FC Barcelona invites Palestinians to Madrid match after Gilad Shalit row
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is sidetracking "El Clásico," a game normally known for featuring the world's biggest stars.
September 28th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

FC Barcelona invites Palestinians to Madrid match after Gilad Shalit row

It's not often a sporting event can stoke the tensions of one of the world's longest-running conflicts, but news that an ex-prisoner and Israeli soldier would attend a Spanish soccer match next month did just that.

Gilad Shalit, who was freed in October 2011 after more than five years as a Palestinian prisoner, is expected to attend next month's "El Clásico," a match between Spanish powerhouses FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This game, which will be played at Barcelona's Camp Nou on October 7, is one of the world's biggest rivalries.

Despite several reports that Barcelona had extended the invitation to Shalit, the club announced in a Thursday statement that wasn't the case.

Gilad Shalit is expected to attend next month's soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

"The Club did not invite Mr. Shalit to the game, but accepted a request to watch a match during his visit to Barcelona," the statement said.

Barcelona said it also accepted a Palestinian Embassy request that three of its delegates - Palestinian Authority Ambassador Musa Amer Odeh, Palestinian Football Union President Jibril Rajoub and soccer player and activist Mahmoud Sarsak - be invited to the game.

Though the club statement said the three would attend, the Palestinian-run blog, The Electronic Intifada, cited two reports saying that Sarsak would reject the invitation.

Sarsak was freed from an Israeli prison in June following a three-month hunger strike. The player's refusal to eat prompted Amnesty International to issue a statement saying Sarsak should be released or provided with medical treatment.


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Filed under: Human rights • Israel • Palestinians • Soccer • Sports • World
September 28th, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Stay of execution issued for convicted killer

A Philadelphia judge ruled Friday to stay the execution of Pennsylvania convicted killer Terrance Williams and grant a new penalty phase in the case.

Williams, 46, was scheduled to be executed on October 3. No one disputes that Williams beat Amos Norwood to death with a tire iron in 1984 or that he should be in prison.

But his defense team says information that Norwood had allegedly sexually abused Williams was withheld from the trial, and his life should be spent in a cell.

Philadelphia Judge M. Teresa Sarmina on Friday found "reasonable probability" that the verdict might have been different had allegations of abuse surfaced during the initial case and that the relationship between the two men had been established but not disclosed.


Filed under: Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Justice • Pennsylvania
September 28th, 2012
10:48 AM ET

New chapter in Jimmy Hoffa search: Police drill at Michigan home

Police will drill outside a suburban Detroit residence Friday in the search for Jimmy Hoffa, the labor strongman whose disappearance is one of the most notorious and mysterious in U.S. history.

A tipster told police that a body was buried at the spot in Roseville, Michigan, around the same time the Teamsters boss disappeared in 1975.

The tipster did not claim it was Hoffa's body, authorities said.

Police Chief James Berlin told CNN on Thursday that while the tipster's information seems credible, he's not convinced the body is Hoffa's because of the timeline. He spoke with the tipster on August 22 and says he believes the person did see a burial.


Filed under: Crime • Michigan
September 28th, 2012
09:01 AM ET

Bonnie and Clyde's guns go up for auction

If you happen to be a crime aficionado and have a bunch of extra cash on lying around you just might have a chance to nab two very historic weapons.

The guns recovered from the bodies of notorious gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde are expected to fetch more than $100,000 each at an auction on Sunday, an auction official said.

The Colt .45 was found in Clyde Barrow's waistband, and the .38-caliber Colt was strapped to one of Bonnie Parker's legs on May 23, 1934, when they were killed in an ambush near Gibsland, Louisiana.

"This is one of the finest Bonnie and Clyde collections you will ever see," said Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction in Amherst, New Hampshire. "We expect the guns should sell anywhere between $100,000 and $200,000. But really the sky is the limit for these types of guns."

In January, a submachine gun and shotgun reportedly seized at one of Bonnie and Clyde's hideouts was sold by a Kansas City auction firm for $130,000 and $80,000, respectively, The Joplin Globe reported.

According to the website for RR Auction, the Colt Model 1911 U.S. Army pistol was Barrow's "personal pistol." When police officers searched the car Bonnie and Clyde were driving when they were gunned down, they found many weapons, including nine other Colts, but this was the one he favored, Livingston said.


September 28th, 2012
07:43 AM ET

Friday's live events

President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney hold their first debate October 3 from the campus of the University of Denver.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest coverage from the debate.

Today's programming highlights...

12:00 pm ET - Biden in Florida - Vice President Joe Biden spends his day campaigning in Florida, starting with an event in Boca Raton.  He'll then travel to Tamarac for a 3:00 pm ET campaign stop.

12:05 pm ET - Romney's academy rally - GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will speak at a so-called "victory rally" at a military academy in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: Elections • On CNN.com today • Politics
September 28th, 2012
05:02 AM ET

Real refs return to cheers

The real referees were greeted with a standing ovation Thursday night as they returned to the field after a new contract was announced less than a day earlier.

It may be the last time fans will voice their opinion on the recent NFL lockout that brought replacement referees to the football field.

Thursday's 23 to 16 win by the Baltimore Ravens over the Cleveland Browns went on without much controversy, a far cry from the gaffe-filled display that punctuated the first three weeks of the professional football season.

Before Thursday's game NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was sorry the league felt it had to resort to the replacements, few of whom had any previous NFL officiating experience. Many were high school or low-level college officials who hold down myriad other jobs, from schoolteachers to attorneys.

That ended Wednesday night when the NFL stuck a deal with officials.


Filed under: Sports • U.S.
September 28th, 2012
02:31 AM ET

Britons and Chinese reported to be among 19 dead in Nepal plane crash

A plane caught fire and crashed soon after taking off from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, killing all 19 people on board, the Himalayan country's Civil Aviation Authority said Friday.

There were 16 passengers and three crew members on the Dornier Aircraft when it crashed near the Manohara River in Bhaktapur District, the Civil Aviation Authority said. The river is in the same valley as Kathmandu.

The passengers included seven Britons and five Chinese citizens, said Sameer Neupane, an official at Sita Air, which was operating the flight.

The other people killed were four Nepali passengers and the three Nepali crew members, Neupane said, who cited the plane's passenger list.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.


Filed under: World
September 28th, 2012
02:27 AM ET

Michigan teen targeted in homecoming 'prank' gets last laugh

A Michigan teen is making the most of a homecoming prank that she says left her feeling suicidal.

Whitney Kropp, a self-described outcast with just a handful of close friends at Ogemaw Heights High School, was picked to be the female representative of the sophomore class royalty. It certainly came as a shock.

But hours later, the 16-year-old learned classmates voted for her as a joke. She spent the night in tears.

"I'm like, 'Wow, I feel like trash,'" Kropp said. "I feel like I'm a little thing that no one really cares about."

That night, she said, she contemplated ending her life "right here, right now."

But thanks to a push from her family and friends, she decided to embrace what happened and turn the tables.


Filed under: U.S.