April 26th, 2012
10:33 PM ET

U.S. to move 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

Some 9,000 U.S. Marines will be transferred off the Japanese island of Okinawa under an agreement reached by U.S. and Japanese officials, a U.S. Defense Department official said.

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Filed under: Guam • Japan • Marines • Military
Overheard on CNN.com: 'Welcome to the cruel, harsh world,' student loan takers
President Obama discusses student loan debt this week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
April 26th, 2012
08:13 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: 'Welcome to the cruel, harsh world,' student loan takers

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.

Anya Kamanetz of Fast Company magazine wrote about President Obama's tour of college campuses this week, addressing the interest rate on student loans that is set to double on July 1. Kamanetz argues that  bankruptcy relief also ought to be available. We received comments from readers who say we simply cannot afford to let people out of these debts when others have paid in the past. But, others argue, the world is a different place now.

Obama should push bankruptcy relief for student loans

Many of our readers said people who took out loans can't just expect to erase that debt.

onepercenter: "This is absurd. A few things to consider:
1. The kids that all buy into the hope and change, crush the 1%, save the world, anti-cronyism, anti-lobbying, anti-election buying stuff are tying their vote for Obama to a reduction in their own personal debt. I can smell the hypocrisy from here.
"2. You borrowed the money in good faith. Pay it back or suffer the consequences. Many before you were in the same situation and found a way to make it work.
"3. If you can't find a job because you spent eight years chasing a degree in Iranian Gender Studies, the only person to blame is yourself. We should not be on the hook for your bad decisions.
"It is time to grow up kids. Welcome to the cruel, harsh world. If you think student loan debt is bad, just wait until you start paying taxes. ..."

At the same time, one reader opined, there are increased costs to be aware of.

Gary Murchake: "Why does everyone talk about loans or loan interest rates? This is not the problem. I went to college 1987 to 1992. I was in-state at a state university and my full-time schedule cost $995 a semester, books were between $175 and $300 depending on classes I took. Now where exactly can you go to college for that now? The costs are crazy and no one yet has explained to me where the excess costs went to."

OhioLibraria: "You are 100% correct. I graduated with my master's two years ago. I was a stay-at-home mom while attending school, but commuted from Ohio to Michigan, and therefore, paid out-of-state tuition ($16,000 per semester). I really had no choice but to take out private loans. I am one of the fortunate graduates who received a job in my field right away, but the loans are killing me. I make a decent living, but more than half my paycheck goes to student loans and will continue to do so for a very long time."

Life is life, says this reader. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Education • Overheard on CNN.com
April 26th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers analyze Rupert Murdoch's admission of 'cover-up'

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.

Rupert Murdoch admitted Thursday there had been a "cover-up" of phone hacking at News of the World and apologized for not paying more attention to the scandal. He said that he had shut down his flagship British tabloid newspaper out of "panic" after a revelation that a murdered teenage girl had been a victim of phone hacking. Readers debated the meaning of this apology. Murdoch's assertion that News Corp. had been a victim of the cover-up, not the perpetrator, was mentioned by several people.

Rupert Murdoch admits phone-hacking 'cover-up,' apologizes

Many of our readers expressed outrage, saying they doubted Murdoch's sincerity in admitting the hacking and making an apology.

Polyglot64: "So he apologized for supposedly "not knowing" about the incident. Culpable deniability, the hallmark of those in power."

gailb59: "I like how people like to play dumb when they get caught. I didn't realize, I didn't know, I should have done this. All bull, people like Murdoch do not become wealthy powerful by not having a clue, please."

But is it possible that Murdoch didn't actually know what was going on?

libsRdisease: "Apology accepted. To all the liberal haters: the leader of a company doesn't always know what his lower-level employees are doing. If a cashier punches a customer at McDonald's is the CEO held responsible? Then why should Rupert Murdoch be held responsible for what his employees do? Liberals are so afraid of Fox News that they are willing to slander a good and honest man just to try to get rid of it. What are you so afraid of? The truth?"

Responsibility is responsibility, this person said. FULL POST

April 26th, 2012
05:10 PM ET

The CNN Daily Mash-up

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We'll top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs. Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Get your 'aww' fix right here

Local TV stations affiliated with CNN have found a number of different animals in distress, but at least there are some happy endings. Take, for example, affiliate KCPQ's report on the nine - NINE! - baby great horned owls being raised at Washington State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital after their nests were destroyed.

If that's not aww-inspiring enough, how about CNN affiliate KPHO's story about an 8-week-old puppy who is recovering after getting stuck in a desert cactus plant? A passer-by rescued "Cactus Jack," who has had all the needles removed and is waiting to go to a new adoptive home. (Warning: The pictures may make your face hurt.)

And then there's affiliate WHAM's report on poor Rosko, a hardworking police K-9 officer in Geneseo, New York, who is being laid off because of a budget squeeze. No one is sure how this is going to work out for Rosko, who is considered city property and may be auctioned off to the highest bidder, the station reports. Stay tuned.

Dalai Lama has normal animal instincts

The Dalai Lama may be the spiritual leader of millions of Buddhists, but he's still made of flesh. Even though he's taken a vow of celibacy, the Dalai Lama told CNN's Piers Morgan that he still can feel temptation when he sees women. But he never lets his thoughts wander too far.

Oh yes, sometimes (I) see people (and think) oh, this is very nice. (But) I'm Dalai Lama. I always remember, I am monk, I am always monk.

User comment: You go, Lama

It appears as if a few of our readers were facing internal struggles of their own. One calling himself joe2cents said this about the Dalai Lama:

I was tempted to write something immature and silly based on his temptation to women and trying alcohol. But I held back and re-read the article and began appreciating the brother for his words and sense of security and peace about who he is. I admire him and am inspired.

iReport: Turtle rescue off Oman

Even CNN's iReporters got into the act, as iReporter notemapez (a college professor named Raymond Anthony Montoya) submitted a video of himself rescuing a sea turtle entangled in a fishing net in the waters off Oman. Montoya also shared his opinion on careless fishing practices.

Video: Furry faces

Sticking with the animal theme, it seems some men have too much time on their hands, not to mention too much hair on their faces:

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2012/04/26/vo-beard-tournament.orf]

On the horizon: Running of the Colts

The NFL's Indianapolis Colts will formally introduce their quarterback of the future, Stanford's Andrew Luck, to fans and local media with a "draft party" Friday at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Luck was announced as the first pick in the NFL draft, taking place Thursday-Saturday in New York City.

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
April 26th, 2012
03:16 PM ET

Bin Laden's formerly detained relatives leaving Pakistan

All family members of Osama bin Laden who had been detained are leaving Pakistan for Saudi Arabia on Thursday night, said an attorney for some of the family members.

A judge had ordered earlier this month that the terrorist mastermind's three widows and two daughters be deported after serving their sentence for living illegally in Pakistan.

The relatives were in Pakistani custody since U.S. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad and killed the al Qaeda leader in May 2011.

Scientists: Giant cannibal shrimp invasion growing
This black tiger shrimp was caught in 210 feet of water off the coast of Louisiana.
April 26th, 2012
02:20 PM ET

Scientists: Giant cannibal shrimp invasion growing

An invasion of giant cannibal shrimp into America's coastal waters appears to be getting worse.

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday that sightings of the massive Asian tiger shrimp, which can eat their smaller cousins, were 10 times higher in 2011 than in 2010.

“And they are probably even more prevalent than reports suggest, because the more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them,” said Pam Fuller, a USGS biologist.

The shrimp, which can grow to 13 inches long, are native to Asian and Australian waters and have been reported in coastal waters from North Carolina to Texas.

They can be consumed by humans.

"They're supposed to be very good. But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters," Fuller said.

While they may make good eatin' for people, it's the eating the giant shrimp do themselves that worries scientists.


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Filed under: Aquaculture • Shrimp • Texas
NHL player Joel Ward's winning goal sparks racist tweets
Joyous teammates swarm Capitals right wing Joel Ward after his series-winning goal against the Bruins.
April 26th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

NHL player Joel Ward's winning goal sparks racist tweets

[Updated at 2:26 p.m. ET] As Joel Ward’s Washington Capitals teammates swarmed their new hero after his playoff series-winning goal against the NHL’s defending champions Wednesday night, more sinister emotions were swirling on social media.

A number of people took to Twitter with racist comments, calling Ward - one of about 20 black men currently on National Hockey League rosters - the N-word after the Capitals beat the host Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime of Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.

Perhaps to those tweeters’ surprise, someone collected 40 of those tweets and put them in one place: Chirpstory, a site where one can aggregate other people’s Twitter posts for posterity.

The posts included:

- “Haha that (slur) actually did something.”
- “The fact that a (slur) got the goal makes it ten times worse.”
- “We lost … To a hockey playing (slur)…. What kind of (expletive) is this.”

To what should be no one’s surprise, the posts caught the attention of sports celebrities and media Wednesday night and Thursday morning.


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Filed under: Hockey • NHL • Race • Sports
April 26th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Government official admits past Secret Service 'misconduct'

A U.S. government official familiar with the Secret Service acknowledged past missteps by Secret Service agents Thursday but was quick to defend the government's internal review process.

"We have had employees that have engaged in misconduct," the official said. "People make mistakes."

His comments come amid reports of misconduct by Secret Service personnel in Colombia and El Salvador.

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Filed under: Security
Jordan's Bobcats could set NBA record for worst winning percentage
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan watches the scoreboard during a January game.
April 26th, 2012
11:43 AM ET

Jordan's Bobcats could set NBA record for worst winning percentage

As the NBA ends its regular season Thursday night, one team has a chance to join its owner, Michael Jordan, in the league record books.

The only problem is, while Jordan is at the top of those records, his team could be at the bottom.

If the Charlotte Bobcats lose to the New York Knicks at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday night, they will finish the regular season with the worst winning percentage in league history: .106 on a record of 7 wins, 59 losses. That would be worse than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished at .110 (9-73). There is a difference in the number games because this NBA season was shortened by a labor dispute between the league and its players.

The Bobcats are also on a 22-game losing streak. With a loss Thursday night, they'll tie the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies for the second-longest losing streak in NBA history. Only the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers have strung more losses in a row, 26.


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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • Sports
Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer
An estimated 40,000 people gather in Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a song derided by mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
April 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer

Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," written by American folk singer Pete Seeger.

During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture.

The Norwegian version of the song describes a "World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow," according to a report in the Norway Post.

Breivik, whose trial in Oslo City Court began last week, boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.

Thursday's event, which included a march to the courthouse to drop roses outside, was “a beautiful, touching scene,” said Geir Engebretsen, the court chief justice in charge of Breivik's terror trial, according to a report on Views and News from Norway.


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Filed under: Anders Behring Breivik • Crime • Norway
Gotta Watch: Rough plane landings
Some air travelers in Spain experienced windy skies and rough landings in Bilbao, Spain.
April 26th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Rough plane landings

Imagine being aboard a commercial airliner as it violently bucks and bumps through rough winds. Or, the feeling of terror as you realize the aircraft you're on has to make an emergency landing. You've gotta watch how some pilots handled intense moments like these - all caught on camera.


Wind whips jetliner across runway

Planes landing in Bilbao, Spain, fight to land straight while flying in 50-60 mph winds.


iReporter relives near-plane crash

In 2008, iReporter Dave Gering shared his experience of riding on a plane that nearly crashed in Germany.


'We're gonna be in the Hudson'

The FAA released audiotapes of the US Airways flight that crash-landed in the Hudson River.

April 26th, 2012
07:32 AM ET

Thursday's live events

The focus of the presidential election is turning toward November's general election.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Rep. Paul Ryan talks debt reduction - House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is on a few prognosticators' short lists as a potential GOP vice presidential candidate.  He gets a chance to showcase his oratory skills before a national audience when he discusses debt reduction at Georgetown University in Washington.


Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
April 26th, 2012
07:19 AM ET

Rush on to find fragments of California meteor

There's a new rush on in California's gold rush country. This time, they're prospecting for meteorites.

A minivan-sized meteor blew up over northern California on Sunday morning, and now everyone from NASA scientists to schoolkids is looking for fragments of the fireball - called meteorites once they hit the ground - in the Sierra Nevada towns of Coloma and Lotus.

“People used to pull the gold out of the ground. Now, things fall out of the sky,” NASA research astrophysicist Scott Sandford told CNN affiliate KTXL in Sacramento. “Lucky place, I guess.”

The site where the first meteorites were found Wednesday is just a mile from where gold was first found at Sutter's Mill in Coloma in 1848, CNN affiliate KXTV reported.

Meteorite hunter Robert Ward rushed from his home in Prescott, Arizona, to northern California after hearing of the explosion on Sunday and found fragments in a park. He told CNN affiliate KOVR that these fragments are the first of their kind to fall to Earth since the 1960s.


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Filed under: California • Space • U.S.
April 26th, 2012
07:13 AM ET

Liberia ex-president Taylor guilty in war crimes trial

An international war crimes tribunal Thursday found Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, guilty of aiding and abetting rebels who raped, killed and mutilated civilians in neighboring Sierra Leone. However, prosecutors failed to prove that he had command over the rebels, a judge for the Special Court for Sierra Leone said.

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Filed under: Liberia
April 26th, 2012
06:03 AM ET

Murdoch admits phone-hacking 'cover-up'

Global media baron Rupert Murdoch admitted Thursday that there had been a "cover-up" of phone-hacking at his News of the World tabloid, and placed the blame on people at the newspaper itself, without naming them "because they may still face criminal charges."

April 26th, 2012
04:57 AM ET

Arab League calls emergency meeting as Syria's truce waivers

The Arab League called an emergency meeting Thursday in Cairo where its ministers will take up discussion of Syria's fragile truce that shows signs of unraveling amid reports of renewed violence in flashpoint cities.

Hope for a peace plan drawn up by Kofi Annan, the U.N. point man on the Syria crisis, that calls for an end to the violence is wavering amid opposition claims that President Bashar al-Assad's security forces continue to use snipers and tanks to attack rebels in flashpoint cities.

Meanwhile, al-Assad's government is accusing the opposition of fomenting the violence, saying it foiled an attempt by "an armed terrorist group" to enter Syria from Turkey near the border village of Khirbet al-Jouz, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

For 13 months, violence has raged between al-Assad's forces and the opposition in a lopsided battle that has seen thousands killed amid a number of international attempts to broker a peace deal.


Filed under: World
April 26th, 2012
04:10 AM ET

Court acquits Japanese political heavyweight of funding scandal

A Japanese court on Thursday found one of the country's most influential politicians not guilty of participating in a funding scandal, reconfiguring the balance of power in the governing party.

The Tokyo District Court acquitted Ichiro Ozawa - nicknamed the "Shadow Shogun" for his political power-broking - of falsifying a funding report.

Ozawa, who was forced to resign as head of the governing Democratic Party of Japan in 2009 because of the scandal, is now in a position to reassert his considerable clout within the party.

He opposes Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's plans to double the sales tax, a controversial measure aimed at tackling Japan's huge public debt.


Filed under: Politics • World
April 26th, 2012
04:08 AM ET

Court to deliver milestone verdict in Charles Taylor's war crimes trial

An international war crimes tribunal delivers its verdict Thursday in the trial of Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president accused of arming rebels who raped, killed and mutilated civilians in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Taylor is the first African leader to appear before an international war crimes tribunal.

The former war lord has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and other violations of international humanitarian law.

Prosecutors say he armed rebels and fueled a bloody civil war that led to widespread murder, rape and mutilation in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Witnesses testified about grisly violence during the conflict, including chopping off the arms of civilians, and shooting and disemboweling of pregnant women and children.


Filed under: World