September 6th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Mash-up: Life, the universe and everything

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.

Four minutes of timeless beauty

CNN iReporter John Eklund started a film project to capture the beauty of the American Pacific Northwest in June 2011. He finally finished his time-lapse video in August 2012.

"I choose to shoot locations that appeal to the way I would like to interpret the story of time," he said. "Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are endless opportunities to document the magnificence of the world around us. I have discovered that when time is the storyteller, a special kind of truth emerges."

Check out the beautiful time-lapse video here.

Atheist scientist on religious scientists

Biologist and author Richard Dawkins is a noted atheist who doesn't have much patience for followers of creationism or intelligent design. Here's a brief excerpt from a longer conversation Dawkins had with CNN's Light Years science blog.

Richard Dawkins is firm in his unbelief.

There are many very educated people who are religious, but they're not creationists. There's a world of difference between a serious religious person and a creationist, and especially a Young Earth Creationist, who thinks the world is only 10,000 years old.

If we wonder why there are still serious people including some scientists who are religious, that's a complicated psychological question. They certainly won't believe that God created all species or something like that. They might believe there is some sort of intelligent spirit that lies behind the universe as a whole and perhaps designed the laws of physics, and everything else took off from there.

But there's a huge difference between believing that and believing that this God created all species. And also, by the way, in believing that Jesus is your lord and savior who died for your sins. That you may believe, but that doesn't follow from the scientific or perhaps pseudoscientific that there's some kind of intelligence that underlies the laws of physics.


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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
Drew Peterson found guilty of murdering third wife
September 6th, 2012
04:53 PM ET

Drew Peterson found guilty of murdering third wife

[Updated at 5:19 p.m. ET] You can read full coverage of the guilty verdict in the Drew Peterson trial here.

[Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET] Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told reporters that the journey to a guilty verdict has been a long one and he is confident it will stand against an appeal.

"This is a very sobering moment. I want to thank the jury," he said. "Their verdict is a transcendental one and makes a statement against violence against women."

Glasgow said that Peterson's actions represented a growing problem in the country.

"The defendant in this case was a coward and a bully," he said.

Glasgow said they have to catch their breath and then they will review evidence "aggressively" in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

HLN: 'I want to find Stacy Peterson's body," Nancy Grace says

He told reporters that Peterson's attitude as someone who was untouchable because of his badge and his gun led him to believe nobody would ever take him on.

"We took him on and we won," he said. "This defendant brutally killed Kathleen Savio."

[Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET] Will County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas came out of the courthouse to read a statement from the jury.

The jurors thanked the court, the judge, the bailiffs and the sheriff's office and said they took their responsibility seriously.

"We have reached a decision we believe is just," the jurors said according to the statement.


September 6th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Comments: 'Love him or hate him,' but Clinton fires up Democrats at convention

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here are some comments we noticed Thursday:

As former President Bill Clinton took to the stage at the Democratic National Convention, readers took to their cameras and keyboards to let us know what they thought about his speech Wednesday night and how the convention is going so far.

Five things we learned from Day Two of the DNC

Clinton has been a controversial figure not only for his politics but for his personal life and resulting impeachment. David P. Kronmiller of Burbank, California, alluded to this past, asking "does he help or hurt Democrats?" and referring to "mixed messages" even as he gave the former president good marks for his words.

"He's an excellent storyteller," Kronmiller said. "He's very good at telling the story of an event - in this case, Barack Obama's successes."

And then there's Mark Ivy, a CNN iReporter who says he leans toward Mitt Romney but was keeping an eye on "classic Bill Clinton" on Wednesday night. The Farmersburg, Indiana, resident said that although many people "love (Clinton) or hate him," he also felt that "no one knows how to reach out and touch the common folk better than the man from Hope," or exhibits better skills to "play to the base of the Democratic Party."

"Bill Clinton was vintage Bill Clinton tonight as he formally nominated President Barack Obama to carry the torch for yet another four years for the Democratic National Party. That included the fact that as customary, Bill was not short-winded... ."

Some of the reaction came directly from Charlotte, North Carolina, site of the DNC events. The following two iReporters won a CNN contest to attend the DNC, just as others had gone to the Republican National Convention.

Omekongo Dibinga of Washington noted in his video commentary that he felt the speech was effective despite some controversy surrounding the convention's second day. FULL POST

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Bill Clinton • Comments • Democratic Party • Israel • Politics • Religion
September 6th, 2012
10:38 AM ET

'Fly away dohm': Russia's Putin shows endangered cranes the way

He's helped tranquilize tigers and has taken skin samples from whales. On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took off on his latest project in species protection, teaching endangered Siberian cranes how to migrate.

Putin piloted an ultralight aircraft over the Arctic Yamal Peninsula, trying to train the cranes to follow the ultralight from the Kushevat ornithological station and sanctuary where they have been raised to a wintering ground set up for them in southern Uzbekistan, more than 2,000 miles away, RIA-Novosti reported.

The ultralight guidance is necessary because no cranes have made the trip before, so they can't lead the way.

The new wintering ground was set up because a trip to the birds' traditional wintering grounds in India has become hazardous because of poaching in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Kremlin said in a statement, according to the Moscow Times.

Photos: How Putin cultivated his populist image

Putin made three flights Wednesday, the first to familiarize himself with the ultralight and the second and third with the birds. One bird followed Putin in the first test, and five followed in the second, according to RIA-Novosti. But only two of the five were able to keep up with Putin during the 15-minute flight.


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Filed under: Animals • Aviation • Birds • Russia
September 6th, 2012
10:35 AM ET

Report: Libyans claim waterboarding, other CIA abuses

Human Rights Watch says it has evidence that the CIA waterboarded one Libyan detainee and brutally interrogated others before handing them over to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

In a 200-plus-page report made public early Thursday, the rights group cites accounts of 14 former detainees and what it describes as "recently uncovered CIA and UK Secret Service documents" found in the sacked offices of Libya's former intelligence chief as proof of the torture and mistreatment.

"The interviews and documents establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S., with aid from the United Kingdom and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia arrested and held without charge a number" of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group members, Human Rights Watch said.


Filed under: Libya
September 6th, 2012
10:27 AM ET

Baby black bear healing after being burned in wildfire, officials say

Could Boo Boo be the next Smokey Bear?

Idaho officials say the popularity of a baby black bear given the name Boo Boo, who was rescued after being burned in a wildfire, may help remind people of the wide consequences of wildfires.

"People from all over the country have asked after the bear," Idaho Fish and Game conservation educator Evin Oneale said. "Many have asked about contributing money to offset the cub's medical treatment costs."

Boo Boo was brought to the Idaho Humane society after firefighters found him last week while battling the Mustang Complex Fire that has scorched more than 250,000 acres in Idaho.

“He’s healing nicely,” Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, Director of the Idaho Humane Society said. “His pads and toes are no longer bleeding and new skin is already forming on the burned portions.”

Officials said the bear, which weighed 23 pounds when they first rescued it, is expected to make a full recovery. And Boo Boo is starting to act more like you'd expect of a black bear.

“Eating like a little pig, very feisty, and not very social,” Rosenthal said. “He charges the cage front whenever anyone gets near, trying to scare us off.”


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Filed under: Fire • Idaho
September 6th, 2012
10:26 AM ET

U.S. flight diverted over security concern

(CNN) - A US Airways flight on its way to Dallas returned to Philadelphia on Thursday for security reasons, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Investigators took a passenger into custody, but he appears to have been the victim of a hoax, police in Philadelphia said.

Police said an investigation determined that there was no security threat.


Filed under: Travel
Art Modell, former NFL owner, dies at 87
Art Modell, 87, was an NFL owner for 43 years, during which his teams won two Super Bowls.
September 6th, 2012
07:32 AM ET

Art Modell, former NFL owner, dies at 87

Former Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell died Thursday, the team reported on its website.

Modell, 87, was an NFL owner for 43 years, during which his teams won two Super Bowls.

He died peacefully of natural causes at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital, the team said.

"'Poppy' was a special man who was loved by his sons, his daughter-in-law Michel, and his six grandchildren," Modell's son, David Modell, said in a statement released by the team. "Moreover, he was adored by the entire Baltimore community for his kindness and generosity. And, he loved Baltimore. He made an important and indelible contribution to the lives of his children, grandchildren and his entire community. We will miss him."

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Filed under: Football • Obituary • Pro football • Sports
September 6th, 2012
02:22 AM ET

Young girl found alive amongst dead bodies in France

Investigators were working Thursday to determine what led to a shooting in eastern France that left four people dead in and around a British-registered car.

A 7-year-old girl was also wounded from the shooting and investigators also found a young girl alive and unharmed in the car, local prosecutor Eric Maillaud told reporters.

The young girl, that appeared to be four, was found in a BMW amongst the bodies of two women and a man, CNN affiliate BFM-TV reported.

A male cyclist was found shot to death near the vehicle and a large number of bullet casings were scattered around.


Filed under: Crime • World
September 6th, 2012
01:27 AM ET

Authorities: 4 dead in school bus accident in Nebraska

Four people died when a school bus collided with a tractor-trailer at an intersection in Nebraska's rural Webster County on Wednesday, the sheriff's department said.

Both drivers were both killed as well as two passengers on the bus, Webster County Sheriff Troy R. Schmitz said.

The sheriff's department did not immediately say whether any of the victims were children.

The accident occurred at the intersection of County Road 1800 and Country Road R outside the town of Blue Hill, near the Nebraska-Kansas state line, Schmitz told CNN affiliate KHGI. The accident occurred between 4:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. local time, he said.


Filed under: U.S.
September 6th, 2012
01:25 AM ET

Bermuda braces as Hurricane Leslie approaches

Officials in Bermuda urged residents to "prepare for the worst " as Hurricane Leslie headed towards the British territory bringing with it powerful winds and heavy rains.

Bermuda has closed public schools for Friday and is making preparations for the approaching storm.

"Leslie could be a historic storm for Bermuda as it is very large and forecast to intensify rapidly as it approaches," Bermuda's Emergency Measures Organization said in a statement. "The island could experience hurricane force winds for a sustained period of time, possibly up to two days."

The Category 1 storm was about 445 miles (715 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda, moving north at 2 mph (4 kph) early Thursday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather • World
September 6th, 2012
12:31 AM ET

Nationwide child porn investigation leads to couple's arrest in Oregon

A nationwide search for a suspected female child pornographer has ended with the arrest of a woman and her husband in Oregon, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Investigators launched a nationwide search for the woman, now identified as 40-year-old Michelle Lee Freeman, last month after finding online videos of her having sexual contact with two children.

At the time they did not know her identity or that of the children in the images, so the Homeland Security Investigations unit of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a public plea for information and released a photo of the woman.

Tuesday, Freeman and her husband, Michael Serapis Freeman, 39, surrendered to police in their hometown of Salem after learning an acquaintance had identified Michelle Freeman as the woman in the photo.

They made their initial appearance in federal court Wednesday, charged with sexual exploitation of children, namely the production of child pornography.


Filed under: Crime • U.S.