August 27th, 2012
11:17 PM ET

Storm surges up to 12 feet predicted

Thousands of people on the Gulf Coast have been told to leave ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac. Forecasters warn the storm will gain strength and is following the path Hurricane Katrina took seven years ago.

The tropical storm was expected to make landfall late Tuesday or Wednesday, coinciding with the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, though as a much weaker Category 1 hurricane, compared with 2005's monster storm.

Read the full story here.


[Updated 5 a.m. ET Tuesday] Isaac is still a tropical storm and is located 125 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving northwest at 12 mph.

[Updated 4:35 a.m. ET Tuesday] The top sustained winds early Tuesday morning are 70 mph. The storm is expected to become a hurricane today.


[Updated 11:17 p.m. ET] The National Hurricane Center projected storm surges of 3 to 6 feet for the Florida Panhandle, 6 to 9 feet for the Alabama coast and 6 to 12 feet for the Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana shores.

[Updated 10:02 p.m. ET] Here's another way people can help their neighbors, at this location and others:


[Updated 9:54 p.m. ET] Mandatory evacuations are under way in the low-lying coastal areas of Mississippi's Hancock County, which includes Bay St. Louis and Waveland.


August 27th, 2012
11:13 PM ET

Preparing for a storm: Links, tips and resources

Informed and prepared. They're the two things you want to be if you’re in the path of a tropical storm or hurricane.

Some preparations for storms like Isaac, the tropical storm making its way toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, can begin (ideally) months ahead of time or within hours of its expected landfall.

But knowing how to react and whether to evacuate requires that you stay informed of the storm’s progress by tuning into local television and radio stations – preferably, with a battery-powered radio. You can buy a battery-powered NOAA radio that tunes in to special Weather Radio frequencies.

While the power is still on, people can find the most recent information on the storm's movement on the National Hurricane Center's Isaac advisory page. You can also get NHC updates on your mobile phone. Other useful apps can be found for iPhone at the App Store and for Android devices at the Google Play Store.

Some states keep general information about hurricane preparedness on their websites, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Here's a state-by-state breakdown of Isaac's impacts. Many towns, counties and parishes keep information on their websites regarding the storm's progress, evacuation procedures, shelters and suspension of services. Some use Twitter and/or Facebook to post real-time updates. Below are just a few municipal websites that has identified, though the list is not exhaustive:

Develop an evacuation plan tailored to your family’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. If the safest areas are not in your home, locate safe areas or buildings in your community and listen to local news for announcements on schools, shelters or designated safe areas. Determine an escape route from your home and places to meet in case family members become separated.

If your family hurricane plan includes immediate evacuation because of the location or conditions of your home, the National Hurricane Center recommends that you do not delay your departure. You may want to evacuate ahead of official orders to avoid travel delays or traffic congestion. Pick a location as close to your home as possible. If it’s a motel or hotel, make a reservation before you leave to ensure space. If you have a pet, this may be your best bet, as many shelters do not accept pets.

Before you leave, make sure you have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

Safe and Well on Let relatives know you're safe

Securing your home includes putting away anything surrounding the home that the wind can pick up: bicycles, lawn furniture and decorations and branches, to name a few. Seal all your windows and doors, and if you don’t have hurricane shutters, board up windows with plywood. Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure to reduce roof damage.

The National Hurricane Center has tips for preparing yourself and your home for a storm and coping with its aftermath, as well as assembling a plan and emergency kit.

Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Close off propane tanks.

Whether you ride out the storm in your home or evacuate, you’ll want to have a disaster supply kit at the ready that includes these items, according to the National Hurricane Center:

– Water: At least one gallon daily per person for three to seven days

– Food: At least enough for three to seven days nonperishable packaged or canned food and juices, snack foods.

– Eating supplies: Nonelectric can opener, cooking tools, disposable plates and utensils.

– Flashlights and extra batteries, radio

– Baby supplies: Bottle, formula, baby food, diapers.

– Toiletries: Hygiene items, moisture wipes, etc.

– Bedding: Blankets and pillows, etc.

– Clothing: Seasonal clothes, rain gear, sturdy shoes.

– First aid/medical: Pain relievers, bandages, splints, insect repellant, sunscreen, seven-day supply of prescription drugs, hearing aids with extra batteries, eyeglasses.

– Modern necessities: Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a telephone set with a cord, cash in small bills, extra sets of house and car keys,

– Important documents in a waterproof container: Passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

More tips can be found here.

Information obtained from the National Hurricane Center, FEMA and the Red Cross.

August 27th, 2012
08:15 PM ET

Mash-up: Isaac, Armstrong and earthquakes

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.

With Katrina in mind, NOLA gets ready

The Donald on business and politics

Donald Trump - you've heard of him, right? - told Republicans they need to be "mean as hell" against the Democrats in this fall's campaign. He also talked about the challenges business titans such as himself and Mitt Romney can face when they wade into politics:

They've been tough. They've been competitive. They work. They built their business. And honestly, they have left people in their wake, and they've made enemies. ...
They can't really go out there. They can't put it together because all of those people that they beat consistently over a lifetime ... all of those people come back to haunt (them).

Strangers pay bill for sick baby's family

The parents of 4-month-old Paul Sennert must keep an oxygen machine running to keep him alive, but the Woodward, Iowa, family fell behind on their electric bills. When viewers of CNN affiliate KCCI in Des Moines got wind of the Sennerts' dilemma, they stepped up big-time. The family's account with the electric utility has gone from $270 in the red to $1,400 in the black, with that much more on hand to help defray medical bills.

Over the moon over Neil Armstrong

CNN iReporter Mike Black shared a table with astronaut Neil Armstrong.

CNN iReporter Michael Black met space pioneer Neil Armstrong at a NASA celebration in April. He describes Armstrong as humble, funny and informative.

"One of the people at my table asked him, 'What are your thoughts about your fame?' and he said, 'I don't deserve it,' " Black recalled.

Black said watching Armstrong's Apollo 11 moon landing inspired him to become a science teacher.

"When I was 10 years old, everyone wanted to be firefighters, policemen or astronauts. Apollo gave teachers the opportunity to say, 'This is what is possible' to students," he said.

Black said he is sad that Armstrong's death faded quickly from the headlines.

"He is one of the most famous people who will ever live," Black said. "Five hundred years from now, so much of history will be forgotten, but people won't forget about Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon."

Earthquakes shake up the conversation

A "swarm" of hundreds of small earthquakes near the California-Mexico border Sunday didn't do much harm, but it did inspire some spirited exchanges among users, including this amusing one aimed at comment-thread trolls:

Quick!! Relate this to politics and blame a political party!

These earthquakes are clearly being caused by the massive debt (illustrated by a large bag of money) that California owes, sitting on the left side of the state and therefore causing the earthquakes.

No, saving the hurricane heading to New Orleans for that!



On the horizon: Republican convention, consumer confidence

The weather-shortened Republican National Convention will get under way in earnest Tuesday in Tampa, Florida. Tuesday's schedule includes the nomination of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for vice president, and speeches by former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney.

The Conference Board will release its latest assessment of consumer confidence at 10 a.m. How confident are you feeling?

August 28 anniversaries

1955 - Black teenager Emmett Till is murdered by a group of white men in Mississippi after he supposedly whistled at a white woman.

1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream" speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

1990 - Several weeks after invading Kuwait, Iraq declares the occupied country its new 19th province.

1996 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorce.

2006 - Fugitive polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is captured after a routine traffic stop near Las Vegas.

2008 - Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

August 28 birthdays

LeAnn Rimes

– Baseball player/manager Lou Piniella, 69

– Baseball pitcher Ron Guidry, 62

– Poet Rita Dove, 60

– Figure skater Scott Hamilton, 54

– Singer Shania Twain, 47

– Actor Jason Priestley, 43

– Singer LeAnn Rimes, 30

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
August 27th, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Islamic cleric facing terrorism charges killed in Kenya

A radical Islamic cleric who faced charges relating to terrorism was killed in a daylight ambush Monday morning in Kenya's main coastal city, Mombasa, Kenya Police said.

Aboud Rogo Mohammed was accused supporting Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia and was blacklisted by the United States and U.N. Security Council. He also faced charges before a Kenyan court for planning terror attacks in Mombasa.

"We have received reports that Aboud Rogo Mohammed has died," said Eric Kiraithe, the Kenya Police spokesman. "We are taking this matter very seriously. It is disappointing to us, because we had a case in court and we had evidence to go to its logical conclusion."

But Rogo's wife, Hania Said, claimed the shooters were Kenyan police.

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Filed under: Africa • Kenya • Terrorism • World
August 27th, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Italian miners barricade themselves

More than 100 miners have barricaded themselves with explosives inside a carbon mine on the Italian island of Sardinia as they seek to persuade the government to invest in the mine's future. FULL POST

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Filed under: World
August 27th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Slaughterhouse accused of inhumane treatment of cattle reopens

A California slaughterhouse closed after an animal rights group released a video of workers there apparently mistreating animals has been allowed to reopen, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

The Agriculture Department said that inspections at Central Valley Meat Co of Hanford continue but the plant has made changes and can resume operations.

"As of this morning, CVM will be allowed to resume processing," Aaron Lavalle, a spokesman for the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in a statement.

Lavalle said regulators had concluded an evaluation of an "extensive corrective action plan" formulated to address "recent humane handling violations"

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Filed under: California • U.S.
August 27th, 2012
07:35 AM ET

Monday's live events

Tropical Storm Isaac could make an impact on the U.S. Gulf Coast in the coming days.  Watch Live for continuing coverage of the storm.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Tropical Storm Isaac tracker

12:00 pm ET - Alabama, Florida briefings on Isaac - The governors of Alabama and Florida will hold separate briefings on Tropical Storm Isaac.  For Alabama, the briefing will focus on the state's preparations for the storm, while Florida's will focus on Isaac's impact.


Filed under: On today • Tropical weather • Weather
August 27th, 2012
04:09 AM ET

Horror stories abound from Syrian city of Daraya

It's been a shocking few days in the Syrian civil war, with hundreds of bodies reportedly found in Daraya and with the country's vice president - who had allegedly defected in recent days - suddenly showing up at an official meeting in Damascus.

Here are some of the other latest key developments in the 17-month bloody conflict:

The greatest tales of terror now come from the city of Daraya, where an opposition group said more than 245 bodies were found in the past two days.

Opposition activists posted video of mass burials Sunday, a day after 200 people were found dead in the Damascus suburb.


It was unclear when those people had been killed. Opposition activists say government troops reclaimed Daraya after a week-long siege that was followed by scores of summary executions.


Filed under: Uncategorized
August 27th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Eerie similarites: Isaac follows track of Katrina, evacuations ordered for coast

Thousands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were being told early Monday to leave their Gulf Coast homes ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac as forecasters warned it was gaining strength as it followed the same path Hurricane Katrina took seven years earlier.

The governors of the three states each declared a state of emergency, with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordering mandatory evacuations to begin at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET) for residents who live along the coast and for those in some low-lying areas inland.

"I am urging everyone to take precautions now, monitor weather warnings, and be prepared for whatever Isaac may bring," Bentley said in a statement released Sunday.

A hurricane warning was issued for the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from Morgan City, Louisiana, east to Destin, Florida, the National Hurricane Center said.

The tropical storm was expected to make landfall late Tuesday or Wednesday - Katrina's anniversary - as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of at least 96 mph.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather • World
August 27th, 2012
03:57 AM ET

Major earthquake hits off coast of El Salvador

A powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador late Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported

The epicenter of the quake was about 177 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of the capital, San Salvador, and took place nearly 33 miles underground.

Some minor shaking was reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

A tsunami warning was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for El Salvador and the neighboring countries of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico.


Filed under: Weather • World