December 2nd, 2011
10:44 PM ET

Country singer McCready's son recovered

The 5-year-old son of country music singer Mindy McCready has been recovered and is in good health in the custody of officials in Arkansas, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Families told CNN late Friday.

"We're working with local law enforcement and the Arkansas DCF, and we're going to bring him home to Florida to his legal guardian as soon as possible," Terri Durdaller said.

McCready's  parents have legal custody of her son, Zander. The country singer has visitation rights. McCready, who has fought a public battle against drug addiction, had taken her son from her father's Florida home.

This week, a Florida judge ordered McCready to return the boy to authorities. When she did not comply, another judge issued an emergency "pickup order," authorizing officers to pick up the boy as soon as they find him.

Though McCready had said that the boy was with her, authorities considered Zander to be missing.

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Muhammad Ali is ‘home, well, happy’
A spokeswoman said Friday that reports of Muhammad Ali's illness were "blown out of proportion."
December 2nd, 2011
04:19 PM ET

Muhammad Ali is ‘home, well, happy’

Muhammad Ali is not down for the count, contrary to reports.

Rumors swirled Friday about the boxing legend's health after news articles reported that he had collapsed at his home and was rushed to the hospital.

A spokeswoman at the Muhammad Ali Center in the Champ's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, confirmed that "early reports were blown out of proportion."

“While Muhammad Ali was treated for dehydration on November 19, he is currently at home, well, happy and carrying on with his daily routine,” Jeanie Kahnke said in a statement.

On Friday, the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper quoted Ali's longtime friend and radio personality John Ramsey as saying that the Champ was “home and well, for a person who has had Parkinson’s since the 1980s. He may not be going in the direction you or I like, but no one is on alert. That’s the truth.”

Still, Internet forums and social networking sites had plenty of well wishes for Ali, who will be 70 in January.

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Filed under: Sports • U.S.
December 2nd, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Files on Fast and Furious program given to Congress panel

The Department of Justice on Friday sent 1,400 pages of documents to key Congressional committees related to the controversial ATF operation known as "Fast and Furious."

Files on the flawed gun sting program were sent in advance of next week's Capitol Hill showdown hearing with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder faces what is expected to be a stormy hearing Thursday when he appears before a panel including Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, who is leading the congressional investigation of Fast and Furious.

Justice Department officials say the content of the documents reflects the internal debate within the Justice Department about how to respond to allegations the ATF allowed guns to walk.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
Does Occupy have an anthem? It might now
Protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park play music last month as part of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration.
December 2nd, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Does Occupy have an anthem? It might now

The most powerful social movements come accompanied with music - gospel-tinged chants for the civil rights movement, psychedelic rock for the hippie era of the late 1960s. But what about Occupy? Does the recent protest against corporate greed have a beat?

While artists such as Kanye West were visible at protest sites early on to lend support, musical content specifically addressing the movement has been sparse. Along with the debut of in October, recent stirrings across the country show that a soundtrack, as fluid and organic as the movement itself, is being woven alongside the protest.

Third Eye Blind released “If There Ever Was a Time” last month. Lyrics included a direct call to action: "If there ever was a time to get on your feet, take it to the street, come on and meet me down at Zuccotti Park."

The bridge between the movement and music was further strengthened recently when producers announced a compilation album was in the works called “Occupy This Album.” Artists such as David Crosby, Lloyd Cole, Jackson Brown, Devo, Third Eye Blind and Yo La Tengo have signed on to the project, the producers said in a statement.

Exclusive: Inside the offices of Occupy Wall Street

You would think a movement born of disillusionment would yield somber music, but instead of dirges about economic woes the compositions coming out of the Occupy camps strike upbeat chords and fuel optimism.

Atlanta student and activist songwriter Ariel Root Wolpe is part of the musical movement. Her song “Occupy” has gotten positive reviews from listeners around the city.


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Filed under: Occupy Wall Street • Politics • U.S.
Overheard on Rough roads ahead for Cain's campaign
Herman Cain kicks off his presidential campaign with his wife, Gloria, at a May rally in Atlanta.
December 2nd, 2011
02:00 PM ET

Overheard on Rough roads ahead for Cain's campaign

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

The comments section began to buzz after a story appeared about Herman Cain's plans to meet with his wife to discuss the future of his campaign. There's been a lot of chatter recently regarding the Republican presidential candidate's 13-year friendship with a woman named Ginger White.

Cain says he offered White financial assistance because she was in need. The majority of our commenters seemed convinced that Cain's friendship carried additional benefits. Many also said his campaign is doomed.

Cain to meet with wife amid affair claims, dropping poll numbers

There were a lot of commenters who tried to put the friendship in the context of their own lives. Many said they didn't find Cain's story believable and were baffled about his need to schedule a meeting with his wife. Some compared him to Newt Gingrich, who has also battled controversies over his personal life.

beowulfpk: " 'Yes, honey, I know I have been texting this woman at all hours of the day and supporting her financially, but I swear she is just a friend.' Anyone that believes that is a fool. The worst part about Cain is that he is a liar. If he had at least admitted partial fault to some of these allegations, he probably could get through this. Look at Newt. He cheated on his wife who was dying of cancer, and people still love him."

Several iReporters and commenters suggested that Cain drop out of the race, and there were also some who wanted him to stay.

Others noted that many politicians have dealt with allegations of affairs, including prominent presidents. Commenters wondered what motivates women to come forward and say they were involved with these men.

mysrom: "I don't understand the big deal. There are very few presidents who didn't have affairs (at least that I know of) and most were quite accepted. JFK, FDR and Clinton are the first to come to mind. Has anyone asked why these women all of a sudden came out of the woodwork? Cain should hang in there; Clinton got elected (twice) in the midst of sexual harassment and affair scandals."


December 2nd, 2011
01:59 PM ET

At 62%, Egypt posts highest election turnout in its history

More than 8 million Egyptians - 62% of eligible voters - cast their votes in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, making it the highest percentage turnout in the country's history, according to figures released by the country's election board Friday.

Read the complete story on

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Filed under: Egypt • Politics • World
December 2nd, 2011
11:30 AM ET

Winds in Southern California to weaken but stay strong

Gale-force winds are forecast to reach Southern California again Friday night, but are expected to be much weaker than previous hurricane-force Santa Ana winds that uprooted trees, smashed cars and houses, and knocked out electricity there Wednesday night and Thursday morning, CNN Meteorologist Rob Marciano said.

High-wind warnings are in effect from Los Angeles to Ventura County, California, Marciano said. But with gusts predicted at 60 to 65 mph, "it will be nothing like the damaging winds we saw on Thursday." And the strong winds are expected to hit areas near the mountains and in the canyons.

"LA proper will not see much," Marciano said, but the "fire threat remains critical through tomorrow."

Residents in affected areas should take Friday night's winds seriously. "With limbs that have already been weakened, there could be some debris flying around," Marciano said.

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Filed under: California • U.S. • Weather
December 2nd, 2011
08:05 AM ET

U.N. rights chief warns of 'civil war' in Syria

Syria faces a "full-fledged civil war" if the regime's "continual ruthless repression" against peaceful demonstrators and civilians isn't stopped now, the top U.N. human rights official said Friday.

Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland, to a U.N. Rights Council's special session on Syria, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay noted with concern the reports of "increased armed attacks by the opposition forces, including the so-called Free Syrian Army, against the Syrian military and security apparatus."

"In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people," Pillay said.

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Filed under: Syria
December 2nd, 2011
07:54 AM ET

7 Afghan militants killed in cross-border skirmish

Seven Afghan militants were killed and five Pakistani security forces injured in a cross-border skirmish Friday, officials said.

It was the latest in a series of recent cross-border assaults from Afghanistan's Pech Valley and the provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, all areas from which U.S. troops began pulling out earlier this year as part of a strategy designed to bolster security in more populated areas of Afghanistan.

The five injured Pakistani security personnel were airlifted by military helicopters to a base in northwest Pakistan, Col. Nasir Jadoon, commander of a border security force in Chitral, Pakistan, said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Pakistan
December 2nd, 2011
07:46 AM ET

Friday's live events

The 2012 presidential election is heating up, and it's not even 2012 yet! Live is your home for all the breaking news from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Santorum goes back to school - GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum speaks to students and faculty at a high school in Merrimack, New Hampshire.


Filed under: Elections • Politics