TCU football players among 15 students accused of drug dealing
TCU linebacker Tanner Brock was the team's leading tackler in 2010 before sitting out most of 2011.
February 15th, 2012
08:33 PM ET

TCU football players among 15 students accused of drug dealing

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this report included a photo that showed two football players. Player number 59 was not among those accused of drug dealing by police. We regret the error.

[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET Thursday] Fifteen Texas Christian University students, including four members of its Top 25 football team, were arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of selling drugs, the school and police said.

The football players include two defensive starters for last season's squad, which was No. 14 in the final Associated Press poll, plus a junior linebacker who sat out most of 2011 with an injury but was the team's leading tackler in 2010.

The 15 illegally sold marijuana or other drugs, including cocaine, Ecstasy, acid and prescription medicine, to undercover officers during a six-month investigation launched after authorities received complaints about drug activity, TCU Police Chief Steve McGee told reporters Wednesday.

"There is no doubt that all of those arrested today are drug dealers," said McGee, who added that the selling happened on and off the Fort Worth campus. "These individuals engaged in hand-to-hand delivery for money with undercover agents."


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Filed under: College football • Crime • Drugs • Football • Marijuana • Texas
Overheard on Fans say 'Linsanity' more than skin deep
Jeremy Lin holds the ball as the New York Knicks play the Los Angeles Lakers in New York last week.
February 15th, 2012
07:13 PM ET

Overheard on Fans say 'Linsanity' more than skin deep

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.

Sports anchor Rick Quan wrote a commentary on saying he believes the so-called "Linsanity" over New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin isn't just about race, but isn't completely devoid of it either. Our readers had a bit to say about the way race is discussed.

With Jeremy Lin, of course race matters

This was the most-liked comment:

cesarchavez: "Saying race plays a factor doesn't make one racist. It is simply stating facts. The same publicity Lin is getting because he's succeeding in a sport in which members of his race don't typically succeed is what Tiger Woods experienced with golf. If you have a black hockey player or a white basketball player having Lin-type success he would probably get more publicity than if you had a white hockey player or black basketball player doing the same thing. Race can matter without it being racist. People say all the time that we have our first black president. In that instance, bringing up President Obama's race matters, but one isn't necessarily racist for bringing it up."

That comment received several replies. Quan and readers were referencing a remark by famed boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.  FULL POST

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Overheard on • Sports
Overheard on Obesity, stigma and the trials of growing up
As children become obese, they're outgrowing school furniture, clothing and growth charts. What do you think?
February 15th, 2012
01:29 PM ET

Overheard on Obesity, stigma and the trials of growing up

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.

Children are getting bigger, say the statistics, and companies that make school furniture are nudging up the sizes to accommodate larger pupils. Some say this is a disturbing trend in coping with childhood obesity.

Obese children outgrowing kids' clothing and furniture

One of the biggest questions this story raised among our readers is whether stigma spurs kids to lose weight or merely depresses them. This was the most-liked comment:

Techsupp0rt: "Yes, let's keep babying the fat kids and lying to them and telling them they're just like the rest of the other kids. They aren't, and they know it, and you insult their intelligence by lying to them. You aren't helping them by giving them bigger chairs, you're enabling them. Being fat is supposed to be uncomfortable, because our bodies are not designed to carry that much extra weight. Discomfort should be a motivating factor in losing weight. When they complain about it at home, their parents should do something instead of just handing them another Twinkie and sitting them in front of the TV and telling them that they'll 'grow out of it'. Very few of them ever will, and if their parents are also fat, then it's highly unlikely that they will ever be anything but fat, until they grow up and learn what they can do for themselves."

Binky42: "Shaming a fat person to be thin doesn't work. It just ends up causing psychological problems, which is turn usually results in weight gain."

Being overweight is a person's responsibility, many of our readers said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Health • Overheard on
February 15th, 2012
01:26 PM ET

Prosecutors seek jail time for Berlusconi

Italian prosecutors Wednesday asked a court to sentence former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to five years in prison if he is found guilty of corruption charges.

Berlusconi is charged with bribing a British lawyer, David Mills, to secure favorable testimony in legal cases. Prosecutors requested prison time as they summed up their case against him Wednesday, and the three-judge court is expected to issue a verdict by late February.

The former premier's lawyers have argued that the statute of limitations in the case has expired, and Mills' conviction in the case was overturned in 2010. And even if convicted, the 75-year-old Berlusconi may never serve time due to appeals and his age - under Italian law, judges can suspend sentences for convicts over 70.

The 75-year-old Berlusconi dominated Italian politics for a decade and a half before resigning amid a financial crisis in November. He has survived a series of political, corruption and sex scandals over the years, involving allegations of embezzlement, tax fraud and bribery.

In addition to the Mills case, he also faces trial on charges that he hired an underage prostitute and later tried to pull strings to get her out of jail when she was arrested for theft.

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Filed under: Italy • Silvio Berlusconi
Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster
Malachy the Pekingese, a breed once favored by Chinese royalty, is top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
February 15th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster

The second time was the charm for Malachy the Pekingese at Westminster.

Malachy, a Best in Show finalist at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, won the top prize Tuesday night at this year’s installment at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The squat and hairy 4-year-old from Pennsylvania became the fourth Pekingese - and only the 10th dog from the toy group - to win Best in Show in the 105-year history of the award.

“I’m still in shock,” Malachy’s handler and co-owner, David Fitzpatrick, told USA Network seconds after the prize was given. “It’s such a thrill, and I’m just so proud to have a dog that’s of this quality that could win a show like this and have an opportunity to exhibit him here. It’s the thrill of a lifetime.”

Malachy won the toy group - for the second straight year - a day earlier, and vied for Best in Show with the winners of six other groups. The last toy to win Best in Show was a papillon, in 1999.

Judges are instructed to evaluate dogs on how well they fit the written standards - the ideal appearance, movement, temperament and other traits - of their breed. Judge Cindy Vogels of Colorado made her decision after inspecting the seven group winners in front of a crowd that cheered its favorites.

Besides Malachy, the other group winners - and Best in Show finalists - were:


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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • New York
February 15th, 2012
11:37 AM ET

Inside Syria: Activists say trying to flee from homes under attack is virtually a suicide run

Editor's note: CNN correspondent Arwa Damon has reached the besieged Syrian city of Homs, which opposition forces say has been under a sustained artillery bombing for days.  

Damon is one of a few reporters in Syria, where the government has been placing restrictions on international journalists and refusing many of them entry at all. Below is an edited account of what Damon and her team are seeing and hearing from activists in Homs as attacks continue:

The thick black smoke rising across the skyline is from an oil pipeline that is believed to have been hit. We heard three explosions at around 6:30 in the morning. Shortly thereafter a thick plume of black smoke began covering the skyline here. This is not the first time we have seen these type of images emerging from the besieged city of Homs. That pipeline has been hit on at least two other occasions.

At around 7:30 a.m. local time the sustained bombardment began. We heard various sounds of artillery being fired as well as sporadic, heavy automatic machine-gun fire. This has been the status quo in Homs for more than a week now.

The Syrian military has really intensified its offensive here, especially in the neighborhood of Baba Amr. Activists say they believe the Syrian government is on a campaign to flatten every single neighborhood where there has been some sort of opposition, some sort of effort to try to stand up to this government.

Why increase in violence now?

Just to give you an idea of how intense the bombardment has been, Tuesday morning activists said they counted around 55 explosions in just the span of 15 minutes. They say that has been the norm. You can only imagine the type of pressure that they have been under, especially when it comes to trying to deal with the number of dead and the number wounded. In many parts of the city, they have been unable to get medical supplies in.

And in these makeshift clinics that they have set up, they aren't able to treat the wounded adequately because of a lack of medical supplies and because they only have the most basic medical equipment at their disposal. There has been an intensified effort on the part of the activists here to try to find various routes out of the besieged neighborhoods to get medical supplies in and to get the wounded out. Many of the wounded require much greater treatment than what people are able to provide at these clinics.


February 15th, 2012
08:17 AM ET

Nearly 300 killed in Honduras prison fire

At least 272 people were killed in a fire at a prison in central Honduras, a local fire department said Wednesday.

The blaze was under control, but the exact number of fatalities remained unknown, said Jose Turcios, spokesman for the Comayagua, Honduras, fire department.

Some 35 prisoners were transported to a local hospital, he said, and some were then taken to a hospital in the capital.

Five of the prison's units - more than half of the prison - were affected by the fire, Turcios said. The prison holds 851 prisoners.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, he said.

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Filed under: Honduras
February 15th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The race to the Republican presidential nomination continues on February 22 with a GOP debate in Arizona. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Pentagon budget hearing - For a third day, the focus on Capitol Hill is on President Obama's proposed budget for next fiscal year.  The House Armed Services Committee will look at the Pentagon's 2013 budget this morning, with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifying.


Filed under: Budget • Economy • Elections • Politics
February 15th, 2012
07:23 AM ET

Chasing Haley Barbour: Ex-governor dodges questions about pardons

For more than a month, we have repeatedly asked former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to sit down and talk about the roughly 200 pardons he issued in his last days in office. And for more than a month, the answer we've received from his spokesperson is a resounding "No!"

Barbour did answer a few questions from CNN's John King a few weeks ago, when he defended his decisions.

"When we have people who get rehabilitated and after 20 years of service and they deserve a second chance, it's the governor's job and the governor's job alone to let them have a second chance. That's why I'm comfortable with this," Barbour said.

But the brief answers glossed over major questions about how Barbour came to pardon so many people, and victims' families are angry that they've never met face-to-face with the governor.

The most controversial pardons were issued to four convicted murderers who worked as trusties at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson. The families of those victims say the governor has never met with them personally, never returned phone calls.


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Filed under: Justice • Mississippi
February 15th, 2012
05:35 AM ET

Report: Iran to install nuclear fuel rods in reactor

Iran will install domestically-produced nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor Wednesday with the president in attendance, the official news agency reported.

The indigenous nuclear fuel rods are a giant step in the nation's nuclear program, according to ISNA, the news agency.

Tehran announced last month that it had succeeded in building and testing a domestically-produced nuclear fuel rod, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported at the time.

The uranium fuel rod was tested successfully and installed in the core of a research reactor in Tehran, the news agency said, citing Iran's atomic energy agency website.


Filed under: World
February 15th, 2012
04:25 AM ET

Whitney Houston's funeral a private, intimate affair

Close friends and family will mourn Whitney Houston at a private funeral, led by a pastor who has known her for decades, at a church where she honed her vocal skills as a child.

Gospel singer Marvin Winans will give the eulogy at the funeral Saturday at the request of Houston's mother, according to a leader of the church where it will be held.

Winans officiated Houston's 1992 marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown, said Pastor Joe Carter of New Hope Baptist Church. Houston and Brown divorced in 2007.

Houston, 48, died Saturday after a member of her staff found her unconscious in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton hotel as preparations were under way for the Grammy Awards. Emergency crews were unable to revive her.


Filed under: U.S.
February 15th, 2012
03:40 AM ET

Thai police charge 2 over Bangkok blasts as Iran denies involvement

Thai authorities on Wednesday charged two Iranians in relation to a string of blasts that hit Bangkok the day before as Tehran denied accusations by Israel that it was behind the explosions.

A Thai official also drew a tentative link between the Bangkok bombings and attacks earlier this week aimed at Israeli officials in India, saying the materials used in the explosive devices were similar.

The authorities in Thailand said they are still on the hunt for two other people, one man and one woman, in connection with the blasts in Bangkok, which wounded at least five people.


Filed under: World
February 15th, 2012
02:18 AM ET

Opposition: Syrian war planes blow up oil pipeline in Homs

A massive plume of thick, black smoke billowed from the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, punctuating the chaos that has plagued the opposition stronghold for months.

According to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition activist group, government war planes flew over Homs and blew up an oil pipeline.

The Syrian government did not immediately issue a statement on the situation in Homs.

Meanwhile, after repeated U.N. failures to formally denounce the Syrian regime, the latest U.N. draft resolution condemning Syria could be voted on in the General Assembly as early as Wednesday.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • United Nations • World
February 15th, 2012
01:50 AM ET

China's heir apparent to meet with congressional leaders

China's presumptive leader, Xi Jinping, is expected to meet with U.S. congressional leaders Wednesday on the third day of a visit that could influence relations between the two world powers for years to come.

Xi, who currently holds the position of Chinese vice president, is also due to deliver a major policy address to public and private sector leaders at a hotel in Washington before he travels on to Iowa, a state he first visited as an agricultural official in 1985.

President Barack Obama welcomed Xi at the White House on Tuesday but also set a firm tone for future ties between the countries.

The meeting with Obama came amid a day of top-level Washington diplomacy for Xi, who also met with Vice President Joe Biden and spoke at the State Department.


Filed under: Economy • Politics • U.S. • Uncategorized • World