Overheard on CNN.com: Levon Helm 'true to his roots as a sunrise over a cotton field'
Levon Helm performs with The Band at the Fillmore East in New York in May 1969.
April 20th, 2012
08:46 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Levon Helm 'true to his roots as a sunrise over a cotton field'

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

Levon Helm of The Band died Thursday. Known for his distinctive voice, his passing has placed an enormous weight on the hearts of many of his fans. They've come to CNN.com to take a load off their sorrows and share their love of their singer.

Levon Helm, co-founder of The Band, dead at 71

One reader said they got to witness what some say is Helm's greatest-ever performance along with a slate of performers including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Ronnie Hawkins, Joni Mitchell and Neil Diamond.

jls22: "I was there on that historic Thanksgiving evening in 1976. The musical genius and energy in the room that night is forever etched in my memory. I meet you back stage at a concert some years later with The Hawk, your spirit and enthusiasm as strong as ever. My deepest condolences to Sandy and Amy, Ronnie and Wanda. You're with Rick and Richard now. Play on, gentlemen, play on. Rest In Peace Levon."

Some praised the simplicity of Helm's work.

Dorothea777: "There was no artifice in Levon, no gimmicks, no prancing about in meat suits or lining up a passel of dancing girls. He didn't need any of that. Levon was wonderful just as he was, and as true to his roots as a sunrise over a cotton field in East Arkansas. A magnificent voice and a massive talent, honed in a world that hardly exists anymore, an honest world that values the real, everlasting things. My condolences to his family and friends, and my gratitude that so long as a single recording of Levon exists, he will still live for us. Hung be the heavens with black."

This person got to meet Helm. FULL POST

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Filed under: Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz
Overheard on CNN.com: Trayvon Martin case 'no-win situation' for all parties?
George Zimmerman testified, along with his wife and parents, at a bail hearing Friday in Sanford, Florida.
April 20th, 2012
08:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Trayvon Martin case 'no-win situation' for all parties?

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

Some new details emerged from the hearing during which a Florida judge set a $150,000 bond for George Zimmerman. Readers have been assessing the information, and they're telling us they aren't quite sure what to make of the Trayvon Martin case. Since some of the most critical information in the case has not been released publicly, it's difficult to make a judgment. Many of our commenters felt that both Zimmerman and Martin's stories are sad.

More details about Zimmerman emerge during bond hearing

This was the most-liked comment:

"1. Overzealous. 2. Rash. 3. Naive. 4. Foolish.

Four words that describe Zimmerman. This case doesn't meet the standard for murder, it probably meets the standard for manslaughter. I do not believe Zimmerman intended on shooting anyone, I do beleive that his actions were sufficient for Trayvon Martin to feel threatened. Very sad, Zimmerman thought Trayvon was a criminal, Martin thought Zimmerman intended him harm. One is dead and one has ruined his life. Should have just let the cops handle it. Thanks to the NRA pushing laws that Law Enforcement Officers have repeatedly opposed because of this exact reason we now have one life ended and one life ruined. I can empathize with both, I am sure that will (anger) a few of you."

The replies were along similar lines, with this reader saying no one wins from the situation.

userjoe9066: "Very well worded, pretty much matches up with what I feel right now, it's just a no win situation even if they public gets what they want and Zimmerman gets hung or whatever happens to him it won't bring back Trayvon, there really is no winner in this situation. Hope it works out somehow though. I empathize with both sides."

This person said they fear "Stand Your Ground" laws, but don't know what to make of the case. FULL POST

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Filed under: Florida • Justice • Overheard on CNN.com • Trayvon Martin • U.S.
History's deadliest plane crashes
Rescue workers search through debris Friday following the crash of a Bhoja Air Boeing 737 plane in the outskirts of Islamabad.
April 20th, 2012
05:23 PM ET

History's deadliest plane crashes

At least 121 people were killed Friday when a Bhoja Air Boeing 737-200 crashed in Islamabad, Pakistan, according to officials. Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority has cited poor weather as a possible factor.

The following is a chronological list of commercial plane crashes with more than 200 fatalities. The list does not include crashes resulting from terrorist or military action.

*  March 3, 1974 Р346 people are killed when a Turkish Airlines (DC-10) crashes in Bois d' Ermenonville, France.

*  March 27, 1977 РA KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747 crashes into a Pan American World Airways Boeing 747 at the Los Rodeos Airport at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 574 people (326 passengers on the Pan American airplane and all 234 passengers plus 14 crew members on the KLM plane). The accident occurs when the KLM airplane begins its takeoff while the Pan American airplane is still on the runway.

*  May 25, 1979 РAn American Airlines DC-10 crashes after takeoff from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, killing 275 on board and three on the ground. During takeoff, an engine on the left wing falls off; the FAA later faults American Airline maintenance techniques for the crash.

*  November 28, 1979 РAn Air New Zealand DC -10 crashes into Mt. Erebus in Antarctica, killing 257 people. The crash is believed to be the result of a navigational error.


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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
April 20th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Live blog: Zimmerman 'sorry' for loss of Martins' son; bond set at $150,000

After George Zimmerman took the stand during his bond hearing and told Trayvon Martin's parents that he was sorry for the loss of their son, a Florida judge Friday set Zimmerman's bond at $150,000.

The judge set a number of conditions, including GPS monitoring. The judge said Zimmerman wouldn't have the opportunity to be released Friday, because his attorney and state authorities needed to hammer out the monitoring and other logistics.

Friday's bond hearing also included testimony from one of the state's main investigators in the case, with Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara challenging the state's assertions. Under questioning, the investigator said the state didn't have evidence to contradict Zimmerman's account that Martin started the fight that led to the shooting, but he did say evidence did call into question other parts of Zimmerman's account.

Zimmerman, 28, was charged on April 11 with second-degree murder in the February death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, after the case sparked a heated, national debate over racial profiling and saw thousands of protesters demand Zimmerman's arrest. Martin's family contends Zimmerman racially profiled their son, who was black, and was walking back from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who is Hispanic, maintains he acted in self-defense. His family says he did not profile Martin. (Timeline of case)

The following is a running account of the bond hearing:

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] The state's attorney in today's bond hearing, reacting to reporters' questions about O'Mara's assault on the prosecution's case, said that not all evidence has been publicly revealed.

"We did not put our entire case on today. Let's leave it at that," he told reporters outside the courthouse.

[Updated at 11:55 a.m. ET] Mark NeJame, an Orlando lawyer and CNN legal analyst, said O'Mara's move to put Zimmerman on the stand during the bond hearing "was a calculated risk to humanize George Zimmerman."

"We've heard a lot of negative things for weeks now, and we've now heard a living breathing person" make an apology, NeJame said.

[Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET] The hearing is over. Zimmerman stood up and shook hands with his attorney, Mark O'Mara, before sitting down again to wait to be taken from the courtroom.

[Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET] The judge has set a bond of $150,000, with conditions.

The conditions include:

- GPS monitoring

- Zimmerman would have to contact authorities every three days

- No contact with the victim's family

- No possession of firearms

- No use of controlled substances, other than those prescribed by a physician.

As for O'Mara's request that Zimmerman be allowed to reside away from Florida, the judge said O'Mara and the state should get together and determine whether that can be accomplished.

Because O'Mara and the state need to meet about the arrangements for monitoring, Zimmerman will not have an opportunity to be freed today. the judge said.

[Updated at 11:07 a.m. ET] The state's attorney is now making a case against leniency when it comes to the bond decision, and has asked for no bond, or a bond of $1 million.

The state's attorney argued that Zimmerman is a danger to the public, citing not only the second-degree murder charge, but a previous charge of battery against a law enforcement officer, which was discussed at length earlier in the hearing.

[Updated at 11:02 a.m. ET] The hearing is now turning back to the issue of bond. O'Mara is asking the judge for:

- $15,000 bond.

- The ability of Zimmerman to leave the state

- Secrecy over Zimmerman's whereabouts

O'Mara, speaking to Zimmerman's ability to pay bond, noted that Zimmerman cannot work in public because of the case's publicity, and that his wife is not working because she is in school.

[Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET] The prosecuting attorney is now questioning Zimmerman. He asked whether Zimmerman had ever said he was sorry when he spoke to police. Zimmerman responded that he had told one of the investigators that "I felt sorry for the family."

The prosecutor told Zimmerman that if that's true, it must have been recorded. He asked Zimmerman if he was sure, and Zimmerman said he was "fairly certain."


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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Justice • Trayvon Martin
April 20th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

43 killed in Mexico bus crash

Forty-three people were killed and 18 injured Friday morning in a roadway crash involving a bus in the Mexican state of Veracruz, the governor's office said.

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Filed under: Mexico • Transportation • Travel
Great white shark kills championship bodyboarder; did chumming attract beasts?
A great white shark like this one killed bodyboarder David Lilienfeld.
April 20th, 2012
11:42 AM ET

Great white shark kills championship bodyboarder; did chumming attract beasts?

South African championship bodyboarder David Lilienfeld, 20, was killed by a great white shark Thursday in Kogel Bay near Cape Town as he caught waves with his brother, according to local news reports.

A shark estimated to be between 13 and 16 feet long bit off Lilienfeld's right leg, the reports said.

Witnesses saw the attack from the rocks overlooking the bay, which is part of the larger False Bay.

One of them was Lucille Bester, who said she saw the shark about 20 to 30 yards from Lilienfeld and others in the water but was too far away to catch their attention, according to a report from the Cape Argus on the website Independent Online.

"The next thing we saw the shark come from under one of the guys and grab him. The shark shook him and then let him go. The surfer was screaming ‚Äď it was terrible!" Bester is quoted as saying.

“Then it took him again. And that was it. It took him under. The first time it took him, there wasn’t any blood. But the second time there was," Bester told the Cape Argus.

Fellow surfer Mat Marais saw the attack from the beach, according to the report.


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Filed under: Animals • Sharks • Sports
Report: Plane with 127 aboard crashes in Pakistan
April 20th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

Report: Plane with 127 aboard crashes in Pakistan

[Updated at 10:48 a.m. ET] An airplane with 127 people on board crashed Friday near an airport in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Pakistan's GEO-TV reported, citing sources. The country's Civilian Aviation Authority confirmed reports of a crash, the station said.

The Boeing 737 was flying from Karachi and crashed on landing, the Karachi-based Pakistani news channel reported.

The weather conditions in the area include high winds and limited visibility, according to CNN meteorologist Mari Ramos.

Rescue teams were reportedly headed to the crash site.

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Filed under: Aviation • Pakistan
April 20th, 2012
07:50 AM ET

Friday's live events

The 2012 presidential election can sometimes change at the drop of a hat.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

 Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Zimmerman bond hearing - Lawyers from the man accused of killing Trayvon Martin will ask that their client be granted bond.  Martin's parents plan to be in the courtroom when George Zimmerman appears for his hearing.


Filed under: Crime • Elections • Justice • On CNN.com today • Politics • Trayvon Martin
April 20th, 2012
02:54 AM ET

Feds continue search for Etan Patz

Police and federal agents were expected Friday to continue searching in a Lower Manhattan basement for clues in the more than 30-year disappearance of six-year-old Etan Patz, the boy who became the face of missing children in America.

Etan Patz disappeared May 25, 1979, a block from his home in the city's SoHo neighborhood. It was the first time he walked to the bus stop by himself.

Authorities said both new and old information led them to a carpenter and part-time handyman who met Etan the day before he disappeared and gave the boy a dollar.

It was interest in the carpenter that prompted authorities to bring a cadaver dog to a SoHo basement, where Etan apparently encountered the 42-year-old carpenter, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. The dogs picked up the scent of human remains, the source said.


Filed under: Justice • U.S.
April 20th, 2012
02:51 AM ET

Ousted Secret Service agent posted pictures of Sarah Palin on Facebook

More Secret Service employees could leave the agency Friday because of a prostitute scandal, said House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King.

King's, R-New York, comments come as the identities of two Secret Service supervisors who have lost their jobs were revealed and the controversial public Facebook pages of one of them has surfaced.

The Secret Service supervisors who have lost their jobs because of the scandal during a recent trip to Colombia were identified as David Chaney and Greg Stokes, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend on Thursday.

Chaney, a son of a Secret Service agent, has been employed with the U.S. Secret Service since 1987, according to his posting on Reunion.com. That message notes that he is married, has an adopted son and his assignments include a stint protecting former Vice President Dick Cheney.


Filed under: Politics • U.S. • World
April 20th, 2012
01:29 AM ET

George Zimmerman's attorney to ask for bond

An attorney will ask a Florida judge Friday to allow George Zimmerman to post bond despite ongoing concerns about his safety amid a national uproar over his role in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman went into hiding immediately following the February 26 shooting of the unarmed, black teen after the case sparked a heated, national debate over racial profiling and saw thousands of protesters demand his arrest.

"There have been a lot of emotions that have come forward in this case, and some of those emotions have shown themselves in bad ways," defense lawyer Mark O'Mara said this week about his client's well-being.

Zimmerman, 28, surrendered to authorities after being charged with second-degree murder in connection with Martin's death.

Martin's family contends Zimmerman racially profiled their son, who was walking back from a convenience store in Sanford.


Filed under: Justice • U.S.