, "Very few offenders are so-called strangers. Children must be taught early in an age-appropriate manner about what is acceptable touching and what is not and to be taught the nonacceptable touching is still nonacceptable even (if) it comes from someone they love. Stranger danger is as much a myth as the boogeyman."


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Filed under: Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Overheard on • Penn State
Gotta Watch: Diners, drive-throughs and dash cams
Video inside a North Carolina restaurant shows a car crashing through a wall.
November 11th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Diners, drive-throughs and dash cams

Cars, buildings and cameras. You’re bound to get some good footage when they mix. You Gotta Watch these cars roll into a bike shop, smash into a diner and crash through a house. Amazingly, nobody was seriously injured in these incidents.

Dash cam dash – An Oregon police officer was responding to a call when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a house. Watch the incredible dash cam footage as the car flies into the building. Also see the homeowner’s response when he watches the video for the first time.

[cnn-video url=""%5D


Greece swears in Papademos as new prime minister
Lucas Papademos, an economist and former vice president of the ECB, will lead Greece's unity government.
November 11th, 2011
09:25 AM ET

Greece swears in Papademos as new prime minister

Greece's Parliament formally swore in economist Lucas Papademos Friday as the head of a new unity government as the nation seeks to regain political and financial stability after weeks of uncertainty.

Papademos, a former banker and European Central Bank vice president, becomes the country's interim prime minister after several days of political wrangling.

Papademos pledged the new government's chief task will be to implement a bailout package and austerity measures agreed to with European leaders last month.

It is hoped that the national unity government will restore political stability in Greece after several weeks of turmoil that have unnerved global financial markets. Papademos, who helped usher Greece into the euro in 2001, replaces outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou, who resigned over his handling of the crisis.

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Filed under: Greece
Syria accused of crimes against humanity
Pro-democracy protesters demonstrate against President Bashar al-Assad's regime outside the Arab league headquarters in Cairo on November 2, 2011.
November 11th, 2011
08:44 AM ET

Syria accused of crimes against humanity

The Syrian government's "systematic" crackdown on civilians amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued Friday.

The watchdog group has already urged the Arab League to press President Bashar al-Assad's government to allow human rights monitors into the country. Now, it is urging the Arab League, which has called an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday, to suspend Syria's membership and to ask the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions.

It also said Syria should be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

Human Rights Watch said the Syrian regime has engaged in "the systematic nature of abuses against civilians ... including torture and unlawful killings."

It based its 63-page report on more than 110 interviews with victims and witnesses from the besieged city and governorate of Homs, which has emerged as the epicenter of the months-long uprising.

The death toll climbed again on Friday as the Local Coordinating Committee, a network of opposition groups, reported violent clashes across Syria. It said 10 people were killed, six of them in Homs.

Human Rights Watch said Syrian security forces have killed 104 people (not including Friday's deaths) in Homs since November 2, when al-Assad agreed to abide by an Arab League proposal to halt all violence, release all detainees, withdraw all armed elements from populated areas and allow unfettered access to the nation by journalists and Arab League monitors.

But none of that has happened, according to the daily reports streaming out of Syria.

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Filed under: Syria • World
November 11th, 2011
07:39 AM ET

Friday's live events

The presidential election may be a year away, but Live is not resting on its laurels until then.  We're your home for the latest breaking events on the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - New Greek prime minister sworn in - Lucas Papademos is sworn in as embattled Greece's new prime minister in Athens.


Filed under: Greece • Politics • World
November 11th, 2011
07:33 AM ET

'Horrified' mother of Penn state victim wants justice

The mother of one of the alleged sex abuse victims in the Penn State scandal said she was "absolutely horrified" by the developments and wants the perpetrator "to be put away for a long time."

"I want justice," the mother said on ABC's Good Morning America Friday, making reference to Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State coach accused of sexually abusing youths.

"I want him locked up. There's no help for somebody who does this." Sandusky, who is free on bail, disputes the 23-page grand jury summary of graphic testimony, his attorney said.

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Filed under: Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State • U.S.
College hoops set to tip off on carrier
The North Carolina Tar Heels practice on the USS Carl Vinson on Thursday.
November 11th, 2011
06:30 AM ET

College hoops set to tip off on carrier

No water from the sky means there will be college basketball on the water Friday evening in San Diego.

Well, technically not on the water but several stories above it on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

Organizers said Thursday that rain moving toward the San Diego area would not come until Saturday, meaning the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, pitting the North Carolina Tar Heels against the Michigan State Spartans, could be played on a court constructed on the carrier's flight deck.

"Right now, everything is all go for up here on the flight deck," Bob Mazza, an organizer of the event, said in a report on CNN-affliate KFMB-TV.


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Filed under: Basketball • California • College basketball • Military • U.S. Navy