May 29th, 2012
05:48 PM ET

CNN Mash-up: Syria, quake, kindness

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 top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Annan: Syria at decisive moment

Kofi Annan, envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday to convey the international community's grave concern over Friday's massacre in Houla and to get his peace plan on track. After the meeting, Annan said:

We are at a tipping point. The Syrian people do not want the future to be one of bloodshed and division. Yet the killings continue, and the abuses are still with us today. (I appeal) for bold steps now - not tomorrow, now - to create momentum for the implementation of the plan.

Earthquake moves heaven and earth

Tuesday's magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Italy killed at least 16 people and destroyed or damaged thousands of buildings. Archaeology student, photographer and CNN iReporter Irene Fanizza lives near the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, so she walked over to the church to see if it was damaged. It was. Photography normally is not allowed inside the church, but the guards allowed her to document cracks in the basilica's domed ceiling.

Pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down

Dogs like to chase bikes sometimes. Most dogs give up after a few hundred yards. Not this dog. How does a few hundred miles sound?

Little kid, big heart

Brendan Haas knows how to wheel 'n' deal. The 9-year-old Kingston, Massachusetts, boy decided he wanted to help the family of a fallen service member feel better, CNN affiliate WHDH reports. So he offered one of his toy soldiers for trade. What he got for the soldier, he traded for something else. Then he traded that for something even bigger, and on and on until the payoff: an all-expense-paid trip to Disney World, including airfare. And then he handed it over to the family of a soldier in a nearby town who was killed last year.

A hero is in the eye of the beholder

MSNBC host Chris Hayes apologized for a remark about whether service members should be considered heroes. The original remark generated a spirited discussion that included military personnel.

chilly g

I served in the USMC for a total of 13 years, and I don't feel like a hero. I feel honor to have served my country to the best of my ability. But there are heroes in the military, I'm just a Marine doing his duty as ordered.

Church plans apology billboard to gays

A California church plans to put up a billboard in Charlotte, North Carolina, apologizing to homosexuals for North Carolina's passing a constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. CNN affiliate WSOC reports the billboard,  sponsored by Missiongathering Christian Church in San Diego, will read: "Missiongathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who DENIED rights and equality to so many in the Name of God."

Not the recommended serving size

CNN iReporter Chris Soriano shot video of a most unusual eating contest in San Diego on Friday. In a promotion for a crepe truck, contestants did their best to wolf down an entire jar of Nutella spread in less than two minutes. Watch it if you dare.

On the horizon: Charles Taylor sentencing

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor will be sentenced Wednesday in The Hague after being found guilty last month of crimes related to Sierra Leone's civil war. Taylor was convicted of all 11 counts of aiding and abetting rebel forces in Sierra Leone in a campaign of terror that involved murder, rape, sexual slavery, conscripting children younger than 15 and mining diamonds to pay for guns.

Anniversaries: On May 30, 1431, French heroine Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English after being convicted of heresy. On May 30, 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington. On May 30, 2005, American student Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba.

Friday birthdays: Actor Ted McGinley, 54; singer Wynonna Judd, 48; baseball player Manny Ramirez, 40.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. AlanBR

    To those who want to call any of our Armed Forces "exceptional" or possessing "superior" qualities, you must first examine each individual to see if they meet these criteria.
    Only someone who refuses to be honest about it would give the "hero" designation to every single person in our Armed Forces. We can honor them for their service, but to call all of them heroes is to be dishonest.
    We reserve the t.itle "hero" for those individuals who have gone BEYOND the common effort, BEYOND the call of average duty, and give it only to those who have indeed shown they are exceptional and superior in some singular way.

    We should not cheapen the word "hero" by giving it to the guy who is just there to do a job and get back home – we should give it only to those individuals who have done amazing heroic things, who have shown themselves to be superior to the common man.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • sirrahad

      Most people in the military never have the opportunity to be heroes, Alan. They drive trucks, polish brightwork, prepare meals, fold laundry, manage assets, build bridges, fuel and maintain equipment, make sure planes take off and land safely, patch up the sick and wounded, etc. Thay are not heroes, but they make heroes. Do not diminish their roles.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlanBR

      sirrahad, there are many different types and ways of honoring each of them no matter what they do.
      There is no need to diminish their roles and also no need to enlarge their roles.
      To do either is to exaggerate in one direction or the other.
      We just need to calm down and be realistic, honest, and keep things in their proper perspective.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Just because someone wins a medal does not make him a hero. A hero is someone who controls their fear and does what needs to be done despite that bone numbing fear. I saw men and women do things while in fear of their own life that most would consider impossible. They didn't get medals for it but they were heroes just the same. I have been in those situations both as a Green Beret and as a Police Officer. I did receive a Medal of Valor for saving two other Police Officers during a gun battle with an armed suspect...yet I never felt like a hero, nor do I now. I am only thankful they survived and so did I.

      May 30, 2012 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. rox731

    That is a whole lot of Nutella. I love the stuff, even if it has partially hydrogenated peanut oil in it. I could never eat this much. I believe that the Hero statement is defiantly in the eye of the beholder. Hero's are people who go beyond the call of duty or do something out of the ordinary.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. revnowwhilewecan

    Enough is really enough. The propaganda is almost laughable if it weren't for the seriousness of it's implications. Please, report on the "west" arming the rebels while NATO speaks of wanting peace. The two faces of NATO and it's agendas have long been exposed. THE WORLD KNOWS OF YOUR LIES AND WE DON'T BELIEVE YOUR PROPAGANDA ANY MORE!!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    @revnow
    Indeed the situation in Syria is murky to say the least.
    there are outside forces with own agenda forcing issues and creating a climate where military intervention becomes acceptable.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. revnowwhilewecan

    @saywhat
    Somebody better get that memo to Russia and China because they are firm about not ousting Assad. I pray that NATO continues to be exposed to the "west" for what it's really trying to do. NATO! How can you speak of peace while arming rebels? Give it up! The world doesn't believe you!!

    May 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sirrahad

    Most people in the military never have the opportunity to be heroes. They drive trucks, fold laundry, prepare meals, fix heaters and air conditioners, manage assets, make copies, polish brightwork, make sure planes take off and land safely, build bridges, change oil, etc. They are not heroes, but they make and support heroes. Do not diminish their roles.

    May 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nolongerarepublican

    So picture an older Jewish man looking at the pictures and the articles, then he says " Vhat, So, dis is news now?".

    May 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Navy

    What do you call those of us that dont wish to talk about what we did overseas? You'll never know us as heroes because we dont speak of it. Those of use who have picked up children blown up by an IED as they played soccer. Picked up fellow military members body parts, wedding rings, and dog tags... Not many of us speak of such, its too hard to. To those who dont serve and have some snooty remark, keep it to your damn self, until you know the sacrafice first hand what it means to lose your life or your friend 1 foot away from you under fire and watch him die in your arms, you'll never know. If you dont want to call us heroes then dont say anything. Those that do, we thank you. I personally don't care... I just cant stand idiotic comments from someone who hasn't done time in any service, civilian or military.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Korean Vet

      I spent four years in the Navy during the Korean War ("police action"), mostly aboard aircraft carriers operating in Far Eastern waters, including off the east coast of North Korea when our planes were bombing and strafing the North Koreans and the Chinese. I certainly never considered myself a "hero" at the time, or any time since. I was just serving my country and was fortunate to have a bunk to sleep in and three squares a day rather than being in a foxhole and eating MSREs. I fully agree with Alan above!

      May 30, 2012 at 5:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. PEDO BEAR

    Actually the dog wasn't running with the bikers. It was running from them. The cyclists were hunting the dog for their next meal. It managed to ellude them for over 1700km.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |