Comments: Chick-fil-A chatter, keeping tabs on 'tamale lady'
Chick-Fil-A restaurants across the country experienced massive crowds Wednesday as customers showed their support.
August 2nd, 2012
08:47 PM ET

Comments: Chick-fil-A chatter, keeping tabs on 'tamale lady'

Editor's note: You may be familiar with the Overheard on series, which looks at thought-provoking conversations posted by the community. In that same vein, we're trying something new by providing a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

If you're hungry for debate, you might want to feast on these discussions. Below is a menu of five talked-about topics today. We may be hearing more about Chick-fil-A on Friday, so consider grabbing a doggie bag.

1. Spicy chicken chatter

We’re looking back on Wednesday's Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day crowds and forward to planned events Friday in support of same-sex marriage.

On Thursday we've seen a bit of talk bubbling up about corporate image and the way companies and public figures use their words to cultivate their following. We also have seen commenters debating public displays of affection, both same-sex and otherwise.

Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day sets record, restaurant chain says

Mike: "Ever notice how no one wants to be put in a box these days ... as if what they say doesn't define them ... and yet when it comes to Chick-fil-A, the most innocuous kind of "this is what I belive statement" put a box around not only (Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy), but the whole business and all of its employees and suppliers, some of whom I'm sure believe otherwise."

To what degree can one's actions affect anything?

ec: "It's impossible to boycott gas in most cities, thanks to oil companies getting rid of public transit and preventing investment in alternative fuels. What these people do is vote and support investment in alternative fuel, carpool, ride their bikes instead of drive when possible, grow their own food, etc. It's impossible to boycott every company that should be boycotted, but we do what we can. Our country is run by corporations, tell them how you feel by voting with your wallet."

Some felt restricted.

Darth Cheney:  "I like Chick-Fil-A. I support gay marriage. OMG, I don't fit into either pre-ordained pigeonhole in the Hate-olympics! My head is going to explode. I don't conform to my force-fed narrative!!!"

Readers also talked about kissing in public, for protesting or otherwise. FULL POST

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Filed under: Comments • Overheard on
August 2nd, 2012
05:34 PM ET

Tropical Storm Ernesto moves toward Caribbean Sea

Tropical Storm Ernesto has formed in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to head into the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday.

The storm's center was about 295 miles east of the Windward Islands, moving west at about 22 mph, and should be near the Windwards by early Friday, the center said.

Track Tropical Storm Ernesto 

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe. The warnings mean that tropical storm conditions are expected there within the next 24 hours.

Rainfall of 2 to 3 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches, are possible across the Windward Islands through Friday, the center said.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph, and some slight strengthening is expected from now to Saturday, according to the center.

The Windward Islands are the southern portion of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela and southeast of Puerto Rico

August 2nd, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Checkpoints at O'Hare terminal reopens after brief disruption

[Updated at 6:04 p.m. ET] Authorities have re-opened security checkpoints and upper-level doors at a O'Hare International Airport terminal in Chicago after a brief disruption due to unspecified "possible suspicious item," the Chicago Department of Aviation said.

The item in Terminal 2 "was cleared and determined to be no threat," the department said, adding that there was "minimal disruption to flight operations."

The checkpoints and doors were re-opened shortly after 4 p.m. CT, or 5 p.m. ET.

[Initial post, 5:03 p.m. ET] "Suspicious activity" at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has prompted authorities to close security checkpoints at the airport's Terminal 2, Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham said Thursday afternoon.

Upper-level doors at the terminal also have been "temporarily secured," but the terminal hasn't been evacuated, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said no details of the suspicious activity are available.

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Filed under: Air travel • Illinois • Travel
August 2nd, 2012
04:32 PM ET

Mash-up: Horses, walruses and wiener dogs, 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 in the past 24 hours. We top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs from around the world.

Would-be peacemaker gives up

Kofi Annan resigned Wednesday as the United Nations' peace broker in Syria, saying no one involved - including the group that hired him - really seems interested in making peace happen.

Yet the bloodshed continues, most of all because of the Syrian government's intransigence and continuing refusal to implement the six-point plan, and also because of the escalating military campaign of the opposition, all of which is compounded by the disunity of the international community. At a time when we need - when the Syrian people desperately need action, there continues to be finger-pointing and name-calling in the Security Council.

Whoa, Nellie!


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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Harrison grabs first U.S. Olympic judo gold
The United States' Kayla Harrison holds a U.S. flag after winning the women's under-78-kilogram Olympic final in London.
August 2nd, 2012
01:40 PM ET

Harrison grabs first U.S. Olympic judo gold

Kayla Harrison says she almost quit judo because of sexual abuse by a coach. Instead, she’s now the first American to win Olympic gold in the sport.

Harrison, 22, won the women’s under-78-kilogram division in London on Thursday, beating the United Kingdom’s Gemma Gibbons in the finals of a 21-woman tournament.

Harrison, a Middletown, Ohio, native training in Massachusetts, became the United States’ only Olympic champion in the sport - woman or man. Ranked No. 4 in the world, she had upset top-ranked Brazilian Mayra Aguiar in the semifinals.

She started judo at roughly age 7. But to get to this point, she has said, she needed to overcome sexual abuse - starting at age 13 - by the person who was then coaching her.


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Filed under: Olympics • Sports
August 2nd, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Annan resigns as special envoy to Syria

Kofi Annan has resigned as the U.N. and Arab League joint special envoy to Syria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday.

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Filed under: Syria
August 2nd, 2012
10:40 AM ET

'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' sets record, restaurant chain says

Chick-fil-A says it set a sales record on Wednesday, the day that supporters rallied around the fast-food chain amid a debate over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.

The chain won't release sales numbers, but "we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had called on people to buy food at the chain on Wednesday, which he dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," after a backlash against the company and their president.

The controversy started after an interview with the fast-food restaurant chain's president and COO, Dan Cathy, appeared in The Baptist Press on July 16. He weighed in with his views on family.

"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy said. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

On a Facebook page Huckabee created announcing the event, more than 620,000 people said they would participate.

He called for a response to a backlash against the restaurants and its president. Customers flocked to the restaurants on Wednesday, many showing their support for the chain and Cathy's opposition to same-sex marriage.

Gay rights activists are planning to hold a "national same-sex kiss day at Chick-fil-A" on Friday.

August 2nd, 2012
04:31 AM ET

Islamists: Two stoned to death for committing adultery in Mali

Islamists in control of northern Mali said they forced a man and a woman into two holes and stoned them to death for committing adultery in the lawless region.

Witnesses watched quietly as Islamists executed the two by pelting them with rocks in the remote Aguelhok town, according to a local resident.

"I don't know how many rocks they threw or for how long it went on before they were both dead," said Haman Maiga, a resident of Aguelhok who witnessed the stoning. "No one dared to try and stop the Islamists."

The woman had two small children, a boy and a girl, according to Maiga.

A leader of a radical Islamic group in the region said Sharia law condemns relationships outside marriage


Filed under: World
August 2nd, 2012
02:03 AM ET

San Bernardino files for bankruptcy

A California city filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, the third in the Golden State to do so in recent weeks, stoking experts' concerns that other cities could follow suit.

The City of San Bernardino - with over 200,000 residents on the eastern tip of greater Los Angeles - "filed an emergency petition for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy" with a regional U.S. bankruptcy court, according to a news release from the city's interim manager.

The other two to file recently were Stockton, with around 300,000 residents, according to 2010 U.S. census data, and Mammoth Lakes, a resort town, where visitors and seasonal residents outnumber the just over 8,000 permanent inhabitants.

Many municipalities in the Golden State and around the nation are struggling to cover their costs as the economic malaise continues to hurt tax revenue streams, experts said. This will lead to more municipal bankruptcies, which have been rare until now.


Filed under: Economy • Politics • U.S.
August 2nd, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Chinese badminton player disqualified from Olympics says she is quitting

One of the Chinese badminton players disqualified from the Olympics for trying to lose a match has said she is quitting the sport, accusing the badminton governing body of ruining her dreams.

"This is my last match," Yu Yang wrote on her microblog account late Wednesday. "Farewell Badminton World Federation, farewell my beloved badminton."

Yu, her women's doubles partner, Wang Xiaoli, and six other players were kicked out of the competition on Wednesday by the Badminton World Federation in one of the most controversial episodes of the London Games so far.

The athletes were accused of playing to lose in order to face easier opponents in future matches, drawing boos from spectators and warnings from match officials Tuesday night. The other doubles pairs booted out were from South Korea and Indonesia.


Filed under: Sports • World