July 12th, 2012
05:13 PM ET

Mash-up: Penn State; reverse birthday gift

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.

Report damns Penn State top brass

Former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh issued the findings of the internal investigation Penn State had him conduct into the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. Freeh singled out four former university officials - President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, head football coach Joe Paterno, and Athletic Director Tim Curley - for failing to act on suspicions and reports that former assistant coach Sandusky was sexually abusing boys in his care. In stinging remarks, Freeh said the officials put the reputation of the school's storied football program above protecting children:

Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State. The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest.

Louis Freeh delivers his report Thursday at Penn State.

Findings spur strong reactions from readers

The Freeh report generated thousands of comments from CNN.com users. Here is just a small sampling:


I will always love Penn State and Penn State football; however, I hate what the top officials, including Joe Paterno, did to protect their own interests with no regard to protecting children. I do not feel the entire school, students, or student athletes should be held accountable for the actions of these men's ignorance. PSU needs to remove all remembrances of the Joe Paterno era and everything he represented. The statue, the uniforms, the helmet, the shoes all should go. Start fresh, a new era, Then they should donate every damn cent the football program makes to a victim's abuse fund.


As a proud Penn Stater I must say that the report has completely changed my view of Joe Paterno. Based on the Freeh report, it is clear that the Penn State football program and Joe Paterno were the reasons that the authorities were not notified of the unspeakable crimes committed against those young boys. While this doesn't mean that Spanier and the others should not be held accountable for their inaction, it certainly means that Penn State needs to clean house from the top down. I say take the Paterno statue down. It will never be anything more than a reminder of the terrible dereliction of his moral responsibility to protect those boys.

DC Observer

I think I will believe and go with Joe Paterno's "Death Bed" letter - I am not going to throw any mud on Paterno unless a few people step up and show hardcore evidence that he did something wrong.


Fire everyone involved and prosecute them as accomplices. Then, shut down the Penn State football program so that the "football above all else" mentality can be washed away. Nothing less is acceptable.

'You go, girl!' or too much too soon?

It's my birthday; here's a gift

Doug Eaton of Oklahoma City wanted to do something different for his 65th birthday. That he did, CNN affiliate KFOR reports. Eaton spent 65 minutes Wednesday handing out $5 bills to passers-by at an intersection. Some people came by a few times, thinking it might be a gag. It wasn't. Happy birthday, Mr. Eaton!

Joy in the moment

CNN iReporter Ben Tesiorna  was standing near the stage when he captured this photo of students from Banate National High School erupting into celebration after being named the champions of this year's street-dancing competition in Malungon, Philippines. "It was a fun day," he said. "There are so many beautiful festivals in our country. It's always fun to be in the Philippines."

On the horizon: PSU board meets; Clinton meets Myanmar leader

The Penn State board of trustees is scheduled to hold a public meeting Friday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to meet Friday with Thein Sein, the president of Myanmar who has overseen a series of political reforms in the Southeast Asian country over the past year.

And it's Friday the 13th. Watch out for unstoppable, hockey-mask-wearing slashers.

Saturday is Bastille Day in France. Watch out for mimes.

July 13 anniversaries

1787 - The Continental Congress adopts the Northwest Ordinance for the territory north of the Ohio River, which established rules for statehood, guaranteed certain civil rights and prohibited slavery in those states.

1863 - Draft riots, protesting conscription for the Civil War, begin in New York City. More than 1,000 people would be killed or wouned over the next few days.

1977 - A major blackout occurs in much of the East Coast, resulting in widespread looting and rioting in New York City.

1985 - Live Aid, a 16-hour international music concert, raises millions for African famine relief.

July 13 birthdays


  • Actor Patrick Stewart, 72
  • Actor Harrison Ford, 70
  • Comedian/actor Cheech Marin, 66
  • Screenwriter Cameron Crowe, 55
  • Baseball player Shin-soo Choo, 30
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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Hope

    When you think about how long this went on and the way Sandusty perpetrated these acts, so openly, like he wasn't concerned about getting caught; it's hard to believe that no one knew what was going on and simply ignored it. I'm happy with Freeh's report and agree that Penn State and the non-profit organization through which he exploited these boys (and, probably, others) are going to pay a hefty settlement to get this behind them... as they should.


    July 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    "Saturday is Bastille Day in France. Watch out for mimes."

    That made me laugh.
    Wee done!

    July 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Tomorrow is Friday. Maybe we should call it Fryday.
    I think tomorrow is the day they release Jason Vorhees from a Texas prison.

    July 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    My friends & I celebrate our Un-Birthdays, IOW, we celebrate Every Day of our Lives! No need for presents or parties, just a joyful, positive, celebratory spirit is needed!! Happy Un-B-Day, Everybody & Happy B-Day, too!!

    July 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      How cool is that, fernace?
      I am a pretty hapy camper; I surround myself with joyful people as well.
      I think that makes unhappy people uncomfortable, but oh, well!
      I'm content.

      July 13, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    Where did my post go? Who's deleting it?

    July 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. carbide scribe

    Bastille day I remember from 1987. A busload of us squids headed up to Grasse France for a town celebration.
    The townsfolk put out a huge spread including bottles and bottles of wine. They even had fireworks.
    People came up and thanked us for liberating them in wwII. Made us proud of the sailors and soldiers who had gone before.

    July 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Carbide scribe:
      First of all, thank you for your service to our country.
      Secondly, what a wonder thing to have experienced!
      How genuinely sweet of the French to offer such a gesture!
      What a wonderful memory for you to hold dear!

      July 13, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. francois2012

    Take the pedo Paterno statue down and destroy it. Strike his name off of everything.

    July 13, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |