Boston bombings: 'CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over,' police say
Massachusetts celebrates after police captured Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev.
April 19th, 2013
10:47 PM ET

Boston bombings: 'CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over,' police say

[Updated 10:47 p.m. ET] Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Kelly Lawman said.

Meanwhile, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham congratulated law enforcement on the arrest of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect and noted that the incident should be prosecuted as a terror case. The "perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorist trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans," the senators said.

"Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel."

[Updated 10:11 p.m. ET] "We've closed an important chapter in this tragedy," President Barack Obama said at the conclusion of the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt on Friday night.

[Updated 9:49 p.m. ET] Suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in serious condition in the hospital, Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis said.

But how did law enforcement find suspect Tsarnaev? A Watertown resident saw blood on a boat in his neighbor's backyard, Davis said.

"He opened the tarp and saw a man covered in blood," he said. The man retreated and alerted law enforcement.

Despite being bloody, the suspect exchanged gunfire with authorities from his hiding place, Davis said. Tsarnaev did not have explosives on him at the time of capture, according to Davis.

[Updated 9:41 p.m. ET] Massachusetts is celebrating the collaborative efforts of law enforcement, the public and the media in leading to the capture of the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"We're so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case," Massachusetts State Police spokesman Col. Timothy Alben said at a news conference in Watertown less than an hour after the capture of suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev. "We're exhausted, folks, but we have a victory here tonight."

Gov. Patrick Deval praised local, state and federal agencies "who brought their A-game" along with members of the public "for their patience and participation in the case."

"Its a night where I think we're all going to rest easy," he said.

[Updated 9:20 p.m. ET] Now trending ahead of 9:30 press conference: #BostonStrong.

[Updated 8:59 p.m. ET] Law enforcement officials erupted in cheers in Watertown, Masssachusetts, on Friday night moments before Boston police tweeted that the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was in custody.

[Updated 8:44 p.m. ET] Boston bombings suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody, the Boston Police Department said in a tweet.

[Updated 8:44 p.m. ET] Law enforcement officials repeatedly appealed for surrender by a person believed to be Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the suspect in this week's Boston Marathon bombings, who was inside a boat in the backyard of a house in Watertown, Massachusetts, according to CNN staff at the scene. Among other things, they said, "We know you're in there" and "Come out with your hands up."

[Updated 8:39 p.m. ET] The FBI took two males and a female into custody for questioning Friday evening at New Bedford, Massachusetts, residence believe to have been connected to Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, New Bedford Police Lt. Robert Richard said.

[Updated 8:32 p.m. ET] FBI agents interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev - the 26-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed following a gunfight with authorities overnight - in 2011 at the request of foreign government, an FBI official said Friday. The other government - who the official would not name - suspected that Tsarnaev may have ties to extremist groups. The FBI investigated, including interviewing Tsarnaev, but the matter was closed after no derogatory information was found, according to the official.

[Updated 8:13 p.m. ET] A person believed to be Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the suspect in this week's Boston Marathon bombings, is cornered on a boat in a yard in Watertown, Massachusetts, law enforcement officials said.

[Updated 8:05 p.m. ET] Authorities believe the person they've engaged in Watertown, Massachusetts, is Dzhokar Tsarnaev, a suspect in this week's deadly Boston Marathon bombings, a law enforcement official told CNN. CNN crews reported hearing multiple explosions near the site where authorities have engaged the suspect.

[Updated 7:46 p.m. ET] As many as a dozen people were being moved away from the scene of intense police activity in Watertown, Massachusetts, including a young girl being carried in a police officer's arms, CNN's David Fitzpatrick reported.

[Updated 7:34 p.m. ET] Authorities have engaged the possible remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Massachusetts, a senior federal law enforcement official said.

[Updated 7:14 p.m. ET] The Boston Police Department tweeted that there are "police operations" on Franklin Street in Watertown, Massachusetts. CNN crew at the scene heard gunshots and saw several law enforcement vehicles race toward the scene.

[Updated 6:26 p.m. ET] A "stay indoors" order has been lifted in Boston while the manhunt continues for the remaining suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.

Authorities believe that 19-year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev is likely still in Massachusetts, state police spokesman Col. Timothy Alben said Friday.

"He's a very violent and dangerous person," Alben said in a news conference Friday. "We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon, but we will have one."

Massachusetts state troopers will remain in Watertown, where the suspects engaged in an overnight gunfight with police, for at least three more days, Alben said.

Some 200 rounds" of gunfire were exchanged during the firefight, Gov. Deval Patrick added.

The area's public transit system, known as the T, has reopened Friday night after being shut down most of the day, Patrick said.

"We can return to living our lives."

[Updated 5:54 p.m. ET] Fifteen patients wounded in this week's marathon bombings remained hospitalized Friday at Boston Medical Center, the hospital said. One of those patients is in critical condition, 10 are in serious condition, and four are in fair condition. The Boston hospital - one of several in the area treating the wounded - received 23 patients tied to Monday's blasts overall.

Eleven patients wounded in this week's Boston Marathon bombings remain at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital - down from the more than 30 patients total the hospital has treated, and not including those treated at its affiliate Faulkner Hospital - the hospital said Friday. One of those patients is in critical condition. Several other Boston-area hospitals are still treating injured patients as well.

[Updated 5:12 p.m. ET] Anzor Tsarnaev - father of Boston bombings suspects Dzhokar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev - who earlier told Russian national TV network Zvezda that he believed his sons were "framed" tells CNN from Dagestan that he was questioned Friday by Russian security services and then released.

[Updated 4:16 p.m. ET] Connecticut State Police have issued a new vehicle lookout alert in connection with the probe in neighboring Massachusetts: They say Boston-area authorities are looking for a 1995 gray Honda Odyssey with Massachusetts registration 93NN73. A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing might be in that vehicle, police said.

Connecticut police have issued a few vehicle alerts today, saying they've been monitoring information coming from investigators across the state line.

[Updated 4:05 p.m. ET] Anzor Tsarnaev, father of the suspects, told Dagestani TV netowrk Zvezda that he believes "someone framed" his sons.

"Someone framed them," Anzor Tsarnaev said during the interview Friday in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan. "I don't know exactly who did it. But someone did. And being cowards, they shot the boy (Tamerlan) dead. There are cops like this."

Anzor Tsarnaev said that whoever was behind the Boston Marathon bombings "is a bastard."

He said he was trying to get in touch with his family members in Canada and the United States, but he can't get through by phone.

"Those are my kids, you understand? Maybe he will be shot dead, too," he told Zvezda. "They will say, well, he had weapons. Kids with weapons? ... They should arrest him maybe and bring him, but alive. Alive. And justice should decide who's right and who's guilty."

Noting that he had lived in the United States, Zvezda asked him whether he ever had problems with the U.S. justice system.

'No, never. But I just didn't face it ever. So can I know about the justice there? I didn't have any problems," he said.

[Updated 3:53 p.m. ET] Boston police say the second vehicle they were looking for today, a vehicle with Massachusetts plate 116 GC7, has been found.

[Updated 3:43 p.m. ET] "Investigators are recovering a significant amount of homemade explosives" from last night's Watertown scenes, and “there is no proof yet of accomplices," Massachusetts State Police Spokesman David Procopio said, according to CNN's Susan Candiotti.

Police had said that the suspects were throwing explosives at them during last night's pursuit in the Watertown area.

[Updated 3:27 p.m. ET] Amtrak service between Boston and New York has been suspended, police say:

Earlier Friday, Amtrak service between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, was suspended. MBTA public transit service also is suspended in the Boston area.

[Updated 3:12 p.m. ET] A number of Friday evening events have been canceled or postponed in Boston because of the manhunt.

This includes tonight's Red Sox game at Fenway Park, scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and a Boston Bruins game.

[Updated 2:30 p.m. ET] Two students at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, where Dzhokar Tsarnaev was registered, told CNN that they saw him on campus this week, after Monday's Boston Marathon bombing, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.

Also Friday, a helicopter with a number of law enforcement personnel landed on campus, Lawrence reported.

The school ordered an evacuation of its campus on Friday. The school is located 65 miles south of Cambridge, just west of New Bedford.

[Updated 2:15 p.m. ET] Boston police confirm they're looking for a green '99 Honda sedan with Massachusetts registration 116 GC7.

[Updated 2:04 p.m. ET] Connecticut State Police have issued an alert for another vehicle, saying a wanted suspect in the Boston Marathon attack now could be in a 1999 green Honda Civic with Massachusetts license plate number 116 GC7. The CSP cited Boston authorities.

Connecticut police issued a similar alert earlier today for a different vehicle; that vehicle eventually was found unoccupied Friday in the Boston area, Boston police said.

[Updated 1:51 p.m. ET] More details on the Tsarnaev brothers:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, the Boston Marathon attack suspect now at large, came to the United States on July 1, 2002, at age 8 on a tourist visa, a federal source said. While here, he sought asylum and became a citizen on September 11, 2012.

His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police overnight, came to the United States four years after his brother, on Sept. 6, 2006, at the age of 20, the source said. He came legally but was not naturalized. He was a green card holder and in the country lawfully.

See profile of the Tsarnaev brothers.

[Updated 1:23 p.m. ET] Dzhokar Tsarnaev became a U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012, a federal official said Friday. See profile of the Tsarnaev brothers.

[Updated 1:17 p.m. ET] Here's the latest chronology that CNN has on Thursday night's shooting and subsequent manhunt:

The violence began late Thursday with the robbery of a convenience store, according to Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts state police. Soon after, in Cambridge, across the Charles River from Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier was fatally shot while he sat in his car, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Police believe the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were responsible for the shooting.

The two suspects, according to authorities, then hijacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, telling the driver that they are the marathon bombers, a law enforcement source told CNN's Joe Johns. At some point, apparently at a gas station, the source said, the driver escaped.

Police, who were tracking the vehicle using its built-in GPS system, picked up the chase in Watertown. The pursuit went into a residential neighborhood, with the suspects throwing explosives at the police. A firefight erupted and ultimately one suspect - later identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev - got out of the car. Police shot him, and his brother ran over him as he drove away, according to the source.

Earlier, there had been reports that Dzhokar Tsarnaev escaped on foot instead of by vehicle.

A source briefed on the investigation said Tamerlan Tsarnaev was wearing explosives and an explosive trigger. He died later at Beth Israel Hospital.

Richard H. Donohue Jr., 33, a three-year veteran of the transit system police force, was shot and wounded in the incident and taken to a hospital, a transit police spokesman said Friday. The officer's condition was not immediately known.

[Updated 12:45 p.m. ET] Police are continuing to run down new leads and go door to door in Watertown in the Boston Marathon terror attack investigation, said Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts state police. He told reporters that law enforcement will conduct a controlled blast later in Cambridge, an indication that police found suspected explosives.

[Updated 12:44 p.m. ET] Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says his request for people in the Boston area to stay indoors remains in effect for now. "We know what an inconvenience it is, in Watertown and Cambridge in particular ... but it’s been enormously helpful … to law enforcement.”

[Updated 12:30 p.m. ET] The Kyrgyz government said Friday that the two Boston Marathon suspects moved from Kyrgyzstan 12 years ago to the Russian region of Dagestan, from where the Tsarnaev family emigrated to the United States.

"Given that the suspects left the Republic at the ages of 8 and 15, the State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan considers it inappropriate to link them to Kyrgyzstan," it said.

Read this profile on the Tsarnaev brothers.

[Updated 12:25 p.m. ET] Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, was registered at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, which ordered its campus evacuated on Friday. The school is located 65 miles south of Cambridge, just west of New Bedford.

"UMass Dartmouth has learned that a person being sought in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing has been identified as a student registered at UMass Dartmouth," the school said in a news release. "The campus is closed. Individuals on campus should shelter in place unless instructed otherwise."

[Updated 12:06 p.m. ET] Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has tweeted since the Boston Marathon bombings on what friends of his tell CNN is his Twitter account.

The tweets included one at 1:43 a.m. Wednesday that said, "I'm a stress free kind of guy."

On Monday at 8:04 p.m. - hours after the bombings - he tweeted a lyric from a song that rapper Jay-Z has sampled: "Ain't no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people."

On Tuesday shortly after midnight he tweeted, "There are people that know the truth but stay silent & there are people that speak the truth but we don't hear them cuz they're the minority."

[Updated 11:55 a.m. ET] The uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers told reporters outside his home in Montgomery County, Maryland, this morning that his family is "ashamed" to be related to the suspects.

Ruslan Tsarni said the 19-year-old suspect still on the run "has put a shame on our family, a shame on the entire ethnicity." Tsarni urged his nephew to turn himself in.

He said anyone capable of committing such a crime are "losers."

[Updated 11:20 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised law enforcement in their hunt for the Boston Marathon attack suspects.

"I think it is fair to say this entire week we have been in pretty direct confrontation with evil," he said. "In the past few days we have seen the best and we have seen the worst of human behavior and it is the best that all of us really want to focus on."

[Updated 10:55 a.m. ET] Taxi service in Boston has been restored, police said. The service had been suspended earlier today because of the manhunt in the Boston bombings case.

[Updated 10:52 a.m. ET] More details on the discovery of the vehicle that police had been looking for: Boston police say that it was found unoccupied:

[Updated 10:50 a.m. ET] Another flurry of police activity is happening in Watertown, the Massachusetts community where police say one suspect was killed and another was being sought.

Police are asking reporters to move back - and stay down - as a number of other officers are drawing guns in a certain area, CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports from Watertown.

[Updated 10:41 a.m. ET] Connecticut State Police say that a vehicle that might be connected to a suspect in the Boston Marathon attack has been recovered in the Boston area. The vehicle is a gray Honda CR-V with Massachusetts plate 316 ES9.

Connecticut police earlier had issued a lookout notice for the vehicle.

This is what Boston police had to say about the vehicle earlier, on Twitter: "Police seeking MA Plate: 316-ES9, ’99 Honda CRV, Color – Gray. Possible suspect car. Do not approach."

[Updated 10:29 a.m. ET] A high school friend of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the suspect who Boston police say still is at large, is recalling what he remembers about him.

Eric Mercado told CNN that he went to Cambridge Rindge & Latin, a public high school, with Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19. Both graduated, he said.

"We hung out; we partied; we were good high school friends," Machado told CNN. "We're all, like, in shock. We don't really understand. There were no telltale signs of any kind of malicious behavior from Dzhokar. It's all coming as a shock, really."

[Updated 10:24 a.m. ET] More background on the brothers that several sources tell CNN are the suspects involved in Thursday night's shootings and police chase and Monday's Boston Marathon bombings:

The Tsarnaev brothers were Kyrgyz passport holders, and used those passports when applying for green cards in the United States, an official in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan said, according to CNN's Ivan Watson.

This doesn't mean they were born in Kyrgyzstan or that their family were Kyrgyz natives. Many Caucasus refugees received passports or refugee status in surrounding countries.

[Updated 10:14 a.m. ET] Some background on the brothers that several sources tell CNN are the suspects involved in Thursday night's shootings and police chase and Monday's Boston Marathon bombings:

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, the Boston Marathon attack suspect now at large, came to the United States as a tourist in the early 2000s and asked for asylum while he was here, a federal source said. He was naturalized last year. Tamerlan, the 26-year-old brother who was killed overnight, came "a few years later" and was a green-card holder, not a naturalized citizen, the source said, according to CNN's Mike Ahlers.

[Updated 10:02 a.m. ET] We now have the name of he Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was killed Thursday night - he was Sean Collier, 26, of Somerville, Massachusetts, according to the Middlesex district attorney’s office.

[Updated 9:48 a.m. ET] An aquatic director at Harvard University told CNN that he hired Dzhokar Tsarnaev as a lifeguard more than two years ago, but hasn't seen him for more than a year.

"He seemed like a very quiet, unassuming young man," the aquatic director, George McMasters, told CNN Friday morning. "He showed up on time, watched the water, rotated from position to position fine, got along well with students and swimmers there at the pool."

[Updated 9:34 a.m. ET] Boston police have released a new photo of Dzhokar Tsarnaev - the suspect still being sought in the Watertown area.

[Updated 9:31 a.m. ET] The Boston bombings suspect who was killed in a confrontation with police overnight in the Boston area was wearing explosives and an explosive trigger when his body was recovered, a source briefed on the investigation says, according to CNN's Deborah Feyerick.

Several sources tell CNN that the dead suspect has been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and the one still being sought in Watertown is Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19.

Police have publicly said that the dead suspect is the man that the FBI previously identified as "Suspect No. 1" in the Boston Marathon bombings. They also have said publicly that the suspect that they chased and last saw in Watertown overnight is the man that the FBI said was "Suspect No. 2"; Boston police also have said that they're looking for Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

[Updated 9:16 a.m. ET] The brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon attack haven't been connected to the Russian region of Chechnya for many years, the Chechen president's office said, according to the Interfax news agency.

The Tsarnaev family years ago moved out of Chechnya to another Russian region, lived some time in Kazakhstan, and then went to the United States where the family members received a residence permit, the office said.

"Therefore, the individuals concerned did not live as adults in Chechnya," said Alvi Kamirov, press secretary for Chechnya's president.

[Updated 9:01 a.m. ET] Boston police have now named a suspect that authorities have been seeking this morning. "Suspect identified as 19 year-old Dzhokar Tsarnaev of Cambridge. Suspect considered armed & dangerous," Boston police said on Twitter.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev is a Boston Marathon bombings suspect that police are looking for in Watertown following a chase overnight and shootings overnight, several sources told CNN earlier Friday.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was the suspect who was killed during a police confrontation overnight, those same sources told CNN.

Police have said that the man identified by the FBI as "Suspect No. 1" in the Boston Marathon bombings was killed in the police confrontation. The man identified by the FBI as "Suspect No. 2" is on the loose, last seen in Watertown, police said.

[Updated 8:52 a.m. ET] A recap of the developments that began Thursday night:

The violence began late Thursday with the robbery of a convenience store, not long after the FBI released images of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Massachusetts State Police spokesman Col. Timothy Alben said.

Soon after, in Cambridge, across the Charles River from Boston, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was fatally shot while he sat in his car, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in statement. Police believe the bombing suspects were responsible for the shooting.

The same two suspects, according to authorities, then hijacked a car at gunpoint in Cambridge. They released the driver a half-hour later at a gas station. As police picked up the chase, the car's occupants threw explosives out the windows and shot at officers, according to the district attorney's office.

Officers fired back, wounding one of the men, possibly the person identified by the FBI as "Suspect No. 1." The man died at Beth Israel Hospital. He had bullet wounds and injuries from an explosion, according to officials. The second man apparently escaped.

Richard H. Donohue Jr., 33, a three-year veteran of the transit system police force, was shot and wounded in the incident and taken to a hospital, a transit police spokesman said Friday. The officer's condition was not immediately known.

[Correction at 1:36 p.m. ET] The 8:52 a.m. entry above initially said that the second man apparently escaped on foot. "On foot" has been removed, as that part no longer appears to be the case.

[Updated 8:44 a.m. ET] Police activity in Watertown - where authorities believe they last saw "Suspect No. 2" during a chase overnight - seems to be picking up, CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports from the community. A helicopter is hovering over a building, and reporters are being asked to move back from where they were.

[Updated 8:30 a.m. ET] The FAA has ordered a 3.5-nautical-mile temporary flight restriction over Boston "to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities." The restriction is from surface to 3,000 feet, according to the FAA website.

[Updated 8:21 a.m. ET] “All taxi service in the city of Boston has been suspended pending further notice,” Boston Police said on its official Twitter account.

This meshes with authorities' request that all of Boston and many of its suburbs stay indoors - with doors locked - until further notice. All public transportation in Boston already has been suspended, schools are closed, and Amtrak service from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island, also has been suspended.

[Updated 8:16 a.m. ET] The Boston-area transit police officer who was shot and wounded overnight is Richard H. Donohue Jr., 33, a three-year veteran of the force, a transit police spokesman said Friday. Donohue was shot during the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

[Updated 8:14 a.m. ET] Several sources tell CNN that the dead suspect has been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and the one still being sought is Dzhokar Tsarnaev, age 19.

[Updated 8:10 a.m. ET] The suspects involved in the Boston bombings are brothers originally from the Russian Caucasus and had moved to Kazakhstan at a young age before coming to the United States several years ago, according to a source briefed on the investigation, CNN's Deborah Feyerick reported.

The older of the two brothers had the first name Tamerlan, had studied at Bunker Hill Community College, and wanted to become a engineer, the source said. He then took a year off to train as a boxer, according to the source.

The source said that a posting on a social media site in his name included the comments: "I don't have a single American friend. I don't understand them."

The source added that it should not be assumed that either brother was radicalized because of their Chechen origins.

[Updated 8:07 a.m. ET] "All of Boston" should shelter in place, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has just told reporters. The same applies to suburbs of Watertown, Newton, Belmont, Cambridge and Waltham, he said.

By shelter in place, Deval said he meant people should stay indoors, keep doors locked and not answer doors for anyone except for police.

Patrick also has confirmed to reporters that one Boston bombings suspect is dead and the other is on the loose.

He added:

- An Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer was "seriously wounded" and is in surgery right now.
- An MIT security officer was killed.

[Updated 7:59 a.m. ET] A recap of what authorities are telling Boston-area residents to do: Police ordered businesses in the suburb of Watertown and nearby communities to stay closed and told residents to stay inside and answer the door for no one but authorities.

The subway and Amtrak train systems have been shut down. Every Boston area school is closed.

"It's jarring," said CNN Belief blog writer Danielle Tumminio, who lives in Watertown.

[Updated 7:58 a.m. ET] The Boston bombings suspect who currently is on the run has been in the United States for "at least" a couple years, a federal law enforcement source tells CNN.

[Updated 7:40 a.m. ET] Boston police say on Twitter: "Door-to-door search 4 suspect in Watertown continues. Uniformed officers searching. Community consent critical."

[Updated 7:39 a.m. ET] The suspects in the Boston Marathon terror attack were brothers, a terrorism expert briefed on the investigation said, according to CNN's Deborah Feyerick.

[Updated 7:34 a.m. ET] One of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing - the man police were looking for Friday morning - has a name that is common among people from the North Caucasus, a source with knowledge of the investigation said Friday. That region includes the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya.

Earlier Friday, The Associated Press reported that the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are brothers believed to be from an area near Chechnya.

[Updated 7:32 a.m. ET] Police in the Boston-area community of Cambridge say the public should "clear area of Norfolk Street in Cambridge." "Ongoing investigation. Potentially dangerous," Cambridge police said on Twitter.

[Updated 7:29 a.m. ET] Boston police have given a heads-up to the public: They'll be conducting a "controlled explosion" - basically neutralizing a suspicious object - near the area of Commonwealth Avenue and Charlesgate.

[Updated 7:28 a.m. ET] Recapping what a doctor at Boston's Beth Israel told reporters this morning about the death of the man police believe is "Suspect No. 1" in the Boston bombings: He had bullet wounds and injuries from an explosion, the doctor said.

The doctor said he didn't know the cause of death, and he didn't know what the explosion was. The suspect was pronounced dead after unsuccessful attempts to reanimate him, a hospital spokesman said.

Police said the man believed to be "Suspect No. 1" was wounded in Watertown near Boston following a pursuit. That pursuit came about after the fatal shooting of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, authorities said.

[Updated 7:03 a.m. ET] The Associated Press has reported that the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings are brothers believed to be from an area near Chechnya.

[Updated 6:48 a.m. ET] More transportation options in an out of Boston are being shut down as police look for "suspect No. 2" in the Boston Marathon bombings. Amtrak train service between Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston has been suspended, Amtrak said Friday.

This comes after Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shut down Boston-area bus, subway, commuter rail, and ferry routes.

The FBI on Thursday released this image of what it called "suspect No. 2" in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Authorities said Friday that they're looking for him in the Boston suburb of Watertown.

[Updated 6:36 a.m. ET] A number of universities in the Boston area have been closed because of the manhunt for a suspect in the Boston Marathon terror attack, school officials said. They include Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Emerson College, and Boston College.

[Updated 6:23 a.m. ET] A person who was shot and killed in the Boston Marathon terror attack manhunt is believed to have had explosives on his body, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said Friday.

[Updated 6:19 a.m. ET] Here's some more details about the public-transportation shutdown in Boston: All Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service is suspended at the request of the police, Joe Pesaturo, the authority's public information officer, said Friday. This includes bus, subway, commuter rail, and ferry routes in the Boston area.

This comes as police say they're continuing to hunt down one of the suspects in Monday's Boston Marathon terror attack.

[Updated 5:59 a.m. ET] "Harvard University is closed due to public safety concerns. Please continue to watch this page for updates," the university announced on its website.

[Updated 5:55 a.m. ET]: President Obama was briefed overnight on the events happening in Watertown, CNN's Brianna Keilar reports.

[Updated 5:51 a.m. ET]: "Vehicle traffic in and out of Watertown suspended," say Boston Police on an official Twitter account.

[Updated 5:43 a.m. ET]: Mass transit in Boston has been suspended at the request of the police, says Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

[Updated 5:37 a.m. ET]: Boston Police, via its official Twitter account, says businesses near 480 Arsenal Street in Watertown, Massachusetts, are closed until further notice. Employees are also instructed to stay home.

[Updated 5:20 a.m. ET]: MIT cancels Friday's classes, according to a letter from Israel Ruiz, the school's executive vice president and treasurer, and school Chancellor Eric Grimson.

"MIT suffered a tragedy last night: an MIT Police officer was shot and killed on our campus in the line of duty," says the letter, addressed to the MIT community. "While the circumstances around the officer's death remain the subject of an active investigation, what is certain is that the officer gave his life to defend the peace of our campus. His sacrifice will never be forgotten by the Institute. We are thinking now of his family, and our hearts are heavy. In consultation with faculty chair Sam Allen, we have decided to cancel classes today (Friday). All employees are encouraged to use their best judgment about whether they are prepared to come in to work today: any absence today will be considered excused."

[Updated 5:03 a.m. ET]: Police in Watertown sending robocalls to residents instructing them to stay indoors, reports CNN's Drew Griffin.

[Updated 4:45 a.m. ET]: One of the suspects believed to have planted bombs at the Boston Marathon is dead after a shootout with police, a police spokesman said.

The FBI on Thursday released this image of who it called "suspect No. 1" the Boston Marathon bombings. On Friday, police said he was killed in a Boston-area shootout with police.

[Updated 4:21 a.m. ET]: A suspect on the loose in Watertown, Massachusetts, matches the description of Suspect 2 - a man pictured wearing a white cap - wanted in connection with the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, police said early Friday.

[Updated 3:54 a.m. ET]: Massachusetts State Police, via Twitter: "Police will be going door by door, street by street, in and around Watertown. Police will be clearly identified. It is a fluid situation."

[Updated at 3:48 a.m. ET]: Massachusetts State Police, on its official Twitter feed, warns Watertown residents to stay in their homes and to not answer the door "unless it is an identified police officer." "If any concerns about someone at door, call 911 immediately. Repeat–Do not answer door, stay away from windows, keep doors locked," the state police says in another tweet.

[Updated 2:40 a.m. ET]: Massachusetts State Police spokesperson Dave Procopio said that they believe multiple possible explosive devices were used against police tonight during this incident at Watertown. It was unclear if the incident, which followed a police chase of a stolen vehicle, was related to the shooting on the MIT campus or any other incident in the Boston area.

[Updated 2:31 a.m. ET]: FBI spokesman Martin Feely tells CNN's Susan Candiotti: "We are engaged with our partners trying to determine if there is a connection." CNN's Drew Griffin, who is on the scene in Watertown, Massachusetts, said FBI agents are on the scene.

[Updated 2:21 a.m. ET]: MIT releases statement on shooting death of campus police officer: "MIT is heartbroken by the news that an MIT Police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday night on campus, near Building 32 (the Stata Center). Our thoughts are now with the family."

[Updated 2:19 a.m. ET]: Boston Police Department's official Twitter feed says "there is an active incident ongoing in Watertown. Residents in that area are advised to remain in their homes. More details when available." FULL POST

Kids slain at Connecticut school were 6, 7
December 15th, 2012
07:54 PM ET

Kids slain at Connecticut school were 6, 7

  • 20 children, six adults and the shooter are dead after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday morning
  • Three law enforcement officials say Adam Lanza, 20, was the shooter, and that he died apparently by his own hand
  • Law enforcement officials say Lanza killed his mother, Nancy, at her Newtown home before going to the school
  • Victims' names released Saturday; all of the slain children were either 6 or 7 years old
  • Complete coverage: Connecticut school shooting

[Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET] Peter Lanza, father of alleged gunman Adam Lanza, released a statement Saturday expressing condolences to the families of victims.

"Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can," said the statement.


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.

Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building
Police responded to the Empire State Building in New York after several people were shot Friday.
August 24th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building

Read the full story and developments in the investigation on For local coverage, visit WPIX, WCBS and NY1.
Scroll down to catch up on the events as they unfolded.

[Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET] Two patients who were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Friday have been discharged and one has been admitted, the hospital's public affairs office said in a statement.

The three people were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Emergency Department as a result of a shooting outside the Empire State building shortly after 9 a.m., the hospital said.

Other victims were brought to Bellevue Hospital after the shooting, which police said left eight wounded and two dead, including the gunman.

Police initially said nine bystanders were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between shooter Jeffrey Johnson and police. That number was later revised to eight.

Pictures from the scene

Police killed Johnson as he pulled a gun on them while trying to flee the scene where he fatally shot a former coworker, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.


Arizona law leaves divisive legacy
Sergio Paez says Arizona's immigration law has hurt his tortilla business.
April 25th, 2012
07:53 AM ET

Arizona law leaves divisive legacy

The past few years haven’t been the best for a man trying to make an honest living selling tortillas in Arizona. Business owner Sergio Paez estimates that he has lost 20 businesses as customers in the past three years, from small neighborhood taquerias to chain restaurants.

In 2010, his tortilla business was suffering thanks to the nationwide recession. Then Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the state's controversial immigration enforcement policy known as SB 1070, and things got even worse, he said.

“The law affected the immigrant population dramatically,” said Paez, a naturalized citizen from Mexico whose Phoenix-area factory produces about 200 dozen tortillas an hour.

“The economy had already been going down with the housing crisis - construction stopped, people were losing homes, jobs, cars. That triggered the recession, but I think this law aggravated it here.”

With oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court set for Wednesday in the Obama administration’s constitutional challenge to the law, the outcome will have far-reaching implications for Arizona and other states that have implemented similar policies since 2010.


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Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Immigration • Justice
UK pants label: Give laundry to 'your woman'
This tweet from British journalist Emma Barnett show's the laundry tag from a pair of Madhouse pants
March 8th, 2012
10:28 AM ET

UK pants label: Give laundry to 'your woman'

A firestorm set off in a pair of men's trousers has left a British apparel company deflecting allegations of sexism and denying that it thinks laundry is strictly a woman's job.

It's not every day that clothing care instructions spark controversy. But that's what happened after British journalist Emma Barnett picked up her boyfriend's pants over the weekend while tidying the house.

Underneath the usually customary "machine wash warm" instructions, the tag offered a less appropriate option: “OR – GIVE IT TO YOUR WOMAN, IT’S HER JOB.”

Barnett tweeted an image of the tag on Monday, prompting an immediate outcry on social media and demands to out the company, Madhouse. The ensuing controversy has divided the citizenry into two camps: those who thought it was hilarious, with some asking how they can buy a pair, and those who found it offensive.

"Now normally I am the type of person who can stomach, and often smile along, with a touch of what has just become known as casual sexist 'banter,’ " Barnett, digital media editor for the the Daily Telegraph, wrote in a column. 

"Usually sexist jibes, statements, or even t-shirt logos, have some kind of juvenile or puerile humour to them. There’s more often than not a slight hint of tongue-in-cheek that allows most women to just pass off the remark or slogan as ‘stupid banter’ – even if they are seething inside," she said.

"There was no attempt at wit, and unlike the Topman t-shirts, which offended so many with their brazen slogans to be worn across young men’s chests – this was a hidden message – or rather an order, intended to encourage women to reassume their once their ‘proper place’ (in the home) and young men to maintain the expectations of their grandfathers.

Many who took up the issue on social media agreed with her.

"Way to alienate a substantial part of your potential customer base :O," Mfy Nixon said, echoing the sentiments of many who would later join the discussion on Twitter.


'My Friend Dahmer' looks at serial killer as a troubled high school student
John Backderf's graphic novel about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's high school years will be released Thursday.
February 28th, 2012
08:41 AM ET

'My Friend Dahmer' looks at serial killer as a troubled high school student

Readers of alternative weeklies nationwide are probably familiar with the work of cartoonist John Backderf - a.k.a. Derf - who has been serving up his twisted take on contemporary culture since 1990 in "The City" comic strip. But before his work graced T-shirts and album covers and earned him the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, he was a kid from rural Ohio who happened to be friends with Jeffrey Dahmer before he became one of the country's most notorious serial killers.

Now, 21 years after Dahmer's arrest, Backderf is telling the story of Dahmer's  high school years in a graphic novel, "My Friend Dahmer," which is being released Thursday.

Backderf was 12 years old when he met Dahmer in the seventh grade. By high school, Backderf and his "band nerd friends" had welcomed Dahmer into their group as the oddball joker who made them laugh. They parted ways before graduating from Revere High School, and Backderf never heard from Dahmer again.

Dahmer was arrested in 1991 in Wisconsin after a would-be victim narrowly escaped from his home. He was found guilty at trial of 15 counts of murder in Wisconsin and pleaded guilty to killing one person in Ohio. He was bludgeoned to death in 1994 by a fellow inmate in a Wisconsin prison. In the aftermath, Backderf began to reflect upon how the young man he knew had become a despicable rapist, murderer and cannibal, and the work that would lead to "My Friend Dahmer," Backderf's third graphic novel, began.

The 55-year-old veteran cartoonist spoke with about signs of trouble in Dahmer and possible missed opportunities to set the budding killer on a different path. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

CNN: How did you become friends with Jeffrey Dahmer?

John Backderf: The usual way kids become friends. We sat together in the cafeteria, he was my lab partner, which is pretty strange looking back on it. He didn’t have a lot of friends and he wasn’t one of my close friends, but we sort of adopted him as high school wore on because he amused us with his bizarre antics. He became a mascot for our group of friends. He was obviously pretty damaged from the get-go, but not to the extreme that we’d see later in life. He did not relate to people the way other people do.

CNN: How so?

Backderf: Early on, he would fake epileptic fits and spastic movements in the halls, bleat like a sheep. It sounds horrible now, but keep in mind we’re talking about 14- and 15-year-old boys who are idiots by nature, and he amused us. Later on, he started drinking heavily, at 8 in the morning he would reek of booze, which was disturbing, but now we know he was self-medicating to deal with everything going on his life. He was trying to quiet the noises in his head. There was strange behavior going on, but he was a smart guy and he just made us laugh. That’s really the bottom line.

CNN: What was he like?

Backderf: He was a real quiet guy. A lot of people portray him as this weakling who was picked on, but he was a big guy. He worked out with weights, and he was built like a linebacker. He was occasionally picked on a little by the jocks, but even they got wary of him. He kind of moved through the school without raising any notice from teachers. I don’t think any of the adults noticed him, despite how shocking his behavior was. He was able to sink into the shadows, but we noticed him in the way that kids often see things adults don’t see.

It didn’t surprise me that he became a serial killer, but he wasn’t my first choice from our class. When I heard the news that a classmate was accused of being a serial killer, Dahmer was my second guess in terms of classmates.


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Filed under: Crime
February 22nd, 2012
07:18 PM ET

50 killed, hundreds injured in Argentina train crash

Editor's noteLea este artículo en español/Read this article in Spanish

[Updated at 11:35 p.m. ET] A train packed with rush-hour commuters plowed head-on into a barrier at a Buenos Aires station Wednesday morning, killing 50 people and injuring hundreds more, officials in Argentina said.

The train failed to stop as it should have, and slammed into the barrier at Once station at Plaza Miserere shortly after 8:30 a.m. local time, rail service owner Buenos Aires Trains said.

Video of the crash aired by Argentina TV station C5N shows people waiting on a platform as the train's front section passes them and the camera. The train then comes to a violent halt, apparently because the front section hit the barrier farther down the track.

The crash caused the train's second section to be pushed 6 meters into the first section, Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi said, according to the Buenos Aires Herald. (See animated simulation of wreck from C5N)

Did you see the crash? Share your photos and videos with CNN and tell us what you're seeing.

Other video from the scene showed rescuers prying open windows of the twisted train to reach trapped passengers. Crews carried bleeding victims on stretchers through the busy station; some victims were taken to area hospitals by helicopter.

Argentina's president declared a two-day period of mourning.

"The government and people of Argentina give their solidarity and weigh the pain felt by the families of the victims," President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in a statement declaring the mourning period. Memorials will be held outside Argentina's Government House and Olivos, the presidential residence, the state news agency Telam reported.

"Never in my life had I seen anything like this," Schiavi told reporters hours after the accident.

Shaken passengers told reporters the crash sounded like a bomb blast.

"Suddenly I heard a bang, and many people fell on top of me. I think I had more than 10 people above me. I got out as quickly as I could," a passenger named Esteban told state news agency Telam. "I only saw injured people and heard screams."

Another passenger, identified only as Fabian, said he "flew 15 (meters) forward due to the impact," the Buenos Aires Herald reported.

"I had people piled on top of me. None of us could move,” Fabian said, according to the Herald.

Another passenger told C5N that shortly before impact, when passengers noticed the train wasn't stopping, some started to shout to others that they should run to the back.

The first two cars of the train - crammed with commuters - were most affected by the crash.

Passengers emerged bruised, some with serious injuries, Schiavi said. More than 460 were hospitalized.

The crash injured more than 600 people, the state-run Telam news agency reported.

Family members flooded local hospitals, clamoring for information about missing loved ones.

Officials were investigating the crash, which was one of the nation's worst in decades.

They will use GPS data, security camera footage, audio recordings from the driver's cabin and maintenance records in their investigation, Schiavi said.

The train stopped at other stations on its route, and data shows that it slowed down as it approached the Once station, Schiavi said.

"It stopped 14 times, and the last time, it didn't stop," he said.

The packed train was traveling at 26 kilometers per hour (16 mph) when it entered the station, he said.

"We do not know what happened in the last 40 meters," he said.

The train's 28-year-old driver had just started his shift and had a good record, the transportation minister said.

Earlier Wednesday, Schiavi said authorities believed there were problems with the train's brakes that caused it to smash into a barrier at the station.

Buenos Aires Trains, which runs the rail service, said it was cooperating with the federal investigation.

"The company sends its condolences to the family members of the deceased passengers and remains very concerned about the health of all the injured people," the firm said in a statement.

Wednesday's crash was among the worst in Argentina's history, Telam reported.

In 1970, 200 people died when two trains crashed north of Buenos Aires.

Eight years later, 56 people were killed when a train hit a truck in Argentina's Santa Fe province, the state news agency reported.

Last September, a crash involving two passenger trains and a bus in Buenos Aires killed at least 11 people.

December 16th, 2011
07:08 PM ET

'Tebowing' high school students suspended for blocking hallway

Two "Tebowing" high school students have been suspended for blocking the hallway while mimicking the quarterback's famous prayer pose.

The boys were two of four students to trigger a wave of some 40 students kneeling in between classes, Riverhead High School Principal David Wicks said. The students caused a safety hazard, he said. The incident was captured on a smartphone and posted to YouTube.

"It was basically just a tribute to Tim Tebow," The New York Post quoted one of the boys as saying. "It was more than a religious thing. There was some of that involved obviously, because he prays. I guess it was basically like a moment of silence."

The two students received in-school suspension because they had been warned before about pulling disruptive stunts in the middle of the hallway, Wick said. The others received a verbal warning.

"This is about students causing an unsafe situation by blocking the hallways," Wicks said. "This has nothing to do with Tim Tebow or punishing the students for their religion beliefs. If they'd been sitting in the hallway with their legs crossed they'd receive the same discipline."

Tebow mania is sweeping the nation, inspired by the Denver Broncos quarterback's overt religiosity and knack for winning despite less than stellar stats.

"I think it’s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we can’t allow students to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in a statement.

"The students stated that there was nothing religious about their actions and that they were just having fun. We hope that these students and all of our students continue to look up to the positive role models in public life; we just encourage them to do it in a responsible way."

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Filed under: Football • Pro football • Sports • Tim Tebow
Michael Jackson's doctor sentenced to 4 years
November 29th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Michael Jackson's doctor sentenced to 4 years

A California judge sentenced the doctor convicted in Michael Jackson's death by overdose to four years in county jail.

Citing a lack of remorse and failure to accept responsibility, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denied Conrad Murray's request for probation.

"You can't have probation when there isn't an acknowledgment of rehabilitation or responsibility and remorse," Pastor said. "Dr. Murray engaged in a recurring, continuous pattern of deceit, of lies and regrettably, that pattern was to assist Dr. Murray."

Prosecutors and Jackson's family had requested the maximum sentence of four years. In a statement read aloud at the hearing, Jackson's mother said Murray had failed her son and his family.

The pop star and his children had plans to enter the film industry "as a family" before Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, prosecutor David Walgren said as he read aloud from Katherine Jackson's written statement.

After his death of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, Jackson's daughter said she wished she could "go with him," according to the statement.

"Their world collapsed," the prosecutor said. "He violated her son's trust, failed her son and failed his family."

Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff had requested probation, urging the judge to consider testimony from other patients of Murray's who said he'd helped them.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter three weeks ago after a trial in which prosecutors successfully argued that Murray's reckless use of the surgical anesthetic propofol to help Jackson sleep, without proper monitoring equipment, led to the singer's death.

Measures to relieve crowding in California prisons and jails could significantly shorten Murray's time locked up.

Murray's mother, Milta Rush, wrote a letter to the judge asking for mercy, saying "his compassion and his soft heartedness for others led to this dilemma."

Prosecutors also asked for more than $100 million in restitution for Jackson's children.

Weary of Black Friday, some plan to shop local on Saturday
November 25th, 2011
02:12 PM ET

Weary of Black Friday, some plan to shop local on Saturday

Black Friday's not for everyone.  As crowds accumulate and shoppers get rowdy at retail stores nationwide, more and more Americans are declaring they're over the biggest shopping day of the year.

With pepper sprayings, a tasing and other Black Friday-related violence across the country, outrage is surfacing under the Twitter hashtag #F--BlackFriday. Amid critiques of consumerism run amok, some are calling on the American public to patronize local businesses instead.

"Hmm. Pepper spray? Gunshots? Parking lot robberies after midnight? hahaha #F--BlackFriday You suckers can have it," RoxinalRanger tweeted Friday, summing up the thoughts of many.

The loudest groans appear to be coming from store employees, many of whom have been on their feet for hours with no end in sight.

"It's only been 9 hours? F– me. Here till 5 PM! Who starts work at midnight and gets off at 5pm," one worker tweeted Friday, summing up the thoughts of many.

"I've never hated people or my job more than I do right now. I really hate everyone in this store. I really truly do," another tweeted.

"I already wanna strangle customers," another said.

For their part, shoppers also appeared to growing weary of the long lines and growing hostility.

"It has gotten to the point were I actually hate shopping.. #f-blackfriday #neveragain," @GabrielMaguina tweeted.

Others expressed frustration that they could not go shopping for ordinary items without braving crowds.

"Is there any store in the world I could go to and not need to wait 3 hours to buy a razor and eyeliner," Eye-V tweeted.

Others simply had other priorities: "I like sleep more than low low prices," @BenKuzmicz said.

Many commenters vowed earlier this week to avoid Black Friday by shopping earlier, with some arguing that its popularity is emblematic of what’s wrong in the United States.

“Bargain hunting and using credit cards to pay for majority of purchases; US consumers (are) overburdened with debt and cannot stop just like the US government," larryking11 said, in one of the comments featured in Thursday's Overheard on post.

"I am boycotting Black Friday and spending time with my friends and family instead of shopping. And to those retailers opening up on Thanksgiving night ... I will not be shopping at your stores at all this holiday. You are nothing more that a bunch of greedy grinches," Blackrhino said.

Some who associate Black Friday with overwhelming crowds and capitalism at its ugliest are saving their pennies and energy for Saturday.

Now in its second year, the American Express-sponsored "Small Business Saturday" is billed as "the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S."

On the event's Facebook page, which has more than 2.5 million fans, users are sharing shopping plans and businesses are throwing out sale pitches.

"Love shopping small mom and pop shops – always get the best stuff and unusual stuff," one shopper said.

Another user, presumably a retail employee, pledged "to give everyone the kind of service they don't get online or in the 'big box' stores. Service is what makes small business better."

However, other commenters on the Facebook page expressed skepticism over American Express' involvement.

"I love that this is presented by American Express....because that doesn't scream hypocrisy...." one user said.

"Question: Is American Express reducing its transaction fees for small businesses this weekend (or forever?)? Most of my local retailers can't afford to take AmEx!" another said.

American Express is using the event to encourage shoppers to use their AmEx cards. Cardholders who register an eligible American Express Card and use it for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26 will receive a one-time $25 statement credit, according to the Facebook page.

The push to patronize local business comes amid wider backlash against Black Friday. Earlier this week, organizers of the Occupy Wall Street movement urged protesters to occupy major retailers on Friday. So far, there have been no reports of major protests.

At least one small business urged shoppers not to buy from them on Friday. TheOldTry, a Boston-based print shop specializing in homages to the South, urged shoppers to reconsider the reason for the season.

"I'd prefer you not buy anything from us nor anyone else tomorrow and you spend time with friends and family. #tistheseason # honesty," the store tweeted.

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Holidays
November 11th, 2011
06:20 PM ET

Oops! Share your stories of Rick Perry-style brain freeze

Let's face it. We've all had our flubs or gaffes or "stepped in it" before. But when you're running for president of the United States, it just seems a whole lot worse.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been the butt of just a few jokes since his failed attempt Wednesday night to name three federal agencies he'd like to get rid of. His last word on the matter has been dubbed "the 'oops' heard round the world."

Sure, many a politician before him has frozen in front of the camera, from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to former President George Bush, who stared into space in a fruitless effort to name his "biggest mistake." There's even a scientific explanation for it: a "retrieval failure" in a moment exacerbated by stress, according to The Washington Post.

Now in damage control overdrive, Perry has been trying to make people laugh with him as he smiles and jokes his way through interviews, culminating in an appearance Thursday on the Tonight Show with David Letterman.

His campaign even sought to do some fund-raising off the gaffe, encouraging supporters to send $5 for every government agency they "would like to forget."

How about you? What's been your most embarrassing pregnant pause? We promise not to tell!

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Filed under: Rick Perry
Update: No after-school program for struggling Texas border community
Gavina Barrera raised four children in her home, including a daughter who still lives there with her own children.
September 23rd, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Update: No after-school program for struggling Texas border community

Priscilla Martinez wishes the children of Las Lomas had an after-school program this fall. But in this Texas border community poverty is the norm, and extras like after-school programs are luxuries.

"We don’t have any funding right now," said Martinez, director of Colonias Unidas, the community center in Las Lomas that usually hosts the after-school program. "We're just hanging on by a string."

Colonias Unidas' primary source of funding comes from revenue from mailboxes the center rents to Las Lomas residents. That money ran out after this year's summer program, which provided the children of Las Lomas with lunch and a place to play four days a week, Martinez said.

CNN visited Las Lomas in July, when the summer program was in full swing. Gavina Barrera, a resident of Las Lomas, showed us around the community, which is known in bureaucrat-speak as a "colonia," or an unincorporated settlement usually lacking water, sewage systems, sanitation or electricity.

In Las Lomas, in unincorporated Starr County about an hour from McAllen, median household income was $22,418 in 2009.

Explore the country by the numbers on's census map

Barrera, a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to Las Lomas in 1984, has seen the colonia grow from a shanty town to a neighborhood with paved roads and drainage systems. It may be substandard to many Americans, but given the progress of the past 20 years, it's a place Barrera is proud to call home.

But with each step forward, it seems another hurdle arises.

Colonias Unidas held an after-school program last year from September to May, she said. From Monday to Thursday, high school students provided homework help to younger children, receiving a stipend as incentive. This year, the money ran out before fall, Martinez said.

In the meantime, residents look forward to the little things, she said. Colonias Unidas holds a monthly "mercadito," where residents can sell handmade crafts or used household items. In October, architecture students from Texas A&M University will build a playground on the community center's grounds.

"That's something we look forward to. It gives motivation to the community, and that's important when you have little in the way of wealth or material possessions." she said. "People live simple lives here, but basically, as long as they're safe and their families are safe, they're happy."

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Filed under: Census • Economy • Texas
Update: Mexican students who survived drug violence thrive in America
Alejandro Caballero crossed the U.S.-Mexico border each day to attend high school. Now, he has a full scholarship at Iowa's Simpson College.
September 13th, 2011
06:51 PM ET

Update: Mexican students who survived drug violence thrive in America

Alejandro Caballero attends college in Iowa, nearly 1,000 miles away from his home and family in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It's his third year studying marketing communications at Simpson College, but he's been going to school in the United States for nearly eight.

Caballero, 20, began crossing the border from Juarez to El Paso, Texas, for school when he was 13. His mother dropped him off every day at the border in Juarez and he made the trip alone to El Paso for six years.

The experience taught him a valuable lesson about responsibility and independence, one that got him through high school and has earned him a full college scholarship three years in a row.

"I would get that feeling of now, after 8 a.m., when mom drops me off at the border, I'm independent. I can do whatever I want. I can go to school or skip school," he said. "Obviously I never did skip school, but it gave me that feeling of being independent, of realizing that I could make my own decisions, and I could make the right ones or the wrong ones."


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Filed under: Education • Juarez • Mexico
Police: Arkansas meteorologist found asleep in tub next to dead man
KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins was allegedly found asleep in a hot tub next to a dead man.
September 7th, 2011
10:12 PM ET

Police: Arkansas meteorologist found asleep in tub next to dead man

Police are investigating the death of an Arkansas man whose naked body was allegedly found next to a sleeping TV weatherman in a hot tub after a night of drinking and drugs.

The owner of the home awoke Monday morning to find the body of 24-year-old Dexter Williams at the bottom of an empty tub, his face blue and purple and a chain resembling a dog collar around his neck, according to a Maumelle Police report.

Asleep next to him was KARK meteorologist Brett Cummins, 33, who had arrived at Christopher Barbour's home outside Little Rock accompanied by Williams around 8 p.m. on Sunday, Barbour told police.

The three drank and snorted drugs, though Barbour told police he did not know what kind, Officer Gregory Roussie said in a report. The three continued drinking in the hot tub until Barbour retired for the night around 11 p.m., falling asleep on his couch.

Barbour awoke to the sound of Cummins snoring and discovered the two in the hot tub, which had been drained of water, he told police. After he awoke Cummins, the two realized that Williams' face was discolored and his skin cold to the touch, prompting Cummins to scream and run to the living room, where he vomited, Barbour said.

Maumelle Police and fire rescue arrived at the home around 8:10 a.m. and found Williams' body in the tub with blood pooling around his head, Sergeant David Collins said in a report. In the master bedroom he found a pill bottle next to a pair of khaki cargo shorts on a storage ottoman at the foot of the bed.

No arrests had been made as of Wednesday, Lieutenant Jim Hansard said.


September 7th, 2011
07:09 PM ET

Ohio mom who lied to get kids into neighboring school district gets reprieve

Ohio Gov. John Kasich reduced the charges against a mother who lied about her residency to send her children to school in another district, saying the punishment didn't fit the crime.

Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted in January of two felony counts of tampering with records for using her parents' address so she could send her daughters to Copley-Fairlawn City Schools without paying tuition. She lived in public housing in Akron at the time and said she didn't want to leave her daughters home alone after school.

Williams-Bolar, a teacher's aide, served nine days in jail after receiving a five-year suspended sentence. In her appeal for clemency, she claimed that the felony convictions would prevent her from obtaining a teacher's license.

In a rare departure from a recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board, Kasich reduced her convictions to two misdemeanor counts of tampering with records, saying the punishment seemed excessive.

"No one should interpret this as a pass; it's a second chance," Kasich said in a statement. "The penalty could exclude her from certain economic opportunities for the rest of her life. So, today I've reduced those felony convictions to what I think are the more appropriate first-degree misdemeanors."

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Ohio
Shark fin soup one step closer to being banned in California
Shark fins may be pulled from the shelves of San Francisco's Chinatown if Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill banning their sale.
September 6th, 2011
10:56 PM ET

Shark fin soup one step closer to being banned in California

A Chinese delicacy moved closer to extinction Tuesday in California as the state Senate passed a bill banning the sale of shark fins.

The Senate voted 25 to 9 to ban the possession, sale or trade of the key ingredient in shark fin soup. The bill will go to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for approval.

Shark fins are often acquired through the controversial practice of finning, in which a shark's fins are cut off and the rest of its body is tossed into the ocean. California, home to 1.1 million Chinese-Americans, is one of the largest importers of shark fins outside Asia.

Supporters of the bill hailed the vote as an important step toward protecting an increasingly rare species.

"This hugely important victory in the California Legislature comes not a moment too soon," said Leila Monroe, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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"With sharks being killed by the tens of millions every year just for their fins, scientists, many Asian Pacific-American leaders and jurisdictions around the country and world agree: The very best way to protect sharks from disappearing from our oceans forever is to ban the sale and trade of shark fins."

Critics said the bill unfairly targeted the Chinese-American community because it only restricts the sale of shark fins, which are used almost exclusively in Chinese cuisine. The bill does not apply to other shark products like oil or meat.

"I think what is most insidious about this particular bill is that it sends a very bad message, not only to us in California but to the rest of the world, that discrimination against Chinese-Americans is OK," Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lawmakers on Tuesday also approved a second bill that added several key provisions, including an exemption for taxidermists to possess shark fins and giving restaurants more time to use up what they have of the ingredient, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It is unclear what position Brown might take. He has not publicly stated whether he supports the bill.

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Filed under: Animals • California • Sharks
September 3rd, 2011
09:59 PM ET

7.0 earthquake strikes near Vanuatu in South Pacific

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Sunday morning off the southern tip of the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake struck about 75 miles (122 km) southeast of Isangel, the administrative capital of the island of Tanna, and 134 miles (217 km) northeast of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands.

A tsunami alert has not been issued for the South Pacific or the U.S. western coast.

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Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says
Kelley Williams-Bolar served nine days in January for her conviction on two counts of falsifying records.
September 2nd, 2011
08:17 PM ET

Ohio mom who put kids in wrong school was 'deceitful,' parole board says

The Ohio Parole Board unanimously recommended against clemency for a mother who lied about her residency so her children could attend school tuition-free in another district.

Kelley Williams-Bolar admitted in a July hearing that she was wrong to enroll her two daughters in the Copley-Fairlawn school district from under her father's address while she lived in subsidized housing in Akron. She claimed she did so because she did not want to leave her daughters home alone after school while she was attending classes at The University of Akron, fearing for their safety after a 2006 burglary.

The eight-panel board concluded that she could have investigated other options, such as looking at other districts, asking friends or neighbors to babysit, or actually moving into her parents' home. Instead, she chose "a pattern of deceitful behavior," the Board wrote in its clemency report, released Friday.

"Ms. Williams-Bolar was faced with a no more difficult situation than any other working parent who must ensure that their children are safe during, before and after school hours in their absence," it said in its ruling. "Most parents find legitimate and legal options to address this issue. Ms. Williams-Bolar's only response was to be deceitful."

The recommendation goes on to Gov. John Kasich, who expressed sympathy for Williams-Bolar earlier this year after her sentencing.

"Although we are disappointed with the Parole Board's recommendation, we remain confident that justice will ultimately prevail," Williams-Bolar's lawyer, David Singleton, said. "The Governor, not the Parole Board, has the last word on Kelley's clemency petition."


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Filed under: Crime • Education • Ohio
Venus Williams pulls out of U.S. Open citing autoimmune disease
Tennis pro Venus Williams advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open Monday after defeating Vesna Dolonts.
August 31st, 2011
06:42 PM ET

Venus Williams pulls out of U.S. Open citing autoimmune disease

Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open before her second-round match Wednesday, citing an autoimmune disease diagnosis.

"I have been recently diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain," the two-time U.S. Open winner said in a statement.

"I enjoyed playing my first match here and wish I could continue but right now I am unable to. I am thankful I finally have a diagnosis and am now focused on getting better and returning to the court soon."

Williams, 31, was scheduled to play Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday at New York's Arthur Ashe stadium, according to She advanced to the second round after defeating Vesna Dolonts on Monday, earning almost as much attention for her outfit as her game.

Sjögren's syndrome is a disease that is sometimes linked to rheumatic problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. It causes dryness in the mouth and eyes and may also affect joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, digestive organs and nerves.

Most people who get Sjögren's syndrome are older than 40. Nine of 10 are women.

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Filed under: Sports • Tennis
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