July 17th, 2012
11:13 PM ET

Rockets sign Lin as Knicks decline to match

[Updated at 2:10 a.m. ET Wednesday] Seven months after dropping him from their team, the Houston Rockets signed Jeremy Lin when the New York Knicks failed to match Houston's three-year, $25-million offer for the point guard.

"We are thrilled to have Jeremy back as part of the Rockets family," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement Tuesday night. "In his limited opportunity last season, Jeremy showed that he has all the skills to be a great player in this league for many years to come."

The Harvard-educated basketball phenom captured worldwide attention by leading the Knicks to a string of victories last year.

Jonathan Supranowitz, the Knicks' vice president of public relations, announced Tuesday night that the Knicks would not match Houston's offer.

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Filed under: Basketball • NBA • New York • Sports • Texas
Overheard on CNN.com: Stephen Covey inspired 'Highly Effective' lives
Author Stephen Covey, who wrote "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," died Monday at age 79.
July 17th, 2012
08:14 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Stephen Covey inspired 'Highly Effective' lives

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.

Stephen R. Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," died Monday at the age of 79 from the effects of a bicycle accident in April. He had sold more than 20 million copies of the book, and wrote several spinoffs. Readers thanked Covey and evaluated his ideas. Some told us Covey's words changed their lives.

'7 Habits' author Stephen Covey dead at 79

This reader gave an overview of the seven habits outlined by Covey.

"The seven habits are not all that commonly practiced considering how logical they are:

be proactive
begin with the end in mind
put firsts things first
seek first to understand THEN to be understood
think win/win
sharpen the saw

Most humans can benefit from these ..."

There is an eighth habit from another book, which involves finding one's own "voice" and then inspiring others.

SirMarc Wang: "It's hard to write a fitting tribute to a man who inspired & will continue to inspire million's through leadership, & the practice of 'the 7 + the 8th habits,' both in word & deed. I echo many of the sentiments already expressed. You were a father to many. Heartfelt condolences to your family & friends. We celebrate, & honor your life, & legacy. You will be missed. Kind regards, Marcus (Seeking what you sought : )"

CaliMafiaToo: "Well, he certainly got the 8th habit down well."

Life just might be better when you're effective. FULL POST

Victim of flesh-eating bacteria goes home
Lana Kuykendall was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis 68 days ago.
July 17th, 2012
06:33 PM ET

Victim of flesh-eating bacteria goes home

Lana Kuykendall, the South Carolina woman infected with flesh-eating bacteria shortly after giving birth to twins more than two months ago, was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Kuykendall was released from Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, 68 days after being diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, according to the website faithhopelana.com.

The day after she got her healthy twin babies home from the hospital, she noticed what looked like a bruise on her leg. Kuykendall, a nurse and paramedic, inspected it closely and thought it might be a blood clot. She had her husband, a firefighter and EMT, take her to the hospital, where doctors recognized what was happening and rushed her into surgery.

She has undergone more than 20 surgical procedures, including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery. But she did not require any amputations, as recently occurred in the case of 24-year-old Aimee Copeland of Georgia, who lost her hands, a leg and a foot as a result of the infection.

The CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Health • South Carolina
July 17th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

NCAA not ruling out tough sanctions on Penn State football

It's still not clear what the future holds for Nittany Lions football after a child sex abuse scandal implicated top Penn State officials and placed a former assistant coach behind bars.
That was the message from National Collegiate Athletic Association President Mark Emmert, who spoke with PBS in his first public comment on the matter during an interview broadcast Monday. 
Emmert said he doesn't want to "take anything off the table" regarding NCAA-imposed penalties, adding that he'd "never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university."
"What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we'll have to decide," he said.

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Filed under: College football • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Pennsylvania
July 17th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Mash-up: Jealousy in time of drought

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.

Income dries up with crop

Drought conditions in the nation's midsection are going from bad to worse. Derek Mullin, a farmer from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, told CNN's Chris Welch that in a good year he can get 200 bushels of corn per acre, but this year he expects that number reduced by 25%.

This is our personal business. It's right at our back door. As soon as we walk out of our house we see our investment, and when it goes downhill, it does take a toll on you. One of the hardest parts about this is you can do everything just right - planting dates, work hard at putting in a good crop, have a good stand established - and when mother nature works against you, then it all seems like it was for nothing.

Cows chill out, '70s-style

I brake for birds

A motorcyclist from Glide, Oregon, was injured in a crash that sheriff's deputies say may have been caused by a vulture hitting the man while he was riding, CNN affiliate KPIC reports. Deputies say Kyle Rovetto, 29, was riding down a road in Roseburg, Oregon, when a vulture flew up out of a ditch and may have struck Rovetto's helmet, causing him to crash. Rovetto was treated at a hospital for road rash and a broken collarbone, the station reported.

 iReporter captures the faces of New York

CNN iReporter Johnny Runciman of Columbus, Ohio, wanted to share his views of the people of New York City he saw while vacationing there. The result is a captivating gallery of seemingly timeless images. "New York represents a microworld of the Earth," Runciman says. "It's a black-and-white city, powerful and romantic. You couldn't do justice to New York in color."

People are caught in the act of dancing on a New York City street.

Dad wants his princess all to himself

A story by CNN's Shanon Cook about how hard it is for dads when their daughters start dating touched off a range of emotional responses from CNN.com readers. This one in particular caught our eye:


My precious daughter is 2.5 years old and a total daddy's girl.  All I hope for is her health,  happiness and well being.  How I may feel when she discovers romantic love is rather inconsequential I think, as long as she is prepared for it. By "prepared" I mean enclosed in body armor with a lock to which only I have the combination, equipped with helmet cam, dual stun guns and pepper spray operating by remote control.  Just let some pimply dude try to touch her.  I'll learn him ...

On the horizon: U.N. vote on Syria; Beige Book release

The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a resolution threatening Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with punitive sanctions over violence being carried out against dissidents in his country. The mandate for the U.N.'s Syrian observer mission expires Friday.

The Federal Reserve is due to release the Beige Book, which summarizes current U.S. economic conditions by Federal Reserve districts, at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

July 18 anniversaries

1936 - Spanish Army officers led by Gen. Francisco Franco revolt, starting the Spanish Civil War.

1976 - 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earns the first perfect score of 10 in modern Olympic history at the Summer Games in Montreal.

1984 - Gunman James Huberty kills 21 people at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, before being killed by a police sniper.

July 18 birthdays

  • Anti-apartheid activist and former South African President Nelson Mandela, 94
  • Former astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn, 91
  • Former Olympic figure skater and broadcaster Dick Button, 83
  • Former baseball player and manager Joe Torre, 72
  • Publisher/politician Malcolm "Steve" Forbes Jr., 65
  • Actor Vin Diesel, 45
  • Basketball player Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, 41
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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Suspect in custody after shooting at Alabama bar, police say
Surveillance video from outside the bar shows a man carrying a gun as he walks through a parking lot.
July 17th, 2012
01:05 PM ET

Suspect in custody after shooting at Alabama bar, police say

[Updated at 1:04 p.m. ET] A suspect is in custody in connection with a shooting at a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, bar early Tuesday, Tuscaloosa police said on Twitter.

[Posted at 12:00 a.m. ET] Multiple people were shot early Tuesday at a Tuscaloosa, Alabama, bar, and a suspect remains at large, Police Chief Steve Anderson said at a news conference.

The suspect is a stocky white male, who is between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, the chief said. It appeared from surveillance video that he walked up to the bar, stood outside for a few minutes looking for someone, then began shooting a military-style assault rifle, Anderson said.

Tuscaloosa police Sgt. Brent Blankley told CNN 17 people were admitted to DCH hospital with injuries related to the shooting. Anderson could not confirm how many of those admitted were shot and how many were injured by shrapnel or flying objects. Of those hurt, he said, one was "extremely critical," and three others were in critical condition.

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Filed under: Alabama • Crime
July 17th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

How the drought could hit your wallet

With more than half the country in some state of drought, farmers are feeling the impact on their livelihood and consumers could expect to feel a hit in their wallet when they go to the supermarket soon, experts say.

The U.S. is facing the largest drought since the 1950s, the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday, saying that about 55% of the country was in at least moderate short-term drought in June for the first time since December 1956, when 58% of the country was in a moderate to extreme drought.

The hot, dry weather in June, which ranked as the third-driest month nationally in at least 118 years, according to the center, made the problem worse.

That has left farmers on the edge of their seat worrying about how much damage their harvests will sustain and how much of their livelihood they may stand to lose this year.

Throughout the Midwest, farmers are seeing signs of damaged crops. In the 18 states that produce most of our corn, only 31% of the crops were rated good or excellent this week, that’s down from 40% last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This same time last year, 66% of corn crops were rated good or excellent. Soybean crops, which can be used in creating diesel fuel, are seeing similar troubles; 34% of the U.S. crop was rated good or excellent, down from 40% last week. This time last year, 64% were in that condition.

Derek Mullin, a farmer from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, told CNN’s Chris Welch that in a good year he can get 200 bushels of corn per acre, but this year he expects that number reduced by 25%.

That lost money will hurt him and his family and he said there is nothing he can do about it.

Is the drought hitting your area? Let us know how you're coping on CNN iReport.

"This is our personal business. It's right at our back door. As soon as we walk out of our house we see our investment and when it goes downhill it does take a toll on you,” he told CNN.  “One of the hardest parts about this is you can do everything just right - planting dates, work hard at putting in a good crop, have a good stand established - and when mother nature works against you, then it all seems like it was for nothing."

Mullin's expected low yield of corn, and similar situations for other farmers, is specifically why this drought is getting a lot of attention, Richard Volpe, an economist with the USDA's Economic Research Service told CNN.

"Corn is a major input for retail food," he said. "Corn is used to make feed for all the animals in our food supply chain. As this drought reduces the harvest of corn, that would drive up the price of feed for animals and then in turn meat products."


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Filed under: Agriculture • Heat • Weather
Airborne banner: Take down Paterno statue
A plane carries a banner reading "Take the Statue Down or We Will" above the Penn State campus on Tuesday.
July 17th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Airborne banner: Take down Paterno statue

A small plane flew around the Penn State campus on Tuesday carrying a banner that read, "Take the Statue Down or We Will," a reference to the statue of former head football coach Joe Paterno that sits outside Beaver Stadium.

The statue is among many vestiges left from Paterno's 46 years as head coach of the Nittany Lions, a run that ended in disgrace in November when he was fired in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

"I'm a Penn State employee that thinks we have failed miserably, and I'm sad for the damage that has been done, but this is just upsetting," Diane Farley, a PSU alumnus who spotted the plane on Tuesday told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg. "It's just stirring up everything."

Many people are calling for the Paterno statue to be torn down.

In an ESPN poll, more than 60% of respondents said the statue should be removed immediately or sometime before the 2012 football season commences.

A Penn State student group eliminated another Paterno vestige on Monday, renaming the encampment where students line up overnight to get the best seats for football games, from Paternoville to Nittanyville.

The action comes after a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh last week that found that several school officials had "empowered" Sandusky to continue sexually abusing minors. Paterno could have stopped the attacks had he done more, Freeh concluded.

Sandusky was convicted last month of sexually abusing children over 15 years, with much of the abuse occurring on the Penn State campus. He is awaiting sentencing.

Paterno died of lung cancer in January at the age of 85, two months after he was fired because of the Sandusky scandal.

In his 46 years as head coach at Penn State, Paterno achieved mythic status. But with the release of the Freeh report, many no longer want the symbols of that status, including the name of the encampment, to have such prominence in the university community.

"Now, it's a new era of Nittany Lion football," Troy Weller, a Penn State senior and president of the newly retitled Nittanyville Coordination Committee, said in a statement Monday. "And by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it."


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Filed under: College football • Crime • Football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Justice • Penn State • Pennsylvania • Sports
Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches
Delta Air Lines says needles were found in sandwiches on four flights out of Amsterdam.
July 17th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches

Dutch authorities have joined the FBI in conducting criminal investigations into the discovery of needles in six sandwiches aboard four Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States, a military police spokesman in the Netherlands said Tuesday.

One person was injured when he bit into a sandwich containing a needle, Delta and Dutch officials said.

That passenger, James Tonjes, said he thought the object was a toothpick at first.

"When I pulled it out, then I found out it was a needle," he said Tuesday.

Tonjes said he has been placed on medication to prevent HIV.

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Filed under: Air travel • Minnesota • The Netherlands • U.S.
July 17th, 2012
05:46 AM ET

Americans kidnapped in Egypt reunited with family, church group in Israel

Two Americans reunited with their families Tuesday in northern Israel, a day after kidnappers freed them unharmed following three days of captivity in Egypt.

Kidnappers in Egypt released the two Americans and their tour guide Monday after holding them hostage since Friday.

Lisa Alphonse and Michel Louis have joined relatives and other members of their church group in Tiberias, Louis said.

Louis is the pastor of a Pentecostal church in Boston while Alphonse is a parishioner at another American church.

Kidnappers seized the three Friday in Egypt's Sinai region after gunmen boarded their tour bus, which was on its way to Israel, family members said.


Filed under: World
July 17th, 2012
05:23 AM ET

Clashes intensify in the Syrian captial, opposition activists say

For the third straight day, fierce clashes erupted in the Syrian capital Tuesday as fighters braced for a major showdown in the key city, opposition activists said.

"The battle for Damascus is coming," said Abdulhameed Zakaria, a Syrian army colonel who defected and joined the rebel Free Syrian Army.

Several areas of Damascus came under intense fighting early Tuesday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. Mortar shells rained on the Tadamon neighborhood as a powerful explosions rocked Tadamon and other areas, the LCC said.

But the violence wasn't limited to the Syrian regime's seat of power.

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Filed under: World
Olympics security fiasco boss faces grilling
About 3,500 military personnel have been called upon to help with Olympic security.
July 17th, 2012
04:31 AM ET

Olympics security fiasco boss faces grilling

British lawmakers are set to grill the head of the security company that announced last week it could not provide enough staff for the Olympic Games, forcing the government to call in 3,500 military personnel to help.

Nick Buckles, the chief executive of G4S security, faces the House of Commons Home Affairs committee, which is probing Olympic security.

The games open in 10 days.

G4S has a 284-million-pound ($444 million) government contract to provide 13,700 security guards for the Olympic Games, but only 4,000 guards are trained and ready, the committee says.

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Filed under: Sports • World
Detroit's Ambassador Bridge reopens after threat
The Coast Guard closed the Ambassador Bridge between Michigan and Ontario late Monday in response to a threat.
July 17th, 2012
04:15 AM ET

Detroit's Ambassador Bridge reopens after threat

A major bridge between Detroit, and Windsor, Ontario, reopened early Tuesday after a bomb threat shut it down for more than five hours, police said.

Authorities closed the Ambassador Bridge after a bomb threat was received around 7:15 p.m., according to Sgt. Eren Stephens, a Detroit police spokeswoman.

It finally opened at 1 a.m. after bomb-sniffing dogs "did not detect or find a bomb or suspicious device."

The U.S. Coast Guard stopped all maritime traffic below the bridge during the incident.


Filed under: Crime • U.S. • World
Ohio police: Teen ran drug ring that grossed $20,000 a month
July 17th, 2012
04:13 AM ET

Ohio police: Teen ran drug ring that grossed $20,000 a month

A 17-year-old student is allegedly at the center of a marijuana drug ring in Ohio that grossed $20,000 per month.

An undercover investigation by a drug task force in Warren County unraveled a complex web of growers and sellers near Cincinnati.

The investigation culminated in the arrest of the Mason High School teen and seven adults between ages 20 and 58.

During the investigation, authorities seized more than 600 high-grade marijuana plants from multiple hydroponic grow houses in the cities of Blue Ash, Norwood and Hamilton, CNN affiliate WLWT reported.

Each plant yields approximately one pound of marijuana with a street value of $5,000, authorities said. In all, investigators said, the plants are worth a street value of $3 million.

More than 600 high-grade marijuana plants were seized, according to a local news report.
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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
Witness alleges she was abused by suspect in Trayvon Martin killing
George Zimmerman, center, sits during his bond hearing in late June.
July 17th, 2012
04:10 AM ET

Witness alleges she was abused by suspect in Trayvon Martin killing

A woman has accused George Zimmerman, the man charged in the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, of having sexually abused her for about a decade, beginning when she was 6 years old and he was 8.

"He would reach under the blankets and try to do things and I would try to push him off," said the woman, who is identified only as Witness 9 and whose account was released Monday in audio recordings that a judge ordered last week be made public.

"He was bigger and stronger and older. It was in front of everybody. And I don't know how I didn't say anything. But I just didn't know any better," she said.

CNN spoke to the woman's father, who said neither he nor any other member of the family would be speaking on the subject. The woman did not respond to a request for comment.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.