Reports conflict on murder-kidnap suspect's death
Adam Mayes was found dead Thursday in Union County, Mississippi, authorities said.
May 10th, 2012
09:02 PM ET

Reports conflict on murder-kidnap suspect's death

[Update 9:52 p.m. ET] Adam Mayes - accused of murder and kidnapping in a case involving a Tennessee mother and her three daughters - has died, said FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic. There have been conflicting reports about Mayes since he was found after suffering an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday night in Union County, Mississippi.

[Update 9:43 p.m. ET] Two federal law enforcement sources now say that Adam Mayes - accused of murder and kidnapping in a case involving a Tennessee mother and her three daughters - was alive after suffering an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday night in Union County, Mississippi. One of those sources had previously said that Mayes was dead. A different law enforcement source had also stated that Mayes was dead. The two surviving sisters "are suffering from the experience of being out in the woods and from being kidnapped. They are suffering from dehydration and exhaustion, but appear OK," a federal law enforcement source at the scene told CNN.

[Earlier] Adam Mayes, accused of murder and kidnapping in a case involving a Tennessee mother and her three daughters, was found dead Thursday in Union County, Mississippi, and the two girls he allegedly kidnapped were found alive, two law enforcement sources said. The girls' sister and mother were found dead last Friday after being killed by Mayes, according to authorities.

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Filed under: Crime • Mississippi • Tennessee
Overheard on 'I stand with Joe Arpaio,' reader says about lawsuit
A Justice Department report describes "a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos" in Joe Arpaio's office.
May 10th, 2012
08:26 PM ET

Overheard on 'I stand with Joe Arpaio,' reader says about lawsuit

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.

The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County, Arizona, on Thursday.

"They're using me for the Latino vote, showing that they're doing something, taking on the sheriff over an alleged racial profiling," Arpaio told reporters in Phoenix. Our readers had varying takes on the controversial sheriff, illegal immigration and Arizona in general.

Arpaio: 'I will fight this to the bitter end'

Readers debated whether the federal government should be getting involved.

Tr1Xen: "I stand with Joe Arpaio on this one. Illegal immigration should be fought vigorously, and I applaud the State of Arizona and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department for taking that fight much more seriously than the Obama administration has. Heck, the Obama administration found fault in Texas' recent legislation requiring registered voters to provide photo ID, claiming that it discriminated against Latinos because they disproportionately lack photo identification (even though they are every bit as eligible to obtain photo identification, provided they are here legally). By the way, as a Texan, if that legislation is overturned by the federal government or isn't in effect on Election Day, I plan to wear a name tag with someone else's name on it when I go to vote. I'll tell them my correct name and to just ignore the name tag on my clothing. I urge others to do likewise! :)"

NoTarOnBeach: "Then you stand with a criminal. If you are OK with the police working outside the laws, then don't complain when the police abuse carries over to you."

19volks71: "Thank you. The federal government has no business in county level operations."

These people spoke out against Arpaio. FULL POST

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Filed under: Arizona • Joe Arpaio • Justice • Lawsuit • Overheard on • U.S.
Overheard on Beaten man's cries for 'Daddy' leave some readers in tears
Ron Thomas, left, reacts when he finds out two police officers will be charged in the beating death of his son, Kelly Thomas.
May 10th, 2012
07:55 PM ET

Overheard on Beaten man's cries for 'Daddy' leave some readers in tears

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.

Opinion writer Ruben Navarette explored the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia who was videotaped being beaten by police officers in Fullerton, California, last July. A judge ruled Wednesday that two of the officers involved will stand trial; Officer Manuel Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force.

Navarette's father is a retired policeman, as is Thomas' father, Ron Thomas. Readers debated police protocol and treatment of mental illness. Some got emotional thinking about Kelly Thomas calling out for his father.

'Daddy, help! They're killing me!'

Several commenters said they shed tears.

jlaforce: "When I read this story, I burst into tears at my office desk. Thomas was a sick person who was in many ways reverting back to a child as illustrated by his (HEARTBREAKING) calls for his dad. Does anyone know how to contact the father/family to send condolences? -wife of a police officer who would never have participated or stood by and watched this happen."

One of the readers had words for the police.

Josh Lucky Blumenthal: "This article suggests holding cops to the same standards as everyone else. I think the police should be held to a higher standard."

There were some people who said they understand where the officers are coming from. FULL POST

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Filed under: California • Justice • Overheard on • U.S.
May 10th, 2012
05:29 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 in the past 24 hours. We'll top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs.

Island resident records waterspout's destruction

Grand Isle, Louisiana, resident Keith Bergeron was ready, camera in hand, when two waterspouts came ashore, apparently merging into a single tornado and ripped the roof off his neighbor's house. He shared the video with CNN affiliate WWL. Despite the damage, no one was reported hurt.

Stimulus? Austerity? What the ... ?

CNN's Ali Velshi explains the difference between government austerity (as attempted in Greece) and stimulus (as attempted in the United States), and how each can affect a country's - and a state's - economy.

OK, here's your cute animal video

If you watched Ali Velshi's economics lesson above, you've earned a reward. Here you go:

Has it come to this, Your Royal Highness?

A jolly Prince Charles - yes, that Prince Charles - delivered the midday weather report for BBC Scotland on Thursday. He may want to keep his day job.

There will be ... the potential for a few flurries over Balmoral - who the hell wrote this script? - as the afternoon goes on. ...

A cold day everywhere, with temperatures of just 8 Celsius and a brisk northerly wind. Thank God it isn't a bank holiday!

iReporter encounters fiery tanker crash

CNN iReporter David Connolly of Portland, Maine, was on Interstate 95 near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on Wednesday night when he came across a burning tank truck on the highway. The accident also involved two other big rigs. CNN affiliate WITN reported Thursday that the driver of the tanker, which was hauling cooking oil, died of injuries suffered in the crash, and another driver was in critical condition. The interstate was closed until about 10:30 Thursday morning, WITN reported. Connolly said the tanker burned for close to four hours.

Alternate theory on Travolta case

CNN readers were intrigued by the groping allegations two men brought against actor John Travolta. Some believe the claims, some don't. One, MikeB59, who apparently has seen the movie "Face/Off," had another idea:

John Travolta is innocent.  It was Nicolas Cage wearing Travolta's face.

On the horizon: Junior Seau memorial; sentencing in trial

The San Diego Chargers will host a celebration of the life of former Chargers linebacker and community icon Junior Seau at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Qualcomm Stadium.  The ceremony is open to the public, and parking and admission are free.  Seau committed suicide on May 2.

Millionaire polo club founder John Goodman is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in Palm Beach County, Florida, after being found guilty of DUI manslaughter and failure to render aid in the fatal crash that killed Scott Wilson. According to state guidelines, Goodman faces from 11 1/2 to 30 years in prison.

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
May 10th, 2012
02:26 PM ET

Prince Charles tries his hand at weather forecasting

If President Obama ever needs a weatherman to complement his slow-jamming-the-news segments, Prince Charles might be up for the task.

The Prince of Wales surprised BBC Scotland viewers around midday Thursday by presenting the lunchtime weather forecast.

Introduced by BBC anchor Sally Magnusson as "a new member of our weather team," the prince gestured at the screen behind him and wryly read a special script that referred not only to regions that viewers might expect - rain around Edinburgh, brighter conditions over the northern isles - but also to royal residences in Scotland.

He seemed amused when he got to the homes.

"There will be ... the potential for a few flurries over Balmoral - who the hell wrote this script? - as the afternoon goes on," the prince said.


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Filed under: Prince Charles • United Kingdom • Weather
May 10th, 2012
11:58 AM ET

What do Obama's same-sex marriage views mean moving forward?

President Obama's announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage has sparked a global discussion about the issue and what his statements mean for politics and the upcoming election, cultural views, the economy and public perception. There has been a running dialogue as politicians, public figures and others weigh in on the meaning of Obama's announcement.

We'll bring you all of that throughout the day with the latest strands of this story. Let us know what you think about the announcement by having your voice heard on iReport, and leave us your comments below. We'll dig through them and pull out some of the best comments from you as well.

[Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET] Over at, an interesting piece by  points out "Why Obama is able to endorse gay marriage in a way a white Democratic president couldn’t."

The article takes a look at the long history of presidents and figures who have made claims about trying to help the gay community, but never got traction or were told to shy away from it. Hirshman also issues a reminder: It was Colin Powell who actually slammed then-President Bill Clinton's attempts to repeal the exclusion of gays in the military.  At the time Powell said gays couldn't use racial bias as a reason to rise up against the expulsion.

But these days, race and sexuality have been large parts of America's changing winds when it comes to equality.

So what's changed? And why Obama? And does it really help or hurt if he's black? Hirshman says yes, history and racial issues led our first black president to a place where he was able to make this statement in a profound way.

"A simple thought experiment reveals the issue: Try to imagine Don King in black churches exhorting congregations to vote against Barack Obama over gay marriage. Not going to happen," she writes. "In this way, the president was uniquely suited among Democratic politicians to advance the issue (just as Powell could have done in 1993). Until today, Obama’s mealy-mouthed and harmful public statements on gay marriage looked suspiciously Powell-esque. But as happens now and then to Barack Obama, history gave him an opportunity no one else could seize, and he did."

[Updated at 11:47 a.m. ET] Multiple top Democrats said Thursday the president's senior aides are deeply annoyed with Vice President Joe Biden for forcing the conversation on same-sex marriage. One source said Biden has, in the past, counseled the president against announcing support for same-sex marriage - making the circumstances that much more frustrating.

Another source said the recent events gave renewed life to old jokes and flippant remarks like, "Hello? Does he know this is the Obama presidency not the Biden presidency?"

None of these sources said they believed it would create a lasting rift between the West Wing and the vice president's office – because Biden has gone off script before and will do it again.

[Updated at 11:39 a.m. ET] Some columnists and voters have said everyone needs to hold off on the congratulations for Obama. After all, they say, he merely made his viewpoint heard but isn't actually doing anything to change equality for members of the LGBT community. Many are pushing for him to go even further than just saying what he personally supports.

Ben Adler, writing for Reuters, says that if Obama really wants to do something for the LGBT community he should push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA would essentially ban discrimination in the workplace based on your sexual orientation.

"If Obama gave a campaign speech in which he called on Congress to pass ENDA and demanded that Romney do the same, he would stick Romney between a rock and a hard place," he wrote.

[Updated at 11:19 a.m. ET] The pundits have had plenty to say following Obama's announcement. And it spurred a slew of statements from politicians and conservative and liberal groups.

But one of the biggest movements came in the social media world where everyday people around the world, politicians and celebrities let it rip in 140 characters about how they felt.

It is perhaps a quick way to check the pulse of the public's view of Obama's announcement. Here are some of the best, funniest, most poignant or interest tweets we've seen.






We would also be remiss if we didn't point out how quickly after Obama's announcement a new Tumblr popped up. Following on the success of several other blogs filled with gifs and photos such as TextFromHillary, right after Obama's statement that he supported same-sex marriage a new one came to fill the void left by the faux texts of Secretary Clinton: When Obama Endorsed Marriage Equality.

[Updated at 11:10 a.m. ET] Will Obama's support for same-sex marriage swing the election towards social issues? It's hard to say. The election cycle has been mostly dominated by a frustration among Americans with the current state of the economy. With the number of unemployed people still at a rate deemed unacceptable and with homeowners still struggling to unload homes often worth markedly less than years ago, it is no doubt it's considered the number one issue in this race to the White House by most voters and our poll of readers.

But LZ Granderson wonders whether Mitt Romney will take Obama's statement as a chance to turn the tide against the current president.

"Remember, Republicans characterized the war on women as a Democratic strategy to divert attention from the "real issue" of the economy," Granderson wrote. "Over the next couple of days we'll see if the GOP will be as dismissive with gay rights. Or will the fact that in 2004, George W. Bush successfully used discrimination against the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender (GLBT) community to motivate his base be too juicy a strategy for Romney and the gang to pass up?"

Granderson argues that Obama's move separates him from Romney in the biggest way - his conviction - and moves him into the class of an Abraham Lincoln, FDR, John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson in the realm of presidents:

"Men who risked a great deal personally to move the country forward socially," Granderson wrote. "And given the fact that he can point to the 12 consecutive months of job losses before taking office and the 26 consecutive months (and counting) of job growth since 2010, there's no reason to believe the economy will cease to be his campaign's top focus. As it should be. We'll find out if the GOP agrees."

[Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET] President Obama's election was in large part boosted by the youth vote as well as from African-Americans who went to the polls hoping to see the first black president elected. But when it comes to same-sex marriage, the African-American community is a divided one. And Time contributor Touré, author of "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? A Look At What It Means To Be Black Now," wonders whether this most recent announcement could damage Obama's allure in the South, in heavily religious states and with black Americans.

"With blacks lagging behind the country on marriage equality but still a crucial bloc for Obama, the White House has made a courageous bet that black voters won’t punish him and that being on the right side of history will not eventually hurt him," Touré wrote. "Obama has seemed to want to overtly support marriage equality for a while — a year ago he said gays 'are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our coworkers, and they’ve got to be treated like every other American. … I think we’re moving in a direction of greater equality and — and I think that’s a good thing.' ”

Touré wonders whether Obama will be able to pull off the delicate balancing act of trying to be a president who follows his beliefs instead of doing things that ensure his re-election.

"Does it mean Obama would rather stand on principle and lose than be a politician and win? Or perhaps he sees this as part of a victory strategy that rebrands himself as the courageous politician who will take hard stands and will stand up for the people," he wrote.

[Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET] Many of our iReporters and commenters have had strong reactions to Obama's announcement. We posed the question to iReporters: What would you say to Obama about his remarks?

John Richardson said he was thankful for Obama "coming out of the closet" for gay Americans. But he questioned Obama's statements that same-sex marriage is ultimately a states' rights issue over a civil rights one.

He referenced North Carolina's recent vote to ban same-sex marriage and wondered what Obama's comments meant to a gay couple in North Carolina.

"They didn't decide to be gay, and they definitely didn't decide to be born in North Carolina. In my opinion, leaving it to the states to decide forces the gay community to choose between the lesser of two evils: leaving your home or leaving your principles."


May 10th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

Ex-spokesman for Cameron testifies at UK hacking inquiry

A former Rupert Murdoch newspaper editor who later became a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron testified Thursday at a government-backed probe into the British press.

Andy Coulson was quizzed over his leadership of the paper and its support for politicians, as questioning at the Leveson Inquiry hearing started.

The inquiry was set up in response to accusations of widespread phone hacking by journalists working for the News of the World, which was edited by Coulson from 2003 until his resignation in 2007.

Critics have questioned Cameron's judgment in hiring Coulson after he quit the paper.

Coulson said discussion of the jailing of two News of the World employees over phone hacking in 2007 did come up in discussions with senior party members before he was offered the job.

He told the inquiry he had told them and Cameron what he has said repeatedly - that he knew nothing about the practice of hacking under his leadership of the paper.

May 10th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

Search continues for missing Tennessee girls

Authorities on Thursday continued their search for two kidnapped Tennessee girls and the man accused of abducting them and killing their mother and sister.

"We wish someone would call and help us," FBI spokesman Joel Siskovic said Thursday. "At this point, this guy doesn't want to be found, and we're out there trying to find him."

A day earlier, the FBI put the suspect, Adam Mayes, on its list of 10 most wanted fugitives and added $100,000 to the reward fund offered for a break in the case. Mayes has been charged in the killing of Jo Ann Bain and her eldest daughter, Adrienne, 14, but authorities suspect he is still holding Bain's younger daughters, Alexandria, 12, and Kyliyah, 8.

The motive behind the kidnappings and killings remains unknown, but Adam Mayes' mother-in-law told ABC's "Good Morning America" that Mayes and his wife would fight over the Bain family.

"The reason they were arguing so much is because there were two little girls that he was just absolutely obsessed with," Josie Tate said. "He was claiming that these two children were his."

Siskovic said Mayes was a Bains family friend.

"There has been a lot of information that has come to light, and we want to make sure these girls are not brought to further risk. All of these details are coming in and going into the investigative picture," he said.

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Filed under: Crime
May 10th, 2012
08:58 AM ET

Greek Socialist leader gets chance to form government

The leader of the Socialist PASOK party in Greece is starting efforts to build a government, his party said Thursday, making him the third Greek politician since Sunday to make the attempt.

The PASOK party of Evangelos Venizelos came in third in parliamentary elections on Sunday, and his effort to hammer out a workable coalition comes after the heads of the parties that came in first and second admitted defeat.

He will have an uphill battle after voters angry about tough government budget cuts backed parties on the far left and right, punishing PASOK and New Democracy, the more moderate parties that made the cuts.

He has three days to cobble together a deal.


Filed under: Budget • Economy • European Union • Greece
May 10th, 2012
08:13 AM ET

Charles Taylor's defense to counter sentencing recommendation

The defense for Charles Taylor is expected to submit its counter-recommendation Thursday after prosecutors said the former Liberian president deserves an 80-year sentence for a war crimes conviction.

Taylor was found guilty last month of aiding and abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone's civil war.

"Should the trial chamber decide to impose a global sentence, 80 years' imprisonment would be appropriate," said Brenda Hollis, chief prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

In the statement last week, the prosecutor said the sentence reflects the gravity of the crimes.

"But for Charles Taylor's criminal conduct, thousands of people would not have had limbs amputated, would not have been raped, would not have been killed," Hollis said. "The recommended sentence provides fair and adequate response to the outrage these crimes caused in victims, their families and relatives."

Last month's landmark ruling by the international tribunal was the first war crimes conviction of a former head of state by an international court since the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders after World War II.

Taylor, 64, was found guilty of all 11 counts of aiding and abetting rebel forces in a campaign of terror that involved murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting children younger than 15 and mining diamonds to pay for guns.

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Filed under: Liberia • Netherlands
May 10th, 2012
07:51 AM ET

Thursday's live events

The race to the presidency now turns toward the general election in November. Live is your home for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

9:30 am ET - Biden talks education - Vice President Biden will speak on efforts to keep education affordable at a White House event.  He may also discuss President Obama's announcement that he backs same-sex marriage.


Filed under: Elections • Joe Biden • On today • Politics
May 10th, 2012
07:22 AM ET

Student fights flesh-eating bacteria after zip line fall

[Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET] A University of West Georgia graduate psychology student is fighting for her life with flesh-eating bacteria after falling off a homemade zip line and cutting her leg, CNN affiliates WSB report and WXIA report.

Aimee Copeland, 24, fell off a homemade zip line near a friend’s home in Carroll County, Georgia, on May 1. Doctors at a hospital in Augusta were forced to amputate most of her right leg on Friday after the bacteria destroyed her leg muscles and moved into other parts of her body. She stopped breathing and at one point and had to be resuscitated, her father, Andy Copeland, told WSB.

On Thursday, Andy Copeland told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her hands and her remaining foot also will have to be amputated.

But he said she was showing improvement at a hospital in Augusta and was "extremely responsive, coherent and alert" on Thursday, the AJC reported.

The AJC reported that Copeland contracted Aeromonas hydrophila in the deep gash in her leg after the zip line broke.

Filed under: Georgia • Health