March 7th, 2012
08:59 PM ET

Man claiming to be Syrian oil official says he's defecting

A man identifying himself as Abdo Hussam el Din, the Syrian deputy oil minister, announced in a video posted Wednesday on YouTube that he is defecting from the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"I am joining the revolution of the people," the man says in Arabic. He appears to be the same man pictured on the government's oil website, which identifies him by name and title. He was appointed deputy oil minister in August 2009.

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Filed under: Syria
March 7th, 2012
07:36 PM ET

Overheard on 10 ways to dunk, split, dip, soak, hack, bake Oreo cookies

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.

"I'm in love with the dental hygenist who cleans my teeth, but I don't get to spend much time with her. So before an appointment I eat a whole package of Oreos."
–Stephen Wright

It's been 100 years since the first Oreo sandwich cookie was sold to a grocer in Hoboken, New Jersey. Thus began a tradition of dunking, dipping, twisting ...

100 years of Oreo cookies

Read on to see all the creative ways our readers eat their Oreos.

1. With milk

Walter: "Dip in ice cold milk until the cookie under your fingers just starts to get soft, then eat it on one bite. The cookie is soft and the cream filling is still a bit solid. Oh those were the days."

2. More cookie, less filling

mike bartz: "I split them and discard the filling. Love the chocolate cookie. Have to have milk with them."

3. Frankenstuf

Jamie: "Twist apart two separate Double Stuf cookies, and put the icing halves together to make a Quadruple Stuf Oreo!"


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Filed under: Food • Overheard on
March 7th, 2012
05:50 PM ET

Solar storm heads for Earth

U.S. politics had its "Super Tuesday" yesterday, and so did the sun, says Joseph Kunches from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

That's because the sun had two solar flares associated with two coronal mass ejections. Coronal mass ejections involve massive amounts of energy and charged particles shooting out of the sun, and can cause problems if directed at Earth, as was the case over the last couple of days.

This event may stir up a geomagnetic storm, and lead to disruptions to high-frequency radio communications, global positioning systems and power grids, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said Wednesday. The peak of the storm is expected to hit Thursday morning; it may gradually diminish by Friday morning.

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Filed under: Science • Space
Scientists getting clearer picture of 'God particle'
The CDF detector at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, has given scientists new clues to the Higgs boson.
March 7th, 2012
04:22 PM ET

Scientists getting clearer picture of 'God particle'

This could be the year of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in all of physics. More clues about it are emerging at a U.S.-based collider whose budgetary woes shut it down last year.

The Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has just announced that it has found hints of the ever-so-important particle, which are consistent with observations from the Large Hadron Collider.

Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, one of the open questions in physicists' current understanding of the way the universe works.

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Filed under: Science
Three people injured in Oklahoma courthouse shooting, officials say
The incident began when the unidentified gunman fired into the air around 2:39 p.m. Wednesday, police say.
March 7th, 2012
04:16 PM ET

Three people injured in Oklahoma courthouse shooting, officials say

Editor's note: For more on this story, see CNN affiliates KOTV and KOKI.

[Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET] Three people, including a deputy, were injured Wednesday afternoon after a man exchanged gunfire with officers on a plaza outside the Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Courthouse, officials said.

The gunman, the deputy and a bystander were hospitalized, said Sgt. Shannon Clark of the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

The incident began when the unidentified gunman discharged a handgun into the air around 2:39 p.m. (3:39 p.m. ET), officials said.

Responding deputies confronted him, and he began shooting, Clark said. Officers returned fire.

The deputy suffered non-life-threatening but serious injuries. A woman was in fair condition, officials said.

A law enforcement official told CNN the suspect was shot in the head and was in very critical condition. Authorities said they did not know why the man initially opened fire.

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Filed under: Oklahoma
'Stop Kony' video goes viral, puts spotlight on Ugandan warlord
A screengrab from the Kony 2012 campaign.
March 7th, 2012
04:04 PM ET

'Stop Kony' video goes viral, puts spotlight on Ugandan warlord

A half-hour documentary about a Ugandan warlord is one of the  hottest videos on the Web today, reposted several million times on various social networking sites.

The San Diego-based nonprofit Invisible Children produced the film. Their goal was to make Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a household name. The LRA is notorious for abducting, raping and maiming its victims. They're particularly infamous for hacking off the ears and lips of their victims and recruiting child soldiers. The LRA's goal is to overthrow the Ugandan government. Kony is on the loose.

By Thursday, a video of the documentary has been viewed on YouTube at least 32 million times. There are countless tweets about it. Even Oprah appears to be a follower. The talk show queen had Invisible Children representatives on her show awhile back. The group tweeted her about the documentary, and she appears to have responded: "Thanks tweeps for sending me info about ending #LRAviolence. I am aware. Have supported with $'s and voice and will not stop. #KONY2012."

But several observers are urging caution, saying that Invisible Children has manipulated facts in the past and advised viewers to watch the documentary with that in mind.


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Filed under: Uganda
Apple’s next 'You-know-you-want-one' device
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the latest iPad.
March 7th, 2012
02:29 PM ET

Apple’s next 'You-know-you-want-one' device

It’s finally here.

The rumors have been buzzing for almost a year now, and tech sites on the internet have been blogging with speculation and frenzy in the recent weeks, all trying to figure out what is Apple going to come out with next.

And my, does Apple know how to put on a performance.

It sends the media an invitation weeks before the big day, and, in usual Apple flair, layers the anticipation on the day itself, making the tech press squirm uncomfortably in their seats (myself included).

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook rises and talks about numbers; 25 billion app downloads, the opening of Apple store number 362 in Amsterdam, (where, presumably, you will be able to buy the item we really want to hear about).

And some recent accomplishments.

A short history lesson.

Oh look, some new software. (Get on with it already!)

And then finally, the big reveal.

Here it is: the absolute latest gadget that could possibly send cult Apple fans into their next overnight-camping-in-line-to-buy-even-though-I-may-not-need-this-I-want-one frenzy: The new iPad


Apple unveils new iPad

Apple on Wednesday unveiled its long-awaited next-generation iPad.


New iPad poster child of 'post-PC world'

It does everything you’ve ever wanted it to do, and, more than likely, things you never figured you’d want it to do.


Tim Cook explains why iPad wins market

There are many other tablets on the market, but Tim Cook explains why nothing compares to the iPad experience. (And takes a small stab at Samsung in the process).

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Filed under: Apple • Technology
March 7th, 2012
01:58 PM ET

Overheard on Will GOP voters accept Romney? Does it matter?

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.

Mitt Romney came out ahead on Super Tuesday, but plenty of Republicans voted for Rick Santorum instead, and Georgia went for Newt Gingrich by a decisive margin. The morning after, readers are exploring two questions. First, why haven't GOP voters fully embraced Romney? Second, does this apparent conflict actually mean anything in the long run?

Analysis: In key Romney win, some warning signs remain

One reader offered this theory:

chadpv: "Republicans' main focus is who can beat Obama in November. That's what is driving votes. But Republicans are not confident that Romney (or any candidate in the run) can beat Obama; they just think if someone can squeeze a win, it will be Romney. That is why he cannot really 'seal the deal' as fast as most Republican primaries. That is also why the field is very weak, Anyone who has wide appeal with the Republicans will wait four more years when there is not an incumbent running and their chances are better to win."

Doucher: "And this is one of many problems with the two-party system; they want to beat each other more than they want to give us a good candidate."

Another person said Romney doesn't need to worry too much.

GoPSULions: "The ultra conservatives that are not now voting for Romney will vote for whoever wins the nomination rather than vote for Obama. So this is why Romney is not concerned about their votes in the primaries. He is focused on staying more to the middle so he can potentially win the swing states and voters that are not locked to voting straight party lines."

Of course, several other readers disagreed. FULL POST

Peyton Manning leaving Colts
Peyton Manning led the Indianapolis Colts past the Chicago Bears to win Super Bowl XLI.
March 7th, 2012
12:48 PM ET

Peyton Manning leaving Colts

[Updated at 12:48 p.m. ET] A tearful Peyton Manning announced the end of his 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday, but said he plans to be playing in the NFL again.

In a press conference with Colts owner Jim Irsay, the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player said circumstances had brought his time with the Colts to an end, despite both the wishes of him and Irsay that things could have worked out differently.

"It wasn't his decision. It wasn't my decision. Circumstances kind of dictated it," Manning said.

Manning did not play during the entire 2011 season after having surgery to repair a neck injury. With their longtime leader off the field, the Colts plummeted to a 2-14 record and earned the top pick in April's NFL Draft. That makes Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III available to them. Both are considered franchise quarterbacks, much like Manning was when the Colts selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft. The Colts are expected to take Luck or Griffin and begin to rebuild the team.

Irsay said Wednesday keeping Manning during that rebuilding process wouldn't be fair to Manning and would prevent the team from having the money necessary to revamp its roster. The Colts would have owed Manning a $28 million bonus if he'd remained on their roster past Wednesday.


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Filed under: Football • Indiana • Peyton Manning • Pro football • Sports
Gotta Watch:  Stun guns in newest extreme sport
Stun guns are used in ultimate tak ball.
March 7th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Stun guns in newest extreme sport

Rugby wasn’t extreme enough for these guys. The latest craze in Thailand is a game where players jolt each other with stun guns. Would you play? Leave your comments below, and check out our most memorable stun gun moments through the years.


Soccer, rugby, and stun guns

Ultimate tak ball is a sport developed in Thailand. It’s a mixture of soccer and rugby. The twist? Each player uses a stun gun.


Sanchez stunner

In 2005, CNN’s Rick Sanchez was reporting on stun gun technology and volunteered to learn what it was like to be zapped.


Don’t Tase me, bro

University of Florida student Andrew Meyer drew national attention when police Tased him at a John Kerry event in 2007.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Technology
Affiliate roundup: Woman saves driver who flipped her off; a curse-free school?
Kristyn Dominy said though a driver flipped her off she still felt compelled to help save her from her burning car.
March 7th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Affiliate roundup: Woman saves driver who flipped her off; a curse-free school?

A sampling of Wednesday morning's headlines from some CNN affiliates nationwide:

BN9: Woman helps save driver that flipped her the bird

Kristyn Dominy helped save the life of a mother and child after their car burst into flames only minutes after the driver had passed her and flipped her off.

Dominy was driving in Crystal River, Florida, when a woman driving erratically sped past her.

"She did flick me off whenever she passed me," Dominy told CNN affiliate Bay News 9.

But as Dominy kept driving she saw something horrific.

"Whenever I came around that whenever I saw the vehicle up in flames," Dominy said.

That's when Dominy saw the woman was unable to escape the vehicle. The driver's child was also tangled in a seat belt and on fire, Dominy said.

“My first thought when I came around the corner and saw that her vehicle was on fire, I was thinking karma, but the same time, I could never, even though she flicked me off down the road, I could never just sit there and watch that happen.”

So she helped rip the child from the car and called 911.

Dominy said she didn't do anything special, but hopes that others will learn from her act of kindness.

Read more of her story here

KESQ: School designates cuss-free zone

Enough with all those $*@$-ing words in school!


March 7th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Founder of French breast implant firm jailed

The founder of a French company that made breast implants linked to a global health scare has been jailed after failing to pay bail.

Judge Annaick Le Goff ordered the arrest of Jean-Claude Mas, founder of Poly Implant Protheses, or PIP, from his partner's home in southern France, a law enforcement official in Marseille told CNN Wednesday.

Mas was previously arrested January 26 in connection with an investigation for involuntary homicide and harm following the 2010 cancer death of a French woman with PIP implants.

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Filed under: France • World
March 7th, 2012
09:21 AM ET

Researchers: Rare astronomical alignment may have doomed Titanic

Did the moon and sun conspire to sink the Titanic?

In a way, yes, researchers at Texas State University say.

Donald Olson and Russell Doescher, members of the physics faculty at the university in San Marcos, teamed up with Roger Sinnott, senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, to determine how the iceberg the liner struck late on April 14, 1912, came to be in the North Atlantic shipping lanes. More than 1,500 people died when the liner sank less than three hours after hitting the berg.

The researchers theorize that the berg that sank the ship originated in Greenland and was stuck on the coast on Labrador or Newfoundland in early January 1912. Icebergs that become stuck there usually experienced significant melting before regaining enough buoyancy to float away from the coast.

But on January 4, the moon was near full and at its closest distance to the Earth in 1,400 years. A day earlier, Earth was at perihelion, its closest distance to the sun all year. The alignment of Earth, sun and moon created an exceptionally strong "spring tide" which could have refloated icebergs grounded on the northwestern Atlantic coast, the researchers said.


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Filed under: Earth • History • Science
March 7th, 2012
07:33 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

Super Tuesday has come and gone, but the race to the Republican presidential nomination remains up in the air. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Syria crisis hearing - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria and how the United States should respond to it.


Filed under: Elections • Politics • Syria • World
Norway mass murder suspect charged
Norwegian gunman who killed 77 people, Anders Behring Breivik looks on in court in Oslo on February 6, 2012.
March 7th, 2012
07:33 AM ET

Norway mass murder suspect charged

Anders Behring Breivik, accused of killing of 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer, was formally charged Wednesday with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say he was psychotic at the time of the killings and should be transferred to "compulsory mental health care."

A fierce debate has raged over whether Breivik is mentally competent to face criminal punishment.

The mass killing was the single largest loss of life in Norway since World War II.

- CNN's Laura Perez Maestro contributed to this report.

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Romney takes six of 10 states on Super Tuesday
GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both found reason to celebrate on Super Tuesday.
March 7th, 2012
02:21 AM ET

Romney takes six of 10 states on Super Tuesday

Mitt Romney's showing in six states was not a super one for the Republican presidential hopeful, who failed to produce the convincing wins needed to demonstrate his ability to generate support among diehard conservatives.

It was best illustrated by Romney's big Super Tuesday win in the bellwether state of Ohio, where he eked out a win over Rick Santorum, after failing to attract strong support from tea party conservatives and evangelical conservatives.

The issue dogs Romney as he heads into the Kansas caucuses on Saturday, and primaries in Mississippi and Alabama on March 13. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Santorum are focusing on races in those conservative states in their battle to become the lone right-wing challenger to the more moderate Romney.

"He still has a problem with the base," said Ari Fleischer, a CNN contributor who was press secretary for President George W. Bush. "That base problem may make him attractive to independents if he gets to a general" election, but can work against Romney in the primary season.

Complete Super Tuesday results

Romney won his home state of Massachusetts as well as Ohio, Idaho, Vermont, Virginia and Alaska, while Santorum took North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee, according to unofficial tallies.

Gingrich grabbed a vital triumph in his home state of Georgia, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul failed to win in any of the states up for grabs.

The Super Tuesday contests in 10 states put 419 delegates up for grabs.

March 7th, 2012
12:44 AM ET

Female service members sue U.S. military for alleged rape, sexual assault

Eight current and former U.S. service members filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging they were raped, sexually assaulted or harassed while serving in the military and were retaliated against once they reported the abuse.

Among the defendants named in the suit are current and former Defense and Navy secretaries and Marine Corps commandants.

"Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington.


Filed under: U.S.
March 7th, 2012
12:41 AM ET

U.S. and North Korean officials meet to seal food aid deal

U.S. and North Korean officials are meeting Wednesday in Beijing to settle the details of a plan to allow the resumption of food aid to the North.

The talks take place against a backdrop of bellicose images and rhetoric from Pyongyang. North Korean television this week aired footage of a military unit carrying out live-fire drills in sight of a South Korean island.

Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, is holding talks with representatives from Pyongyang on Wednesday to "finalize all of the technical arrangements so that the nutritional assistance can begin to move," according to the U.S. State Department.


Filed under: U.S. • World