Attorney: 3 U.S. college students released from police custody
November 25th, 2011
03:33 PM ET

Attorney: 3 U.S. college students released from police custody

Three American college students detained in Cairo since earlier this week have left the police station there and are headed to the airport to return to the United States, an attorney for one of the three men said Friday.

The three - Gregory Porter, Luke Gates and Derrik Sweeney - were arrested after being accused of throwing Molotov cocktails in the unrest that has rattled the country since last week. Their release was ordered Thursday.

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Filed under: Egypt
Overhead on Give us the leftovers and no one gets hurt
People love their Thanksgiving leftovers and know how to get creative with them, too.
November 25th, 2011
03:27 PM ET

Overhead on Give us the leftovers and no one gets hurt

Editor's note: Readers have a lot to say about stories, and we're listening. Overheard on is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Comment of the day:

“Turkey clubs, turkey noodle soup, turkey salad, turkey ala king, stuffing sandwiches ... the list goes on.” -Barb

Loving leftovers

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, but the food, for many, hasn’t. Half a turkey, mounds of potatoes and bowls of gravy are sitting in fridges all over the United States just waiting to get freaky with a foodie.

Enter readers. Some shared their love of the leftovers and the creative ways they make sure not to waste any.

Kara said, “Here in New Orleans we often use leftover turkey to make gumbo. Yum.”

Tom said, “Hey, I just bought a pre-cooked turkey breast from Publix so I could have nothing but leftovers. Every last bit has become turkey sandwiches so far (but I may be starting to get tired of turkey sandwiches."

MikeD said, “Turkey is particularly good for tetrazzini.”

Ben said, “Green chili turkey enchiladas and turkey noodle soup.”

Brian said, “I'm making a stock out of turkey carcass.”

Tim said, “Sandwiches...both hot with gravy or cold with cranberry...soup, or something akin to stew with everything thrown into a pot. Thanksgiving is terrific, but the after Thanksgiving leftovers officially kick off the Christmas season. It doesn't get any better than this!”

Ed said, “Hot or cold, as-is or as sandwiches, are all really good to me. My favorite thing to do with the leftover turkey is to boil the carcass and make homemade turkey noodle soup. A bit of a pain I'll admit but it beats anything you'll find in a can by far!”

Will said, “I prefer foods like potatoes or green beans warm. We make enough for a serving on Thanksgiving and one more meal later on. The main challenge is turkey – I can't stand the amount of room it takes up in the fridge and don't want it getting bad in there and ruining other foods. The trick is to slice it up, package into storage containers, and not buying a bird that is so large we have to eat it five days in a row.”

Michelle said, “I usually get a large turkey and use the leftovers in anything that would normally require chicken. I can't wait to make turkey enchiladas tomorrow!”

Gomo said, “That’s the best thing about after-Thanksgiving: the delicious leftovers.”

Martini said, “Forty years of cooking turkeys did us in. No more turkeys. It's chicken from here on in. Enough with the gobblers. We're still good with the cornbread dressing, cranberry goo and sweet potato casserole. Anymore we're cooking with one goal in mind....leftovers. Hot or cold.”

BCS mess

Many college football fans have long been frustrated by the BCS selection system that chooses which teams will play in the major bowls. And with losses from every top ranked team except LSU (prior to today’s game against Arkansas), things have gotten particularly complicated this year. If LSU loses today, every top team will have a loss and the arguments about which team should be in which bowl will begin. readers shared their frustration and suggestions:

TallinOK said, “The BCS is a joke. At the beginning of each season, large Division 1 schools flat out stomp smaller schools and run up the scores for BCS points. If you don't believe me, look at the scores of the major Division 1 schools. My alma mater (about 8,000 students) got the privilege of playing three top 10 schools in their first four games. The scores were obscene. I think the BCS is not only a joke, but is obscene when it rates by computer these kind of pairings.”

Matt said, “I'd like to hear more about the anti-trust suit brought against the BCS. This whole system is ridiculous and needs to be replaced with a playoff system.”

Smooth responded, “College already has a playoff. It just starts the first game of the season.”

Henry said, “Eight-team playoff is the answer.”

drp146 said, “The BCS is a joke. No chance of a Cinderella story. It's rigged to a certain extent to favor the large schools and conferences.”

Raymond Peters said, “Let's face it. As long as colleges and universities as well as coaches are making big money the BCS will continue to be played as is. It's all about the Benjamin's, gentlemen! Incredibly enough, I don't see why we don't have a playoff season like the NCAA basketball season. Let the best team standing win!”

Sean said, “The BCS blows and ruins college football. Long live the NFL.”

Brock275 said, “Let's be very clear. Installing an eight-team playoff will only change the NCAA into something very near to the NFL. Is that what we really want? I understand the heartache, particularly if your favorite team is locked out. However, this type of controversy is the unique quality to NCAA football that draws everyone's attention. We want each and every game to be important (unlike NFL when they sometimes sit their second string and throw the game for playoff purposes). With all that said, I think the computer scores are suspect – but they are balanced out somewhat by the human factors.”

bobcat ( in a hat ) responded, “@Brock275 It may not be exactly what we want, but it would be a step in the right direction. There have been a lot better teams eligible to be in these games. But instead, they base it on the opinion of a few people. I never have agreed with that.”

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.

Weary of Black Friday, some plan to shop local on Saturday
November 25th, 2011
02:12 PM ET

Weary of Black Friday, some plan to shop local on Saturday

Black Friday's not for everyone.  As crowds accumulate and shoppers get rowdy at retail stores nationwide, more and more Americans are declaring they're over the biggest shopping day of the year.

With pepper sprayings, a tasing and other Black Friday-related violence across the country, outrage is surfacing under the Twitter hashtag #F--BlackFriday. Amid critiques of consumerism run amok, some are calling on the American public to patronize local businesses instead.

"Hmm. Pepper spray? Gunshots? Parking lot robberies after midnight? hahaha #F--BlackFriday You suckers can have it," RoxinalRanger tweeted Friday, summing up the thoughts of many.

The loudest groans appear to be coming from store employees, many of whom have been on their feet for hours with no end in sight.

"It's only been 9 hours? F– me. Here till 5 PM! Who starts work at midnight and gets off at 5pm," one worker tweeted Friday, summing up the thoughts of many.

"I've never hated people or my job more than I do right now. I really hate everyone in this store. I really truly do," another tweeted.

"I already wanna strangle customers," another said.

For their part, shoppers also appeared to growing weary of the long lines and growing hostility.

"It has gotten to the point were I actually hate shopping.. #f-blackfriday #neveragain," @GabrielMaguina tweeted.

Others expressed frustration that they could not go shopping for ordinary items without braving crowds.

"Is there any store in the world I could go to and not need to wait 3 hours to buy a razor and eyeliner," Eye-V tweeted.

Others simply had other priorities: "I like sleep more than low low prices," @BenKuzmicz said.

Many commenters vowed earlier this week to avoid Black Friday by shopping earlier, with some arguing that its popularity is emblematic of what’s wrong in the United States.

“Bargain hunting and using credit cards to pay for majority of purchases; US consumers (are) overburdened with debt and cannot stop just like the US government," larryking11 said, in one of the comments featured in Thursday's Overheard on post.

"I am boycotting Black Friday and spending time with my friends and family instead of shopping. And to those retailers opening up on Thanksgiving night ... I will not be shopping at your stores at all this holiday. You are nothing more that a bunch of greedy grinches," Blackrhino said.

Some who associate Black Friday with overwhelming crowds and capitalism at its ugliest are saving their pennies and energy for Saturday.

Now in its second year, the American Express-sponsored "Small Business Saturday" is billed as "the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S."

On the event's Facebook page, which has more than 2.5 million fans, users are sharing shopping plans and businesses are throwing out sale pitches.

"Love shopping small mom and pop shops – always get the best stuff and unusual stuff," one shopper said.

Another user, presumably a retail employee, pledged "to give everyone the kind of service they don't get online or in the 'big box' stores. Service is what makes small business better."

However, other commenters on the Facebook page expressed skepticism over American Express' involvement.

"I love that this is presented by American Express....because that doesn't scream hypocrisy...." one user said.

"Question: Is American Express reducing its transaction fees for small businesses this weekend (or forever?)? Most of my local retailers can't afford to take AmEx!" another said.

American Express is using the event to encourage shoppers to use their AmEx cards. Cardholders who register an eligible American Express Card and use it for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26 will receive a one-time $25 statement credit, according to the Facebook page.

The push to patronize local business comes amid wider backlash against Black Friday. Earlier this week, organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement urged protesters to occupy major retailers on Friday. So far, there have been no reports of major protests.

At least one small business urged shoppers not to buy from them on Friday. TheOldTry, a Boston-based print shop specializing in homages to the South, urged shoppers to reconsider the reason for the season.

"I'd prefer you not buy anything from us nor anyone else tomorrow and you spend time with friends and family. #tistheseason # honesty," the store tweeted.

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Holidays
Big crowds, big mischief on Black Friday (and Thursday, too)
Black Friday shoppers enter Macy's in New York shortly after midnight.
November 25th, 2011
02:10 PM ET

Big crowds, big mischief on Black Friday (and Thursday, too)

With more big-box stores starting their Black Friday sales at midnight and even pulling them into Thanksgiving Day, the kickoff to the holiday shopping season – and the scattered reports of scuffles and mischief that inevitably come with it – was in high gear early.

Some stores opened earlier than ever: Toys R Us opened at 9 p.m. Thursday, with Walmart opening at 10 p.m. and Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Macy’s opening at midnight. And some reported longer lines than usual, according to CNNMoney.

The early openings didn’t make everyone happy, as employees with Target and Best Buy signed online petitions complaining that they had to sacrifice too much of their Thanksgiving. But shoppers seemed to be motivated for one of the biggest sales days of year. About 23% of Americans say they plan to go shopping on Black Friday, up from 19% in 2006, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.

Violence for Black Friday shoppers: Gunfire, fisticuffs and pepper spray

With Black Friday’s massive crowds and long lines come a few reports of short tempers, fights and robberies, and this year has been no exception.

In California on Thursday night, one woman doused fellow shoppers with pepper spray in a bid to snag a discounted video game console at Walmart in Los Angeles’ Porter Ranch area, police said. Ten people were treated at the scene for exposure to the spray, police said.

The woman was trying to get an Xbox video game console, CNN affiliate KABC reported, citing police. She was able to pay for her purchases and leave the store before police arrived, Chavira said.


Overhead on Tired of North Korea’s threats
North Korea reacted with threats after South Korea marked the first anniversary of the Yeonpyeong Island attacks November 23.
November 25th, 2011
12:16 PM ET

Overhead on Tired of North Korea’s threats

Editor's note: Readers have a lot to say about stories, and we're listening. Overheard on is a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Comment of the morning:

“What a sad situation. They are all Koreans with family on both sides of that once one nation.“ -isallwon

North Korea threatens South Korea

Another round of threats from North Korea came a day after South Korea staged exercises near Yeonpyeong Island, marking the anniversary of the North's deadly shelling that killed two marines and two civilians. In response to the South’s exercises, the North's military threatened "a sea of fire" upon the South's presidential office. readers had plenty to say about the ongoing conflict in the region.

Some readers said the North’s response was predictable.

TheEZD said, “Every so often, North Korea must think ‘Hey, I have not been in the news lately, time to send another warning to the south/world for (rolls dice) military exercises!’”

GODis responded, “Then the following week, they are asking for handouts again to feed their starving people, and then the food, medicine goes straight to the military. Enough is enough, 60 years of this BS. The Generals in the North Korean military don't even talk to each other, they are only concerned with the state of their own little kingdom, within the larger kingdom.”


November 25th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

A holiday shopping contrast: For some, it's bargains over brands

Carmen Rogers doesn’t have to wait in line for bargains.

“I’m lucky,” she says.

Rogers was on her way to Gucci on Rodeo Drive in California's Beverly Hills wearing a camel-hair coat with matching scarf - a clear sign that she’s at home in one of America’s richest neighborhoods.

(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's Jim Roope and John Sepulvado)

Rogers has no idea how much she will spend on holiday shopping, and it doesn’t matter, she says. She doesn’t have to be on a budget.

Outside Cartier on Rodeo Drive, Jackie Martenson was sporting a matching coat, shoes, purse and hat. The frames of her glasses even matched her outfit. But she’s not quite as free in her spending as Rogers.

“I think that in this economy everybody is looking for a deal,” she says.

Martenson was drawn to Rodeo Drive by the brand names.

“I think you spend twice as much here in Beverly Hills, but the thing is you get a good designer name,” she says.

According to a survey on expected holiday shopping by the Harrison Group, an economic consulting firm, retail spending by people who earn more than $300,000 will be up by 6% this year. But the same survey found that middle- and low-income Americans are expected to spend 17% less than in 2010.

“I’m on a budget right now,” says Tracy Adams. She was nighttime bargain-hunting at a Walmart in Atlanta. The single mom patiently stood in line with her excitable second-grader, hoping to score a deal on a Sony PlayStation. Adams says a saving of $50 would go a long way in her household.

“I’d put it towards paying bills,” she says. But when she got to the counter, the bargains were sold out and she was disappointed. “They ran out of what I really wanted. That was the only item I came here for.”

Instead she had a basket full of toys she collected while waiting in line. A salesman says the Walmart only had eight PlayStations stocked. In fairness, the mega-retailer made it very clear in its advertising that supplies would be limited. So all night, families would walk in hoping to get a laptop or a Wii, and walk out with crockpots, blankets and toys.

You can listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

November 25th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Prosecutors can't hold man in missing-woman case, Aruban judge rules

A judge in Aruba has turned down prosecutors' request to hold American Gary Giordano for 30 more days while authorities continue to investigate the August disappearance of his traveling companion, Robyn Gardner, his attorney told CNN Friday.

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Filed under: Aruba • Crime
November 25th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Turkey urges Syria to make choice as deadline passes

Turkey's foreign minister warned Friday that it was time for Syria to make a decision, as a deadline passed for it to agree to let Arab League observers into the country to monitor the government's response to civil unrest.

Damascus's failure to respond opens the door to economic sanctions against Syria by its neighbors, a senior Arab League diplomat told CNN in Cairo.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Syria risked international isolation if it continued on its present path - and, that the current bloodshed as it puts down pro-democracy protests could not be tolerated.

"Syria has to make a decision," he said, speaking in Istanbul alongside his Italian counterpart, Giulio Terzi.

"It will either continue this crackdown policy against its people and become isolated more and more, or it will say yes to this well-intentioned Arab League proposal, sign this protocol and observers will monitor the situation on the ground by going to all Syrian cities."

Protesters in cities around the country have been demanding al-Assad's ouster and democratic elections since March.

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Filed under: Arab unrest: developments • Syria
For college football, mess of a BCS in the works
Coach Les Miles and his LSU Tigers will likely be a shoo-in for the BCS title game, providing the team beats Arkansas on Friday.
November 25th, 2011
10:23 AM ET

For college football, mess of a BCS in the works

The chase for the college football crown has come to this fateful weekend. And the BCS – that would be the Bedlam, Controversy and Squabbling – has never been messier.

Friday’s LSU-Arkansas game may all but decide 50% of the national championship, but the variables, plots and subplots that make the case for other title contenders are as interwoven as the laces on a football.

Let’s start with the easy stuff: LSU will likely be a shoo-in for the BCS title game, providing it beats a loose-playing, freewheeling Arkansas team that isn’t afraid to play like, well, wild hogs.

LSU-Arkansas preview

And they’ve sort of owned LSU recently, winning three of the last four games, including a memorable three-overtime, 50-48 victory over the then-No. 1 ranked Tigers in 2007. Interestingly, that two-loss LSU team still got the nod to compete for the national title, where it beat Ohio State.

Sports blogger J. Danielle at  said the Tigers may even be able to play for the national championship with a loss, considering that they will have faced an unprecedented eight top 10 teams (SEC East champion Georgia will likely make the top 10 after this weekend), including suspensions for key players at one time or another.

“I think this LSU team could potentially be considered as having one of the best runs in college football history,” she said. “Obviously Alabama is LSU’s most likely opponent right now.”

But what about Oklahoma State? Where is Boise State in this thing? And Houston, we’ve got a problem.

Yes, the BCS is a mess.


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Filed under: Sports • U.S.
November 25th, 2011
10:02 AM ET

Ganzouri regains PM job as Egypt braces for 'last chance' protests

Kamal Ganzouri, who served as prime minister under President Hosni Mubarak, regained the post Friday as competing protests drew tens of thousands of demonstrators in the capital.

"We are here to serve our nation," said Ganzouri, who served as Mubarak's defense minister for 20 years.

Ganzouri told reporters that Hussein Tantawi, field marshal of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Egypt's dominant force since Mubarak's ouster in February, "made it clear to me, he is no longer willing to stay in power. If he told me otherwise, I'd not have accepted to take this role."

Ganzouri said he had asked for time to form a cabinet "that will be accepted by everyone."

Ganzouri took the job after Egypt's military rulers asked him to form a government of "national salvation."

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Filed under: Uncategorized
November 25th, 2011
08:32 AM ET

Violence mars Black Friday

Violence marred Black Friday shopping in at least four states, including California - where police say a woman doused fellow shoppers with pepper spray in a bid to cut to the head of the line.

The incident happened at a Walmart in the Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles, police spokesman Officer Robert Chavira said.
About 15 people were exposed to the spray. Los Angeles firefighters treated them at the scene and no one required hospitalization, Chavira said.

The woman was able to pay for her purchases and leave the store before police arrived, Chavira said.

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Filed under: U.S.
November 25th, 2011
07:47 AM ET

Friday's live events Live wishes all of our viewers a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Today's programming highlights...

11:00 am ET - White House Christmas Tree arrival - Thanksgiving just ended, and the White House is already thinking about Christmas!  First lady Michelle Obama receives this year's tree at the North Portico of the White House.

5:00 pm ET - Newt Gingrich town hall - GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich hosts a town hall-style meeting in Naples, Florida. Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: Elections • Politics