Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time
Anders Breivik's trial is set to take place in April for the rampage that killed 77 people.
November 30th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time

A panel of psychiatrists this week found Norwegian Anders Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in a terrorist rampage, to be insane and suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia."

Breivik took months to plan the July attacks in Oslo and at a youth camp on nearby Utoya Island. He orchestrated complicated financial transactions to obtain chemicals used to make bombs detonated at Oslo governmental buildings. He went through great lengths to ensure family, friends, police and even his landlord did not discover his plot.

Breivik spent hours each day working on a political manifesto that, while rambling and self-involved, still presented a cohesive set of principles. He described himself as trying to start a war that would ultimately rid Europe of Islamists and other groups to which he objected.

Despite the planning, his political manifesto and Breivik's own stated rationality, psychiatrists determined he was insane. While that finding could be overturned, it places Breivik on a legal path where it's possible he may never serve jail time.

He has pleaded not guilty but admits carrying out the attacks, the judge handling his case has said. At his trial in April, Breivik will have the opportunity to present evidence, police said.

Many Norwegians are questioning the psychiatrists' conclusion and say they are angry that Breivik may not spend time in a prison.

Listen to a CNN Radio report on the matter here:

"The ruling makes no sense,"  said Kristian Andeneas, head of the University of Oslo's Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law. "This is astonishing. I thought they would come to a different result."

Former politician and Norwegian writer Aslak Sira Myhre more bluntly told Britain's The Guardian, "As the terrorist of Oslo is declared insane, the Norwegian faith in our judicial system is challenged."

But the biggest outcry has come from the families of victims and the survivors of Breivik's attacks. If the insanity finding is allowed to stand, he would receive a hearing every three years. Norwegian law mandates these hearings, meaning many victims would be forced to relive the horrific events of July 22.

"That's not good for victims," Andeneas says. "And it's not very good for Norway as we try to move beyond these crimes."

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Crime • Norway
November 25th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

A holiday shopping contrast: For some, it's bargains over brands

Carmen Rogers doesn’t have to wait in line for bargains.

“I’m lucky,” she says.

Rogers was on her way to Gucci on Rodeo Drive in California's Beverly Hills wearing a camel-hair coat with matching scarf - a clear sign that she’s at home in one of America’s richest neighborhoods.

(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's Jim Roope and John Sepulvado)

Rogers has no idea how much she will spend on holiday shopping, and it doesn’t matter, she says. She doesn’t have to be on a budget.

Outside Cartier on Rodeo Drive, Jackie Martenson was sporting a matching coat, shoes, purse and hat. The frames of her glasses even matched her outfit. But she’s not quite as free in her spending as Rogers.

“I think that in this economy everybody is looking for a deal,” she says.

Martenson was drawn to Rodeo Drive by the brand names.

“I think you spend twice as much here in Beverly Hills, but the thing is you get a good designer name,” she says.

According to a survey on expected holiday shopping by the Harrison Group, an economic consulting firm, retail spending by people who earn more than $300,000 will be up by 6% this year. But the same survey found that middle- and low-income Americans are expected to spend 17% less than in 2010.

“I’m on a budget right now,” says Tracy Adams. She was nighttime bargain-hunting at a Walmart in Atlanta. The single mom patiently stood in line with her excitable second-grader, hoping to score a deal on a Sony PlayStation. Adams says a saving of $50 would go a long way in her household.

“I’d put it towards paying bills,” she says. But when she got to the counter, the bargains were sold out and she was disappointed. “They ran out of what I really wanted. That was the only item I came here for.”

Instead she had a basket full of toys she collected while waiting in line. A salesman says the Walmart only had eight PlayStations stocked. In fairness, the mega-retailer made it very clear in its advertising that supplies would be limited. So all night, families would walk in hoping to get a laptop or a Wii, and walk out with crockpots, blankets and toys.

You can listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

New state laws, record deportations clogging federal courts in South
Undocumented Guatemalan immigrants are searched before boarding a deportation flight in June in Mesa, Arizona.
November 18th, 2011
10:44 AM ET

New state laws, record deportations clogging federal courts in South

The Obama administration is deporting undocumented residents at a faster rate than that of any other president. Meanwhile, many southern states are pushing forward with their own immigration laws designed to achieve maximum deportation, as well.

In all, there is a national backlog of about 270,000 immigration cases. And that is a big problem for the courts, Atlanta immigration lawyer Charles Kuck says.

(Click the audio player to hear more on this story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado)

“We’re actually seeing far more cases because of the tough laws at the state levels. So the cases are getting slower here,” Kuck said. “So cases that should take four, five (or) six months are taking one and a half to two and a half years to get adjudicated.”


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Filed under: Immigration
Rick Perry’s Latino problem
Some Texas Latinos might appreciate Gov. Rick Perry's illegal-immigrant tuition stance, but Latinos still largely don't vote for him.
October 12th, 2011
11:25 PM ET

Rick Perry’s Latino problem

Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking heat from many in his own party for supporting a state policy giving in-state tuition rates to children of illegal immigrants.

But while this position may be seen as favorable for Latinos - a large majority of Texas’ illegal immigrants are Latino, with more than 60 percent of them hailing from Mexico alone, according to the Pew Hispanic Center - it hasn’t gained him much Latino support in his own state.

Almost two-thirds of Latino voters in Texas vote Democratic, and Latinos overwhelmingly vote against Perry, a Republican.

In a GOP presidential debate last month, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized Perry for supporting Texas’ illegal-immigrant tuition policy. Perry responded this way: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state … by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

After the debate, Perry fell from frontrunner status.


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Filed under: Immigration • Politics • Republican Party • Rick Perry • Texas
Do cute animals get better protection?
August 15th, 2011
10:52 PM ET

Do cute animals get better protection?

Worms have been denied, wolves could be cut out, but some sea turtles could be added to the U.S. Endangered Species List.

A push to add the loggerhead sea turtle is bolstered by several studies that say they could be extinct in the middle of the century. Besides natural predators, boat strikes, fishing and dredging, baby loggerheads have to contend with humans who see them and illegally take them home, thinking they can take care of them. The Tybee Island Marine Science Center in Georgia says it hears about this happening often.

“(People take them) because they’re so cute," said Lauren Broome, a marine biologist at the center. "When they’re hatched, they’re about … 2 inches."

But do cuter animals like the loggerhead have an easier time getting on the endangered list than creepier or more menacing creatures?

Patrick Gallagher, director of the Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program, says cute or charismatic animals can have an easier time, politically, getting protections from federal officials.


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Filed under: Animals • Nature • Politics • Turtles
'Blood lake' a product of drought
Red bacteria thrive in the oxygen-poor water of a drought-shrunken Texas lake, naturalists say.
August 5th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

'Blood lake' a product of drought

A Texas reservoir has turned a deep red, prompting a pastor to speculate it's a sign of the coming Apocalypse.

But the Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife says it's just an indication of how bad the current drought is. About 99% of Texas is under drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife says water levels in the reservoir receded, which, mixed with the warm weather, helped lower oxygen levels. The low oxygen levels prompted a fish kill and spurred the growth of  bacteria called Chromatiaceae, which thrive in such conditions. Chromatiaceae are purplish in color, prompting the "blood" red descriptions.

Texas Department of Fish and Wildlife says the reservoir will be restocked with fish as soon as the drought ends and water levels return to normal.

The Texas drought has emptied several other lakes, including one in East Texas. The receding water revealed a part of the space shuttle Columbia, which broke up over Texas in 2003, at the bottom of the lake.

Listen to the full story:

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Filed under: Heat • Texas • Weather
Levees along Mississippi River basin seem to be working
Workers use sandbags to try and stop floodwater from seeping through a levee gate in Vicksburg, Mississippi, last week.
May 17th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

Levees along Mississippi River basin seem to be working

In downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, there are huge retaining walls designed to hold back waters when the Mississippi River floods.

The walls feature portraits of the city’s history, from Native Americans that lived on the high bluffs to scenes from the Civil War battle that helped the North capture the Mississippi.

But the gates that seal the walls are old, and leaks have sprung. Meanwhile, in other low-lying areas of the city, houses have flooded, electric lines are down and people are taking boats through neighborhoods to survey the damage.


New rules to live by in Memphis' Northaven community
A man rakes debris Wednesday in a flooded mobile home park in the Memphis, Tennessee, suburb of Northaven.
May 11th, 2011
04:05 PM ET

New rules to live by in Memphis' Northaven community

The Memphis, Tennessee, suburb of Northhaven has been flooded extensively, and now the community has some unofficial new rules aimed at keeping people safe.

"If you're thinking of going swimming in the floodwaters, don't," Shelby County sheriff's spokesman Chip Washington said. "Some folks have been in the water, letting their kids play in the water. It's extremely dangerous. It's no joke. It really isn't."

Parts of Memphis have flooded thanks to a swollen Mississippi River. The river on Tuesday crested at Memphis more than 13 feet above flood stage, just short of a Memphis record set in 1937.

Washington said people should be mindful of debris, contaminated water, rodent infestation and snakes. Animals have been fleeing the river basin, and poisonous water moccasins and copperheads have been showing up in people's yards.

Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado:

"We had a moccasin hang out in the back for about an hour," Northaven auto mechanic Eric Scott said. "In 15 years I've never seen anything like this. We had flash floods last year, but it's like a zoo out back (of the auto shop)."


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Filed under: Tennessee • Weather
Truckers may soon need to shorten hours
Truckers would be allowed to drive 10 hours a day, rather than the current 11, under a proposed rule change.
February 18th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Truckers may soon need to shorten hours

The number of hours that truckers can drive each day may soon be cut.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a rule change reducing the time allowed on the road by an hour. Current rules allow truckers to spend 11 hours behind the wheel per day, with some limited exceptions.

If the department approves the rule change, it would take effect in July. The agency believes reducing trucking hours would make for safer highways.


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Filed under: Business • Politics