New documents shed light on Trayvon Martin killing
May 17th, 2012
09:47 PM ET

New documents shed light on Trayvon Martin killing

New documents released today shed light on just what might have happened when George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, 17, in Sanford Florida earlier this year.

An autopsy report revealed traces of the drug THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana,  in Martin's blood at the time of his death - fueling more controversy in the already heavily debated circumstances of the killing.

Meanwhile, three police reports chronicled Zimmerman's injuries, officer's first impressions of the crime scene and claims that he was assaulted in the moments before shooting Martin dead. An EMS report and a lab report were made public describing injuries Zimmerman sustained during the melee.

Also released was an FBI analysis of the controversial 911 call, which caused speculation around the country about Zimmerman's potential use of a racial epithet to described the  teen in the hooded sweatshirt.

Zimmerman has plead not guilty in the case, maintaining he shot Martin in self-defense during his shift on a neighborhood watch.

Bond for Zimmerman was originally set at $150,000 on April 20. Zimmerman's bond was revoked on June 1 and he was ordered to return to jail when a judge determined Zimmerman lied about his personal finances. A new bail hearing is sceduled for June 29.

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Filed under: Justice • Uncategorized
Man questioned in Mississippi highway killings, police say
May 17th, 2012
06:51 PM ET

Man questioned in Mississippi highway killings, police say

Mississippi authorities are questioning a man suspected of impersonating a police officer to determine whether he is involved in the killings of two motorists on state highways, a sheriff's investigator said Thursday.

The man was picked up after stopping two drivers, Humphreys County Sheriff Investigator Sam Dobbins told CNN. He was driving a blue Mercury Marquis that used to be a police car and still had flashing blue lights on top, Dobbins said.

Investigators had raised the possibility that someone posing as a police officer is to blame for the shootings, which happened this month about 55 miles apart.

In the first incident, Tom Schlender, 74, was found dead in his car about 1:30 a.m. in the median of an interstate highway last week. A few days later, Lori Anne Carswell, 48, was found dead outside her car on the shoulder of a state highway.

Because of the places where the drivers were found, and because nothing was found wrong with their cars, authorities say it's possible someone posing as a police officer may have signaled to the drivers to pull over.

Authorities say the victims did not know each other.

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Filed under: Crime • Mississippi
May 17th, 2012
06:27 PM ET

Georgia police hunt man who pointed rifle at school bus

Police in north Georgia say they’re trying to find a man who witnesses say pointed a rifle at a moving school bus this week and apparently left a note at the scene containing school bus numbers.

The incident in Hampton has prompted Clayton County police to start escorting school buses through the Greystone subdivision, and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the investigation.

A resident of the subdivision told police that a man was crouched in a backyard of a home in Hampton - about 25 miles southeast of Atlanta - on Monday morning and pointed a rifle at a moving bus.

“About the time the school bus pulled up to pick up two kids … the guy started aiming the gun," the resident, David Dillard, told CNN affiliate WSB.

Dillard said he yelled at the man, and the man dropped the rifle and ran away. Dillard said his nephew, who was nearby, ran after him.

The gunman fired a pistol at the nephew - hitting no one - before escaping on foot, Clayton County police Lt. Chris Windley said, citing witness accounts.


Overheard on Dim all the lights; this 'last dance' goes out to Donna Summer
Donna Summer broke out of the disco mold with her 1979 album "Bad Girls." The "Queen of Disco" died Thursday at age 63.
May 17th, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Overheard on Dim all the lights; this 'last dance' goes out to Donna Summer

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.

Donna Summer, the "Queen of Disco," has died at 63. Her publicist said Thursday that she had cancer and died surrounded by her family. Readers wrote in to share their condolences. Some of the best responses are posted here, alongside the names of some of Summer's best-known songs, in no particular order.

Disco queen Donna Summer dies at 63

"Hot Stuff"

Arkady: "You can talk about her brilliant voice. You can talk about her sultry, sex-kitten ways. You can talk about her rags to riches success and her being the inadvertant queen of disco. But she was an innovator like very few. When she got her feet wet in Germany in the '70s, she brought back to the U.S. the sound that began with Krafwerk. Donna Summer performed techno over 25 years before Americans even knew what that word was. She also added a 'bad girl' image to her day that left an indelible mark on pop culture. 'Icon' of the '70s would be an insult. She was one of the most important soul voices in history and one of the greatest artists of her time."

"Bad Girls"

Jonnjon: "What a great entertainer. Her 'Bad Girls' tour at Pine Knob was the first concert I ever attended. great fun, great memories. when I'm on a road trip by myself I still pop in that disc and enjoy the music to help keep me awake while driving. thanks for keeping me company for so many years Donna. you'll be missed.

"Love to Love You, Baby" FULL POST

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Filed under: Music • Overheard on • Showbiz
May 17th, 2012
04:59 PM ET

Mash-up: Facebook, Donna Summer, Sully

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.

iReporter on Facebook: 'You are the product'

CNN iReporter Tom Martin says that, although Facebook is free, users pay the price of having their information become more and more public.

"I do not want to be a part of this apparent mission to alter the norms of society," the 23-year-old said. "Facebook has frequently changed its privacy settings in the past and will do so again, always in favor of less privacy."

Martin admits that he misses the occasional party or event by not being a member of the site - "there is somewhat of a social price to be paid for rebelling against the trend" - but also says he wouldn't sign up for Facebook "if you put a gun to my head." He believes people who really care about him will make the extra effort to stay in touch.

Who is on Capt. Sully's list of leaders?

Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is widely admired for the calm, cool way he landed an airliner in the Hudson River after it lost an engine because of a bird impact. Now, we learn whom Sully admires and what he looks for in a leader.

Man buys out store, donates everything

CNN affiliate WAVE reports that a Kentucky businessman visited a Kmart store that was being shuttered two days later. Rankin Paynter decided to buy everything left in the store and then turned around and donated every bit of it to a Clark County charity.


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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Facebook: Use it. 'Like' it. But, buy it?
May 17th, 2012
03:15 PM ET

Facebook: Use it. 'Like' it. But, buy it?

It started as the little engine that maybe, possibly could. Facebook swirled around college campuses and became a way to find out a little bit more about your classmates. But when the site went mainstream, it spread like a digital wildfire and in eight years it has gone from the little engine that could into the juggernaut tank in the social media world.

Now, the company's long road to an initial public offering is officially coming to an end. And today it will fill in one last piece of the puzzle: It's final IPO price.

Timeline: Mark Zuckerberg's rise from child prodigy to Facebook billionaire

It's not just the talk of the town or Silicon Valley, but about to be the talk of .... well, everyone. Want perspective? Facebook could raise as much as $16 billion in its IPO. That would make it the largest tech IPO in history - and the third largest U.S. IPO ever, trailing only the $19.7 billion raised by Visa  in March 2008 and the $18.1 billion raised by automaker General Motors in November 2010, according to rankings by Thomson Reuters.

Why Facebook won't start trading at the opening bell 

So as the big day approaches we wanted to give you a little insight into the company and the ins and outs of going public.

A look at the hottest ticket in town

Some days you love Facebook. Some days you want to delete your profile, run away and never, ever return. Since Facebook's big foray into mass-market appeal, you'll always hear arguments for both.

It's been lauded for helping connect generations. It's also been called things that make you think it's the devils spawn.


May 17th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

Timeline: Mark Zuckerberg's rise from child prodigy to Facebook billionaire

You know him as the man behind the mega social media site Facebook. But do you know about how he got there?

As his company prepares to go public, we wanted to take a look back on his life and how he ended up as one of the most prominent tech company founders.

CNNMoney is trying to buy Facebook IPO shares 

Personal details:

* Birth place: Dobbs Ferry, New York

* Birth name: Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

* Parents: Edward, a dentist, and Karen, a psychiatrist, Zuckerberg

* Education: Phillips Exeter Academy, 2002

Harvard University, 2002 – 2004, dropped out

Facebook: Use it. 'Like' it. But, buy it?

Other Facts:

* Is red-green colorblind.

* Took a graduate computer course at Mercy College when he was eleven.

* Became captain of the fencing team at Phillips Exeter Academy.

* Considered a prodigy by his early computer tutor David Newman.

* Co-created a software program named Synapse, which learned a listener's music habits.

* Met long-term girlfriend Priscilla Chan during his sophomore year at Harvard University.


* 1996 – Creates an instant messaging service for his dad's dentist office called ZuckNet.

* 2003 – Creates at Harvard, a website rating system to rank the physical attractiveness of those whose pictures he had downloaded from the school directory – without permission. The site garners lots of attention, both positive and negative, from the student body, and negative attention from the school administration. Zuckerberg is forced to take the site down.


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Filed under: Facebook • Technology
May 17th, 2012
12:34 PM ET

Shipwreck found on Gulf floor while thousands watched

The joy of discovery was palpable when a nearly 200-year-old wooden shipwreck was found on the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, along with three other wooden ship sites, according to Fred Gorell of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean Exploration.

Most of the wood is gone, eaten by ocean organisms, but copper sheathing helped keep the shape of the hull together, scientists said.

The artifact-laden wreck is in a largely unexplored area of the Gulf, and when NOAA went in with their Little Hercules remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) for 29 dives, satellite and Internet pathways allowed scientists and amateurs alike to follow along live.

But why was this ship the most "exciting" out of the four potential sites?

It was full of evidence that intrigued NOAA marine archeologists. When the ship itself was discovered, 2,000 people were following along live - including scientists in five different states and "citizen researchers" ashore using telepresence technology. FULL POST

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Filed under: History
Donna Summer dies at age 63
May 17th, 2012
12:29 PM ET

Donna Summer dies at age 63

Seventies disco queen Donna Summer has died at age 63, her publicist said Thursday.

Summer rose to pop music fame starting in 1975 with "Love to Love You Baby." She went on to record other songs that proved popular on the dance scene, including "Bad Girls" and "She Works Hard for the Money."

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Filed under: Music
4.3 quake shakes up East Texas
May 17th, 2012
12:24 PM ET

4.3 quake shakes up East Texas

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake rattled eastern Texas early Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake, at a depth of three miles, was centered near Timpson, about 155 miles east-southeast of Dallas, according to the USGS.  It struck at 3:12 a.m. (4:13 a.m. ET).

At least one building in Timpson showed damage, with a number of bricks falling to the street below, CNN affiliate KLTV in Tyler, Texas, reported.

Ollie Barrett told KLTV that bricks from her chimney came crashing through her roof.

"There was a loud rumbling noise and then there was a lot of crashing," she said. Her 52-inch, wall-mounted TV was crushed.


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Filed under: Earthquake • Natural Disasters • Texas
Gotta Watch: Animals swim miles offshore
Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol rescued a horse found swimming in the ocean more than two miles offshore on Tuesday.
May 17th, 2012
11:57 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Animals swim miles offshore

A horse, a deer and a dog don’t belong in the water but, in these unusual cases, they were spotted miles from land. The people who helped them had to figure out some tricky logistics to save them. You’ve gotta watch these animal rescues.


Horse in the Pacific

A 7-year-old horse got spooked at a photo shoot in Southern California and ran into the ocean. The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol spotted it two miles offshore. Watch how they towed it back in.


Deer in Lake Huron

It started out as a normal father and son fishing trip, but it had an unusual ending. They spotted a drowning fawn two miles from shore. See how the ordeal changed the dad’s outlook.


Dog in the Gulf

A kayaker went fishing in the gulf and ended up catching a dog named Barney. Sadly, this mystery has an unhappy ending. Learn why the dog was in the ocean in the first place.

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Filed under: Animals • Deer • Dogs • Gotta Watch • horses
Mary Kennedy died from hanging, medical examiner says
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Mary arrive at funeral services for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009.
May 17th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Mary Kennedy died from hanging, medical examiner says

Mary Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,  died of asphyxiation due to hanging, a spokeswoman for the Westchester County medical examiner said Thursday.

Few details of Mary Kennedy's death were immediately available.

The Bedford Police Department confirmed Wednesday that they were investigating a possible unattended death at an address owned by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Authorities found a deceased individual inside "an out building" on the property, police said in a statement.

"It is with deep sadness that the family of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. mourns the loss of Mary Richardson Kennedy, wife and mother of their four beloved children. Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit," a statement by the husband's family said.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation," her family said in a statement.

Mary Kennedy was 52.

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Filed under: Obituary
May 17th, 2012
09:14 AM ET

Court suspends Ratko Mladic war crimes trial

The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was suspended until further notice Thursday over the prosecution's failure to disclose some evidence against Mladic, court spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic said.

The abrupt suspension came only a day after the long-awaited trial began.

Prosecutors had been planning to focus Thursday on the massacre of up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, for which they accuse Mladic of responsibility.

But the defense called for a halt to the trial after it found that the prosecution had not shown it all the evidence against Mladic. Under court rules, the defense has a right to study prosecution evidence before a trial begins.


Filed under: Bosnia • Ratko Mladic
May 17th, 2012
09:11 AM ET

Iran threatens legal action against Google for not labeling Persian Gulf

Iran has threatened legal action against Google for not labeling the Persian Gulf on its maps.

"Toying with modern technologies in political issues is among the new measures by the enemies against Iran, (and) in this regard, Google has been treated as a plaything," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Thursday, according to state-run Press TV.

He added that "omitting the name Persian Gulf is (like) playing with the feelings and realities of the Iranian nation."

On state-run news agency IRNA, Iranian officials accused Google of having removed the words "Persian Gulf."

Google did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

But a Google spokesperson told Britain's The Guardian newspaper that the Internet giant had not removed the term "Persian Gulf" - it had not labeled it from the beginning, as is the case with many other places.



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Filed under: Iran
Fugitive penguin apparently thriving in Tokyo Bay
Penguin 337 is shown shortly after its escape from Tokyo Sea Life Park in March.
May 17th, 2012
08:40 AM ET

Fugitive penguin apparently thriving in Tokyo Bay

A penguin that escaped from a Japanese aquarium in March is apparently thriving in Tokyo Bay, according to news reports from Japan.

The fugitive bird, known as Penguin 337, somehow scaled a 13-foot-high wall and then got through a barbed-wire fence to get into the bay.

Officials from Tokyo Sea Life Park feared the 1-year-old Humbolt penguin would not survive in the waters of the bay, busy with marine traffic headed for densely populated Tokyo.

But apparently 337 is making meals of small fish in the bay and finding some place to rest onshore at night, park officials said, according to a Reuters.

"It didn't look like it has gotten thinner over the past two months, or been without food. It doesn't seem to be any weaker. So it looks as if it's been living quite happily in the middle of Tokyo Bay," Kazuhiro Sakamoto, deputy director of the park, told Reuters.

The penguin was filmed by a Japanese coast guard patrol craft on May 7, but the crew was unable to catch it.

See the latest photo of the penguin on Reuters AlertNet.

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Filed under: Animals • Japan • Penguins
May 17th, 2012
07:34 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...

Verdict watch - 'Baby Gabriel' would-be adoptive mom trial

9:00 am ET - Florida real estate developer trial - Testimony continues in the trial of Adam Kaufman, who's charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife.


Filed under: Crime • Elections • Justice • On today • Politics
'Terminator 3' actor Nick Stahl reported missing
Actor Nick Stahl was reported missing on May 9.
May 17th, 2012
07:26 AM ET

'Terminator 3' actor Nick Stahl reported missing

Actor Nick Stahl, who played John Connor in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," has been reported missing by his wife, who told police she has not seen him since May 9, according to news reports from Los Angeles.

Los Angeles police spokesman Richard French told the Los Angeles Times that Rose Murphy reported her husband missing on Monday morning.

Police said Stahl had been frequenting LA's skid row and officers on that beat had been told to be on the alert for Stahl, according to the LA Times report.

"We are tracking down a few leads and using internal sources with information we have to see if we can quickly locate him," said Detective Carmine S. Sasso, according to a report from PEOPLE.

Police said foul play is not suspected, according to the Times report.

"Of the 14,000 missing persons cases I've handled over the past four years, there's a very good percentage of those involving drug issues and a separation from families. The vast majority of them have been successfully solved. Hopefully this one will be too," PEOPLE quotes Sasso as saying.

Stahl, 32, began acting as a child but got his first big break in the 1993 Mel Gibson film "Man Without a Face," according to

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Filed under: Celebrity • Showbiz
Blue Jay Lawrie gets 4-game suspension for hitting umpire with helmet
Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays throws his batting helmet to protest a third strike call by umpire Bill Miller on Tuesday.
May 17th, 2012
06:49 AM ET

Blue Jay Lawrie gets 4-game suspension for hitting umpire with helmet

Major League Baseball has suspended Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie for four games for an outburst Tuesday in which he threw his batting helmet, which bounced off the ground and struck umpire Bill Miller.

In the ninth inning of Tuesday's game in Toronto against the Tampa Bay Rays, Lawrie faced Rays closer Fernando Rodney. With a count of three balls and one strike Lawrie took back-to-back pitches from Rodney. Miller called both strikes, sending Lawrie back to the dugout.

Trouble was, when the third strike was called, Lawrie had already taken two steps toward first base, thinking he had drawn a walk. He spun around, took two steps back in the direction of the umpire and threw his batting helmet to the ground. It bounced up and struck Miller.

Besides the four games, Lawrie was also fined an undisclosed amount, according to a report on

He pledged to appeal the ruling and can remain in the Blue Jays lineup during the appeal process.

"I feel that I have the right to explain my side of the story about what happened last night. I just have to suck it up, appeal it and worry about baseball, worry about playing today and getting a win," he said before Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees, according to

Lawrie said it was not his intention to strike Miller with the helmet, but the helmet took "a bad hop," according to a report in the Toronto Star.


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Filed under: Baseball • Sports
May 17th, 2012
04:25 AM ET

Satellite image suggests North Korea may have resumed work on reactor

North Korea has resumed work on the construction of a reactor that could help it push forward its nuclear weapons program, according to an academic group's analysis of a recent satellite image.

The blog 38 North, run by the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said Thursday that a commercial satellite image from April 30 shows the secretive regime "is now close to completion of the reactor containment building."

The building is intended to house an experimental light water reactor, according to 38 North, which is managed by Joel Wit, a former U.S. State Department official.

Work on the reactor site in Yongbyon appeared to have halted in late December, 38 North said, perhaps because of the death of the longtime North Korean leader Kim Jong Il that month, or more likely as a result of the onset of winter weather.

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Filed under: North Korea • World
May 17th, 2012
04:24 AM ET

Suicide attack on provincial governor's compound in Afghanistan kills 7

Suicide attackers with explosives stormed a governor's compound in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing themselves and seven people, officials said.

The attack took place at the compound of the provincial governor of Farah, said Abdul Rauf Ahmadi, a regional police spokesman.

The governor and the deputy governor were unharmed, he said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
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