A catch straight out of the deep blue sea
Canadian lobsterman Bobby Stoddard caught this rare blue lobster in early May. He's not sure what to do with it.
June 11th, 2012
09:46 PM ET

A catch straight out of the deep blue sea

A rare event is said to happen once in a blue moon. But a blue moon has nothing on a blue lobster.

Canadian lobster boat captain Bobby Stoddard said he and his crew were hauling in their lobster traps one day in early May when one of the men called out, "Hey, we got a pretty one in this trap!"

"I turned around and said, 'Holy smoke!' " said Stoddard, 51, of Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia.

In the trap with three other, ordinary greenish-brown lobsters was a remarkably bright blue one, the first lobster of that hue Stoddard had seen in his 33 years of fishing for a living.

"This is the only one that I've ever seen," he told CNN. "And my dad has been a lobsterman of about 55 years, and he caught one about 45 years ago, but hadn't seen one since." FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Food • Lobsters • Science
Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup
June 11th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup

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.

You've probably seen those highway adoption signs emblazoned with the names of various local organizations. A North Georgia chapter of the Ku Klux Klan wants to adopt a one-mile stretch of Georgia State Route 515. The group is applying to receive state recognition for cleaning up litter in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border. The Georgia DOT is considering the matter, as are many of our readers.

KKK chapter wants to adopt stretch of Georgia highway

Some readers said the KKK just might have something there.

Techsupp0rt: "Agreeing with the KKK kinda leaves me feeling a bit dirty. They've got a point. If other racist organizations can do it, they should be able to as well. Treat all racists equally. You do gotta pick up the trash though."

This person would beg to differ.

"Dear KKK,
Thank your for your inquiry, but no, you KKKan't have it.
The Southerners that are not proud of you."

Some of our readers got ideas.

agentxyz: "At least I'll know where to dump my trash"

Is the move legit? FULL POST

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Filed under: Georgia • Overheard on CNN.com • Race
June 11th, 2012
05:27 PM ET

Mash-up: Aliens, kittens, bears - oh my

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.

Search for life looks inward and outward

Space scientist Jill Tarter is retiring. Tarter, 68, has spent more than 30 years leading the search for intelligent life with the SETI Institute, a nonprofit devoted to the subject of extraterrestrial life. She talked about the challenge in her early career of being a woman in a male-dominated field and noted that many of her female colleagues had lost their fathers at an early age.

They were the center of our universe. They were what encouraged us, and we lost them. And in that very sad process, we learned a difficult lesson that most people, and in particular women, don't learn until later in life, and that's this whole carpe diem – seize the opportunity.

Speaking of space

Our story about an experimental space plane sparked an enthusiastic discussion among CNN.com users that took on a life of its own, spawning even more comments. Among them:

Portland tony
For transit to a relatively low orbiting space station, it sounds good. For deeper missions to planets, it probably would be too small and wings would just add to the craft's weight. Perhaps with a more advanced propulsion system, i.e. ion or similar drive, launched from a zero gravity base it might make landing back on Earth easier and allow the craft to be recycled.

Kitten in a tight space

Sometimes you have a good day, and sometimes you fall in a hole and get your head stuck in a soda can.


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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
June 11th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

Defense: Jerry Sandusky might take the stand at trial

Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child rape, may take the stand at his trial, his defense attorney suggested Monday in his opening statements.

Joe Amendola told jurors that Sandusky routinely "got showers with kids" after working out and that he would say so later.

Sandusky, 68, has been under house arrest since being charged with sexually abusing 10 boys over a period of at least 15 years. Prosecutors allege that he met some of his accusers through Second Mile, a charity he created for underprivileged children. He has pleaded not guilty.

Gordon Brown lashes out at Rupert Murdoch, son and tabloid
June 11th, 2012
01:44 PM ET

Gordon Brown lashes out at Rupert Murdoch, son and tabloid

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lashed out Monday at press baron Rupert Murdoch, his son and his British newspapers, raising the stakes in a highly charged and very public battle between the two men.

The conflict could affect whether Murdoch keeps control of the British part of his media empire.

During his testimony before the Leveson Inquiry, the former British leader flatly denied the most sensational claim that Murdoch made when he testified at the media ethics inquiry this year: that Brown had "declared war" on Murdoch's company when a top-selling Murdoch newspaper endorsed the Conservative party rather than Brown's Labour party in 2009.

"This conversation never took place. I am shocked and surprised" that Murdoch said it had when he was grilled at the inquiry in April, Brown said Monday. "There was no such conversation."

Brown repeatedly insisted that there was "no evidence" of the phone call, basing his assertion on phone records from his office when he was prime minister.

The media tycoon said in April that Brown had phoned him and threatened him when the Sun newspaper pulled its support for Labour and switched to the Conservatives.

"He said, 'Well, your company has made - declared war on my government, and we have no alternative but to declare war on your company.' And I said, 'I'm sorry about that Gordon, thank you for calling.' End of subject," the News Corp. chairman testified.

After Brown essentially accused Murdoch of lying under oath, News Corp. said its chairman stood by his testimony.

June 11th, 2012
11:23 AM ET

As northern Colorado blaze grows, a look at the dangers of wildfires

A sprawling wildfire in northern Colorado nearly doubled in size again Monday, spewing plumes of smoke and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

The fire grew to 36,930 acres, authorities said Monday. It had been estimated at 20,000 acres Sunday night.

The Red Cross, Humane Society and other aid groups mobilized to help evacuees while at least 400 firefighters, aided by air tankers and helicopters from as far away as Canada battled the fire about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado.

As wildfire season flares up, here's a look at how some of these dangerous events start and how much damage they've caused in the past:

About Wildfires:

    • Wildfires are sometimes called "wildland fires."


    • Wildfires can originate from a dropped match, cigarette embers, campfires, exhaust sparks from a train, or arson.


    • Many wildland fires are ignited by lightning.


    • There are no official rules, but the first responders usually name a fire after a meadow, creek, city, or type of plant they see.


    • Wind, temperature, and humidity all influence wildfires. Strong winds push flames toward new fuel sources. Wind can pick up and transfer burning embers and sparks, starting "spot fires."


    • During the day, sunlight heats the ground and warm air rises, allowing hot air currents to travel up sloped landscapes. At night, the ground cools and air currents travel down the slopes.


    • Humidity dampens fuel, slowing the spread of flames. Humidity is greater at night, so fires usually burn less intensely then.


    • Large fires can create their own winds and weather, increasing their flow of oxygen.


    • A really large fire can generate hurricane-force winds, up to 120 mph. The high temperatures preheat fuels in the fire's path, preparing them to burn more readily.


A look at the number of past fires, damage caused

Year                                       Number of fires                  Acres burned          

2000                                       92,250                                        7,393,493

2001                                       84,079                                        3,570,911

2002                                       73,457                                        7,184,712

2003                                       63,629                                        3,960,842

2004                                       65,461                                        8,097,880*

2005                                       66,753                                        8,689,389

2006                                       96,385                                        9,873,745

2007                                      85,705                                        9,328,045

2008                                      78,979                                        5,292,468

2009                                      78,792                                        5,921,786

2010                                      71,971                                        3,422,724

* 2004 fires and acres do not include state lands for North Carolina

Source: The National Interagency Fire Center

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Filed under: Colorado • Fire
June 11th, 2012
10:53 AM ET

Jerry Sandusky trial: All you need to know about allegations, how case unfolded

The trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach charged with child rape, is now under way.

Sandusky, 68, has been under house arrest since being charged with sexually abusing 10 boys for at least 15 years. Prosecutors allege that he met some of his accusers through Second Mile, a charity he created for underprivileged children. In interviews after his arrest, Sandusky acknowledged showering and "horsing around" with boys but denied being sexually attracted to them. Sandusky faces 52 criminal counts related to child sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A jury of five men and seven women, along with four alternates, was selected last week. Half of the 16 jurors and alternates have ties to Penn State, including one retired professor and one current professor, three graduates, two employees and one current student, showing the prominence of the university in the local community.

Many Sandusky jurors have Penn State ties 

Here's a look at some the key players, pertinent facts about the case and how it all unraveled:

Who is Jerry Sandusky?

Birth date:  January 26, 1944

Birth place: Washington, Pennsylvania

Birth name:    Gerald Arthur Sandusky

Marriage: Dorothy "Dottie" (Gross) Sandusky (1966 – present)

Children:  (all adopted) E.J. (male), Kara, Jon, Jeff, Ray, Matt, Sandusky also fostered several children.

HLN: A closer look at Jerry Sandusky's family

Occupation:   Retired assistant football coach at Penn State for 32 years, including 23 years as defensive coordinator.

The Second Mile

Founded in 1977 in State College, Pennsylvania, by Jerry Sandusky.

Initially began as a group foster home for troubled boys but grew into a non-profit organization that "helps young people to achieve their potential as individuals and community members." Annually provides services to more than 100,000 children from all counties in Pennsylvania.

A grand jury report says Sandusky molested young boys after developing close relationships with them through The Second Mile. David Woodle, acting CEO of the organization, said the group was "sorrowful and horrified" and is concerned most about the alleged victims and their families.

Major players

Tim Curley – Former Penn State athletic director; charged with one count of felony perjury and one count of failure to report abuse allegations.

Mike McQueary – Penn State receivers coach who allegedly witnessed the rape of a young boy by Jerry Sandusky in a Penn State locker room in 2002; placed on administrative leave.

Jerry Sandusky – Founder of The Second Mile and retired Penn State assistant football coach; accused of sexually abusing young boys he met through the non-profit organization over a period of at least 15 years.

Gary Schultz – Former vice president for finance and business at Penn State; charged with one count of felony perjury and one count of failure to report abuse allegations.

Graham Spanier – Former president of Penn State.

The documents

Read the criminal complaint against Sandusky (PDF)

Read the grand jury findings in the case (PDF) [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT]

Read the  second grand jury presentment against Sandusky (PDF)

Read the civil complaint lawsuit filed against Sandusky (PDF)

Read the transcript of hearing in case against Curley, Schultz (PDF) [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT]

Timeline of specific stories of abuse, accusations

1994 – 1997 – Sandusky allegedly engages in inappropriate conduct with three different boys he met separately through The Second Mile program. One boy was 7 or 8, another was 10, and the third was 12 or 13 at the time.

1998 – Penn State police and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare investigate an incident in which the mother of an 11-year-old boy reports that Sandusky had showered with her son.

June 1, 1998  – Sandusky is interviewed and admits showering naked with the boy, saying it was wrong and promising not to do it again. The district attorney advises investigators that no charges will be filed and the university police chief instructs that the case be closed.

2000 – Sandusky allegedly showers with a young boy and tries to touch his genitals during overnight stays at the coach's home, according to the now 24-year-old man's testimony.

2000 – James Calhoun, a janitor at Penn State, tells his supervisor and another janitor that he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the Lasch Building showers. No one reports the incident to university officials or law enforcement.

March 2, 2002 – Graduate assistant Mike McQueary tells Coach Joe Paterno that on March 1, 2002, he witnessed the rape of a 10-year-old boy by Jerry Sandusky in the LaschBuilding showers at Penn State.


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Filed under: Crime • Justice
June 11th, 2012
10:07 AM ET

Uncontrolled Colorado wildfire nearly doubles overnight

A sprawling wildfire in northern Colorado nearly doubled in size again Monday, spewing plumes of smoke and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

The fire grew to 36,930 acres, authorities said Monday. It had been estimated at 20,000 acres Sunday night.

The Red Cross, Humane Society and other aid groups mobilized to help evacuees while at least 400 firefighters, aided by air tankers and helicopters from as far away as Canada battled the fire about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colorado.

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Filed under: Colorado • U.S.
June 11th, 2012
10:05 AM ET

Annan 'gravely concerned' about rising violence in Syria, Homs shelling

U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan is "gravely concerned" about reports that fighting between Syrian government and opposition forces has escalated, his spokesman said Monday.

"He is particularly worried about the recent shelling in Homs as well as reports of the use of mortars, helicopters and tanks in the town of Al-Haffa, Lattakia. There are indications that a large number of civilians are trapped in these towns," spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.

The statement called for the protection of civilians and demanded that U.N. observers be immediately allowed to enter Al-Haffa.

An online video purporting to show live images of Homs on Monday showed more than a dozen large explosions in one hour.

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Filed under: Middle East • Syria
June 11th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Spokesperson: Commerce secretary involved in accidents had seizure

[Updated at 9:36 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who was involved in traffic accidents this weekend,  had a seizure, according to the Director of Public Affairs for the Commerce Department.

"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend.  He suffered a seizure," according to spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman. " He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation.  He was released and has returned to Washington. The investigation is ongoing.  Secretary Bryson has no public events scheduled for today."

The Secretary was on personal time with no security detail, according to a Commerce official.  Bryson was driving his own vehicle, the official said.

The White House was notified about the incident on Sunday night, according to an Obama administration official.

[Posted at 9:00 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is under investigation for possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two car accidents within minutes of one another in southern California, a police spokesman told CNN early Monday.

Bryson was issued a citation at an area hospital after sustaining minor injuries in the accidents, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department. Authorities must still decide whether to formally file any charges.

"The investigation is in its preliminary stages. At this point in time, there is no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the collisions," police said in a statement Sunday.

A preliminary alcohol screening of Bryson was negative, Duran said. Results from a blood alcohol test were pending, he said.

Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said Bryson was involved in an accident, but was uninjured. He has been released from the hospital, Friedman said in a statement.

The accidents occurred Saturday evening, officials said.

Bryson, who was driving a Lexus, rear-ended a Buick occupied by three men that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, the police statement said Sunday.

"Bryson spoke with the males, then left the scene, hitting the same car again as he left," the statement said.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
June 11th, 2012
08:14 AM ET

Rafael Nadal wins record seventh French Open title on Djokovic double-fault

Rafael Nadal won the French Open on Monday after Novak Djokovic double-faulted on match point one day after their match was halted by rain, according to the tournament's website.

Nadal's win in Paris marks his record-breaking seventh French Open title on the clay court. The final score was 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

[tweet https://twitter.com/RafaelNadal/status/212155606407192576%5D

Rain twice interrupted the final at Roland Garros stadium before play was suspended with the Spaniard, Nadal, leading 6-4 6-3 2-6 1-2.

However the match is delicately poised given Djokovic won eight games in a row before the halt to give himself a fighting chance of becoming the first man since 1969 to hold all four majors at the same time, and only the third ever.

That run of winning games also included a break of serve in the fourth set, which will give the world No. 1 hope that he is in the ascendancy.

Aiming for a record seventh crown at Roland Garros, second-ranked Nadal made a blistering start as he broke Djokovic twice in the opening three games.

The two best players in the world traded strokes of such power at times it was like watching a couple of heavyweight boxers, and more ferocity from Nadal allowed the Mallorcan to break Djokovic for a third time.

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Filed under: Sports • Tennis
Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in 'full coma,' official says
Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sits inside a cage in a courtroom during his verdict hearing in Cairo on June 2, 2012.
June 11th, 2012
07:48 AM ET

Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in 'full coma,' official says

Former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was in a coma Monday, a spokesman for Egypt's Interior Ministry said.

"Mubarak entered today into full coma. His two sons Gamal and Alaa submitted a request to the prison authority to move beside him and it has been accepted. His health has been deteriorating since the verdict, with high blood pressure, problems breathing, and irregular heart beat," Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said.

Mubarak's lawyer has submitted a request that he be moved from prison to a private hospital, Mahmoud said.

Mubarak, 84, is in a Cairo prison hospital after being sentenced to life in prison for the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators last year. Mubarak was already suffering from health problems and attended court on a gurney.

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Filed under: Egypt
June 11th, 2012
07:43 AM ET

Monday's live events

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

Today's programming highlights...

11:30 am ET - Colorado wildfire briefing - Fire officials in Colorado are expected to provide an update on efforts to contain a massive wildfire that has damaged more than 20,000 acres.

1:15 pm ET - White House briefing - Commerce Secretary John Bryson's legal woes and the leaks controversy will likely dominate Press Secretary Jay Carney's agenda with the White House press corps.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
June 11th, 2012
04:38 AM ET

Water-logged Gulf coast still under threat

Coastal Alabama and a large section of the Florida panhandle remained under a flash flood watch early Monday, after a weekend in which some areas received more than 20 inches of rain.

Officials in Escambia County, Florida, where Pensacola is located, expect damages to total more than $20 million.

Flood waters up to 8 feet deep inundated the Forest Creek Apartments in the city.

"I walked out chin-deep in water," Lillian Murphy told CNN affiliate WEAR TV. The floodwater submerged her car and almost reached the roof of her apartment. "I don't know who to call or who to contact."

The National Weather Service noted a wide range of rainfall totals around the region as of 8 a.m. Sunday, the latest available data as of early Monday.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather
Gordon Brown to testify at phone-hacking inquiry
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah Brown attend The Leveson Inquiry on June 11, 2012 in London.
June 11th, 2012
04:34 AM ET

Gordon Brown to testify at phone-hacking inquiry

A former British prime minister who has been a harsh critic of media baron Rupert Murdoch is due to testify Monday at an enquiry spawned by phone-hacking at Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.

Gordon Brown is due to take the stand at the Leveson Inquiry, a wide-ranging probe set up by the British government to examine media ethics.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has already testified.


Filed under: World
June 11th, 2012
04:32 AM ET

Political moves fail to quell bloodshed in Syria

Despite fresh political maneuvering on both sides of the Syrian crisis, relentless fighting and bloodshed raged on Monday as a peaceful resolution appeared to be a mere fantasy.

In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, at least two people were killed and dozens injured after regime forces shelled of the cities of Deir Ezzor, Mohsin, Shaheel and Ashara, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said Monday.

Across the country, government forces launched renewed shelling on the anti-regime hotbed of Homs, the LCC said.

Over the weekend, the opposition Syrian National Council elected minority Kurdish activist Abdul Basit Sieda to unite dissidents aimed at ousted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.


Filed under: World
June 11th, 2012
03:46 AM ET

Hundreds of homes in path of runaway Colorado wildfire, sheriff says

Hundreds of families took refuge early Monday at a northern Colorado middle school-turned-shelter, waiting for word on whether a fast-moving wildfire that forced thousands to flee had destroyed their homes.

At least 250 firefighters, along with air tankers and helicopters, worked overnight to try to slow down a wildfire that has destroyed more than 20,000 acres, though authorities conceded there was little hope in stopping the fire that is being fanned by strong winds and dry brush.

Crews have had some success safeguarding some homes and businesses, though Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said "hundreds of homes" need protecting, ceding some may not be able to be saved.

At least 18 structures, a mix of homes and outbuildings, have been destroyed or damaged since the fire began Saturday morning, according to county emergency management officials and InciWeb, the U.S. multi-agency Incident Fire Response website.


Filed under: U.S.
June 11th, 2012
03:21 AM ET

U.N. withdrawing staff from scene of unrest in western Myanmar

The United Nations said Monday that it has begun pulling staff out of a western state of Myanmar where the government has declared a state of emergency following clashes between Muslims and Buddhists.

The inter-ethnic violence in the state of Rakhine has killed at least 17 people in just over a week, according to official media.

President Thein Sein's office issued an order imposing a state of emergency in Rakhine on Sunday, saying "riots and disturbances" had spread, according to the New Light of Myanmar, a government-run newspaper.

The United Nations is temporarily relocating its staff from the area on a voluntary basis for safety reasons, said Ashok Nigam, the organization's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city.


Filed under: World
June 11th, 2012
02:10 AM ET

'Once,' 'Porgy and Bess,' 'Death of a Salesman' big winners at Tony awards

High-profile Hollywood actors and Broadway veterans alike on stage and in the crowd celebrated theater, and the best performances of the year, at the 66th annual Tony Awards Sunday night.

For the third time, actor Neil Patrick Harris hosted the salute to Broadway's finest. Harris, who was a child when he emerged as the title character in the television series "Doogie Howser, M.D.," now stars on the long-running CBS sit-com "How I Met Your Mother."

The first award presented during the on-air version of the show went to Judith Light, a veteran of TV shows such as "Who's the Boss," "One Life to Live" and "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." She won for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play, just as she did last year for "Lombardi," thanks to her performance in "Other Desert Cities."

Mike Nichols - who has also won Emmy, Grammy and Oscar awards, the latter as best director for "The Graduate" - earned his record sixth Tony for best direction of a play for "Death of a Salesmen." (Harold Prince holds the distinction of having the most wins across all categories with 21, according to the Tony Awards' official website.)


Filed under: U.S.