January 31st, 2013
04:53 AM ET

Standoff drags into 3rd day as man holds 6-year-old in underground bunker

Somewhere underneath this red Alabama dirt is a 6-year-old boy.

The kindergartener was snatched from the safety of his school bus Tuesday by a gunman and stashed in an underground bunker.

Authorities have not released the name of the suspected gunman. But neighbors and news outlets around Midland City identified him as 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, a Vietnam veteran and a retired truck driver.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S.
January 29th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

Niagara Falls daredevil Wallenda skywalks over Florida highway

[Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET] Unsteady cables and stronger-than-expected winds added drama, but Nik Wallenda's high-wire walk above a Florida highway looked like a walk in the park Tuesday.

The 600-foot stroll was on a cable strung 180 feet above U.S. Highway 41 along the Sarasota, Florida, bay front. The 34-year-old, who hails from multiple generations of high-flying daredevils, was not wearing a safety tether, and there was no net below to catch him if he fell.

Thousands watched from 180 feet below and television cameras broadcast it live to the world, a stunt intended to promote Wallenda's performance with his wife and other family members at Circus Sarasota.


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Filed under: Sports • U.S.
Readers sue Lance Armstrong for book refund
January 24th, 2013
03:02 AM ET

Readers sue Lance Armstrong for book refund

A class-action lawsuit filed in a federal court in California this week accuses cyclist Lance Armstrong and his book publishers of peddling fiction as fact.

The lawsuit mentions two of Armstrong's books, "Every Second Counts" and "It's Not About the Bike." It accuses the cyclist and his publishers of fraud and false advertising.

The suit says the books were sold "based upon the false belief that they were true and honest works of nonfiction when, in fact, Defendants knew or should have known that these books were works of fiction."

After years of vehemently denying that he used drugs to boost his performance during his record seven Tour de France wins, Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey last week that he lied.

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Filed under: Sports • U.S.
January 23rd, 2013
03:43 AM ET

NRA chief: Obama makes 'mockery' of American freedoms

The National Rifle Association chief issued a blistering retort to President Barack Obama's inaugural address, accusing him of name calling and limiting American freedoms.

Wayne LaPierre had been relatively silent since his controversial response to the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

In a speech late Tuesday night, he hit upon that same theme as he took repeated shots at Obama and his inaugural speech Monday.

"President Barack Obama quoted the Declaration of Independence and he talked about 'unalienable rights.' I would argue that his words make a mockery of both," LaPierre said at the annual black-tie Weatherby International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nevada.

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Filed under: Justice • Politics
December 5th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

NFL linebacker's mother screams as his baby cries in 911 tapes

Inside the Kansas City home that Jovan Belcher fled, his baby daughter wailed, his mother was in hysterics and his girlfriend was quiet. Barely breathing.

This is what the NFL linebacker left behind on Saturday in a rush of violence that left many wondering why.

Few answers came from 911 tapes released this week by police. But the tapes provide a heartbreaking soundtrack of the fleeting moments the morning that police say Belcher killed his girlfriend Kassandra Perkins and then later turned the gun on himself just outside the front door of the Chiefs' practice facility.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Kasi," Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, bawled. "The baby is crying ... Please get the ambulance here!"

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Filed under: Crime • Football • Missouri • Pro football • Sports
November 29th, 2012
07:47 AM ET

Winning Powerball tickets sold in Missouri, Arizona

If you are in Missouri or Arizona, check your lottery tickets. You could be filthy rich.

Tickets for the record-breaking estimated $579 million jackpot were purchased in those states, lottery officials said early Thursday morning.

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Filed under: Lotto
October 30th, 2012
06:42 AM ET

24 die in collision in Pakistan

At least 24 people have died in a collision in central Punjab, Pakistan.

A passenger van collided with a truck on a main street near the city of Bahawalpur on Tuesday morning, Sohail Tajik a senior police official from the area, told CNN.

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Filed under: Pakistan • World
September 27th, 2012
01:26 PM ET

'About time,' players, fans say as NFL officials return

The National Football League's regular referees will return to the field Thursday night after reaching a tentative labor deal that kicked replacement officials to the curb, ending a major source of frustration and embarrassment for fans, players and the league.

In place of the replacement referees, most of whom had officiated no more than a handful of pro games, the league put together a veteran crew with a combined 70 seasons of NFL experience to handle Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, the first since league owners lifted the lockout Wednesday night.

"Never thought I would be excited for the refs to come back to work but it's about time," Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Cribbs tweeted Thursday. "It was definitely necessary!"

The eight-year deal - the longest ever for officials, according to the NFL - gives the union referees a pay raise and keeps their pension program in place for five years.

It suspends a lockout that began before the league's preseason, leading to a series of gaffes that climaxed in a furor over a botched call that allowed the Seattle Seahawks to walk away with a victory in Monday night's nationally televised game. The league acknowledged Tuesday that the Green Bay Packers should have won, but allowed the result of the game to stand.

Union members still must ratify the deal, but the league has lifted the lockout to allow crews to handle games, pending that vote.

While they have not called a game since last season, the league's veteran crews will be ready to go, said retired official Mason "Red" Cashion.

"These guys have been working every week, really since May, to get ready for the season, through conference calls, through video, through meetings of their own," Cashion said. "And that's something that the officials have done simply because they have enough pride in what they do that they wanted to be ready. And they are ready."

The eight-year deal includes details about officials' pensions and retirement benefits, and adds a pay bump from $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013. The pay will rise to $205,000 by 2019.

The agreement will also allow the NFL to hire some officials on a year-round basis and hire additional referees so they can be trained.

"This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.

The return of the league's regular referees won't put an end to controversial calls, said retired NFL player Tiki Barber. But it will raise the respect level between coaches and players and officials, Barber said.

"There's still going to be arguing with referees," he said. "They're still going to make bad calls. But now we're going to know that it's coming from a base of knowledge. These guys know what they're talking about and they're going to have an argument for why they do what they do on the field."

The deal came almost exactly 48 hours after the controversial ending of the Monday night game, which the Seahawks won 14-12 after replacement officials gave possession of a disputed ball, and a touchdown, to Seattle receiver Golden Tate.

Investigator: Zimmerman missed opportunities to defuse situation
George Zimmerman failed to identify himself twice during a confrontation with Trayvon Martin, a detective says.
June 27th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Investigator: Zimmerman missed opportunities to defuse situation

George Zimmerman failed to identify himself twice during a confrontation with Trayvon Martin and missed opportunities to defuse the situation that led to the death of the teen, a detective says in a newly released report.

Zimmerman, who served as a neighborhood watch volunteer, is charged with second-degree murder in the February 26 shooting death of Martin, 17, in Sanford, Florida.

The revelation is part of information Florida prosecutors released Tuesday. It includes a previously undisclosed portion of a video of Zimmerman showing injuries he said he suffered in the altercation with Martin.

Zimmerman, 28, told police he shot the teenager in February in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty. But Martin's family and civil rights activists said Zimmerman, who is white and Hispanic, racially profiled Martin and ignored a 911 dispatcher's advice not to follow him.

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Filed under: Florida • Trayvon Martin
May 30th, 2012
02:26 AM ET

NBA draft lottery could help Michael Jordan

his is the time of the year where NBA executives may get a little religious, praying that the ping pong balls in Wednesday's NBA draft lottery fall in their favor.

Nobody may be praying harder than Michael Jordan whose Charlotte Bobcats is the the losingest team in NBA history.

The Bobcats ended the season with a record of 7-59 and finished with an all-time worst .106 winning percentage.

For the lottery, the league assigns ping pong balls to the worst performing teams. The poorer a team performed in the season, the more balls it gets.

The idea is to help the team get first dibs in the draft and pick up a promising player.

The Bobcats' dismal distinction means it will have a 25% chance of getting the top pick in Wednesday's draft lottery - and the greatest chance at picking Kentucky's all-world big man Anthony Davis.

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Filed under: Basketball • Sports • U.S.
January 10th, 2012
12:08 AM ET

Alabama beats LSU, wins college football championship

Alabama exacted revenge and clinched the Bowl Championship Series on Monday night, besting Louisiana State University 21-0.

The Crimson Tide cleared up past problems with its special teams, kicking five field goals to become champions of college football.

Alabama's stifling defense battered LSU the entire game, holding the Tigers to just five first downs.

"It was great team win. Our defense did a good job. Our offense controlled the momentum and our special teams played well," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

Monday's game was a far cry from the two Southeastern Conference rivals' last showdown.

Both teams went into that game on November 5 undefeated. College football pundits dubbed it the game of the century and Alabama lost 9-6 in overtime.

In that game, Alabama missed four field goals, including one in overtime.

This time, Alabama's kicker Jeremy Shelley hit five field goals, giving Alabama a commanding 15-0 lead in the fourth quarter.

Crimson Tide's star running back Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown with less than five minutes left.

"I am happy and proud of my players, the way they responded to the pain and disappointment of losing the last time," Saban said

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports • U.S. • World
January 9th, 2012
12:19 AM ET

LSU, Alabama face off in BCS championship

The rematch of the century takes place Monday night. And this time, there's more at stake than just bragging rights.

Top-ranked Louisiana State University Tigers take on No. 2 University of Alabama Crimson Tide in New Orleans for college football's national championship.

The showdown for the BCS championship game comes two months after the two giants battled in a tense Southeastern Conference match-up.

Both teams went into the November 5 game undefeated. College football pundits dubbed it the game of the century.

Alabama, playing at home in Tuscaloosa, lost 9-6.

For the Crimson Tide, Monday is a chance at redemption - and to settle the debate, one and for all, who is the best team in college football.

LSU has won all 13 of its games. Alabama is 11-1.

"These kind of competitive games, especially this game, playing somebody in your league that you already played, I think makes this a more special challenge," Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters. "The opportunity that our players have to play LSU again is something that is unique."

LSU coach Les Miles said the key to winning the championship is his team's defense.

Both teams bring powerful offenses and stingy defenses into the New Orleans Superdome.

But special teams could also play a big part in the game.

LSU boasts an electrifying cornerback in Tyrann "the Honey Badger" Mathieu.

And the November game was decided when Alabama's kicker missed four field goals, including one in overtime.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports • U.S.
December 31st, 2011
06:39 AM ET

2011: College sports' most scandalous year?

Even as early as last summer - when several big name college programs were roiling under allegations of improper gifts, academic fraud and recruiting violations - sports analysts had dubbed 2011 the year of college sports scandals.

But then came the fall, when the child abuse allegations at Penn State and Syracuse eclipsed everything that came before. Allegations that, many said, exposed the ugly underbelly of long-buried secrets at these august traditions.

"There is no question this is the most scandal-plagued collegiate year ever," said Eddie George, a former Ohio State running back and Heisman trophy winner.

"You look at Miami and Ohio State earlier and now the unthinkable at Penn State and Syracuse - this year, the stories off the field far overshadowed the play on the field."

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Filed under: Sports • U.S. • World
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