November 29th, 2011
09:07 PM ET

Video shows Houston police shooting armed man

Video has surfaced of Houston police officers shooting an armed man in a downtown park.

Police said 21-year-old Joshua Anthony Twohig was armed with a rifle and fired several shots inside Tranquility Park near an area where Occupy Houston protesters were gathered on November 21.

Houston police said they shot Twohig after attempts were made to have him drop his weapon. He suffered several gunshot wounds and was transported to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. Twohig is charged with aggravated assault against a public servant.

Bicycle officers A. Cantos and H. Lam said they were on patrol when they heard gunshots and saw Twohig standing on a bridge near the park's fountains and pond holding a weapon. When the officers approached the scene and told Twohig to drop his rifle, they said he fired his weapon into the pond and then gestered as if he was intending to commit suicide. Police said Twohig then screamed "shoot me, shoot me" toward the officers.

At about this point, police said a witness began recording video of the incident, which CNN obtained from a Houston TV station.

The video shows Twohig dressed in a suit holding a gun to his head. Officers are heard on the video shouting commands to Twohig before they shot him.

CNN affiliate KTRK reports it spoke with Twohig's family after the incident. They did not want to comment about the shooting and told KTRK not to contact them again. KTRK said the name of an attorney for Twohig has not been released at this point.

"We don't know his motives - that being said, he was not a member of the Occupy movement that we know of," Occupy Houston protester Dustin Phipps told KTRK.

"I'm glad that the gentleman did not point his gun at all these innocent people here," witness David Loeser told KTRK.

Teen who summited Everest to tackle Antarctica
Jordan Romero, pictured on Carstensz Pyramid, will soon try to climb Mount Vinson Massif in Antarctica.
November 29th, 2011
04:57 PM ET

Teen who summited Everest to tackle Antarctica

The California teenager who set a world record by climbing Mount Everest last year has another big challenge ahead.

In a few weeks, 15-year-old Jordan Romero will travel to Antarctica to begin ascending 16,000 feet up Mount Vinson Massif, the tallest mountain on the continent, his father, Paul Romero, told "This is a life mission for Jordan," said Romero, a professional mountaineer, explaining that when his son was 9, he became transfixed by a mural in his elementary school depicting the 7 Summits.

"Jordan hopped in the car one day after school years ago and announced, 'I want to climb the 7 Summits,' " the father recalled. "I said, 'OK, sure, what do you know about the 7 Summits?' And he apparently had looked up a lot of facts on the Internet and spent 20 minutes or so rattling off all this information to me. That's Jordan. That's when this 7 Summits goal began."

Before Romero made international headlines last year on Everest, the teen trained and focused continually for years, climbing all six of the 7 summits (and another in Australia for good measure). Mount Vinson is considered the final mountain in the 7 Summits juggernaut. The 7 Summits are Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa; Denali in Alaska; Mount Elbrus in the western Caucasus mountain range in Europe; Aconcagua in the Andes mountain range in the Argentinian province of Mendoza; Carstensz Pyramid in the western central highland of Papua province in Indonesia and Mount Everest in the Himalayas.

Paul Romero's girlfriend Karen Lundgren, also a professional mountaineer, will tackle Mount Vinson with father and son.

The Romeros have their critics. Some have said that Jordan is too young to handle such a physically demanding climb or that a kid his age couldn't possibly comprehend the lethal danger involved in this kind of mountaineering. The teen has rejected those criticisms, as has his father.

"I think Jordan has more than shown he's capable of doing this and that he wants to do it. We've taken a lot of criticism about what Jordan has done, but we're quite experienced and we've tried to stress that we know what we're doing," Paul Romero said. "This is something Jordan believes in. He's driven, tough, smart. He knows what's involved."

Jordan's Antarctica climb has a campaign - "Find YOUR Everest" - which he hopes will inspire kids to find their passion and to live healthier by knocking off the junk food. The teenager has also issued a challenge to school teachers to stop rewarding positive behavior with sugary treats.

The teen will tweet and post on Facebook and Flickr during the expedition, and people following the team's progress will be able to track them online through free iPhone and Droid apps, which will be available shortly on Romero's Web site.

It's impossible to know how many days it will take to ascend, Romero said.

Mount Vinson has treacherous and unpredictable winds, and it's one of the coldest places on Earth, so each moment on the mountain is a judgment call. The expedition has been carefully planned for a short window when the winds are thought to be manageable, Romero said.

The Romero family hopes to be back in the United States to enjoy New Years. After celebrating, he'll have just enough time to prepare for his next awesome challenge - getting his driver's permit.

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Filed under: Mount Everest
Overheard on Is four years fair for Michael Jackson's death?
Citing a "pattern of deceit and lies," a judge said Tuesday that Dr. Conrad Murray was involved in "a cycle of horrible medicine."
November 29th, 2011
03:49 PM ET

Overheard on Is four years fair for Michael Jackson's death?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

A California judge sentenced Dr. Conrad Murray to four years in jail - the maximum possible sentence - for the overdose death of Michael Jackson.

Murray sentenced to four years behind bars

The sentence, and the judge's harsh words for Murray, had commenters debating whether Murray got off easy with the involuntary manslaughter conviction, or if he was railroaded because his patient was an international superstar.

"This is just a tragedy all the way around," starryskye said.

"Clearly he did not intend for Michael to die. Clearly, he is still fully responsible for his death. I see a depressed, broken individual, and nothing will bring back Michael. Putting him in prison will not serve any purpose nor protect anyone as he cannot practice medicine again. Sentencing him to therapy and to community service would be more productive and in a sense be more honoring to Michael."

radiogirl886: Let's not forget that Michael Jackson is dead because Michael Jackson was a drug addict. His addiction killed him, and that's on Michael Jackson. Yes, this doctor should be punished because he violated the law by prescriping drugs in a negligent manner, but people act as if justice has been served in a cruel, tragic murder.

The simple fact is that if it was not Dr. Murry, it would have been Dr. Someone Else and Michael Jackson would be just as dead because Michael Jackson was a drug addict. If Michael Jackson couldn't have found a Dr. for prescription drugs to abuse, he would have gotten illegal drugs off the street."

Others, like ChefCHEESE, blamed Murray for Jackson's death.

"4 year for killing a man is very little time. He got of easy. After 4 years he will still have a life while MJ will not neither will his Kid's see their dad ever again."

CuddlyCarla: "I love the people who keep painting Dr. Murray as some innocent victim, clearly they haven't been following the trial. Never mind his lying to doctors and police, secretly taping his patient and breaking the confidentiality clause, ordering hundreds of deadly vials of Propofol, trying to conceal evidence, neglecting patient, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

What do you think of the sentence? Share your thoughts in the comments, or post a video comment through CNN iReport.

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

Filed under: Overheard on
Jaguars' owner cans coach Jack Del Rio, announces team sale to businessman
Jack Del Rio, seen in 2006, is out as the Jaguars' coach, and owner Wayne Weaver, right, may follow.
November 29th, 2011
02:42 PM ET

Jaguars' owner cans coach Jack Del Rio, announces team sale to businessman

For a 3-8 team that has done little to turn heads this season, there was plenty of news coming out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' clubhouse Tuesday as owner Wayne Weaver fired his coach, then announced he would step aside himself.

Jack Del Rio, 43, became the team's second coach in 2003. Though the Jags made the playoffs in 2005 and 2007, they won only one postseason game under Del Rio.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will take the helm for the rest of the season, according to the Jaguars' website, which notes that the defense has been one of the few bright spots for the team this year, "currently ranking fourth in the NFL and fourth in pass defense."

The bigger news, however, may have been Weaver's announcement that he had agreed to sell his team to Shahid Khan, an Illinois businessman. The deal must be approved by the league and other team owners.


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Filed under: Florida • Football • Pro football • Sports
November 29th, 2011
02:12 PM ET

Man charged in Orange County's deadliest mass shooting pleads not guilty

A man who allegedly shot his ex-wife and seven other people to death in the deadliest shooting in Orange County, California, history pleaded not guilty Tuesday, prosecutors said.

An Orange County Superior Court judge scheduled an April 24, 2012, preliminary hearing for Scott Evans Dekraai, 41. Dekraai is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and a felony count of attempted murder in the October 12 shooting at the Salon Meritage hair salon in the small coastal community of Seal Beach, a district attorney's spokeswoman said.

The first-degree murder charges carry the special circumstance of multiple murder. The attempted murder count is for a ninth victim who was wounded.

Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty. Dekraai is being held without bond.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Justice
Lions' Suh gets two-game suspension after Thanksgiving stomp on Packer
Ndamukong Suh argues with a referee after being ejected from the Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers.
November 29th, 2011
01:12 PM ET

Lions' Suh gets two-game suspension after Thanksgiving stomp on Packer

Ndamukong Suh was not in the holiday spirit during the Detroit Lions' 27-15 loss to the undefeated rival Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.

Now, barring an appeal, the Lions defensive tackle will miss two games without pay for stomping Evan Dietrich-Smith, and at least one observer believes Suh should give thanks for the suspension.

If you were in a tryptophan haze and missed or forgot the altercation, you can check it out here. The video shows Dietrich-Smith block Suh to the ground before Suh turns him over, shoves his helmet into the turf and, as two Packers intervene, stomps Dietrich-Smith's arm while the Packers offensive lineman is lying on the ground.

Suh's reaction after the incident drew almost as much criticism as the act itself. He said he was trying to catch his balance and didn't intentionally step on Dietrich-Smith. You can decide for yourself after watching the aforementioned video, but Suh backtracked from this defense, which critics say was weaker than the New York Giants' on Monday night.

Later, via Facebook, Suh apologized, saying, “My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable. ... I made a mistake, and have learned from it. I hope to direct the focus back to the task at hand - by winning.” He also called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and apologized for his behavior, according to ESPN.


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Filed under: Football • Michigan • Pro football • Sports • Uncategorized • Wisconsin
Michael Jackson's doctor sentenced to 4 years
November 29th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Michael Jackson's doctor sentenced to 4 years

A California judge sentenced the doctor convicted in Michael Jackson's death by overdose to four years in county jail.

Citing a lack of remorse and failure to accept responsibility, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denied Conrad Murray's request for probation.

"You can't have probation when there isn't an acknowledgment of rehabilitation or responsibility and remorse," Pastor said. "Dr. Murray engaged in a recurring, continuous pattern of deceit, of lies and regrettably, that pattern was to assist Dr. Murray."

Prosecutors and Jackson's family had requested the maximum sentence of four years. In a statement read aloud at the hearing, Jackson's mother said Murray had failed her son and his family.

The pop star and his children had plans to enter the film industry "as a family" before Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, prosecutor David Walgren said as he read aloud from Katherine Jackson's written statement.

After his death of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, Jackson's daughter said she wished she could "go with him," according to the statement.

"Their world collapsed," the prosecutor said. "He violated her son's trust, failed her son and failed his family."

Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff had requested probation, urging the judge to consider testimony from other patients of Murray's who said he'd helped them.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter three weeks ago after a trial in which prosecutors successfully argued that Murray's reckless use of the surgical anesthetic propofol to help Jackson sleep, without proper monitoring equipment, led to the singer's death.

Measures to relieve crowding in California prisons and jails could significantly shorten Murray's time locked up.

Murray's mother, Milta Rush, wrote a letter to the judge asking for mercy, saying "his compassion and his soft heartedness for others led to this dilemma."

Prosecutors also asked for more than $100 million in restitution for Jackson's children.

November 29th, 2011
10:49 AM ET

Family of 2001 anthrax victim settles with government

The family of Bob Stevens, a photo editor for American Media Inc. who was killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks, has reached a settlement with the U.S. government, according to court documents.

Stevens, 63, was the first of five victims of the attacks. He died October 5, 2001, after inhaling anthrax that investigators believe was in a letter sent to American Media, the publisher of the Sun and National Enquirer tabloids, at its offices in Boca Raton, Florida.

The FBI eventually blamed the attacks on a civilian scientist at the Army's biological research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The suspect, microbiologist Bruce Ivins, had a history of mental illness and killed himself in 2008 before investigators brought charges against him, federal prosecutors said.

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Filed under: Crime
November 29th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

BSkyB shareholders re-elect James Murdoch, 19% against

Shareholders for broadcaster BSkyB re-elected James Murdoch as chairman despite nearly a fifth being opposed to him continuing in the role, according to a provisional vote count Tuesday.

Murdoch has been criticized for his handling of the phone-hacking scandal at News International, of which he is also chairman.

News International's parent company, News Corp, which owns 39% of BSkyB, pulled out of a takeover bid for the broadcaster this summer amid the furor over the hacking claims.

The BSkyB shareholders' vote came at the company's annual general meeting in London.


Filed under: Business • Media • Uncategorized • United Kingdom
November 29th, 2011
08:27 AM ET

Iranian protest leads to embassy incursion

Iranian students stormed the British embassy in Tehran Tuesday, breaking down the door, throwing around papers and replacing the British flag with an Iranian one.

A CNN crew on the scene also saw protesting students throwing stones at the embassy's windows.

Iran's Press TV reported that police had the incident under control.

The incursion into the embassy happened during a protest demanding that the British ambassador be sent home immediately.

A crowd of about 1,000 people gathered near the embassy for the anti-British demonstration, and had been peaceful before some participants storming the building.

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Filed under: Iran • Protest
November 29th, 2011
08:02 AM ET

Iran students storm British Embassy in Tehran

Iranian students stormed the UK Embassy in Tehran Tuesday, breaking down the door, throwing papers and replacing the British flag with an Iranian one, a CNN crew witnessed.

The protesting students also threw stones at the embassy's windows.

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Filed under: Iran • United Kingdom
November 29th, 2011
07:31 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

Dr. Conrad Murray will be sentenced today on involuntary manslaughter charges. Live is your home for gavel-to-gavel coverage of today's hearing.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Gov. Rick Perry picks up endorsement - Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio will announce his backing of GOP presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry today.  Arpaio will campaign with Perry at a diner in Amherst, New Hampshire.


Filed under: Conrad Murray • Crime • Elections • Politics
Police: Norway mass murder suspect insane, cannot be sentenced to prison
November 29th, 2011
07:23 AM ET

Police: Norway mass murder suspect insane, cannot be sentenced to prison

[Posted at 7:23 a.m. ET] Norway mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik cannot be sentenced to prison or preventive detention because he is insane, but can be confined to a mental hospital for the rest of his life, police said Tuesday.

He suffers "grandiose delusions" and "believes he is chosen to decide who is to live and who is to die," police announced, saying psychiatrists had found Breivik paranoid and schizophrenic.

Experts based their decision on 36 hours of interviews with Breivik, police said.

He will still be tried to determine whether he committed the murders, police said.

[Posted at 7:15 a.m. ET] Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway in July, is insane, police said Tuesday.

He was psychotic at the time of the attacks and during 13 interviews experts conducted with him, they said.

Experts based their decision on 36 hours of interviews with Breivik, police said.

He is accused of killing dozens of people in a bomb attack in Oslo followed by a shooting rampage on nearby Utoya island.

Most of the victims were at a political summer camp held by the youth wing of the governing Labour Party at the time of the July 22 shooting attack.  Most survivors made it out alive by hiding among rocks or diving into the chilly waters around the island. The victims were aged from 14 to 61, with an average age of 21, the government said.

Eight people were killed in a bombing in Oslo; 69 young people were killed on Utoya island, in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II.
November 29th, 2011
07:13 AM ET

American Airlines parent company files for bankruptcy protection

American Airlines parent company AMR has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the company said Tuesday.

AMR said American Airlines, American Eagle and all other subsidiaries will honor all tickets and reservations and operate normal flight schedules during the bankruptcy filing process, using its $4.1 billion in cash.

Thomas W. Horton, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of AMR and American Airlines said the following in a statement released to the press:

“This was a difficult decision, but it is the necessary and right path for us to take – and take now – to become a more efficient, financially stronger, and competitive airline.

“We have met our challenges head on, taking all possible action to secure our long-term position. In recent years, even as the airline industry faced unprecedented challenges, American strengthened our domestic and global network; fortified our alliances with the best partners around the world; launched a transformational fleet deal that will give American the youngest and most efficient fleet in the industry; and invested in our product, service and technology to build a world class customer experience.

“But as we have made clear with increasing urgency in recent weeks, we must address our cost structure, including labor costs, to enable us to capitalize on these foundational strengths and secure our future. Our very substantial cost disadvantage compared to our larger competitors, all of which restructured their costs and debt through Chapter 11, has become increasingly untenable given the accelerating impact of global economic uncertainty and resulting revenue instability, volatile and rising fuel prices, and intensifying competitive challenges."

November 29th, 2011
01:21 AM ET

Conrad Murray to be sentenced in singer Michael Jackson's death

Dr. Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, will be sentenced at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, hopes Murray gets the harshest sentence possible: four years in a state prison.

"I don't believe that he intended for Michael to die," Katherine Jackson said Monday. "He was just taking a chance."

At the sentencing Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor has a choice ranging between probation and up to four years in a state prison. But measures to relieve California prison and jail crowding could significantly shorten his time locked up.

Prosecutors successfully argued that Murray's reckless use of the surgical anesthetic propofol to help Jackson sleep, without proper monitoring equipment, led to the singer's death.

Testimony during his trial revealed that Murray gave propofol nearly every night in the two months before the singer's death on June 25, 2009, as Jackson prepared for his comeback concerts set for London the next month.

Murray was found guilty three weeks ago.

Katherine Jackson and several of her children will be in court for the sentencing Tuesday, but her grandchildren Prince, Paris and Blanket will not. They'll be at school, she said.

She was uncertain whether anyone from the family would speak in court, but she was interviewed by a probation officer who will include her thoughts in the report to the judge, Jackson said.

Murray's mother, Milta Rush, wrote a letter to the judge asking for mercy, saying "his compassion and his soft heartedness for others led to this dilemma."

Prosecutors are asking for the maximum four years behind bars, and they want Murray to pay Jackson's children more than $100 million in restitution. Defense lawyers want probation, not prison time.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Michael Jackson • U.S.
November 29th, 2011
01:19 AM ET

FAA: Small plane crashes in Illinois; 2 believed dead

A small plane with five people on board crashed in Lincolnshire, Illinois, on Monday night, authorities said.

Two people are believed dead, said Elizabeth Isham Corey of the Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman. The others were hospitalized, she said.

The Piper Navajo plane left Jessup, Georgia, and was five miles away from Chicago Executive Air Park when the pilot reported fuel problems, Corey said.

It crashed in the Riverwood neighborhood in Lincolnshire.

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Filed under: Air travel • FAA • Travel • U.S.