May 14th, 2012
08:02 PM ET

Overheard on Wild times on Wall Street, busy day for business news

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.

Things have been eventful in the business world. Readers are certainly talking about these recent developments.

JPMorgan investment chief out

Ina Drew, JPMorgan Chase's chief investment officer, has left the bank after revelations of a $2 billion loss sustained over the past six weeks. Readers talked about the fact that she is retiring.

Cliff Eden Gardner: "Wow, wish I could still be set for life after costing my company billions."

dcjohnny: "Go to school, then work 80 hours a week, then go back to school, then work even harder. Ascend to the respect level she commanded via an extraordinary career, and then – if you find yourself at the tail end of a bad decision gone haywire – you will most likely be able to retire with more money than any of your friends. You know how not to reach that potential? Complain about others and elect people who will throw you the occasional scraps from their table every election cycle."

Melissa Walker: "Someone costs your company $2 BILLION and you're allowed to retire? With a golden parachute and pension and everything? Sheesh, even after the financial collapse, it's clear the Fat Cats don't get it - FIRE THE WITCH-RHYMES-WITH and let her enjoy the wide world of unemployment and looking for a job at her age with her 30 years of experience."

mwilder: "Until we have regulations in place this will continue to happen. Plain and simple."

Similar conversation, with a dash of wisecracks, followed this story. FULL POST

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Facebook • Finance • Overheard on
May 14th, 2012
05:08 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.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

An American University student got an extraordinary graduation gift from a special man in her life. Watch:

Dog's best friend

Steve Soba wept with joy and gratitude after firefighters in Manchester, New Hampshire, rescued his dog, Sam, from the rushing waters of the Merrimack River. CNN affiliate WMUR captured the exciting rescue on video.

Help is on the way - eventually

Another rescue moved a little slower than the New Hampshire dog heroics. Veronica McFoy's van went over a 30-foot embankment and landed in an area so overgrown with vegetation that her vehicle disappeared into it, CNN Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA reports. McFoy was trapped for nearly three days, surviving on soda and rainwater before she used a wrench to break out a window, climbed up to the road despite numerous broken bones, and flagged down help. She is recovering in a hospital just across the state line in Morgantown, West Virginia, KDKA reports.

A civil rights icon addresses gay rights

President Barack Obama's declaration of support for same-sex marriage prompted plenty of comment from black ministers Sunday. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who was a part of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s inner circle, says Obama had to support gay marriage because he believes in equal rights.

You can't believe in equal rights for some people and yet not believe in equal rights for everybody. That includes the right to marry the person of your choice. Equal rights for some people [is] an oxymoron.

Colorful scenes from Philippines

CNN iReporter Veronica Pantaleon Mendoza shot some unusual and artsy photos of a colorful festival in the Philippines, where she lives. She said the Bangkero festival celebrates the area's hardworking people and skillful boatmen. Mendoza said the area of Pagsanjan is the tourist capital of Laguna, and the boatmen also work as tour guides, navigating tourists through the impressive sights of the region.

All hail Stan Lee

Stan Lee is basking in the success of "The Avengers," the blockbuster movie that features superhero characters Lee created in his comic books. The 89-year-old whiz kid shared a fun conversation with CNN's JD Cargill, which elicited its share of enthusiastic comments. Commenter Whosharted summed up a lot of fans' feelings:

So many times in life we see examples of someone's life's work not being appreciated until they are dead and gone.  It is gratifying to see Stan Lee, a true genius in his field, be given the credit he so richly deserves.  The Avengers is one of those rare movies that live up to the hype.  Do not miss it!!  The digital version on the big screen is amazing!!  Thank you, Stan.

On the horizon: President on 'The View'; two primaries

President Obama will appear as a guest Tuesday on the daytime talk show "The View." What do you suppose they'll ask him about?

The Nebraska and Oregon primaries are Tuesday. With Ron Paul pulling out and leaving Mitt Romney as the last Republican standing, do the remaining contests still matter?

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Overheard on Communities, families grapple with sex offenses, child porn
Matthew Smith celebrates his 21st birthday with his family before going to prison for possession of child pornography.
May 14th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Overheard on Communities, families grapple with sex offenses, child porn

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.

One could say there's another side of sex offenders: the way their offenses affect their families. This story, which focuses primarily on younger offenders accused of downloading child pornography,  garnered a powerful reaction from readers who debated the nuances of sex offender laws and the sexuality of young people.

Mothers of sex offenders share responsibility, burden of label

Some readers were appreciative of the article's perspective.

yellowrosela: "Thank you Emanuella Grinberg ... I doubt that any voice of reason will be taken seriously here, but I think this article was an honest presentation from the mothers of registrants. Everyone, except those that blatantly state if you let me go I will 'do it again,' deserves a second chance. That includes you and me. My Bible says in John 8:7, 'He who is WITHOUT SIN let him cast the first stone!' And, by the way, God doesn't grade on a curve. –Vicki Henry"

And some readers didn't feel sorry for these parents. This reader apparently wrote from outside the U.S.

Lauro Andrea: "This is such a disappointing article. It's mothers whining about the quality of life for their sex offender children. No real introspection. No concrete midway solution. Just how they are being persecuted? I was looking to see some redemptive inward look into attempting to trace causes and take responsibility. Instead, whine, whine, whine. I can tell you that if they were in lesser country, their sons would have been full-blown active pedophiles or have been torn to pieces by an angry mob. If you can visit Cambodia and see the damage wreaked by pedophiles who slipped through the net (the hundreds of children every year that get victimized is just staggering) you would kiss your ankle bracelets and be thankful. Better yet, if you can see the horrid prison conditions here that await foreign sex offenders, you wouldn't whine about the liberty you get there."

A lot of commenters wrote in about their personal experiences with various sexual offenses and abuses, involving themselves or others. FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Overheard on
May 14th, 2012
02:52 PM ET

Greek government talks fail; new meeting planned

The latest efforts to form a unity government in Greece failed Monday, putting the country even closer to a disastrous eurozone exit, but the president called for another meeting Tuesday to seek a solution.

Talks between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and the leaders of three main parties broke up Monday night without a resolution, the president's office said.

Afterward, Papoulias called a meeting for Tuesday to discuss the possibility of a government of technocrats with some sort of support from political parties, according to the leader of the PASOK party, which was at the talks Monday night.

PASOK leader Evengelos Venizelos said "we have no choice" but to support the idea of a technocracy and that all parties should support it.

Papoulias had invited the leaders of the New Democracy, PASOK, Syriza, and Democratic Left parties to Monday night's meeting. Syriza was the only one not to go; the party's leader, Alexis Tsipras, said he wanted to talk with all parties or just the president on his own, and not with a selective group.

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Filed under: Greece
May 14th, 2012
02:46 PM ET

Family watches 'miraculous survival' of woman fighting flesh-eating bacteria

A 24-year-old woman in a hospital bed fighting off flesh-eating bacteria has to be told repeatedly - each time she wakes up - what has happened, her parents told CNN on Monday.

The medication Aimee Copeland is given leads her to forget each time she falls asleep.

"It's scary to her," said her mother, Donna Copeland. She asks where she is and "doesn't understand."

Yet Aimee Copeland - who has lost a leg and part of her abdomen to the virulent bacteria and may lose more, including her fingers - is keeping her spirits strong, her father said.

Can I get this flesh-eating bacteria?

"We really don't see the suffering side of it. We see the miraculous survival," Andy Copeland said. "I think that's the story that's inspired us, that's the story that's inspired, I think, the nation at this point."

On Facebook, he wrote that doctors have used words like "astonishing," "confounding" and "mind-boggling" to describe the young woman's recovery.

The master's student in psychology at the University of West Georgia was out with friends on May 1 near the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta, when she grabbed onto a homemade zip line. It snapped.

The accident left her with a gash in her left calf that took 22 staples to close.

Three days later, when the pain continued, a friend took her to an emergency room, where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis and flown to Augusta for surgery.

She had contracted the flesh-devouring Aeromonas hydrophila. The bacterium is "remarkably common in the water and in the environment," according to Dr. Buddy Creech, an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

"When it gets into those deeper tissues, it has a remarkable ability to destroy the tissues that surround it in sort of this hunt for nutrition," he said. "When it does that, those tissues die, and you see the inflammation and the swelling and the destruction that can be very difficult to control."

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Filed under: Health
May 14th, 2012
02:14 PM ET

From first black president to 'first gay president'?

As if becoming the first black president wasn't momentous enough, Barack Obama has just been handed a new title: "First gay president."

A Newsweek magazine cover bestowed that distinction on Obama this week with a picture of the president and a rainbow halo. If you view that as a naked attempt to grab your attention, capitalize on the moment and have you pick up a newsmagazine, you might be right.

But that illustration - along with a New Yorker cover showing the columns of the White House lit up in rainbow colors - certainly shows how the president’s public support of same-sex marriage has pushed the issue back into the spotlight.

The magazines’ choices also speak to the broad cultural impact of Obama's announcement and pose questions about whether this moment may become a lasting part of his legacy.

That's not to say the president's announcement is necessarily a watershed moment. It earned him kudos and criticism despite the fact that he left the legal standing of same-sex marriage in the hands of the states and made no policy changes.

The issue also is far from resolved in the African-American community, and some conservatives say Obama's announcement comes at a political cost.'s John Blake writes that some suggest the black church may punish Obama for announcing his support for same-sex marriage.

As millions went to church this weekend after the president's announcement, clergy across the country offered their opinions, with the words of black pastors - a key base of support for Obama in 2008 - carrying special weight in a presidential election year. But black pastors were hardly monolithic in addressing Obama's remarks.


May 14th, 2012
12:49 PM ET

Colorado legislature meets on civil unions

The Colorado legislature met Monday in extraordinary session to consider a number of bills that were not brought to the floor last week, chief among them a civil-unions bill that has strong bipartisan support.

House Speaker Frank McNulty, who opposes civil unions, made no secret that he also opposed the special session, which was called by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

"Planting corn today," the Republican speaker tweeted on Sunday. "What I should be doing tomorrow insread (sic) of a special session for the legislature."

He expressed similar sentiments on Monday, when he tweeted, "Special legislative session on same sex marriage brought to you by Colorado Gov @hickforco and cost picked up by Colorado families."

But the bill is not about same-sex marriage, which is banned under Colorado's constitution. Instead, it is about civil unions. And that was not the only bill that Hickenlooper said he wished would have passed during the regular session.

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Filed under: Colorado • Politics • Same-sex marriage
May 14th, 2012
12:45 PM ET

Israel reaches deal with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

A group representing Palestinian prisoners has reached a deal with Israel to end a hunger strike.

The agreement, brokered by Egypt, involves Israel taking steps to ease conditions, Palestinian officials said.

Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry, confirmed that an agreement was reached and said the hunger strike will end.

"I am glad it's over. I am glad nobody died," he said.

Ziad Abu Ein, the Palestinian deputy minister of detainees and ex-detainees, said Israel agreed that all Palestinian prisoners who are currently in solitary confinement will be moved out and into other jail cells.

Also, Israel will allow families from the West Bank and Gaza to visit inmates, he said.

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Filed under: Israel • Palestinians
FAMU trustees: Band suspension will remain in place
FAMU President James Ammons has decided to suspend the marching band for the next school year.
May 14th, 2012
11:37 AM ET

FAMU trustees: Band suspension will remain in place

The Florida A&M University marching band will remain suspended through the 2012-2013 academic year while the school works to set new rules following the fatal hazing of a band member, university President James Ammons said in a conference call Monday with trustees.

"I was heavily influenced by the need to be respectful to Robert Champion's family as well as the other victims," Ammons said. " A young man lost his life and others suffered serious injuries."

Authorities say Champion, 26, was badly beaten during a hazing incident on a band bus after a football game in Orlando last November. He died within an hour of the attack. Others hazing incidents that resulted in injuries to band members also have been reported.

Ammons said the band must be restructured and the "limited time frame" between now and autumn is not enough time to accomplish that.

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Filed under: Crime • Florida • Justice • U.S.
May 14th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

FBI: Number of officers slain on duty increased in 2011

Seventy-two law enforcement officers in the U.S. were slain in the line of duty in 2011, an increase of 16 over the previous year, according to an FBI report released Monday. The report does not include reasons for the rise.

The statistics collected by the FBI from police agencies across the nation reflects the varied nature of the killings. Fourteen of the victims were slain in unprovoked attacks. Eleven were killed while pursuing or stopping suspect vehicles. Six of the officers died while engaging in tactical operations. Five were slain in entrapments or ambushes, five others were killed while conducting investigations, and another five were killed after responding to robbery calls.

"Each of these losses is devastating," FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement, "and each one reminds us that the safety and freedom we enjoy come only at great cost."

The suspects used firearms in 63 of the 72 killings. That includes 50 by handguns. Seven were killed with rifles and six with shotguns.

The largest number of slain officers, by region, occurred in the South (29).

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
May 14th, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Monday'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...

8:30 am ET - Dalai Lama honored - The Dalai Lama will receive the Templeton Prize in London.  The award honors someone who's made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension.


Filed under: Elections • On today • Politics • Tibet • World
May 14th, 2012
04:28 AM ET

Trustees consider fate of Florida A&M's marching band

Florida A&M University's Board of Trustees meets Monday to discuss the future of the college's popular marching band in the aftermath of the hazing-related death of a member.

Band director Julian White, who had been with the prestigious band for 40 years, stepped down under pressure last week.

He was placed on paid administrative leave shortly after the hazing death of FAMU Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion in November.

Authorities say Champion, 26, was badly beaten during a hazing incident on a band bus following a football game in Orlando. He died within an hour of the attack.


Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
May 14th, 2012
02:37 AM ET

Plane crashes in Nepal, killing 14

A small plane crashed as it attempted to land in a mountainous area of Nepal on Monday, killing 14 of the 21 people on board, an aviation official said.

The plane was coming into land at the airport at Jomsom, a popular tourist town in central Nepal, when it crashed, said Purusottam Shakya, deputy director of air traffic service operations in Kathmandu.

There were three crew members on board the plane and 18 passengers, most of whom were Indian, according to Shakya.

The seven survivors were being transferred to the town of Pokhara, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) west of Kathmandu.

Jomsom is the gateway to Muktinath Temple, a pilgrimage site for Hindus from Nepal and India.

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Filed under: India • Nepal
May 14th, 2012
12:08 AM ET

Uganda displays captive Kony lieutenant

Uganda says it has captured a top commander of the Lord's Resistance Army, the guerrilla movement notorious for its attacks on civilians and use of child soldiers.

Ugandan commanders displayed Caesar Achellam to reporters after his capture in what they said was a weekend raid in the Central African Republic. The CAR is one of several African Union countries that has committed troops to hunt down LRA chieftain Joseph Kony, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

"This is a big fish," said Col. Felix Kulayigye, a Ugandan military spokesman. "For Caesar to be in our hands it is a big statement, as far as our efforts to end this rebellion."

Achellam told reporters he hoped his capture would lead "my people remaining in the brush" to give up, "so that sooner maybe the war would come to an end."

Kony led a failed uprising against the government of Uganda and was pushed out of Uganda in 2006. He has been moving around other countries in the region ever since.

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Filed under: World