LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe gains access to a reported £20 million ($41.1 million) fortune as he turns 18 on Monday, but he insists the money won't cast a spell on him. Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" To the disappointment of gossip columnists around the world, the young actor says he has no plans to fritter his cash away on fast cars, drink and celebrity parties. "I don't plan to be one of those people who, as soon as they turn 18, suddenly buy themselves a massive sports car collection or something similar," he told an Australian interviewer earlier this month. "I don't think I'll be particularly extravagant. "The things I like buying are things that cost about 10 pounds -- books and CDs and DVDs." At 18, Radcliffe will be able to gamble in a casino, buy a drink in a pub or see the horror film "Hostel: Part II," currently six places below his number one movie on the UK box office chart. Details of how he'll mark his landmark birthday are under wraps. His agent and publicist had no comment on his plans. "I'll definitely have some sort of party," he said in an interview. "Hopefully none of you will be reading about it." Radcliffe's earnings from the first five Potter films have been held in a trust fund which he has not been able to touch. Despite his growing fame and riches, the actor says he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. "People are always looking to say 'kid star goes off the rails,'" he told reporters last month. "But I try very hard not to go that way because it would be too easy for them." His latest outing as the boy wizard in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is breaking records on both sides of the Atlantic and he will reprise the role in the last two films. Watch I-Reporter give her review of Potter's latest » . There is life beyond Potter, however. The Londoner has filmed a TV movie called "My Boy Jack," about author Rudyard Kipling and his son, due for release later this year. He will also appear in "December Boys," an Australian film about four boys who escape an orphanage. Earlier this year, he made his stage debut playing a tortured teenager in Peter Shaffer's "Equus." Meanwhile, he is braced for even closer media scrutiny now that he's legally an adult: "I just think I'm going to be more sort of fair game," he told Reuters. E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe gets £20M fortune as he turns 18 Monday . Young actor says he has no plans to fritter his cash away . Radcliffe's earnings from first five Potter films have been held in trust fund .
Editor's note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news and analyze the stories behind the events. Here, Soledad O'Brien takes users inside a jail where many of the inmates are mentally ill. An inmate housed on the "forgotten floor," where many mentally ill inmates are housed in Miami before trial. MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- The ninth floor of the Miami-Dade pretrial detention facility is dubbed the "forgotten floor." Here, inmates with the most severe mental illnesses are incarcerated until they're ready to appear in court. Most often, they face drug charges or charges of assaulting an officer --charges that Judge Steven Leifman says are usually "avoidable felonies." He says the arrests often result from confrontations with police. Mentally ill people often won't do what they're told when police arrive on the scene -- confrontation seems to exacerbate their illness and they become more paranoid, delusional, and less likely to follow directions, according to Leifman. So, they end up on the ninth floor severely mentally disturbed, but not getting any real help because they're in jail. We toured the jail with Leifman. He is well known in Miami as an advocate for justice and the mentally ill. Even though we were not exactly welcomed with open arms by the guards, we were given permission to shoot videotape and tour the floor. Go inside the 'forgotten floor' » . At first, it's hard to determine where the people are. The prisoners are wearing sleeveless robes. Imagine cutting holes for arms and feet in a heavy wool sleeping bag -- that's kind of what they look like. They're designed to keep the mentally ill patients from injuring themselves. That's also why they have no shoes, laces or mattresses. Leifman says about one-third of all people in Miami-Dade county jails are mentally ill. So, he says, the sheer volume is overwhelming the system, and the result is what we see on the ninth floor. Of course, it is a jail, so it's not supposed to be warm and comforting, but the lights glare, the cells are tiny and it's loud. We see two, sometimes three men -- sometimes in the robes, sometimes naked, lying or sitting in their cells. "I am the son of the president. You need to get me out of here!" one man shouts at me. He is absolutely serious, convinced that help is on the way -- if only he could reach the White House. Leifman tells me that these prisoner-patients will often circulate through the system, occasionally stabilizing in a mental hospital, only to return to jail to face their charges. It's brutally unjust, in his mind, and he has become a strong advocate for changing things in Miami. Over a meal later, we talk about how things got this way for mental patients. Leifman says 200 years ago people were considered "lunatics" and they were locked up in jails even if they had no charges against them. They were just considered unfit to be in society. Over the years, he says, there was some public outcry, and the mentally ill were moved out of jails and into hospitals. But Leifman says many of these mental hospitals were so horrible they were shut down. Where did the patients go? Nowhere. The streets. They became, in many cases, the homeless, he says. They never got treatment. Leifman says in 1955 there were more than half a million people in state mental hospitals, and today that number has been reduced 90 percent, and 40,000 to 50,000 people are in mental hospitals. The judge says he's working to change this. Starting in 2008, many inmates who would otherwise have been brought to the "forgotten floor" will instead be sent to a new mental health facility -- the first step on a journey toward long-term treatment, not just punishment. Leifman says it's not the complete answer, but it's a start. Leifman says the best part is that it's a win-win solution. The patients win, the families are relieved, and the state saves money by simply not cycling these prisoners through again and again. And, for Leifman, justice is served. E-mail to a friend .
Mentally ill inmates in Miami are housed on the "forgotten floor" Judge Steven Leifman says most are there as a result of "avoidable felonies" While CNN tours facility, patient shouts: "I am the son of the president" Leifman says the system is unjust and he's fighting for change .
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- Drivers who were on the Minneapolis bridge when it collapsed told harrowing tales of survival. "The whole bridge from one side of the Mississippi to the other just completely gave way, fell all the way down," survivor Gary Babineau told CNN. "I probably had a 30-, 35-foot free fall. And there's cars in the water, there's cars on fire. The whole bridge is down." He said his back was injured but he determined he could move around. "I realized there was a school bus right next to me, and me and a couple of other guys went over and started lifting the kids off the bridge. They were yelling, screaming, bleeding. I think there were some broken bones." Watch a driver describe his narrow escape » . At home when he heard about the disaster, Dr. John Hink, an emergency room physician, jumped into his car and rushed to the scene in 15 minutes. He arrived at the south side of the bridge, stood on the riverbank and saw dozens of people lying dazed on an expansive deck. They were in the middle of the Mississippi River, which was churning fast, and he had no way of getting to them. He went to the north side, where there was easier access to people. Ambulances were also having a hard time driving down to the river to get closer to the scene. Working feverishly, volunteers, EMTs and other officials managed to get 55 people into ambulances in less than two hours. Occasionally, a pickup truck with a medic inside would drive to get an injured person and bring him back up even ground, Hink told CNN. The rescue effort was controlled and organized, he said; the opposite of the lightning-quick collapse. "I could see the whole bridge as it was going down, as it was falling," Babineau said. "It just gave a rumble real quick, and it all just gave way, and it just fell completely, all the way to the ground. And there was dust everywhere and it was just like everyone has been saying: It was just like out of the movies." Babineau said the rear of his pickup truck was dangling over the edge of a broken-off section of the bridge. He said several vehicles slid past him into the water. "I stayed in my car for one or two seconds. I saw a couple cars fall," he said. "So I stayed in my car until the cars quit falling for a second, then I got out real quick, ran in front of my truck -- because behind my truck was just a hole -- and I helped a woman off of the bridge with me. "I just wanted off the bridge, and then I ran over to the school bus. I started grabbing kids and handing them down. It was just complete chaos." He said most of the children were crying or screaming. He and other rescuers set them on the ground and told them to run to the river bank, but a few needed to be carried because of their injuries. See rescuers clamber over rubble » . Babineau said he had no rescue training. "I just knew what I had to do at the moment." Melissa Hughes, 32, of Minneapolis, told The Associated Press that she was driving home when the western edge of the bridge collapsed under her. "You know that free-fall feeling? I felt that twice," Hughes said. A pickup landed on top of her car, but she was not hurt. "I had no idea there was a vehicle on my car," she told AP. "It's really very surreal." Babineau told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "On the way down, I thought I was dead. I literally thought I was dead. "My truck was completely face down, pointed toward the ground, and my truck got ripped in half. It was folded in half, and I can't believe I'm alive." See and hear eyewitness accounts » . Bernie Toivonen told CNN's "American Morning" that his vehicle was on a part of the bridge that ended up tilted at a 45-degree angle. "I knew the deck was going down, there was no question about it, and I thought I was going to die," he said. After the bridge settled and his car remained upright, "I just put in park, turned the key off and said, 'Oh, I'm alive,' " he said. E-mail to a friend .
NEW: "I thought I was going to die," driver says . Man says pickup truck was folded in half; he just has cut on face . Driver: "I probably had a 30-, 35-foot free fall" Minnesota bridge collapsed during rush hour Wednesday .
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Doctors removed five small polyps from President Bush's colon on Saturday, and "none appeared worrisome," a White House spokesman said. The polyps were removed and sent to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for routine microscopic examination, spokesman Scott Stanzel said. Results are expected in two to three days. All were small, less than a centimeter [half an inch] in diameter, he said. Bush is in good humor, Stanzel said, and will resume his activities at Camp David. During the procedure Vice President Dick Cheney assumed presidential power. Bush reclaimed presidential power at 9:21 a.m. after about two hours. Doctors used "monitored anesthesia care," Stanzel said, so the president was asleep, but not as deeply unconscious as with a true general anesthetic. He spoke to first lady Laura Bush -- who is in Midland, Texas, celebrating her mother's birthday -- before and after the procedure, Stanzel said. Afterward, the president played with his Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, Stanzel said. He planned to have lunch at Camp David and have briefings with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, and planned to take a bicycle ride Saturday afternoon. Cheney, meanwhile, spent the morning at his home on Maryland's eastern shore, reading and playing with his dogs, Stanzel said. Nothing occurred that required him to take official action as president before Bush reclaimed presidential power. The procedure was supervised by Dr. Richard Tubb, Bush's physician, and conducted by a multidisciplinary team from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, the White House said. Bush's last colonoscopy was in June 2002, and no abnormalities were found, White House spokesman Tony Snow said. The president's doctor had recommended a repeat procedure in about five years. A colonoscopy is the most sensitive test for colon cancer, rectal cancer and polyps, small clumps of cells that can become cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. Small polyps may be removed during the procedure. Snow said on Friday that Bush had polyps removed during colonoscopies before becoming president. Snow himself is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer that began in his colon and spread to his liver. Watch Snow talk about Bush's procedure and his own colon cancer » . "The president wants to encourage everybody to use surveillance," Snow said. The American Cancer Society recommends that people without high risk factors or symptoms begin getting screened for signs of colorectal cancer at age 50. E-mail to a friend .
Five small polyps found during procedure; "none worrisome," spokesman says . President reclaims powers transferred to vice president . Bush undergoes routine colonoscopy at Camp David .
(CNN) -- The National Football League has indefinitely suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick without pay, officials with the league said Friday. NFL star Michael Vick is set to appear in court Monday. A judge will have the final say on a plea deal. Earlier, Vick admitted to participating in a dogfighting ring as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Virginia. "Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to Vick. Goodell said he would review the status of the suspension after the legal proceedings are over. In papers filed Friday with a federal court in Virginia, Vick also admitted that he and two co-conspirators killed dogs that did not fight well. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Vick's admissions describe actions that are "incomprehensible and unacceptable." The suspension makes "a strong statement that conduct which tarnishes the good reputation of the NFL will not be tolerated," he said in a statement. Watch what led to Vick's suspension » . Goodell said the Falcons could "assert any claims or remedies" to recover $22 million of Vick's signing bonus from the 10-year, $130 million contract he signed in 2004, according to The Associated Press. Vick said he would plead guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture" in a plea agreement filed at U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, "full restitution, a special assessment and 3 years of supervised release," the plea deal said. Federal prosecutors agreed to ask for the low end of the sentencing guidelines. "The defendant will plead guilty because the defendant is in fact guilty of the charged offense," the plea agreement said. In an additional summary of facts, signed by Vick and filed with the agreement, Vick admitted buying pit bulls and the property used for training and fighting the dogs, but the statement said he did not bet on the fights or receive any of the money won. "Most of the 'Bad Newz Kennels' operations and gambling monies were provided by Vick," the official summary of facts said. Gambling wins were generally split among co-conspirators Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and sometimes Purnell Peace, it continued. "Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by 'Bad Newz Kennels.' " Vick also agreed that "collective efforts" by him and two others caused the deaths of at least six dogs. Around April, Vick, Peace and Phillips tested some dogs in fighting sessions at Vick's property in Virginia, the statement said. "Peace, Phillips and Vick agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road and all of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning. "Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick," the summary said. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia; and Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia, already have accepted agreements to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences. Vick, 27, is scheduled to appear Monday in court, where he is expected to plead guilty before a judge. See a timeline of the case against Vick » . The judge in the case will have the final say over the plea agreement. The federal case against Vick focused on the interstate conspiracy, but Vick's admission that he was involved in the killing of dogs could lead to local charges, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. "It sometimes happens -- not often -- that the state will follow a federal prosecution by charging its own crimes for exactly the same behavior," Toobin said Friday. "The risk for Vick is, if he makes admissions in his federal guilty plea, the state of Virginia could say, 'Hey, look, you admitted violating Virginia state law as well. We're going to introduce that against you and charge you in our court.' " In the plea deal, Vick agreed to cooperate with investigators and provide all information he may have on any criminal activity and to testify if necessary. Vick also agreed to turn over any documents he has and to submit to polygraph tests. Vick agreed to "make restitution for the full amount of the costs associated" with the dogs that are being held by the government. "Such costs may include, but are not limited to, all costs associated with the care of the dogs involved in that case, including if necessary, the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all of those animals." Prosecutors, with the support of animal rights activists, have asked for permission to euthanize the dogs. But the dogs could serve as important evidence in the cases against Vick and his admitted co-conspirators. Judge Henry E. Hudson issued an order Thursday telling the U.S. Marshals Service to "arrest and seize the defendant property, and use discretion and whatever means appropriate to protect and maintain said defendant property." Both the judge's order and Vick's filing refer to "approximately" 53 pit bull dogs. After Vick's indictment last month, Goodell ordered the quarterback not to report to the Falcons training camp, and the league is reviewing the case. Blank told the NFL Network on Monday he could not speculate on Vick's future as a Falcon, at least not until he had seen "a statement of facts" in the case. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Mike Phelan contributed to this report.
NEW: NFL chief, Atlanta Falcons owner critical of Michael Vick's conduct . NFL suspends Falcons quarterback indefinitely without pay . Vick admits funding dogfighting operation but says he did not gamble . Vick due in federal court Monday; future in NFL remains uncertain .
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Dressed in a Superman shirt, 5-year-old Youssif held his sister's hand Friday, seemingly unaware that millions of people across the world have been touched by his story. Nearby, his parents talked about the new future and hope they have for their boy -- and the potential for recovery from his severe burns. Youssif holds his sister's hand Friday. He's wearing a facial mask often used to help burn victims. It's the best birthday present the Iraqi family could ever have imagined for their boy: Youssif turns 6 next Friday. "I was so happy I didn't know what to do with myself," his mother, Zainab, told CNN, a broad smile across her face. "I didn't think the reaction would be this big." His father said he was on the roof of his house when CNN called him with the news about the outpouring of support for his son. "We just want to thank everyone who has come forward," he said. "We knew there was kindness out there." Like his wife, he couldn't stop smiling. He talked about how he tried in vain to get help for his son in Baghdad, leaving "no stone unturned" on a mission to help his boy. There were many trips to the Ministry of Health. He says he even put in a request to Iraq's parliament for help. The family eventually told CNN their story -- that Youssif was grabbed by masked men outside their home on January 15, doused in gasoline and set on fire. Simply by coming forward, his parents put themselves in incredible danger. No one has been arrested or held accountable in Youssif's case. Watch CNN's Arwa Damon describe 'truly phenomenal' outpouring » . Shortly after Youssif's story aired Wednesday, the Children's Burn Foundation -- a nonprofit organization based in Sherman Oaks, California, that provides support for burn victims locally, nationally and internationally -- agreed to pay for the transportation for Youssif and his family to come to the United States and to set up a fund for donations. You can make a donation at the foundation's site by clicking here. There's a drop-down menu under the "general donation" area that is marked "Youssif's fund." The foundation says it will cover all medical costs -- from surgeries for Youssif to housing costs to any social rehabilitation that might be needed for him. Surgeries will be performed by Dr. Peter Grossman, a plastic surgeon with the affiliated Grossman Burn Center who is donating his services for Youssif's cause. Officials are still trying to get the appropriate visas for the family's travels. "We are prepared to have them come here, set them up in a housing situation, provide support for them and begin treatment," said Barbara Friedman, executive director of the Children's Burn Foundation. "We expect that the treatment will be from between six months to a year with many surgeries." She added, "He will be getting the absolute best care that's available." Youssif's parents said they know it's going to be a lengthy and difficult process and that adjusting to their stay in America may not be easy. But none of that matters -- getting help for their boy is first and foremost. "I will do anything for Youssif," his father said, pulling his son closer to him. "Our child is everything." His mother tried to coax Youssif to talk to us on this day. But he didn't want to; his mother says he's shy outside of their home. The biggest obstacle now is getting the visas to leave, and the serious security risks they face every day and hour they remain in Iraq. But this family -- which saw the very worst in humanity on that January day -- has new hope in the world. That is partly due to the tens of thousands of users who were so moved by the story and wanted to act. CNN Iraqi staff central to bringing this story together were also overwhelmed with the generosity coming from people outside of their border. In a nation that largely feels abandoned by the rest of the world, it was a refreshing realization. E-mail to a friend . senior producer Wayne Drash contributed to this report in Atlanta.
Parents beam with pride, can't stop from smiling from outpouring of support . Mom: "I was so happy I didn't know what to do" Burn center in U.S. has offered to provide treatment for reconstructive surgeries . Dad says, "Anything for Youssif"
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The women are too afraid and ashamed to show their faces or have their real names used. They have been driven to sell their bodies to put food on the table for their children -- for as little as $8 a day. Suha, 37, is a mother of three. She says her husband thinks she is cleaning houses when she leaves home. "People shouldn't criticize women, or talk badly about them," says 37-year-old Suha as she adjusts the light colored scarf she wears these days to avoid extremists who insist women cover themselves. "They all say we have lost our way, but they never ask why we had to take this path." A mother of three, she wears light makeup, a gold pendant of Iraq around her neck, and an unexpected air of elegance about her. "I don't have money to take my kid to the doctor. I have to do anything that I can to preserve my child, because I am a mother," she says, explaining why she prostitutes herself. Anger and frustration rise in her voice as she speaks. "No matter what else I may be, no matter how off the path I may be, I am a mother!" Watch a woman describe turning to prostitution to "save my child" » . Her clasped hands clench and unclench nervously. Suha's husband thinks that she is cleaning houses when she goes away. So does Karima's family. "At the start I was cleaning homes, but I wasn't making much. No matter how hard I worked it just wasn't enough," she says. Karima, clad in all black, adds, "My husband died of lung cancer nine months ago and left me with nothing." She has five children, ages 8 to 17. Her eldest son could work, but she's too afraid for his life to let him go into the streets, preferring to sacrifice herself than risk her child. She was solicited the first time when she was cleaning an office. "They took advantage of me," she says softly. "At first I rejected it, but then I realized I have to do it." Both Suha and Karima have clients that call them a couple times a week. Other women resort to trips to the market to find potential clients. Or they flag down vehicles. Prostitution is a choice more and more Iraqi women are making just to survive. "It's increasing," Suha says. "I found this 'thing' through my friend, and I have another friend in the same predicament as mine. Because of the circumstance, she is forced to do such things." Violence, increased cost of living, and lack of any sort of government aid leave women like these with few other options, according to humanitarian workers. "At this point there is a population of women who have to sell their bodies in order to keep their children alive," says Yanar Mohammed, head and founder of the Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq. "It's a taboo that no one is speaking about." She adds, "There is a huge population of women who were the victims of war who had to sell their bodies, their souls and they lost it all. It crushes us to see them, but we have to work on it and that's why we started our team of women activists." Her team pounds the streets of Baghdad looking for these victims often too humiliated to come forward. "Most of the women that we find at hospitals [who] have tried to commit suicide" have been involved in prostitution, said Basma Rahim, a member of Mohammed's team. The team's aim is to compile information on specific cases and present it to Iraq's political parties -- to have them, as Mohammed puts it, "come tell us what [they] are ... going to do about this." Rahim tells the heartbreaking story of one woman they found who lives in a room with three of her children: "She has sex while her three children are in the room, but she makes them stand in separate corners." According to Rahim and Mohammed, most of the women they encounter say they are driven to prostitution by a desperate desire for survival in the dangerously violent and unforgiving circumstances in Iraq. "They took this path but they are not pleased," Rahim says. Karima says when she sees her children with food on the table, she is able to convince herself that it's worth it. "Everything is for the children. They are the beauty in life and, without them, we cannot live." But she says, "I would never allow my daughter to do this. I would rather marry her off at 13 than have her go through this." Karima's last happy memory is of her late husband, when they were a family and able to shoulder the hardships of life in today's Iraq together. Suha says as a young girl she dreamed of being a doctor, with her mom boasting about her potential in that career. Life couldn't have taken her further from that dream. "It's not like we were born into this, nor was it ever in my blood," she says. What she does for her family to survive now eats away at her. "I lay on my pillow and my brain is spinning, and it all comes back to me as if I am watching a movie." E-mail to a friend .
Aid workers: Violence, increased cost of living drive women to prostitution . Group is working to raise awareness of the problem with Iraq's political leaders . Two Iraqi mothers tell CNN they turned to prostitution to help feed their children . "Everything is for the children," one woman says .
BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- A key rebel commander and fugitive from a U.S. drug trafficking indictment was killed over the weekend in an air attack on a guerrilla encampment, the Colombian military said Monday. Alleged cocaine trafficker and FARC rebel Tomas Medina Caracas in an Interpol photo. Tomas Medina Caracas, known popularly as "El Negro Acacio," was a member of the high command of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia and, according to Colombian and U.S. officials, helped manage the group's extensive cocaine trafficking network. He had been in the cross-hairs of the U.S. Justice Department since 2002. He was charged with conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States and manufacturing and distributing cocaine within Colombia to fund the FARC's 42-year insurgency against the government. U.S. officials alleged Medina Caracas managed the rebel group's sales of cocaine to international drug traffickers, who in turn smuggled it into the United States. He was also indicted in the United States along with two other FARC commanders in November 2002 on charges of conspiring to kidnap two U.S. oil workers from neighboring Venezuela in 1997 and holding one of them for nine months until a $1 million ransom was paid. Officials said the army's Rapid Response Force, backed by elements of the Colombian Air Force, tracked Medina Caracas down at a FARC camp in the jungle in the south of the country. "After a bombardment, the troops occupied the camp, and they've found 14 dead rebels so far, along with rifles, pistols, communications equipment and ... four GPS systems," Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said at a news conference. "The death of 'El Negro Acacio' was confirmed by various sources, including members of FARC itself." Medina Caracas commanded FARC's 16th Front in the southern departments of Vichada and Guainia. Established in 1964 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party, FARC is Colombia's oldest, largest, most capable and best-equipped Marxist rebel group, according to the U.S. Department of State. E-mail to a friend . Journalist Fernando Ramos contributed to this report.
Tomas Medina Caracas was a fugitive from a U.S. drug trafficking indictment . "El Negro Acacio" allegedly helped manage extensive cocaine network . U.S. Justice Department indicted him in 2002 . Colombian military: He was killed in an attack on a guerrilla encampment .
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House press secretary Tony Snow, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, will step down from his post September 14 and be replaced by deputy press secretary Dana Perino, the White House announced Friday. White House press secretary Tony Snow will step down from his post on September 14. President Bush told reporters Friday that he will "sadly accept" Snow's resignation. Flanked by Snow and Perino in the White House press room, the president spoke warmly of his departing press secretary. "It's been a joy to watch him spar with you," Bush told reporters. Watch the announcement about Snow leaving » . Bush said he was certain of two things in regard to Snow. "He'll battle cancer and win," Bush said, "and he'll be a solid contributor to society." Turning to Snow, the president then said: "I love you, and I wish you all the best." Snow, speaking after Bush at the start of the daily White House news conference, said he was leaving to earn more money. He took a big pay cut, he said, when he left his previous jobs as anchor and political analyst for Fox News. According to The Washington Post, Snow makes $168,000 as the White House spokesman. His family took out a loan when he started the job, "and that loan is now gone." "This job has really been a dream for me, a blast. I've had an enormous amount of fun and satisfaction," Snow said. He said he would continue to speak out on issues, and would do "some radio, some TV, but I don't anticipate full-time anchor duties." Snow said he's received great satisfaction from talking to people about his illness. Snow's cancer was diagnosed for the first time in February 2005. His colon was removed, and after six months of treatment, doctors said the cancer was in remission. Perino announced March 27 that Snow's cancer had recurred, and that doctors had removed a growth from his abdomen the day before. Sources told CNN two weeks ago that Snow was planning to leave his job, possibly as early as September. Bush tapped Snow to replace Scott McClellan in April 2006. Snow had been an anchor for "Fox News Sunday" and a political analyst for the Fox News Channel, which he joined in 1996. He also hosted "The Tony Snow Show" on Fox News Radio. On Thursday, Snow told CNN his health is improving, citing two medical tests this month that found the cancer has not spread. "The tumors are stable -- they are not growing," Snow said of the results from an MRI and a CAT scan. "And there are no new growths. The health is good." The press secretary, whose hair has turned gray during chemotherapy treatment, said his black hair is expected to grow back in about a month. "I'm also putting on weight again," he said after returning from a 10-day vacation. "I actually feel very good about" the health situation. Snow said on Friday he was to see his oncologist, and they will decide on some minor forms of chemotherapy to start as maintenance treatment. E-mail to a friend .
President Bush says Tony Snow "will battle cancer and win" Job of press secretary "has been a dream for me," Snow says Snow leaving on September 14, will be succeeded by Dana Perino .
(CNN) -- Police and FBI agents are investigating the discovery of an empty rocket launcher tube on the front lawn of a Jersey City, New Jersey, home, FBI spokesman Sean Quinn said. Niranjan Desai discovered the 20-year-old AT4 anti-tank rocket launcher tube, a one-time-use device, lying on her lawn Friday morning, police said. The launcher has been turned over to U.S. Army officials at the 754th Ordnance Company, an explosive ordnance disposal unit, at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, Army officials said. The launcher "is no longer operable and not considered to be a hazard to public safety," police said, adding there was no indication the launcher had been fired recently. Army officials said they could not determine if the launcher had been fired, but indicated they should know once they find out where it came from. The nearest military base, Fort Dix, is more than 70 miles from Jersey City. The Joint Terrorism Task Force division of the FBI and Jersey City police are investigating the origin of the rocket launcher and the circumstance that led to its appearance on residential property. "Al Qaeda doesn't leave a rocket launcher on the lawn of middle-aged ladies," said Paul Cruickshank of New York University Law School's Center on Law and Security. A neighbor, Joe Quinn, said the object lying on Desai's lawn looked military, was brown, had a handle and strap, and "both ends were open, like you could shoot something with it." Quinn also said the device had a picture of a soldier on it and was 3 to 4 feet long. An Army official said the device is basically a shoulder-fired, direct-fire weapon used against ground targets -- a modern-day bazooka -- and it is not wire-guided. According to the Web site, a loaded M136 AT4 anti-tank weapon has a 40-inch-long fiberglass-wrapped tube and weighs just 4 pounds. Its 84 millimeter shaped-charge missile can penetrate 14 inches of armor from a maximum of 985 feet. It is used once and discarded. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Carol Cratty, Dugald McConnell, and Mike Mount contributed to this report.
Empty anti-tank weapon turns up in front of New Jersey home . Device handed over to Army ordnance disposal unit . Weapon not capable of being reloaded, experts say .
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As he awaits a crucial progress report on Iraq, President Bush will try to put a twist on comparisons of the war to Vietnam by invoking the historical lessons of that conflict to argue against pulling out. President Bush pauses Tuesday during a news conference at the North American Leaders summit in Canada. On Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri, Bush will tell members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars that "then, as now, people argued that the real problem was America's presence and that if we would just withdraw, the killing would end," according to speech excerpts released Tuesday by the White House. "Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush will say. "Whatever your position in that debate, one unmistakable legacy of Vietnam is that the price of America's withdrawal was paid by millions of innocent citizens, whose agonies would add to our vocabulary new terms like 'boat people,' 're-education camps' and 'killing fields,' " the president will say. The president will also make the argument that withdrawing from Vietnam emboldened today's terrorists by compromising U.S. credibility, citing a quote from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that the American people would rise against the Iraq war the same way they rose against the war in Vietnam, according to the excerpts. "Here at home, some can argue our withdrawal from Vietnam carried no price to American credibility, but the terrorists see things differently," Bush will say. On Tuesday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "President Bush's attempt to compare the war in Iraq to past military conflicts in East Asia ignores the fundamental difference between the two. Our nation was misled by the Bush Administration in an effort to gain support for the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, leading to one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our history. "While the President continues to stay-the-course with his failed strategy in Iraq, paid for by the taxpayers, American lives are being lost and there is still no political solution within the Iraqi government. It is time to change direction in Iraq, and Congress will again work to do so in the fall." The White House is billing the speech, along with another address next week to the American Legion, as an effort to "provide broader context" for the debate over the upcoming Iraq progress report by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. President Bush has frequently asked lawmakers -- and the American people -- to withhold judgment on his troop "surge" in Iraq until the report comes out in September. Watch Bush criticize the Iraqi government » . It is being closely watched on Capitol Hill, particularly by Republicans nervous about the political fallout from an increasingly unpopular war. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would wait for the report before deciding when a drawdown of the 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq might begin. Bush's speeches Wednesday and next week are the latest in a series of attempts by the White House to try to reframe the debate over Iraq, as public support for the war continues to sag. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans -- 64 percent -- now oppose the Iraq war, and 72 percent say that even if Petraeus reports progress, it won't change their opinion. The poll also found a great deal of skepticism about the report; 53 percent said they do not trust Petraeus to give an accurate assessment of the situation in Iraq. In addition to his analogy to Vietnam, Bush in Wednesday's speech will invoke other historical comparisons from Asia, including the U.S. defeat and occupation of Japan after World War II and the Korean War in the 1950s, according to the excerpts. "In the aftermath of Japan's surrender, many thought it naive to help the Japanese transform themselves into a democracy. Then, as now, the critics argued that some people were simply not fit for freedom," Bush will say. "Today, in defiance of the critics, Japan ... stands as one of the world's great free societies." Speaking about the Korean War, Bush will note that at the time "critics argued that the war was futile, that we never should have sent our troops in, or that America's intervention was divisive here at home." "While it is true that the Korean War had its share of challenges, America never broke its word," Bush will say. "Without America's intervention during the war, and our willingness to stick with the South Koreans after the war, millions of South Koreans would now be living under a brutal and repressive regime." E-mail to a friend .
President Bush to address the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Wednesday . Bush to say that withdrawing from Vietnam emboldened today's terrorists . Speech will be latest White House attempt to try to reframe the debate over Iraq .
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A chronology of bombings and attempted bomb attacks in the mainland UK since the 1970s: . Police close off streets around Haymarket, in London's busy theater district. June 29, 2007: Police defuse a bomb consisting of 200 liters of fuel, gas cylinders and nails found in an abandoned car in Haymarket, central London. A second car packed with gas and nails was later found to have been parked just a few hundred yards from the first, before it was towed away by traffic wardens in the early hours of Friday for violating parking restrictions. Police say two vehicles clearly linked. July 21, 2005: Two weeks after the deadly 7/7 bombings, four men are alleged to have attempted to carry out a second wave of attacks against London's transport network at three London underground stations and aboard a bus. But their alleged rucksack bombs fail to explode. July 7, 2005: Four suicide bombers detonate themselves aboard three underground trains and a bus in a morning rush hour attack against London's transport network, killing 52 people and injuring around 700 more. Al Qaeda claims responsibility in a video statement. August 2004: Anti-terrorist police disrupt a plot by Islamic militants to blow up targets including the Ministry of Sound nightclub and the Bluewater shopping center in southeast England using explosives packed into limousines and large vehicles. Seven men are convicted in May 2007 and sentenced to up to 26 years in prison. March 2001: A car bomb explodes outside the BBC's London headquarters, wounding one man. Police blame the Real IRA, a republican splinter group opposed to the IRA's cease fire. April 1999: Three people die when a nail bomb explodes in the Admiral Duncan pub in London's gay district -- the third in a spate of series of nail bomb attacks also targeting immigrant areas of the city that left dozens injured. A 23-year-old self-declared "Nazi", David Copeland, is sentenced to six life terms. June 1996: A massive IRA bomb explodes in a shopping center in central Manchester, injuring more than 200 people. February 1996: Two people die as IRA terrorists detonate a bomb in London's Docklands area, causing damage estimated at around $170m and ending the group's 17-month cease fire. April 1993: An IRA truck bomb devastates part of London's financial district, killing one and wounding 44. March 1993: Two boys aged three and 12 are killed and dozens are injured by two bombs left in litter bins in Warrington, northern England. The IRA admits planting the bombs. April 1992: A huge IRA car bomb in London's financial district kills three people and wounds 91. February 1991: IRA terrorists launch a mortar attack at Prime Minister John Major's Downing Street offices. No-one is injured. September 1989: Eleven people die and 22 are wounded when an IRA bomb explodes at a Royal Marine music school in Deal, southern England. December 1988: A Pan Am airliner explodes over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 259 aboard and 11 people on the ground. Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, convicted of the attack in 2001, was this week granted the right to mount a fresh appeal. (Read about Lockerbie bomber) October 1984: Five people die in an IRA bomb attack on a hotel in Brighton, southern England, where Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet are staying for the Conservative Party's annual conference. December 1983: An IRA bomb at London's Harrods department store kills six people. July 1982: Two IRA bomb attacks on soldiers in London's parks kill 11 people and wound 50. October-November 1974: A wave of IRA bombs in British pubs in Birmingham and Guildford kill 28 people and wound more than 200. February 1974: A coach carrying soldiers and families in northern England is bombed by the IRA, killing 12 and wounding 14. E-mail to a friend .
Two cars loaded with gasoline and nails found abandoned in London Friday . 52 people killed on July 7, 2005 after bombs exploded on London bus, trains . British capital wracked by violence by the IRA for years .
BREMEN, Germany -- Carlos Alberto, who scored in FC Porto's Champions League final victory against Monaco in 2004, has joined Bundesliga club Werder Bremen for a club record fee of 7.8 million euros ($10.7 million). Carlos Alberto enjoyed success at FC Porto under Jose Mourinho. "I'm here to win titles with Werder," the 22-year-old said after his first training session with his new club. "I like Bremen and would only have wanted to come here." Carlos Alberto started his career with Fluminense, and helped them to lift the Campeonato Carioca in 2002. In January 2004 he moved on to FC Porto, who were coached by José Mourinho, and the club won the Portuguese title as well as the Champions League. Early in 2005, he moved to Corinthians, where he impressed as they won the Brasileirão,but in 2006 Corinthians had a poor season and Carlos Alberto found himself at odds with manager, Emerson Leão. Their poor relationship came to a climax at a Copa Sul-Americana game against Club Atlético Lanús, and Carlos Alberto declared that he would not play for Corinthians again while Leão remained as manager. Since January this year he has been on loan with his first club Fluminense. Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart said on Sunday that they would sign a loan agreement with Real Zaragoza on Monday for Ewerthon, the third top Brazilian player to join the German league in three days. A VfB spokesman said Ewerthon, who played in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund from 2001 to 2005, was expected to join the club for their pre-season training in Austria on Monday. On Friday, Ailton returned to Germany where he was the league's top scorer in 2004, signing a one-year deal with Duisburg on a transfer from Red Star Belgrade. E-mail to a friend .
Werder Bremen pay a club record $10.7 million for Carlos Alberto . The Brazilian midfielder won the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004 . Since January he has been on loan with his first club, Fluminense .
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney will serve as acting president briefly Saturday while President Bush is anesthetized for a routine colonoscopy, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Friday. Bush is scheduled to have the medical procedure, expected to take about 2 1/2 hours, at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, Snow said. Bush's last colonoscopy was in June 2002, and no abnormalities were found, Snow said. The president's doctor had recommended a repeat procedure in about five years. The procedure will be supervised by Dr. Richard Tubb and conducted by a multidisciplinary team from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Snow said. A colonoscopy is the most sensitive test for colon cancer, rectal cancer and polyps, small clumps of cells that can become cancerous, according to the Mayo Clinic. Small polyps may be removed during the procedure. Snow said that was the case when Bush had colonoscopies before becoming president. Snow himself is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer that began in his colon and spread to his liver. Snow told reporters he had a chemo session scheduled later Friday. Watch Snow talk about Bush's procedure and his own colon cancer » . "The president wants to encourage everybody to use surveillance," Snow said. The American Cancer Society recommends that people without high-risk factors or symptoms begin getting screened for signs of colorectal cancer at age 50. E-mail to a friend .
President Bush will have a routine colonoscopy Saturday . While he's anesthetized, his powers will be transferred to the vice president . Bush had last colonoscopy in 2002, which found no problems .
SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- A magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook the San Francisco area Friday at 4:42 a.m. PT (7:42 a.m. ET), the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The quake left about 2,000 customers without power, said David Eisenhower, a spokesman for Pacific Gas and Light. Under the USGS classification, a magnitude 4.2 earthquake is considered "light," which it says usually causes minimal damage. "We had quite a spike in calls, mostly calls of inquiry, none of any injury, none of any damage that was reported," said Capt. Al Casciato of the San Francisco police. "It was fairly mild." Watch police describe concerned calls immediately after the quake » . The quake was centered about two miles east-northeast of Oakland, at a depth of 3.6 miles, the USGS said. Oakland is just east of San Francisco, across San Francisco Bay. An Oakland police dispatcher told CNN the quake set off alarms at people's homes. The shaking lasted about 50 seconds, said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. According to the USGS, magnitude 4.2 quakes are felt indoors and may break dishes and windows and overturn unstable objects. Pendulum clocks may stop. E-mail to a friend .
2,000 customers without electricity, power company says . Magnitude 4.2 quake set off home alarms, says Oakland police dispatcher . "It was fairly mild," police say, no immediate reports of injuries, damage . It was centered two miles east-northeast of Oakland, about 3.6 miles deep .
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- There is "no remaining hope" of finding six men trapped for almost a month in a Utah coal mine alive, a federal official said Saturday. Isaac Arellano holds a candle and sings during a fundraiser for miners Tuesday in Price, Utah. "Over the past 25 days, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has exhausted all known options in our attempt to reach the six miners," Richard Stickler, head of the agency, said in a statement. "The thoughts and prayers of the dedicated professionals at MSHA are with the families." Sympathy for the failed efforts also came Saturday from the White House. "Last night, a difficult decision was made to end the search," President Bush said in a statement. "Laura and I are deeply saddened by this tragedy and continue to pray for the families of these men." Labor Secretary Elaine Chao called the ordeal "heartbreaking." "The grueling around-the-clock rescue operation that claimed three lives and injured six others has also taken a tremendous toll on the many brave rescuers and the local community, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all," Chao said in a statement. After drilling seven holes into mine tunnels from the mountaintop above, there has been no sign of the miners -- and microphones have picked up no sound from the men. See a timeline of rescue efforts » . Tests showed underground oxygen levels were too low to sustain human life. "We basically told the families that at this point in time we've run out of options," Stickler said at a news conference late Friday. "We've consulted with the people that we have here, we've consulted with the technical support in Pittsburgh and we've consulted with private consultants in terms of where we can go," he said. "And basically, through all the information we've gleaned over the past nearly four weeks in terms of the conditions we found, in terms of the air readings we found down there and ... everything else, we just don't know where else we can put a hole to get any other information." See photos of the rescue mission » . There were no public statements Saturday from Bob Murray, president and CEO of Murray Mining, co-owner of the Crandall Canyon Mine, who was the outspoken face of the rescue operation for the first three weeks, then largely disappeared from public view. Federal officials became the spokesmen. No one from Murray Mining was present at Friday's news conference. "They are done. It's finished," the attorney for the families said, according to the Saturday edition of The Salt Lake Tribune. "It's a hard and bitter pill for our families, and there were quite a few tears shed," the newspaper quotes Colin King as saying. The men were trapped during a collapse on August 6, and it is not known whether they survived the cave-in. Efforts to reach them were suspended 10 days later when two rescuers and a federal mining official were killed, and six people were injured in a second collapse as they tried to tunnel horizontally toward the area where the men had been working. Murray said last week that the search effort would stop if no signs of life were found at the sixth hole. Under pressure from the families, however, he agreed to try one more time. Families wanted officials to drill a hole large enough to send down a rescue capsule. The effort to lower the robotic device down a seventh hole had been called "a long shot" by an official. MSHA's Stickler said that hole was drilled into the Crandall Canyon Mine on Thursday, but there were problems with a robotic camera that teams were trying to lower into it. Work resumed Friday, this time at the fourth hole, but the camera could only descend about 7 feet, he said. "Basically, what it saw was really not that much. There was quite a bit of mud in there, water coming down the hole. It really couldn't go any farther than seven feet," he said of the latest try. In addition, the roof was sagging. "The families asked many, many questions and we answered them all the best we could, basically coming to the conclusion that we had run out of options." Murray said last Saturday he has already filed paperwork with federal regulators to permanently close and seal the Crandall Canyon mine. "I will never come back to that evil mountain," he said. Friends and family have identified the six missing miners as Luis Hernandez, Manuel Sanchez, Kerry Allred, Carlos Payan, Brandon Phillips and Don Erickson. E-mail to a friend .
NEW: President Bush says he and first lady are deeply saddened by the tragedy . Mine Safety and Health Administration chief: We've run out of options. The six men have been trapped underground since August 6 . Seven bore holes drilled into the mountain have found no signs of life .
(CNN) -- At least 14 people were killed and 60 others wounded Thursday when a bomb ripped through a crowd waiting to see Algeria's president in Batna, east of the capital of Algiers, the Algerie Presse Service reported. A wounded person gets first aid shortly after Thursday's attack in Batna, Algeria. The explosion occurred at 5 p.m. about 20 meters (65 feet) from a mosque in Batna, a town about 450 kilometers (280 miles) east of Algiers, security officials in Batna told the state-run news agency. The bomb went off 15 minutes before the expected arrival of President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika. It wasn't clear if the bomb was caused by a suicide bomber or if it was planted, the officials said. Later Thursday, Algeria's Interior Minister Noureddine Yazid Zerhouni said "a suspect person who was among the crowd attempted to go beyond the security cordon," but the person escaped "immediately after the bomb exploded," the press service reported. Bouteflika made his visit to Batna as planned, adding a stop at a hospital to visit the wounded before he returned to the capital. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing. Algeria faces a continuing Islamic insurgency, according to the CIA. In July, 33 people were killed in apparent suicide bombings in Algiers that were claimed by an al Qaeda-affiliated group. Bouteflika said terrorist acts have nothing in common with the noble values of Islam, the press service reported. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.
Bomb victims waiting for presidential visit . Blast went off 15 minutes before president's arrival . Algeria faces Islamic insurgency . Al Qaeda-affiliated group claimed July attacks .
(CNN) -- Football superstar, celebrity, fashion icon, multimillion-dollar heartthrob. Now, David Beckham is headed for the Hollywood Hills as he takes his game to U.S. Major League Soccer. CNN looks at how Bekham fulfilled his dream of playing for Manchester United, and his time playing for England. The world's famous footballer has begun a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy team, and on Friday Beckham will meet the press and reveal his new shirt number. This week, we take an in depth look at the life and times of Beckham, as CNN's very own "Becks," Becky Anderson, sets out to examine what makes the man tick -- as footballer, fashion icon and global phenomenon. It's a long way from the streets of east London to the Hollywood Hills and Becky charts Beckham's incredible rise to football stardom, a journey that has seen his skills grace the greatest stages in world soccer. She goes in pursuit of the current hottest property on the sports/celebrity circuit in the U.S. and along the way explores exactly what's behind the man with the golden boot. CNN will look back at the life of Beckham, the wonderfully talented youngster who fulfilled his dream of playing for Manchester United, his marriage to pop star Victoria, and the trials and tribulations of playing for England. We'll look at the highs (scoring against Greece), the lows (being sent off during the World Cup), the Man. U departure for the Galacticos of Madrid -- and now the Home Depot stadium in L.A. We'll ask how Beckham and his family will adapt to life in Los Angeles -- the people, the places to see and be seen and the celebrity endorsement. Beckham is no stranger to exposure. He has teamed with Reggie Bush in an Adidas commercial, is the face of Motorola, is the face on a PlayStation game and doesn't need fashion tips as he has his own international clothing line. But what does the star couple need to do to become an accepted part of Tinseltown's glitterati? The road to major league football in the U.S.A. is a well-worn route for some of the world's greatest players. We talk to some of the former greats who came before him and examine what impact these overseas stars had on U.S. soccer and look at what is different now. We also get a rare glimpse inside the David Beckham academy in L.A, find out what drives the kids and who are their heroes. The perception that in the U.S.A. soccer is a "game for girls" after the teenage years is changing. More and more young kids are choosing the European game over the traditional U.S. sports. E-mail to a friend .
Beckham has agreed to a five-year contract with Los Angeles Galaxy . New contract took effect July 1, 2007 . Former English captain to meet press, unveil new shirt number Friday . CNN to look at Beckham as footballer, fashion icon and global phenomenon .
(CNN) -- A virus found in healthy Australian honey bees may be playing a role in the collapse of honey bee colonies across the United States, researchers reported Thursday. Honey bees walk on a moveable comb hive at the Bee Research Laboratory, in Beltsville, Maryland. Colony collapse disorder has killed millions of bees -- up to 90 percent of colonies in some U.S. beekeeping operations -- imperiling the crops largely dependent upon bees for pollination, such as oranges, blueberries, apples and almonds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says honey bees are responsible for pollinating $15 billion worth of crops each year in the United States. More than 90 fruits and vegetables worldwide depend on them for pollination. Signs of colony collapse disorder were first reported in the United States in 2004, the same year American beekeepers started importing bees from Australia. The disorder is marked by hives left with a queen, a few newly hatched adults and plenty of food, but the worker bees responsible for pollination gone. The virus identified in the healthy Australian bees is Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) -- named that because it was discovered by Hebrew University researchers. Although worker bees in colony collapse disorder vanish, bees infected with IAPV die close to the hive, after developing shivering wings and paralysis. For some reason, the Australian bees seem to be resistant to IAPV and do not come down with symptoms. Scientists used genetic analyses of bees collected over the past three years and found that IAPV was present in bees that had come from colony collapse disorder hives 96 percent of the time. But the study released Thursday on the Science Express Web site, operated by the journal Science, cautioned that collapse disorder is likely caused by several factors. "This research give us a very good lead to follow, but we do not believe IAPV is acting alone," said Jeffery S. Pettis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory and a co-author of the study. "Other stressors on the colony are likely involved." This could explain why bees in Australia may be resistant to colony collapse. "There are no cases ... in Australia at all," entomologist Dave Britton of the Australian Museum told the Sydney Morning Herald last month. "It is a Northern Hemisphere phenomenon." Bee ecology expert and University of Florida professor Jamie Ellis said earlier this year that genetic weakness bred into bees over time, pathogens spread by parasites and the effects of pesticides and pollutants might be other factors. Researchers also say varroa mites affect all hives on the U.S. mainland but are not found in Australia. University of Georgia bee researcher Keith S. Delaplane said Thursday the study offers a warning -- and hope. "One nagging problem has been a general inability to treat or vaccinate bees against viruses of any kind," said Delaplane, who has been trying to breed bees resistant to the varroa mite. "But in the case of IAPV, there is evidence that some bees carry genetic resistance to the disorder. This is yet one more argument for beekeepers to use honey bee stocks that are genetically disease- and pest-resistant." Bee researchers will now look for stresses that may combine to kill bees. "The next step is to ascertain whether IAPV, alone or in concert with other factors, can induce CCD [colony collapse disorder] in healthy bees," said Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Besides the Columbia and USDA researchers, others involved in the study released Thursday include researchers from Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the University of Arizona and 454 Life Sciences. E-mail to a friend .
Colony collapse disorder has killed millions of bees . Scientists suspect a virus may combine with other factors to collapse colonies . Disorder first cropped up in 2004, as bees were imported from Australia . $15 billion in U.S. crops each year dependent on bees for pollination .
LONDON, England -- Savers at a leading UK mortgage bank lined up for a second day to empty their accounts Saturday, a day after the lender was bailed out by the Bank of England after heavily slashing profit forecasts. Fearful customers line up to withdraw cash from a Northern Rock branch in southeast London on Friday. Long lines formed before counters opened at the Northern Rock building society, one of the UK's top five lenders, as worried customers ignored reassurances from the bank and the government. Customers are believed to have already withdrawn about £1 billion ($2 billion) since the bank's woes were revealed, prompting speculation that the global credit crunch made raising funds through commercial borrowing difficult. Shares in Northern Rock dropped up to 30 percent in Friday trading, with problems spilling over the European banking sector . The British Bankers' Association has urged customers to "calm down," according to the UK Press Association. It said: "Northern Rock is a sound and safe bank and there is absolutely no reason for either mortgage customers or savers to worry." Meanwhile, finance minister Alistair Darling said the Bank of England had stepped in "to create a stable banking system". He said: "People can use their accounts in the usual way, they can carry on making their mortgage payments in the usual way. Northern Rock will be able to carry on its business." Northern Rock chief executive Adam Applegarth said yesterday that the bank had yet to draw on the emergency cash, which he called "a backdrop in case we need to use it", according to PA. E-mail to a friend .
Savers at leading UK mortgage bank lined up to empty their accounts . Northern Rock was bailed out by the Bank of England a day earlier . Reassurances that banks was safe have gone unheeded by many .
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- Former football star O.J. Simpson will be held without bail after his arrest on robbery and assault charges, police announced late Sunday. Police released this mug shot of O.J. Simpson after his arrest. Simpson is accused of having directed several other men in an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a room at a Las Vegas hotel room. Las Vegas authorities said they have no information leading them to believe Simpson was carrying a firearm during the alleged incident at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. Police said Simpson and other men burst into the room and walked out with the memorabilia, including some that was unrelated to Simpson, police said. "We don't believe that anyone was roughed up, but there were firearms involved," Lt. Clint Nichols told reporters. Nichols said the firearms were pointed at the victims. A reporter asked Nichols: Was "O.J. was the boss in that room?" Nichols responded, "That is what we believe, yes." Watch Simpson transferred Sunday in handcuffs » . The alleged victims were identified as Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia collector who described the incident as "a home invasion-type robbery," and Alfred Beardsley, who has been quoted by celebrity Web site as saying that Simpson later apologized to him and told him he regretted the incident. Acting on a tip, police met over the weekend at McCarran International Airport with 46-year-old Walter Alexander, of Mesa, Arizona, who told them about the alleged robbery and validated the tipster's information, Capt. James Dillon told reporters. Alexander was arrested Saturday night on two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary with a deadly weapon. He was released on his own recognizance and returned to Mesa either Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Dillon said. In addition, investigators are seeking four other men they believe accompanied Simpson into the hotel room, Nichols said. Nichols said, "There is a social relationship between the individuals that we identified and O.J. Simpson." Though Simpson is not accused of having brandished a gun himself, two firearms that police said were used were recovered early Sunday in one of three searches. Investigators would would not divulge where the weapons were found. Nichols dismissed an initial report that the men may have been off-duty police. "There is no truth to that whatsoever," he said. "That came as a result of some language that was used when the individuals burst into the room that led our victims to believe that they may have been police." Simpson, 60, has acknowledged taking some items that belonged to him, but he has denied that any weapons were involved. "Whether the property belonged to Mr. Simpson or not is still in debate," Nichols said. "We are still in the process of sorting that out." Nichols also said that some of the property taken had Simpson's signature. But "there was some other property taken as well," he said. "I believe there were some Joe Montana cleats and some signed baseballs and other stuff." The latest charges against Simpson mean he faces the prospect of another prosecution, more than a decade after the June 1994 stabbing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of murder the following year. The trial riveted much of the United States. But in 1997, a jury found him liable for the deaths in a civil case brought by the Goldman family. Simpson was ordered to pay the families a total of $33.5 million for the deaths . Goldman had gone to Nicole Simpson's Los Angeles home to return a pair of glasses the day of the slayings. Goldman's sister, Kim Goldman, said she wasn't surprised by the robbery allegations, since Simpson "thinks he can do no wrong." "He's capable of stabbing people to death, so I think robbery is nothing surprising," she said. "Normal, logical, civil-minded, law-abiding people don't storm a room with guns demanding stuff back." Fromong had testified on Simpson's behalf in the civil case, telling the court that prices for Simpson memorabilia had dropped substantially since the 1995 verdict. His testimony was part of the defense's contention that Simpson could not afford to pay the Goldmans. Simpson recently wrote a book originally titled "If I Did It" and had planned to publish it himself, but a public outcry led to the cancellation of his book deal. A bankruptcy judge subsequently awarded the Goldmans the rights to the book in light of their inability to collect the wrongful death award. The Goldmans retitled the book, "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer." That book just hit bookstores. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.
No bail for ex-NFL star accused of directing men in alleged armed robbery . Simpson faces charges of robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy . Alleged robbery involved sports-related items, police say . Simpson arrested Sunday in Las Vegas, but he says items were his .
LAGOS, Nigeria (Reuters) -- Nigeria's television survival show has been suspended after a contestant drowned in preparation for the program, said Dutch brewer Heineken's local unit which is sponsoring the show. Anthony Ogadje, 25, and nine other contestants had gone to Shere Hills Lake in Nigeria's hilly Plateau State to prepare for the "Gulder Ultimate Search," which sets a variety of physical challenges for participants. A statement from Nigerian Breweries on Monday said Ogadje died suddenly and he was thought to have drowned. "All attempts to revive him by the attendant medical team and the lifeguards, including his fellow contestants, failed," said Nigerian Breweries, which is majority-owned by the Dutch giant. Broadcasting had been due to start on Thursday. In the show, the weakest contestants are evicted one by one until a winner emerges. The prize money is a big attraction in a country where most people live in extreme poverty and benefit little from Nigeria's oil wealth. The winner was to get 5 million naira (about $39,000) in cash, a four-wheel drive jeep and another 500,000 naira (about $3,900) to buy clothes. The winner could also have expected to become an instant celebrity, attracting sponsorship deals. The Ultimate Search, which started in 2004, gets high ratings. E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Anthony Ogadje, 25, reportedly drowned in Shere Hills Lake . He was preparing for the show, "Gulder Ultimate Search" Dutch brewer Heineken's local unit sponsors the program .
(CNN) -- A former government contract employee was indicted on charges of stealing restricted nuclear energy-related materials and putting the United States at risk, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. Sources say the classified materials were taken from the East Tennessee Technology Park. Roy Lynn Oakley, 67, of Roane County, Tennessee, appeared in federal court in Knoxville on Thursday. Oakley was briefly detained for questioning in the case in January, when authorities first learned of the alleged plot to divulge the materials, government sources told CNN. He voluntarily surrendered Thursday at an FBI field office in Knoxville, the sources said. Oakley is a former employee of Bechtel Jacobs, the Department of Energy's prime environmental management contractor at the East Tennessee Technology Park, prosecutors said. The indictment states that Oakley, "having possession of, access to and having been entrusted with sections of 'barriers' and associated hardware used for uranium enrichment through the process of gaseous diffusion ... having reason to believe that such data would be utilized to injure the United States and secure an advantage to a foreign nation, did communicate, transmit and disclose such data to another person." The transfer took place January 26, the indictment alleges. Oakley is also charged with converting the material and "restricted data" to his own use. He began doing so on about October 17, 2006, and continued through January, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said the materials involved have been examined by scientists and posed no threat to people who may have come into contact with them. Oakley's attorney, Herb Moncier, said outside court Thursday that Oakley's job was to break rods "into little pieces" and throw them away. Moncier said Oakley had a security clearance, but Moncier did not believe it was a high-level clearance. The government alleges that in January, Oakley attempted to sell the "pieces of scrap" to someone he thought was a French agent -- but in reality was an undercover FBI agent, Moncier said. He said he questions whether those broken pieces would be considered an "appliance" under the law. "Mr. Oakley has cooperated fully for the last six months," said Moncier, who added that he had traveled to Washington for work on the case. Each count carries a possible sentence upon conviction of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. "While none of the stolen equipment was ever transmitted to a foreign government or terrorist organization, the facts of this case demonstrate the importance of safeguarding our nuclear technology and pursuing aggressive prosecution against those who attempt to breach the safeguards and put that technology in the wrong hands," Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said in the Justice Department statement. One government source said the materials involved are not the "crown jewels," but they should not have been taken from the facility. A "barrier" is used to filter uranium during the enrichment process, according to nuclear energy officials, but a significant number of barriers are needed to do that job. Sources told CNN that federal authorities have been following Oakley and investigating the case for at least six months, after he allegedly tried to sell the classified material. Oakley, described as a low-level employee, apparently did not make contact with any foreign government and is not a foreign agent of any kind, an official familiar with the case said. A government official with with knowledge of the case said that when authorities learned of Oakley's alleged intentions six months ago, the FBI and Department of Energy launched a joint investigation. The FBI then developed a sting operation, government officials familiar with the case said, and authorities intervened before there could be any involvement of a foreign country. East Tennessee Technology Park is an area of the DOE's Oak Ridge reservation "where we are currently decontaminating and decommissioning buildings that were last used in 1985," Gerald Boyd, manager of the DOE's Oak Ridge site office, said Thursday. "When they were in use, now over 20 years ago, some of the buildings at ETTP housed facilities used for the enrichment of uranium." Boyd said the technology park and the reservation "are protected by multiple layers of security systems and detection programs, both visible and unseen, meant to identify rogue employees attempting to abuse their access and position." In this case, a review of security procedures showed that the system worked and "successfully identified the individual in question," he said. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Terry Frieden and Kelli Arena contributed to this report.
NEW: Indictment: Man tried to pass nuclear filters to foreign agent . NEW: Roy Lynn Oakley appears in court in Tennessee after surrendering . NEW: Facility's role is to break down decommissioned equipment . NEW: Lawyer: Oakley's job was to break machine parts into pieces, pitch them .
LONDON, England -- Chelsea are waiting on the fitness of John Terry ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match with Valencia, but Frank Lampard has been ruled out. John Terry tries out his protective mask during training for Chelsea on Tuesday. Center-back Terry suffered a broken cheekbone during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Fulham, and Chelsea manager Avram Grant will see how he fares during training on Tuesday before making a decision on his availability. Terry trained at Valencia's Mestalla stadium with a face mask on after surgery on Sunday. "John Terry wants to play which is very good. Now we need to wait for training and then we will speak with the medical department and decide," said Grant. Grant has confirmed that Lampard will definitely sit the game out though as the midfielder continues to recover from his thigh injury. Midfielder Michael Essien, who scored a last-minute winner for Chelsea to knock Valencia out of last season's Champions League, has also been battling a leg injury but he took part in training on Tuesday and is expected to play. E-mail to a friend .
Chelsea are still waiting on the fitness of England captain John Terry . Terry trained in a face mask ahead of the Champions League tie in Valencia . The central defender underwent surgery on a broken cheekbone on Sunday .
HONG KONG, China (Reuters) -- Paul Lee got his liver from an executed Chinese prisoner; Karam in Egypt bought a kidney for his sister for $5,300; in Istanbul Hakan is holding out for $30,700 for one of his kidneys. Doctors in Pakistan have been arrested for abducting people, drugging them and stealing their kidneys. They are not so unusual: a dire shortage of donated organs in rich countries is sending foreigners with end-stage illnesses to poorer places like China, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Colombia and the Philippines to buy a new lease of life. Lee, a 53-year-old chief subway technician in Hong Kong, was diagnosed with liver cancer in January 2005 but doctors denied him a transplant because they feared the tumor would spread. A friend told him about a transplant hospital in China's north eastern Tianjin city and he signed up for a place. That April, he paid 260,000 yuan ($34,380) for a transplant -- surgery that saved his life. "The hospital has connections with a lot of prisons," Lee told Reuters. "Mine came from an executed prisoner from Heilongjiang. I thank the donor deeply." The World Health Organization estimates that 21,000 liver transplants are carried out annually, but medical experts put annual worldwide demand at at least 90,000. Demand for kidneys also exceeds supply, and that has given rise to organ trafficking and a black market for rich people and "transplant tourists" who travel to poor countries to buy body parts from people with few other routes to a better living. A donor in South Africa receives $700 for a kidney compared with $30,000 in the United States. A lack of transparency and little protection for donors has spurred calls by international bodies to crack down on, or at least regulate, the trade. But even where the trade is banned, laws are often muddled or laced with loopholes, which are sometimes defended by vested interests. And the unregulated route is much less complicated for the recipient. Any transplant procedure involving a living donor carries risks for the donor -- especially for liver transplants which involve removing part of the donor's liver. The complications can include bleeding, infection, even death. In the transplant trade, the recipient need not worry about, for example, exposing a living relative to that risk. "It is cheaper and your next of kin is not taking the risk and you don't have to care for someone you don't know. Once you pay, it is discarded in a way, it is dispensable," said Luc Noel, a Geneva-based coordinator for Clinical Procedures at the World Health Organization. China recently banned the sale of human organs and restricted transplants for foreigners, saying it must first meet demand at home for 2 million organs a year. Only 20,000 transplants are carried out in China each year. Of these, 3,000 are liver transplants and 95 percent of them use livers from dead donors. China defended its use of organs from executed prisoners, saying consent was obtained from convicts or their families. A transplant operation using the liver of a dead donor costs around $33,000 in China. "What is important is the transparency, it has to be open to scrutiny ... if China makes its current system open to scrutiny and very transparent, that would do good," said the WHO's Noel. In Asia, a cultural obsession with keeping the body of the deceased intact has stymied public organ donation programs. Excluding China, Asia has fewer than 200 livers donated by people ahead of their death each year, said Lo Chung-man, professor of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery at the University of Hong Kong. Pakistan, where trade in human organs is not illegal, is turning into a "kidney bazaar", said the chief executive of Pakistan's Kidney Foundation, Jaffar Naqvi. There are no confirmed figures for the number of foreigners coming to the country for new kidneys but Naqvi said there were 13 centers in Lahore alone which reported more than 2,000 transplants last year from bought kidneys. Patients, mostly from Europe, Saudi Arabia and India, pay about 500,000 rupees ($8,500) for a new kidney, he said. Donors are paid $300 to $1,000 and often get no medical care after the surgery. There is no consent in some cases. In May police arrested nine people, four of them doctors, for abducting people, drugging them and stealing their kidneys for transplant operations. In the pipeline is a draft law aimed at banning the trade, but a powerful lobby bent on preserving it is trying to ensure it allows kidney donations for a non-relative, with no payment. Such a clause allowing "altruistic" organ donations will ensure the trade continues with secret payment to donors, Naqvi said. Stories of people selling their organs, especially kidneys, are not uncommon in Egypt, where more than 30 percent of a population of more than 73 million people live below the poverty line. Karam, who asked to be identified only by his first name because organ trading is illegal, said it took him only 15 days to secure a kidney for his sister who was suffering from kidney failure. He said a doctor found him a man willing to sell his kidney for 30,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,300). "The fees of the doctor were 5,000 pounds. Both his money and the fees of the hospital were deducted from the money the 'donor' received," said Karam. He said doctors usually help in finding people willing to sell their organs from their patients' lists. Abdel-Kader Hegazy, head of the disciplinary committee at the Doctors' Union, said Egyptian law lacks clear punishment for those involved in illegal transplants, making it easy for doctors to repeat the offence. "The law says it is illegal to trade in organs but does not specify the punishment. We at the union suspended many doctors and closed their practices, but they have appealed before courts and won their licenses back," he told Reuters. "It is an annoying and a regrettable situation. Well-known doctors and professors are doing this. They are rich people but they do it because they have no moral values." The union has been pushing for legislation to regulate organ transplants, with a draft bill including heavy fines and a prison sentence for those involved and a ban on transplants between people of different nationalities. But the draft law has been languishing in parliament for several years because of differences between doctors and senior Muslim religious leaders on whether Islam allows organ transplants in the case of clinical deaths. In Turkey, students, unemployed young men and struggling fathers post adverts on the Internet selling their kidneys, listing their drinking and smoking habits and blood type. These would-be donors say they have had enquiries from Germany, Israel and Turkey with asking prices going up to 50,000 lira ($38,760). Hakan, a 27-year-old security guard in Istanbul with two young children who also requested only his first name be published, told Reuters he received five or six offers from Turkey and Germany, offering 10,000-15,000 lira ($11,600), but he's holding out for 40,000 lira. "Of course it's frightening but there's nothing else to be done," he said, adding he hadn't told his wife as he knew she would object. "I'm doing it because of my family, if I was alone it wouldn't matter. I've got two children ... there's nothing else I can do for them." E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Organ shortage in rich states has created a trade from poorer countries . "Transplant tourists" travel to poor countries to buy organs from the desperate . Pakistan, where trade in human organs is legal, is turning into a "kidney bazaar" Patients pay $8,500 for a new kidney, while donors are paid just $300 to $1,000 .
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- "To insure or not to insure?" It isn't Shakespeare, but it is the dramatic question Hollywood filmmakers are asking about Lindsay Lohan following her legal troubles this week. Lindsay Lohan may still get work after her legal problems are settled, but the cost will be high. It is an important question, too, because whether companies insure Lohan's future movies may determine whether she will quickly fall off Hollywood's A-list. But Lohan fans have little to fear because no actor is uninsurable, say underwriting experts. While some producers may balk at conditions for hiring problematic stars, experts say that unless an actor is serving time in prison, even the most volatile can be covered -- albeit at a high cost. "For a price, anything can be done, although an insurance carrier can make things so unpalatable that at times the makers of the film just won't be interested," said Ross Miller, partner with insurance brokerage D.R. Reiff & Associates Inc. Lohan's arrest this week in Los Angeles on suspicion of drunken driving and cocaine possession has left Hollywood wondering if the actress, who shot to fame as a child in Disney films like "The Parent Trap," is too risky to cast in a film. Timeline: Lindsay Lohan's troubles » . It remains to be seen whether her latest relapse and brush with the law will cost her a role in "Poor Things," a film produced by and starring Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine. See a gallery of Lohan's films » . A statement was expected early next week on whether the movie, already delayed this spring due to an earlier rehab stint by Lohan, will proceed with or without her. Insurance experts say the industry has long dealt with similar situations, although they may seem more frequent with the recent heavy media scrutiny of Lohan and fellow troubled party girls Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. "I don't think it (a problematic artist) is any more of an issue," said Wendy Diaz, entertainment underwriting director at Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., the leading film underwriter. "It's pretty standard year to year." But Diaz did say the terms for covering Lohan would likely be "serious at this point." She said Fireman's Fund, in such a case, would likely put in higher deductibles, or ask the star to put their salary into escrow to pay for any losses if production was disrupted. Last July, a producer on Lohan's last film, "Georgia Rule," scolded her publicly for repeatedly showing up late on the set, costing the movie's makers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Brian Kingman, a managing director with entertainment insurance broker Aon/Albert G. Ruben said covering situations like Lohan's required a lot of calculation and risk management. Insurance rates for errant actors can range anywhere from 1 percent to 3 percent of a movie's production budget, which can range from $5 million to $100 million or more, he said. "Filmmakers fall in love with certain actors for certain roles and my job is to find risk-takers to take on the risk," Kingman said. He said actors were always required to undergo a medical exam before getting insurance. In certain circumstances, drug screening is conducted and actors are required to provide blood and urine samples. In cases of known drug abuse, "minders" are sometimes required on set to keep an eye on the actor. Kingman said he had even helped craft policies for actors in the event they risked the possibility of incarceration. "I have been successful in finding and creating incarceration coverage for certain actors on probation which can be revoked if they break certain rules," he said, citing the case of Robert Downey Jr., another high-profile star with a history of legal, drug and alcohol problems. E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Because of troubles, Lindsay Lohan likely difficult to insure . Lohan supposed to appear in Shirley MacLaine film "Poor Things" Insurance rates may cost 1 to 3 percent of film's production budget .
ROME. Italy -- Italy and Roma striker Francesco Totti has threatened to quit the Italian Players Association, in a row over the starting date of the next Serie A season. Roma striker Totti has complained that the Italian players are never listened to. The row began last month, when the Italian Football League, which is run by the presidents of clubs in the country's top two divisions, voted to start the season on August 26. In doing so, they ignored a request by Italy coach Roberto Donadoni to play the first round of matches midway through the month, to give his players time to gain match-fitness ahead of Euro 2008 qualifiers against France and Ukraine in early September. "I'm ready to leave the Italian Players Association. We are the principal actors, but also the people who are never listened to," Totti was quoted as saying in Italian football magazine Dieci. "This is the moment in which we must make our voice heard. We wanted to start on August 19, to have an extra week's rest at Christmas and allow the national team to come into the big matches in September better prepared. "Those who decided (on August 26) didn't care at all about Donadoni's needs." Serie A is one of the last major European leagues to start next season. The opening round of English Premier League matches is scheduled to start on August 11, while the French Ligue 1 will kick off on August 4. E-mail to a friend .
Francesco Totti threatens to quit the Italian Players' Association . The Italy and Roma striker is upset over the early start to the new season . He says: We are the principal actors, but ... are never listened to."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Allegations that Blackwater USA -- whose operations were suspended after 20 Iraqi civilians were shot to death last weekend -- was "in any way associated or complicit in unlawful arms activities are baseless," the company asserted Saturday. Blackwater employees patrol Baghdad by air in a February 2005 photograph. Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that employees of Blackwater illegally purchased weapons and sold them in Iraq, according to U.S. government sources. A U.S. government official has said the U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh, North Carolina, is in the early stages of an investigation that focuses on individual company employees, and not the firm. Blackwater, which is based in Moyock, North Carolina, is a security firm hired by the State Department to guard U.S. staff in Iraq. "The company has no knowledge of any employee improperly exporting weapons," the Blackwater statement said. "When it was uncovered internally that two employees were stealing from the company, Blackwater immediately fired them and invited the ATF to conduct a thorough investigation." Watch a report on Blackwater's response to the allegations » . The first public hint that an investigation was under way came earlier this week in a statement from State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard after he was accused of blocking fraud investigations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Krongard said the State Department has been cooperating with the prosecutors in the Blackwater probe. "In particular, I made one of my best investigators available to help assistant U.S. attorneys in North Carolina in their investigation into alleged smuggling of weapons into Iraq by a contractor," Krongard's statement said. Blackwater resumed normal security operations in Iraq on Friday, the State Department said, after a brief hiatus following the lethal incident last Sunday. The Iraqi government was outraged by the shootings and disputes the U.S. and Blackwater's claim that the guards were responding to an attack. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Elise Labott and Kelli Arena contributed to this report.
Two employees bought, sold weapons on their own, company says . Company fired workers, turned them in to ATF, says source . Feds investigating claims Blackwater employees made illegal arms deals . Blackwater in spotlight after shootings last weekend that killed 20 Iraqis .
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Youssif, the 5-year-old burned Iraqi boy, rounded the corner at Universal Studios when suddenly the little boy hero met his favorite superhero. Youssif has always been a huge Spider-Man fan. Meeting him was "my favorite thing," he said. Spider-Man was right smack dab in front of him, riding a four-wheeler amid a convoy of other superheroes. The legendary climber of buildings and fighter of evil dismounted, walked over to Youssif and introduced himself. Spidey then gave the boy from a far-away land a gentle hug, embracing him in his iconic blue and red tights. He showed Youssif a few tricks, like how to shoot a web from his wrist. Only this time, no web was spun. "All right Youssif!" Spider-Man said after the boy mimicked his wrist movement. Other superheroes crowded around to get a closer look. Even the Green Goblin stopped his villainous ways to tell the boy hi. Youssif remained unfazed. He didn't take a liking to Spider-Man's nemesis. Spidey was just too cool. "It was my favorite thing," the boy said later. "I want to see him again." He then felt compelled to add: "I know it's not the real Spider-Man." This was the day of dreams when the boy's nightmares were, at least temporarily, forgotten. He met SpongeBob, Lassie and a 3-year-old orangutan named Archie. The hairy, brownish-red primate took to the boy, grabbing his hand and holding it. Even when Youssif pulled away, Archie would inch his hand back toward the boy's and then snatch it. See Youssif enjoy being a boy again » . The boy giggled inside a play area where sponge-like balls shot out of toy guns. It was a far different artillery than what he was used to seeing in central Baghdad, as recently as a week ago. He squealed with delight and raced around the room collecting as many balls as he could. He rode a tram through the back stages at Universal Studios. At one point, the car shook. Fire and smoke filled the air, debris cascaded down and a big rig skidded toward the vehicle. The boy and his family survived the pretend earthquake unscathed. "Even I was scared," the dad said. "Well, I wasn't," Youssif replied. The father and mother grinned from ear to ear throughout the day. Youssif pushed his 14-month-old sister, Ayaa, in a stroller. "Did you even need to ask us if we were interested in coming here?" Youssif's father said in amazement. "Other than my wedding day, this is the happiest day of my life," he said. Just a day earlier, the mother and father talked about their journey out of Iraq and to the United States. They also discussed that day nine months ago when masked men grabbed their son outside the family home, doused him in gas and set him on fire. His mother heard her boy screaming from inside. The father sought help for his boy across Baghdad, but no one listened. He remembers his son's two months of hospitalization. The doctors didn't use anesthetics. He could hear his boy's piercing screams from the other side of the hospital. Watch Youssif meet his doctor and play with his little sister » . The father knew that speaking to CNN would put his family's lives in jeopardy. The possibility of being killed was better than seeing his son suffer, he said. "Anything for Youssif," he said. "We had to do it." They described a life of utter chaos in Baghdad. Neighbors had recently given birth to a baby girl. Shortly afterward, the father was kidnapped and killed. Then, there was the time when some girls wore tanktops and jeans. They were snatched off the street by gunmen. The stories can be even more gruesome. The couple said they had heard reports that a young girl was kidnapped and beheaded --and her killers sewed a dog's head on the corpse and delivered it to her family's doorstep. "These are just some of the stories," said Youssif's mother, Zainab. Under Saddam Hussein, there was more security and stability, they said. There was running water and electricity most of the time. But still life was tough under the dictator, like the time when Zainab's uncle disappeared and was never heard from again after he read a "religious book," she said. Sitting in the parking lot of a Target in suburban Los Angeles, Youssif's father watched as husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents and their children, came and went. Some held hands. Others smiled and laughed. "Iraq finished," he said in what few English words he knows. He elaborated in Arabic: His homeland won't be enjoying such freedoms anytime soon. It's just not possible. Too much violence. Too many killings. His two children have only seen war. But this week, the family has seen a much different side of America -- an outpouring of generosity and a peaceful nation at home. "It's been a dream," the father said. He used to do a lot of volunteer work back in Baghdad. "Maybe that's why I'm being helped now," the father said. At Universal Studios, he looked out across the valley below. The sun glistened off treetops and buildings. It was a picturesque sight fit for a Hollywood movie. "Good America, good America," he said in English. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Arwa Damon contributed to this report.
Boy on meeting Spider-Man: "It was my favorite thing" Youssif also met SpongeBob, Lassie and an orangutan at Universal Studios . Dad: "Other than my wedding day, this is the happiest day of my life"
(CNN) -- A Marine convicted for his role in the death of an Iraqi civilian was sentenced Friday to a reduction in rank and will be discharged. Cpl. Trent D. Thomas was found guilty Wednesday of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit several offenses -- including murder, larceny, housebreaking, kidnapping, and making false official statements -- for his involvement in the April 2006 death in Hamdaniya, Iraq. Thomas will be demoted to the rank of entry-level private and will receive a bad-conduct discharge. The 25-year-old was among seven Marines and a Navy medic who were charged in connection with the death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, 52. The Marines accused in the case were members of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. They reported at the time that Awad planned to detonate a roadside bomb targeting their patrol. But several residents of Hamdaniya, including relatives of the victim, gave a different account, prompting a criminal investigation. Prosecutors accuse the group's squad leader, Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, of dragging Awad from his home, shooting him in the street and then making it look like he had planned to ambush American troops. Hutchins has pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy and other charges in the case. He faces a sentence of life in prison if convicted. Thomas changed his plea from guilty to not guilty in February, arguing that he had merely followed orders. He told his attorneys that after reviewing the evidence against him, he realized "that what happened overseas happened as a result of obedience to orders, and he hasn't done anything wrong," defense attorney Victor Kelley said. Thomas said in January, shortly after entering his guilty plea, that he was "truly sorry" for his role in the killing. He could have been sentenced to life in prison under his original plea. E-mail to a friend .
Cpl. Trent D. Thomas found guilty this week of conspiracy to commit murder . Marine gets rank of private, will be discharged for role in death of Iraqi civilian . Group's leader awaits trial on murder and conspiracy charges .
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Prince Harry led tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales on the 10th anniversary of her death, describing her as "the best mother in the world" in a speech at a memorial service. Here is his speech in full: . William and I can separate life into two parts. There were those years when we were blessed with the physical presence beside us of both our mother and father. Princes Harry and William greet guests at a thanksgiving service in memory of their mother. And then there are the 10 years since our mother's death. When she was alive, we completely took for granted her unrivaled love of life, laughter, fun and folly. She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated. She will always be remembered for her amazing public work. But behind the media glare, to us, just two loving children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world. We would say that, wouldn't we. But we miss her. She kissed us last thing at night. Her beaming smile greeted us from school. She laughed hysterically and uncontrollably when sharing something silly she might have said or done that day. She encouraged us when we were nervous or unsure. She -- like our father -- was determined to provide us with a stable and secure childhood. To lose a parent so suddenly at such a young age, as others have experienced, is indescribably shocking and sad. It was an event which changed our lives forever, as it must have done for everyone who lost someone that night. But what is far more important to us now, and into the future, is that we remember our mother as she would have wished to be remembered as she was: fun-loving, generous, down-to-earth, entirely genuine. We both think of her every day. We speak about her and laugh together at all the memories. Put simply, she made us, and so many other people, happy. May this be the way that she is remembered. Prince William's reading from St Paul's letter to the Ephesians: . I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of His glory, He may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through His Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. Thanks be to God. The Bishop of London's speech: . "Who's cheating?" The scene is an old people's home. Two residents are playing Beggar My Neighbor. Enter the Princess. The question from the royal visitor is unexpected but everyone laughs. Afterwards they comment on her large eyes and what life she brought into the room. One tiny incident, characteristic of countless other occasions in the Princess's public life in which she found the right word or the right gesture to bring cheer and comfort. Everyone here will have their own memories. I remember meeting Princess Diana for the very first time early in 1981 to discuss details of the wedding service in St Paul's. Even Archbishop's Chaplains have their share of proper diffidence and I was nervous entering the presence. It must have been a bewildering time for the Princess as well, but even then, at the age of 20, her capacity for empathy and her very strong intuitive power ensured that any tension soon evaporated. Prince Harry has spoken movingly and justly, as few others have the right to do, about the Princess as a mother. I want to dwell for a moment on her public work, its cost and its meaning. After her marriage, the Princess joined her natural gifts of beauty, empathy and powerful intuition with that extraordinary charge which association with the Royal Family generates. Led by our Queen and other members of the Royal Family, our constitution has developed in response to the challenges of the past century. There is a properly political sphere in which the monarch may counsel but doesn't intrude, but there is another sphere, vital to any sense of national unity and creativity, a sphere in which communities must be celebrated, common values articulated and the transcendent source of those values honored. We tend to be suspicious of public figures who wrap themselves in divinity and claim that their will is God's will, but if no-one can articulate in an un-ignorable way in the public realm the creative energy of the love that we see in Christ, the human face of God, then we shall find ourselves inhabiting a maimed and diminished society. And at a time when people are suspicious of rhetoric, the monarchy communicates by symbol and by simple speech, and the Princess brought her own gifts to this work. She was still only 26 in 1987 when she shook the hand of a patient at the opening of the Middlesex Hospital's Aids ward. It was the first in the UK and it is very hard now to credit the degree of fear and prejudice which surrounded Aids in the '80s. Those familiar with the field have no doubt that the Princess played a significant part in overcoming a harmful and even a cruel taboo in a gesture which was not choreographed but sprung from a deep identification with those who were vulnerable and on the margin. And she had a similar impact in the USA. An editorial in the New York Times in 1989 admitted ruefully that it had taken a foreign, and even a royal, dignitary to draw attention to a major public health concern in the US. Her work in the very last year of her life for the victims of landmines also caught the popular imagination internationally and certainly accelerated the adoption of the Ottawa Convention, banning the use of a weapon which disproportionately kills and maims women and children. She proved the eloquence of embrace and of touch which, of course, have been used by royal healers throughout the centuries. And as she said, in her words, "the biggest disease today is not leprosy or TB but the feeling of being unwanted". She sought out places of suffering, because they are so very often places of truth where the masks have been removed, and she was not afraid to be with the dying and to comfort them in an unsentimental way. Bill Deedes accompanied her on some of her visits. His response to the cynics was typically robust. He said: "She was one who sought above all to help vulnerable people in society and who did it so well. She was good at this because she herself was vulnerable. She knew the feeling. She didn't set out to be a saint." The role brought great power but, like any member of the Royal Family, she also experienced the weight of expectation and the intensity of the scrutiny. Honoring but managing the role and not allowing it to take over one's personal humanity is a desperately difficult task. As we have heard from Prince Harry, his mother Diana did all that she could to prepare her sons for the work which lies ahead. She confessed to receiving a very great deal from some of those whose lives she touched. She said of John, a young Greek suffering from cystic fibrosis: "He showed no sign of anger, no trace of bitterness but touched us all with an aura of optimism and hope for the future such that I have never before encountered." The love of Christ described in the lesson read by Prince William contains the essence of the spiritual life. Princess Diana recognized this quality of life in many of those, like John, whose lives she touched. It was a mystery which resonated deeply with her and for which she reached out. And the mystery is this - the more you go beyond yourself, the more you will become your true self; the more you lose yourself in loving and serving others, the more you will find yourself; the more you keep company with those who suffer, the more you will be healed. This is the knowledge which passes all understanding. This is certain and has been proved experimentally in the life of all the saints. It's easy to lose the real person in the image, to insist that all is darkness or all is light. Still, 10 years after her tragic death, there are regular reports of "fury" at this or that incident, and the Princess's memory is used for scoring points. Let it end here. Let this service mark the point at which we let her rest in peace and dwell on her memory with thanksgiving and compassion. Let us also, echoing the words of Prince Harry, look to the future and pray, in the words of St Paul, for all those who serve our country as members of the Royal Family and most especially for the sons who were so precious to her: . "I pray that you being rooted and established in love may have power with all the saints to grasp what is the breadth and length and depth and height of the love of Christ and to know this love which surpasses knowledge that you might be filled with the fullness of God." Amen. E-mail to a friend .
Prince Harry describes Princess Diana as "the best mother in the world" He asks for her to be remembered as "fun-loving, generous, down-to-earth, entirely genuine" Bishop of London praises her humanitarian work . He says that disputes about her death should "end here"
LONDON, England (CNN) -- French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's declaration that France had to prepare for the possibility of war against Iran over its nuclear program was not conventional diplomatic behavior. But then Kouchner was never expected to be a soft-soaper on the diplomatic scene. French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner has a reputation for challenging convention and authority. A surprise appointment from the Socialist ranks to Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government, the founder of Medicins Sans Frontiers has always challenged convention and authority. The former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali once called Kouchner 'an unguided missile' and the man himself has been known to declare: "To change the law you sometimes have to break the law". He was in his youth one of the leaders of the students revolt in France in May 1968. Kouchner is a humanitarian as well as a patriot, with a strong commitment to human rights. Unusually for a man of the Left, he supported the US-led intervention in Iraq (while criticizing the aftermath). But he did so on the grounds of Saddam Hussein's denial of human rights, not his possible possession of weapons of mass destruction. His and President Sarkozy's concern for human rights lies behind their eagerness to join Gordon Brown's Britain in a new push for action in Darfur. Bernard Kouchner did not come to his position with any of former President Chirac's instinctive distrust of the United States. Washington, which has been critical of some European states for their weakness in confronting Teheran, will have been delighted by his 'get serious' warning to Teheran. But the plain-speaking Kouchner is unlikely to be deterred by fears of upsetting the White House when he has criticisms to make of US policy. How much should be made of his words on Iran remains unclear at this stage. They were scarcely on the same scale as President Chirac's threat when he was still in office to retaliate with nuclear strikes against any state found to be responsible for a large-scale terrorist attack on France. But they are all of a piece with France's new high-profile style under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr Kouchner, for example, became the first French Foreign Minister to visit Iraq since 1988, insisting that there could only be a political solution to the country's problems, not a military one, and offering France's services as a mediator and 'honest broker' between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. On Iran he is, in a way, merely echoing the words of his President who declared in a speech last month that a nuclear-armed Iran would be 'unacceptable' and describing the stand-off over its nuclear program as 'undoubtedly the most serious crisis before us today'. Certainly Mr Kouchner is making clear that France no longer takes the view once expressed by President Chirac that a nuclear-armed Iran might be inevitable . In continuing to ratchet up the rhetoric over that threat and to underline the West's resolution on Iran's nuclear enrichment program Mr Kouchner is supplementing his president's warnings. Neither is saying that military intervention against Iran is imminent or inevitable. Neither has yet confirmed that France would be part of any such military action. But both are stressing the risks which are piling up as a result of Teheran's brinkmanship. Perhaps the strongest lesson though from Mr Kouchner's intervention is his underlining that the new administration in France is not a knee-jerk anti-American one -- and that France is in the business of reclaiming a role at the top diplomatic tables. E-mail to a friend .
French FM Kouchner has told France to prepare for possibility of war with Iran . Was a surprise appointment to Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government . Also the first French Foreign Minister to visit Iraq since 1988 . Founder of Medicins Sans Frontiers, also French student leader in May 1968 .
1. "Für Elise" Bob Dylan wrote "It Ain't Me, Babe" for Joan Baez. Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven . Written for: Some girl probably not named Elise. In fact, as far as most historians can tell, Beethoven didn't even know an Elise. Instead, the song was originally titled "Bagatelle in A minor" based on some handwritten notation a Beethoven researcher claimed to have seen on a now-lost copy of the sheet music. Further complicating things, Beethoven had hideous handwriting -- to the point that some scholars speculate the song was actually written "for Therese," as in Therese Malfatti, one of several women who turned down a marriage proposal from the notoriously lovesick maestro. 2. "Philadelphia Freedom" Written by: Elton John & Bernie Taupin . Written for: Billie Jean King, as a thank-you for a tracksuit she gave Elton. And what a tracksuit it must have been! The 1975 song remains one of the most popular disco hits ever, leaving thousands of Hustle enthusiasts wondering just what Billie Jean King had to do with Philadelphia, anyway. Turns out, the song was a reference to King's pro tennis team, The Philadelphia Freedoms. Prior to 1968, tennis players were all considered "amateurs" and weren't eligible to receive prize money. So, if you didn't have the wealth to support yourself, you couldn't play. Billie Jean King fought against those constraints, ultimately founding Professional World Team Tennis in 1974 and turning tennis into a paid league sport. 3. "Lola" Written by: The Kinks' Ray Davies . Written for: A transvestite. But the question is, which one? According to Rolling Stone, "Lola" was inspired by Candy Darling, a member of Andy Warhol's entourage, whom Ray Davies briefly (and cluelessly) dated. If that's the case, then "Lola" is just another notch on Darling's song belt -- she's also referred to in Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." ("Candy came from out on the Island/ In the backroom she was everybody's darlin'.") But, in the Kinks' official biography, Davies tells a different story. He says "Lola" was written after the band's manager spent a very drunken night dancing with a woman whose five o'clock shadow was apparently obvious to everyone but him. 4. "867-5309/Jenny" Written by: Jim Keller (of Tommy Tutone) and Alex Call . Written for: Unknown, as the songwriters apparently make up a different story about its inspiration every time they're asked. While the woman continues to remain a mystery, however, the phone number is all too real. In fact, it's been wreaking havoc ever since 1982 and the passage of time hasn't quelled of the number of crank calls. In 1999, Brown University freshman roommates Nina Clemente and Jahanaz Mirza found that out the hard way, when the school adopted an 867 exchange number for its on-campus phone system. Immediately, the girls' innocuous Room No. 5309 became a magnet for every drunk college kid with a 1980s fetish. Other unfortunate phone customers have fought back with creative and profitable solutions, like the holder of 212-867-5309, who put his phone number up for auction on eBay in 2004. Bids approached $100,000 before eBay pulled the item at the request of Verizon, the number's actual owner. 5. "Oh, Carol" Written by: Neil Sedaka . Written for: Carole King, naturally. Sedaka and King actually dated briefly in high school -- a romance Sedaka was able to successfully milk with "Oh, Carol," a then top-10 (if now somewhat forgettable) 1959 pop song. However, the real success of "Oh, Carol" came a few months later, when it inspired King to write a rebuttal entitled "Oh, Neil." At the time, King and her husband, Gerry Goffin, were fledgling songwriters in need of a hit tune. "Oh, Neil" wasn't that, but it did pay off. After Sedaka gave a tape of the song to his boss, King and Goffin landed jobs at the legendary Brill Building pop music factory, where the duo went on to write chart-toppers like "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "The Loco-Motion." 6. "It Ain't Me, Babe" Written by: Bob Dylan . Written for: Joan Baez, though it clearly wasn't the nicest gift Dylan could have given her. The two met in 1961, when Baez was an up-and-coming folk singer and Dylan was a nobody from Minnesota. Desperate to make his break in the music biz, Dylan worked like crazy to get Baez's attention. He eventually ended up going on tour with her, which is how he first became famous, and also how the two began dating. For a while, they seemed like the golden couple, but things soon went downhill. During a European concert tour together in early 1965, they had a huge fight and parted ways. That May, Dylan was holed up in a hotel after being hospitalized with a virus, and Baez, hoping to remain friends, decided to bring him flowers. Sadly, that's how she found out that her ex was already dating someone else. That someone else was Sara Lownds, whom Dylan married a mere six months later. 7. "Our House" Written by: Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) Written for: Joni Mitchell. In December 1968, Nash and Mitchell moved into a cozy little house in the Laurel Canyon section of Los Angeles. Though commonly left out of the hippy pantheon, Laurel Canyon was sort of a commune-home away from commune-home for San Francisco society -- not just CSN&Y, but also Jim Morrison, the Eagles, Frank Zappa, and more. "Our House" was directly inspired by a lazy Sunday in the Nash/Mitchell household. The couple went out to brunch, hit an antiques store, and then returned to find the house just a bit chilly, at which point Nash literally "lit a fire," while Mitchell "placed the flowers in the vase that she bought that day." No, really. The whole tableau seemed so ridiculously domestic to Nash that he immediately sat down and spent the rest of the day writing about it. E-mail to a friend .
Several famous songs written by men for a woman . Beethoven's "Für Elise" may have been written "for Therese" Songwriters make up stories about who is behind "867-5309/Jenny"
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A wide-open presidential race and a willingness by candidates, interest groups, unions and corporations to buy TV time will lead to historic spending for political and issue-advocacy advertising in the 2008 election cycle, an analysis shows. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has spent the most on TV advertising so far among presidential contenders. The cost to try to influence the 2008 election could exceed $3 billion, according to TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on political television advertising. This is nearly twice as much than what was spent in 2004 when political and issue-advocacy television advertising rang in at $1.7 billion. In 2006, $2.3 billion was spent on political and issue-advocacy TV commercials. Just about every candidate running for an office from dogcatcher to president is spending the money, said Evan Tracey, CMAG's chief operating officer. The costs to produce a TV commercial are no longer prohibitive for local and state candidates, who are turning more and more to the airwaves to reach voters. See how spending breaks down for this year » . And interest groups have spent $6.2 million on TV ads so far this year for state and local ballot measures. On the national level, the cost of issue-advocacy television ad spending was $270 million in the first nine months of this year. Subjects ranged from the Iraq war to telecommunications reform. Television ads on health care alone total $60 million. CMAG estimates more than $3 million of the $270 million spent to air issue-advocacy ads this year has gone for commercials in states and districts that are likely to have competitive House and Senate races in 2008. Tracey said he thinks this is just the beginning of interest groups "pivoting from legislative advocacy mode to political mode." "What we expect to see between now and the end of the primaries, and through the general election, is groups will take a more aggressive stance on their advertising and actually target candidates," he said. With 17 Democratic and Republican candidates running for president, CMAG predicts that more than $800 million will be spent on TV ads in the battle for the White House. Up to now, the political commercials have been largely focused on the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Voters in some of the 20-plus states holding nominating contests on February 5 will start seeing ads in the coming months. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads all candidates in TV spending, having aired his commercials more than 11,000 times this year at a cost of nearly $8.6 million. This is a record for the number of airings at this point in a presidential election cycle. Watch how Romney is way ahead in ad spending » . In contrast, one of Romney's chief rivals for the GOP nomination, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has spent nothing on television ads, but Giuliani leads in the national polls and is within striking distance of the lead in several state surveys. Giuliani enjoys widespread national name recognition, while Romney does not. In the race for the Democratic nomination, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has spent more than $2.3 million on television commercials, while New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has spent $1 million less and leads in both national and early state polls. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has probably benefited the most in the Democratic contest from the $2 million he has invested in his television commercials. Richardson's humorous TV ads effectively stated his experience as a lawmaker, diplomat and executive, and positioned him as a solid second-tier candidate. Romney used his $8.6 million in television ads to introduce himself as a social and fiscal conservative to Republican voters. These voters might otherwise not know much about him other than that he was the governor of the traditionally liberal Massachusetts. Romney is leading polls in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Further evidence of how Romney's television commercials have helped is in South Carolina. An American Research Group poll of South Carolina Republicans in August showed Romney registering at 9 percent with these influential primary voters. A month later, and with $350,000 worth of commercials aired in the two weeks leading up to the next poll, Romney was up 17 percentage points. Romney's latest ad began airing Friday in Iowa, and in it he vows to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, to boost the military by 100,000 people, to strengthen U.S. intelligence capabilities and to monitor calls into the U.S. from al Qaeda. All of these issues should play well with conservatives who participate in the Iowa caucuses. While only a handful of Democratic candidates and Romney have used the airwaves until now, Tracey said he expects this to change. "Before the end of October, I suspect all the frontrunner candidates will be on the air," Tracey said. "As we get closer to primary day, the frontrunners will be joined by all the candidates in the race who are taking their last, best shot." In the fight for Congress, CMAG predicts that as much as $639 million could be spent on television advertising. Democrats control the House and Senate. Tracey noted that CMAG's 2008 election cycle forecast does not take into account unforeseen events such as former Florida Rep. Mark Foley's House page scandal or the September 11 terrorist attacks. "Politics is completely beholden to events," he said. "Events will ultimately determine how much is spent, where and when." What television advertising challenges do candidates and interest groups face in the coming months? "Chances are, just as what happened in 2006, voters will be numb after watching hundred and hundreds of ads," said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report. "The sheer number of ads probably dilutes their importance. After a while, the ads just become lots of chatter and an ad will have to be really good to cut through the noise." E-mail to a friend .
Amount almost double what was spent in 2004 election cycle . Lower TV production costs help more candidates advertise . Mitt Romney leads presidential candidates in TV spending . Advertisers face challenge of cutting through clutter of ads, analyst says .
PHUKET, Thailand (CNN) -- Relatives of the 89 people killed in Sunday's plane crash in Phuket continued to arrive in the Thai resort town on Tuesday to try to identify their loved ones' remains. A Buddhist monk blesses the wreckage of One-Two-Go airline's MD-82 jet at Phuket airport on Tuesday. Most of those killed were foreign nationals, and about 36 of the bodies still have yet to be identified, according to Thailand's state-run Thai News Agency (TNA). All of the unidentified victims were foreign nationals, it reported. The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok said that five Americans were among those killed when the One-Two-Go jet crashed in bad weather as it landed at Phuket's airport on Sunday. U.S. officials had previously confirmed that four Americans died in the crash, and one survived. Eight British nationals are believed to have died, according to Foreign Secretary David Miliband. He said three were still in hospital, with one in a critical condition. Thailand's Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla said that of the 41 survivors who remain hospitalized, 38 were in stable condition and three in critical condition, according to TNA. Flight 269 was carrying 123 passengers and seven crew members when it left Bangkok for Phuket on Sunday afternoon. Nationalities of the survivors include British, American, Swedish, Iranian, Austrian, Australian, Thai, German, Irish, Italian, Israeli and Dutch, authorities said. Watch a survivor recall the fiery horror » . One man who arrived in Phuket on Tuesday from Paris described a frustrating process of trying to communicate with Thai officials in his effort to locate the remains of his brother. For some families, DNA testing may be the only way to positively identify their relatives. Meanwhile, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim leaders gathered outside Phuket's airport on Tuesday to remember those killed. The investigation into what caused the crash continues, but the strong winds and rain are a suspected factor. U.S. officials are aiding in the investigation because the aircraft -- a Boeing MD-82 -- was manufactured in the United States. One air traffic controller at Phuket airport said pilots were warned of possible wind shear, which is dramatic changes in wind speed and direction. Airport officials said that the wind at the time of the crash was 17 kilometers an hour (11 miles an hour) with stronger gusts, but no planes were delayed or diverted because of the weather conditions. The decision to land was the pilot's alone, according to Phuket's airport manager. "Air traffic control would give weather information to pilot and warning information but the final decision is dependent on the pilot," Pornchai Eua-Aree said. One-Two-Go officials would not speculate on what may have happened, saying they will wait for the findings of the investigation. But they did say their aircraft were regularly checked and maintained, and denied some media reports that questioned whether the discount airline employed more inexperienced pilots for lower salaries. One-Two-Go is one of about 40 low-cost airlines operating in Asia, and the industry will be watching closely for the results of the investigation into the crash. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Andrew Stevens contributed to this report .
Relatives of the 89 people killed in Thai air crash are still arriving in Phuket . About 36 of the bodies have yet to be identified, according to Thai authorities . U.S. Embassy in Bangkok confirms that five Americans were among the dead . The investigation into what caused Sunday's crash is still continuing .
(CNN) -- Filmmaker Michael Moore, whose new documentary "Sicko" takes on America's health care system, faced off Tuesday with CNN chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Michael Moore and CNN's Sanjay Gupta argued Tuesday about Gupta's report on Moore's film "Sicko" Moore criticized a report Gupta did on CNN Monday on "Sicko." "He said the facts were fudged," Moore said, referring to Gupta, on CNN's "Larry King Live." "That's a lie. None of the facts are fudged." Moore and Gupta shouted and argued over data Gupta used and data Moore used. Moore said his staffers backed up the film's facts to Gupta before the report aired and that Gupta aired it knowing his facts were wrong. Gupta disputed that. Watch Moore, Gupta make their points » . "We try and look for some of the best sources we can possibly find," he said. "Michael has a lot of different numbers. ... You're sort of cherry-picking data from different reports." Both agreed, however, on the basic premise of "Sicko": Problems abound in America's health-care system and need to be fixed. "I thought it was a good movie, and I wanted to say that," Gupta said. "I think it strikes at the irrefutable fact -- it's broken. We get it." He praised Moore for raising awareness of the issue. However, Gupta said he was concerned that the movie -- which notes that other developed nations such as France and Canada have universal health care --suggests that health care in those countries is free. While patients may not pay for services at the doctor's office, they do pay high taxes to fund such a system, something Gupta said he was concerned that "Sicko" audiences might not realize. Moore responded by saying Americans pay more in copays, deductibles and insurance premiums. "We [America] have a system built on profit," the moviemaker said. He asked Gupta if the current system, which requires him to receive approval from an insurance company before performing some procedures, is cumbersome to him. "It's a shameful system, especially when I'm dealing with some of my patients," Gupta said. But he questioned Moore's apparent solution -- putting health care in the hands of the Bush administration, which Moore fiercely criticized in the past, particularly in his film "Fahrenheit 9/11." "The government actually used to do things right," Moore said in response. "The problem is who we put in power." Moore has adamantly opposed the war in Iraq and said the government should reprioritize -- a position he took many years before skepticism of the war's success abounded in Washington. "I am sorry we've taken so much time trying to correct [Gupta's] facts here tonight instead of talking about the real issue" -- the ailing health care system, Moore said. E-mail to a friend .
Moore criticized a report Gupta did on CNN Monday on "Sicko" Gupta's report questions some of the movie's numbers and solutions . Gupta: "I thought it was a good movie, and I wanted to say that"
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Some Democrats appear to be wavering on a highly contentious House resolution labeling Turkey's treatment of Armenians in World War I as genocide. A KC-135 tanker lands at Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey in 2003. Turkey, a longtime U.S. ally and NATO partner, was incensed by the resolution calling the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide and threatened to block access to Incirlik Air Base after the resolution passed a House committee vote. The base, in southern Turkey near Syria, is a major resupply center for U.S. operations in Iraq and elsewhere in the Mideast and Asia. The Pentagon is preparing to set up new supply routes for troops in Iraq if Turkey cuts off U.S. access to the strategically important Incirlik, military officials said Tuesday. Ankara acknowledges the killings of Armenians during World War I but vehemently objects to the "genocide" label. The House Foreign Affairs Committee last week adopted the nonbinding resolution. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would bring the measure to a vote of the full House sometime next month. But the Bush administration urged Congress to drop the issue, and some leading Democrats urged Pelosi not to bring it to the floor. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer signaled Tuesday that the vote might be put off. "I said I thought we would bring this up prior to us leaving here," said Hoyer of Maryland. "I have not changed on that, although I would be less than candid to say that there are a number of people who are revisiting their own positions. We will have to determine where everybody is." Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, announced his opposition to the resolution last week. And Democratic Reps. Alcee Hastings of Florida and John Tanner of Tennessee, both members of the U.S. House delegation to NATO, urged Pelosi to reconsider in a letter released Tuesday. "More than half of the cargo flown into Iraq and Afghanistan comes through Incirlik Air Base, and this base would be a key component of any plans for redeployment of our troops in the future," they wrote. Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Pentagon planners are looking at "a broad range of options" to keep food, fuel and ammunition flowing to U.S. troops in Iraq if Turkey blocks Incirlik. "We're confident that we'll find ways to do that," Ham told reporters at the Pentagon. "There's likely to be some increased cost and some other implications for that, and obviously we'd prefer to maintain the access that we have." Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed lawmakers' concerns last week. "About 70 percent of all air cargo going into Iraq goes through Turkey. ... About a third of the fuel that they consume goes through Turkey or comes from Turkey," Gates said. He also said that 95 percent of the Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protective vehicles, or MRAPs, being deployed in Iraq are flown through Turkey. The vehicles are built to withstand roadside bombs. See Incirlik's key location » . The U.S. military issued a "warning order" a few days ago to ensure that alternative air crews, planes, fuel and routes are lined up if Turkey stops or restricts U.S. access to Incirlik, a source said. Jordan and Kuwait are among the alternatives the United States is considering. Some fear pursuit of the resolution would also embolden the Turks to attack Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq which could further complicate Iraqi stability, U.S. officials said. Incirlik offers 10,000- and 9,000-foot runways and 57 hardened aircraft shelters, according, a source of background information about military issues. Globalsecurity said Incirlik has become a hub for cargo shipments to Iraq, taking over for Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany because it is closer to Iraq, reducing the strain on troops and aircraft. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Barbara Starr and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.
NEW: Majority Leader says a number of Dems are "revisiting their own positions" Turkey is upset about World War I "genocide" resolution in Congress . House resolution calls killing of Armenians "genocide" Incirlik Air Base is key point for U.S. military supply of Iraq mission .
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Twelve-year-old Mohammed Rasoul, his right leg severed below the knee, maneuvers on crutches over the dirt and loose stones through the Falluja graveyard. Mohammed Rasoul sitting with his mother, Jinan Khalifa, eagerly awaits his trip to the United States. Row after row of headstones stand as the deadly reminder of the tragedy the city went through as insurgents battled for control of the city. Mohammed stops at his cousin's grave. "I feel an ache when I think of her. Every time I remember her, I cry," he told CNN at a visit to the grave a few months ago. As he spoke, he poured water on a tree he planted next to it. The headstone reads: "Martyr 643, the child Hajer Ismael Khalil, 13 October 2006." Clutching her photograph, Mohammed says, "My cousin died on the scene. I still remember her screams." The same explosion cost him his leg and his childhood. "A car came out of nowhere. My cousin was playing with her friend," he says. "I remember [the car] was green. It detonated." Watch Mohammed tell his story » . His mother, Jinan Khalifa, remembers that day all too well. She was in the kitchen when she heard a deafening explosion. "There was shattered glass from the windows falling all over us. I went outside and saw my son covered in blood from head to toe," she says. Her son endured 11 operations before doctors amputated his leg below the knee. Khalifa says her son put forward a tough face, but when he finally went back home the shock hit him. "That's where his personality started to change. He stopped laughing," she says. "It was tearing me up," Mohammed says "It was hard for me to watch others play. And I couldn't, I couldn't walk, it agitated me." CNN first broadcast his story in May where it caught the attention of an American charity, the Global Medical Relief Fund, which offered to help. "I cannot put my feelings into words," Khalifa says. "An entire book would not be enough. They gave my son his hope back. The America we knew was one that came, bombed, harmed. But when this organization came forward, we saw another face of America." The Global Medical Relief Fund, a small charity based in New York that helps children of war and natural disasters, has arranged for surgery and treatment at the Shriners Children Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Elissa Montanti, the founder and director of the organization, says she was inspired to act when she first heard of Mohammed's tragic story. "I said, 'Oh, please, let me help this boy.' " Mohammed will arrive in the United States on Thursday afternoon. He will be fitted for a prosthetic leg in coming weeks and examined to see if he needs additional surgery. Montanti said her organization has a list of other young Iraqi children in need of help. "The word needs to get out." Asked how it makes her feel to help Mohammed, she says, "It makes me cry with joy." Mohammed, too, is ecstatic. "I didn't think this act of human kindness would be presented to me," he says. "I didn't have hope in Iraq -- hope that I would ever get my hope back. I didn't have a future." He adds, "I want to go to America and meet this person that gave me my future back." When he comes back home, he wants to help rebuild Falluja, starting with his school, which was bombed during the 2004 Falluja offensive. "I will never leave school and, God willing, I will continue my education and become an architect and build all the schools," he says, standing on his crutches. But first, he says, he wants to walk to water the tree he planted next to his cousin's grave. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Wayne Drash contributed to this report from Atlanta.
Boy, 12, lost leg to car bombing in Iraq; cousin was killed by blast . He is now heading to the United States to get a prosthetic leg . Boy: "I want to ... meet this person that gave me my future back" Charity director says helping the boy makes her "cry with joy"
NEW DELHI, India (Reuters) -- India has elected its first female president, official results show, in what supporters are calling a boost for the rights of millions of downtrodden women, despite a bitter campaign marked by scandal. Pratibha Patil, 72, is India's first elected female president. Pratibha Patil, the ruling coalition's 72-year-old nominee for the mainly ceremonial post, easily beat opposition-backed challenger and vice president, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, in a vote by the national parliament and state politicians. "This a victory of the people," Patil told reporters after official results were announced Saturday. "I am grateful to the people of India and the men and women of India and this is a victory for the principles which our Indian people uphold." Patil won about two thirds of the electoral college votes. There had never been any doubt she would win, given support from the ruling coalition. The governor of the northwestern desert state of Rajasthan, she emerged on the national stage when the Congress-led coalition and its communist allies failed to agree on a joint candidate. "This is a very special moment for us women, and men of course, in our country because for the first time we have a woman being elected president of India," Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, India's most powerful politician, said. Supporters hoped Patil's candidacy would help bring issues that plague women in India, like dowry-related violence, into the public spotlight. A woman is murdered, raped or abused every three minutes on average in India. Her presidency also reflects the growing power of some women in India, where an increasing number are taking part in the workforce and in schools and hold senior positions in corporations. After the results, Patil supporters took to the streets, singing and dancing as others lit fire crackers and beat large brass drums. India has had a number of female icons in the past -- most famously Sonia Gandhi's mother-in-law, Indira, who was one of the world's first female prime ministers in 1966. But hope Patil's presidency would spark only positive talk about women's influence in India evaporated when it emerged the bank for women she helped established was closed in 2003 because of bad debts and amid accusations of financial irregularities. The employees' union has taken Patil and others to court, claiming loans meant for poor women were instead given to her brother and other relatives and not returned. She was also accused of trying to shield her brother in a murder inquiry. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has dismissed accusations against her as "mud-slinging", said on Saturday her victory was "a vote against the politics of divisiveness". "All the allegations against me are motivated and have already been answered," Patil said in a statement last week. Her campaign was marked by other mishaps as well. She managed to offend many minority Muslims, and anger some historians, by saying Indian women first veiled their heads as protection against 16th century Muslim invaders. Then she dismayed modern India by claiming she had experienced a "divine premonition" that she was destined for higher office from a long dead spiritual guru. Critics also dug up a comment she was said to have made as Maharashtra's health minister in 1975, saying people with hereditary diseases should be sterilized. E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
India elects first female president, official results show Saturday . Pratibha Patil's supporters are calling victory a boost for women's rights . Bitter election campaign was marked by scandal . 72-year-old Patil was the ruling coalition's nominee for mainly ceremonial post .
SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- More than 100 homes in an upscale San Diego community were evacuated after a landslide about 60 yards wide pulled the earth from beneath a three-lane road and some of the multimillion-dollar homes that adorn it. Gina Yarbrough sent this picture of the road that collapsed in Wednesday's landslide. Mayor Jerry Sanders declared a state of emergency, asking California and the federal government to help the La Jolla community recover from the Wednesday landslide. As of Thursday morning, he had already received offers of aid from legislators, the governor's office and the White House, he said. Officials warned for at least two weeks that the ground was shifting beneath the hillside community along Soledad Mountain Road. Holes were drilled into the unsettled hillside to investigate the cause and magnitude of the shift, which earlier ruptured a water line, and according to some media reports, began cracking Soledad Mountain Road in July. On Wednesday, a 20-foot-deep chasm opened beneath the road and homes. Holli Weld told San Diego's KGTV that she was walking her son to preschool when the street collapsed. Watch a resident recall how he had to grab his dogs and run » . "The street was sinking before our eyes," she said. Authorities told KGTV that most residents were at work and only seven people were in their homes when the landslide occurred. Evacuated homeowner Russell Moore told CNN he remembers hearing the earth "groan" in what he called a "slow avalanche." "The asphalt that should be under my feet was 8 feet in the air," Moore said. "We watched the trees snapping and cracking and more boulders come down to our feet and we were witnessing this move." See photos of the hole the landslide left in La Jolla » . At least 111 homes were evacuated, but Sanders said residents would be allowed to return to 75 of those houses by early Thursday morning. Several homes were damaged and at least one was destroyed, according to media reports. Nine homes are "red tagged," meaning no one is allowed to enter them, and 27 more are "yellow tagged," which means residents can return for necessities, but cannot stay, Sanders said. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the landslide downed power lines and caused a minor gas leak. More than 2,400 customers were briefly left without electricity, but most residents had their power restored by Thursday, KGTV reported. The Red Cross opened a shelter at La Jolla High School. Deputy city engineer Robert Hawk told the Union-Tribune that the hillside has slowly been slipping for years because the soil is unstable. Landslide incidents in the neighborhood date back to the 1960s, Hawk told the newspaper. Pat Abbott, a retired geological sciences professor at San Diego State University, told the Union-Tribune that Mount Soledad is made up of weak layers of rock and that the culprit in the landslide is nature. "Gravity pulling on the incline is pulling down masses of earth and those masses of earth have houses on top of them," Abbott told the paper. "It's a geologically bad site and should not have been built on to begin with." E-mail to a friend .
San Diego mayor declares state of emergency; White House, governor offer aid . Officials were investigating the shifting earth in the area for weeks . Residents can return to 75 of the 111 evacuated homes Thursday, mayor says . "We watched the trees snapping and cracking," says one evacuated resident .
ABECHE, Chad (CNN) -- Most of the 103 children that a French charity attempted to take to France from Chad for adoption are neither Sudanese nor orphans, three international aid agencies reported on Thursday. Hundreds of women protest child trafficking and shout anti-French slogans Wednesday in Abeche, Chad. Six members of Zoe's Ark were arrested last week as they tried to put the children on a plane to France, where the charity said host families were waiting to take the children in. Three French journalists, a seven-member Spanish flight crew and one Belgian were also arrested. Representatives of the journalists and flight crew said they were unaware of problems with Zoe's Ark and thought they were on a humanitarian mission. Chadian President Idriss Deby hopes the journalists and the flight crew will be freed, his chief of staff, Mahamat Hissene, said Thursday. The president would legally be able to intervene in the case if it is transferred from a judge in the eastern city of Abeche, where the children were taken, to a judge in N'Djamena, the capital, Hissene said. The transfer will take place Monday, according to media reports. The International Red Cross Committee, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF said most of the children were living with their families before Zoe's Ark took them. The charity said the children were Sudanese orphans that it was trying to rescue from a war-torn nation. The agencies said most of the children also probably come from Chadian villages along Chad's border with Sudan. The children have been living in an orphanage in Abeche while authorities and aid agencies try to determine their identities. Watch a report on whether the children are orphans » . Chadian authorities immediately accused the charity of kidnapping the children and concealing their identities. Chad's interior minister said Zoe's Ark dressed the children in bandages and fake intravenous drips to make them look like refugees who needed medical help. The charity workers and journalists have been charged with kidnapping and extortion and could face 20 years of hard labor if convicted. The Spaniards and Belgian are charged with complicity. The Spanish flight crew is innocent and should be released, a company executive said Thursday. "We thought we were doing a humanitarian transport," said Antoni Cajal, sales director of Spain's Gir Jet charter firm. "If an NGO [nongovernmental organization] has done something wrong, it's impossible for us to know." Spain's Foreign Ministry has publicly expressed its disagreement with the charges and has dispatched top diplomats to Chad to try to win the group's release. Over the weekend, the captain appealed urgently to be rescued, fearing the crew could be harmed or killed, Cajal said. But the four women and three men are in good condition in custody, Cajal said, based on his conversations with a Spanish consular official who came from Cameroon to Chad and has been able to visit them. The detention is the first problem of its kind for the company, which hopes government negotiations can resolve the issue, Cajal said. On its Web site, Zoe's Ark describes itself as a nonprofit organization based in Paris that sends teams of physicians, nurses, firefighters and other specialists to care for children in war zones and place them with families in France, who then apply for asylum on their behalf. The Red Cross, UNHCR and UNICEF said the 21 girls and 82 boys range in age from about 1 year to about 10, and they are healthy. The agencies said they have been interviewing the children individually to determine their backgrounds. "So far, the interviews carried out with the children -- some of whom could not provide any information due to their young age -- led to the preliminary conclusion that probably 85 come from Chadian villages near the cities of Adre and Tine along the Chadian-Sudanese border," the agencies said. "Ninety-one children said they had been living with their family, consisting of at least one adult they considered to be their parent," the agencies said, adding that interviews with the remaining 12 children were ongoing. The agencies called their investigation painstaking and challenging because of the number of children, their youth and the situation in the region. Other French charities earlier had questioned whether Zoe's Ark could legally arrange adoption of children from Darfur, and contacted French authorities, according to French newspapers and The Associated Press. French authorities have reacted angrily to the Zoe's Ark trip, calling the group's actions "illegal and irresponsible." The French Foreign Ministry has said the dispute will not affect France's participation in a European peacekeeping force due to be deployed along the border between Chad and Sudan. In response to the dispute in Chad, the Republic of Congo said late Wednesday it was suspending all international adoptions, The Associated Press reported. Reporters Without Borders said it will work for the release of the three journalists arrested in Chad. The organization said photographers Marc Garmirian of the Capa news agency and Jean-Daniel Guillou of the Synchro X agency were on assignment for their news organizations and were not part of the charity's efforts. The third journalist, Marie-Agnes Peleran of the TV station France 3 Miditerranee, was traveling with the group in a personal capacity, though she carried a camera from her station, Reporters Without Borders said. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Al Goodman contributed to this report. Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
NEW: Chadian president wants journalists, flight crew released . Red Cross, UNICEF, UNHCR interview children that charity tried to fly out of Chad . Most are not from Sudan and have families, agencies say . Six members of Zoe's Ark, 11 others under arrest in Chad .
(CNN) -- Explorer Dennis Schmitt found an island nearly two years ago near Greenland. Fishermen pass by Greenland's Ilulissat fjord in this September 2004 picture. Such a discovery would usually elicit curiosity, even wonder perhaps, but it evoked mixed feelings for the explorer. The island was once thought to be a peninsula attached to Greenland by an ice shelf or a glacier. But such a large amount of ice melted, it revealed the distinct island. "I very quickly realized two things," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper during a visit to the island earlier this year. "One [was] that this was going to be significant because it was going to be an example of climate change." "The other thing was that it meant it was really happening. It wasn't a joke. It wasn't just statistics. It was really happening." He calls his discovery Warming Island. Many climatologists and scientists say arctic ice melt and other changes in the Earth's climate are the result of an increase in the world's temperature, a trend widely called global warming. Many global warming experts say the phenomenon, if unchecked, is capable of altering the world's climate and geography. In the worst-case scenario, experts say oceans could rise to overwhelming and catastrophic levels, flooding cities and altering seashores. Other scientists and observers, a minority compared to those who believe the warming trend is something ominous, say it is simply the latest shift in the cyclical patterns of a planet's life. Most of the scientific community believes that some warming is occurring across the globe and through some layers of the atmosphere. But why it is occurring and what that means for the future is scientifically and politically contentious. The Earth's temperature averages about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (about 16 degrees Celsius). The average surface temperature has warmed one degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degrees Celsius) during the last century, according to the National Research Council. The temperatures were relatively unchanged from 1880 to 1910, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They rose till about 1945, cooled until about 1975 and have risen steadily to present day. There are several possible reasons for the warming, scientists say. A change in the Earth's orbit or the intensity of the sun's radiation could change, triggering warming or cooling. The reason most cited -- by scientists and scientific organizations -- for the current warming trend is an increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are in the atmosphere naturally and help keep the planet's temperature at a comfortable level. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, for instance, has increased by 35 percent since the dawn of the industrial age, according to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, commonly referred to as the IPCC. The presence of methane is now 151 percent above pre-industrial levels, but the rate of increase has slowed in recent decades, according to the EPA. Meanwhile, nitrous oxide increased by about 18 percent during the past 200 years. Many scientists and experts who have studied global warming believe the increase is primarily the result of human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels, emissions from vehicles and the clearing of forests. "For the last 30 years, there's no way there's anything natural that can explain it," Stephen Schneider, a professor of environmental studies at Stanford University in California, said. "A vast bulk of the knowledgeable and honest community ... will say the science is settled and humans are at least a majority of the reason behind the warming," he added. Many scientific organizations share Schneider's view, ranging from the national academies of the countries that comprise the G8 to the National Research Council, the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. But there are those who do not share his view, and among the skeptics is Richard Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We've suddenly taken to reading tea leaves," he said. "When we saw cooling from 1940 to 1970, we were proclaiming global cooling. Since then, there's been a few tenths of global warming, so we're proclaiming global warming." He believes the current warming trend is the result of natural variability, where a planet goes through phases of warming and cooling and the human contribution to it is minimal. "The Earth is always getting colder and warmer," he said. "It's always changing. In fact, this is true of any fluid-covered planet." Asked about glacial melt, which many observers point to as evidence of global warming, Lindzen said the way glaciers change and move are phenomena largely unexplained. "We don't know why, but it's perfectly clear that glaciers change even though the temperature is cooling at the place that they've occurred," he said. "What we're doing is cherry picking any event that occurs and then saying that's occurring due to global warming." Yet, for Schneider, it is a cause for concern and alarm. "We're already in serious melt, nobody can explain it. The models don't predict it," he said. "We don't know what's going on up there. All we know is that we could be triggering something really nasty." The greatest point of contention is the possible implications for future political and economic policies for the world's nations. The IPCC in February 2007 projected that if carbon dioxide levels doubled relative to pre-industrial levels, temperatures could rise between 3.6 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 4.5 degrees Celsius) by 2100. The lower end of the range could cause more intense hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and flooding, Schneider said. The higher end could lead to the catastrophes commonly associated with the visions of Hollywood filmmakers. Uncertainties, however, plague such forecasts, which are based on computer simulations and models. The models contemplate factors associated with how the atmosphere, oceans and continents interact, all natural elements that have unpredictability intrinsic to them. "Exactly how much it's going to warm up, we don't know," Schneider said. "That it's going to warm up? I'd bet anything on that." E-mail to a friend .
Earth has warmed one degree in past 100 years . Majority of scientists say greenhouse gases are causing temperatures to rise . Some critics say planets often in periods of warming or cooling .
MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- An enraged crowd dragged the body of an Ethiopian soldier through the streets of Somalia's capital Thursday after gun battles with Islamic insurgents killed 19 people, witnesses reported. In a brutal echo of a 1993 battle involving Somali militias in which the bodies of U.S. troops were dragged through the streets, crowds Thursday shouted "God is great" as they pulled the bruised, bullet-riddled corpse through a dusty Mogadishu neighborhood. The body was bound hand and foot with wire and wrapped in a sheet of plastic when insurgents pulled it out of a car and left it with the crowd in the northern Mogadishu neighborhood of Suqa Holaha, witnesses reported. Nine Ethiopians are reportedly part of the 19 dead. Another battle broke out on the city's south side Thursday morning between Ethiopian troops and insurgents armed with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The fighting drove hundreds more people from their homes, on top of the tens of thousands aid agencies say have fled in recent weeks. "Ethiopians will launch violent attacks on us, for some of their comrades have been killed today," said Rahma Nor Omar, an elderly woman in the capital. "They will be like wounded animals." Witnesses put the death toll from the day's clashes at 19, including Ethiopian troops, insurgents and civilians. Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia in December 2006 to help a weak Somali government drive the Islamic Courts Union out of Mogadishu and restore a U.N.-backed transitional government after a decade and a half of near-anarchy. The Islamists responded by launching an insurgency against Somali government and Ethiopian troops that has lasted nearly a year. The United States accused the ICU of harboring suspected al Qaeda figures, including three men wanted in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and raised no objections to Ethiopian presence in Somalia. Washington has long been concerned that Somalia could turn into a safe haven for terrorists, but ICU leaders denied harboring al Qaeda suspects. E-mail to a friend .
Ethiopian soldier dragged after battle with Islamic insurgents killed 19 people . The body was bound hand and foot with wire and wrapped in a sheet of plastic . Incident recalls 1993 dragging of U.S. soldier through streets of Mogadishu . Washington is concerned Somalia could turn into a safe haven for terrorists .
BOLINGBROOK, Illinois (CNN) -- The disappearance of a suburban Chicago police sergeant's wife is now being treated as a potential homicide, and her husband is a suspect, authorities said Friday. Stacy Peterson, 23, has been missing from her suburban Chicago home since October 28. In another development, a judge signed an order to exhume the body of Drew Peterson's third wife, who was found drowned in a bathtub in 2004, said Will County State Attorney James Glasgow. Peterson, 53, said he last spoke to 23-year-old Stacy Peterson -- his fourth wife -- the night of October 28. Drew Peterson initially told the media he believed his wife ran off with another man, but he hasn't repeated that accusation. CNN has been unable to contact Drew Peterson for comment. The couple have been married four years and have two children, who have been interviewed for the investigation, Glasgow said. Drew Peterson also has older children from a previous marriage. Investigators have twice searched the couple's home and vehicles, and removed several items, including computers, said Illinois State Police Capt. Carl Dobrich. Drew Peterson allowed a limited search on the night his wife was reported missing, but investigators were not allowed to look throughout the entire house and were given access to only one of the vehicles at that time, Dobrich said. "Early on, we looked at this as a missing persons case, but also believed strongly ... it was strongly starting to look at Drew Peterson as being a person of interest," Dobrich said. "I would say that right now, Drew Peterson has gone from being a person of interest to being a suspect." New information turned up during the investigation also raised questions about the death of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, which was ruled an accident by a coroner's jury, Glasgow said. "There are strong indications that it was a homicide," he said. "That's why we are doing the exhumation, because there are tests that need to be done that weren't done during the first autopsy." Watch why authorities want to exhume the body » . Glasgow cited abrasions on Savio's body and a gash on her head that could not be readily explained. "Our main thrust is to determine whether or not it was a homicide, and as we do that, we will see if there is any evidence that implicates anyone," he said. Glasgow, who was not state attorney at the time of Savio's death, said he reviewed the case file before deciding to reopen the case. "With 29 years of experience, there was no doubt in my mind it wasn't an accident," he said. "That was clear." In 2002, Savio was charged once with battery and once with domestic battery against her husband, but was found not guilty at trial, Glasgow said. Another time, she tried to bring domestic battery charges against Peterson, but no charges were ever filed. Savio's sister, Sue Doman, said Savio expressed fear of Drew Peterson. "She told me all the time, 'He's gonna kill me. It's gonna look like an accident,' " Doman said. Doman said she didn't believe her sister could have died in the way the investigation concluded. "I don't understand accidental drowning. You just don't drown in the bathtub, especially a small whirlpool. You just don't do that," she said. Meanwhile, friends and family of Stacy Peterson said she expressed concerns about her husband. A friend, Steve Cesare, has told CNN he received e-mail from her describing her relationship as abusive. The woman's aunt, Candace Aikin, of El Monte, California, said Stacy Peterson confided in her that there were problems during a visit to the Peterson home in suburban Chicago last month. "She said that she was afraid because he was following her around 24/7, even inside the house," Aikin said. "He was very obsessed and stalking her, even inside her house. She was very, very full of stress and just not happy in her marriage at all," Aikin said. E-mail to a friend .
NEW: Judge signs order to exhume the body of Drew Peterson's third wife . Peterson has said he believed his fourth wife left him for another man . Police: Case shifts from a missing persons search to a potential homicide . Friends and family: Stacy Peterson expressed concerns about her husband .
QUEBEC, Canada -- Third seed Julia Vakulenko will face comeback queen Lindsay Davenport in her first WTA Tour final at the Bell Challenge on Sunday. Julia Vakulenko will seek her first victory on the WTA Tour at the Bell Challenge in Quebec. The Ukrainian battled through with a 6-1 4-6 7-5 victory over American qualifier Julie Ditty in the semifinals. The 24-year-old, who reached the fourth round of the U.S. Open, had previously twice lost at the last-four stage this year in Las Vegas and Berlin. She reached a career high of 33rd in the world rankings back in May, but is now 36th. "Sometimes you play your best and win easy, but sometimes you don't play your best and really have to fight hard," said Vakulenko, who squandered points for 5-3 leads in both the second and third sets. "I'm just going to try my best -- I've never played her and I'm looking forward to it." Former world No. 1 Davenport is seeking her second win in three tournaments since returning from a one-year hiatus to have a baby. The 31-year-old, who is unseeded after accepting a wild-card to enter the Canadian tournament for the first time, also had to battle to beat Russian second seed Vera Zvonareva 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 in the semifinals. The three-time Grand Slam winner has surged back up the rankings from 234th to 126th after winning her comeback tournament in Bali and then reaching the last four in Beijing. The American has now beaten Zvonareva in all six encounters between the two players. "I played well in the first set and had some chances early in the second set, but I didn't quite capitalize on them. I was able to come back but at 4-4 and 5-5 I just didn't return well enough," Davenport said. "I was happy I was able to regroup in the third set. Physically I feel good. There are lots of positives I can take from it, especially beating a really good player and now being in the final. "I want to be the one on the offensive and not the defensive, and that's what I'm going to try to do. "I was trying to watch the first semifinal and see if that helped, but I play so much differently than Julie Ditty that it was hard to get anything from it." E-mail to a friend .
Julia Vakulenko has reached her first final on the WTA Tour at Bell Challenge . The Ukrainian third seed will face Lindsay Davenport after beating Julie Ditty . Former world No. 1 Davenport defeated Russian second seed Vera Zvonareva .
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Hours after declaring a state of emergency Saturday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf ordered troops to take a television station's equipment and put a popular opposition leader under house arrest. President Pervez Musharraf explains his actions in a televised address Saturday. Musharraf also suspended the constitution and dismissed the Pakistan Supreme Court's chief justice for the second time. On Sunday, police arrested the Javed Hashmi, the acting president of ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's opposition party was arrested, along with 10 aides, The Associated Press reported. Hashimi was arrested when he stepped outside his house in the central city of Multan, AP reported. The country is at a critical and dangerous juncture -- threatened by rising tensions and spreading terrorism, Musharraf said in a televised address to the nation after declaring martial law. As Pakistani police patrolled the streets of the capital, Islamabad, Musharraf said his actions were "for the good of Pakistan." Watch Musharraf's speech » . There was quick condemnation from within and outside his country. The Supreme Court declared the state of emergency illegal, claiming Musharraf -- who also is Pakistan's military chief -- had no power to suspend the constitution, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry said. Shortly afterward, government troops came to Chaudhry's office and told him the president had dismissed him from his job. Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar was quickly appointed to replace him, according to state television. It was the second time Chaudhry was removed from his post. His ousting by Musharraf in March prompted massive protests, and he was later reinstated. See a timeline of upheaval in Pakistan » . Musharraf complained in his speech that the media -- which he made independent -- have not been supportive, but have reported "negative" news. Early Sunday, two dozen policemen raided the offices of AAJ-TV in Islamabad, saying they had orders to take the station's equipment. The government also issued a directive warning the media that any criticism of the president or prime minister would be punishable by three years in jail and a fine of up to $70,000, said Talat Hussain, director of news and current affairs for AAJ. Watch a former Pakistani P.M. call the developments in his country 'disturbing' » . U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice -- who is in Turkey for a conference with Iraq and neighboring nations -- said The United States doesn't support any extra-constitutional measures taken by Musharraf. "The situation is just unfolding," Rice said. "But anything that takes Pakistan off the democratic path, off the path of civilian rule is a step backward, and it's highly regrettable." A senior Pakistani official said the emergency declaration will be "short-lived," and will be followed by an interim government. Martial law is only a way to restore law and order, he said. Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, agreed. "I can assure you, he will move on the part of democracy that is promised ... and you will see that happen shortly." Musharraf was re-elected president in October, but the election is not yet legally official, because the Supreme Court is hearing constitutional challenges to Musharraf's eligibility filed by the opposition. Under the constitution, Musharraf couldn't run for another term while serving both as president and military leader. The court allowed the election to go ahead, however, saying it would decide the issue later. Some speculated that the declaration of emergency is tied to rumors the court was planning to rule against Musharraf. Musharraf has said repeatedly he will step down as military leader before the next term begins on November 15 and has promised to hold parliamentary elections by January 15. Meanwhile, popular opposition leader Imran Khan said early Sunday that police surrounded his house in Lahore, barged in and told him he was under house arrest. Musharraf also had Khan placed under house arrest during a government crackdown in March 2006. Asked about Musharraf's actions Saturday, Khan said, "We are going to oppose this in every way." "None of us accept ... this whole drama about emergency." Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto -- who arrived in Karachi Saturday from Dubai, where she had gone to visit her family -- described a "wave of disappointment" at Musharraf's actions. Watch crowds surround Bhutto upon her arrival » . Bhutto -- who returned to Pakistan last month after several years in exile -- wants to lift her Pakistan People's Party to victory in January's parliamentary election in the hope she can have a third term as prime minister. The nation's political atmosphere has been tense for months, with Pakistani leaders in August considering a state of emergency because of the growing security threats in the country's lawless tribal regions. But Musharraf, influenced in part by Rice, held off on the move. Watch a report on the volatile situation in Pakistan » . Musharraf, who led the 1999 coup as Pakistan's army chief, has seen his power erode since the failed effort to oust Chaudhry. His administration is also struggling to contain a surge in Islamic militancy. E-mail to a friend . Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.
NEW: President Musharraf orders troops to take a television station's equipment . Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan says he's under house arrest . President Musharraf says his actions are for the good of the country . White House calls Musharraf's emergency declaration "disappointing"
(CNN) -- The chief operating officer of the National Children's Museum was arrested Tuesday and is charged with distributing child pornography over the Internet, authorities said. Robert A. Singer is accused of sending images depicting child pornography to people he believed to be a 12-year-old girl and her 33-year-old mother, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia of the Southern District of New York. In reality he was communicating with an undercover detective for the New York Police Department. Some of the pornographic images were sent from Singer's computer at the museum, according to an affidavit filed in support of the charges by a special agent who investigates child pornography and child exploitation for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The Washington museum posted a message on its Web site saying officials there are "horrified" by news of Singer's arrest. They reported that he has been suspended from his post, effective immediately, and is barred from the property. Singer, 49, was arrested at his home in Falls Church, Virginia, by federal agents, according to the prosecutors' statement. Authorities allege he engaged in several instant messaging "chats" and e-mail communications with the undercover detective, posing as the woman and her daughter, from August to September. He is charged with five counts of distributing child pornography in interstate commerce. If convicted on each count, he would face a sentence of up to 140 years in prison -- up to 20 years for the first count and up to 40 years for each additional count, prosecutors said. Singer allegedly initiated contact with the undercover detective, posing as the mother, in an America On Line chat room called "Cuties." The chat room attracts people who "are known to trade in pornographic images, including child pornography," according to an affidavit filed in the case by a special agent who investigates child pornography and child exploitation for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "On five separate occasions in August 2007, Singer sent several images of child pornography over the Internet to the mother and the daughter, including images depicting sexual acts between minors and adults and images depicting known victims of child exploitation," prosecutors said. In his communications with the supposed daughter, Singer pretended to be a 15-year-old boy, authorities said. In August 2007, he sent her two images featuring child pornography, according to the affidavit, with the instruction, "just delete it when you are done." A search of Singer's AOL account activity showed that from July to September, he sent about 80 images featuring child pornography to people including the detective, authorities said in the statement. Also, the search revealed that he had received about 10 images and one video depicting child pornography. Singer was expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge later Tuesday. He is identified in the complaint as a spokesman for the National Children's Museum, but a spokeswoman who asked not to be identified said he was promoted to chief operating officer within the past few months. He has been employed by the museum for four years, she said. In a written statement, the museum said it was notified by the Department of Homeland Security and ICE of Singer's arrest. "We are horrified by the charges," the statement said. "This news is deeply upsetting to the National Children's Museum family." "As its essence, the National Children's Museum is about enriching the lives of children," the statement said. "We are educators, child advocates and parents. Anyone who does anything that might endanger the welfare of a child has no place here. Harming children is against everything we stand for as an organization and as individuals." The museum, formerly known as the Capital Children's Museum, has been closed to the public since 2004, and operates from administrative offices, the statement said. A new facility is being built and is scheduled to open in 2012. E-mail to a friend .
Robert A. Singer is accused of e-mailing child porn to 12-year-old girl . 12-year-old girl was actually undercover New York City detective . Singer was identified in court document as National Children's Museum spokesman . Washington museum officials say they are "horrified" by the charges .
(CNN) -- With his hands and feet shackled and his face obscured by his long hair, Chester Arthur Stiles made his initial court appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday morning on charges stemming from the videotaped rape of a 2-year-old girl. Chester Stiles appears Wednesday in a Las Vegas, Nevada, courtroom. Stiles, 37, was taken into custody Monday night after a Henderson, Nevada, police officer pulled over the white Buick Century he was driving. Prosecutors added a couple more charges before Wednesday's hearing, bringing the total to 23 felony counts, including a charge of lewdness with a minor, sexual assault and the use of a child in the production of pornography, according to a statement issued by the Clark County, Nevada, court. One of the lewdness charges stems from a 2004 incident, while the others are related to the videotape, the court said. Judge Deborah Lippis set November 19 as the date for the preliminary hearing. After the hearing, Stiles' court-appointed attorney said his client was overwhelmed by the public opinion in the case. "I think he's a little out of it," public defender Jeff Banks said. Jerry T. Donohue, the attorney for the girl's mother, told CNN that the child on the videotape was younger than 3 when the abuse occurred. The girl, who is now 7, was found last month after a nationwide search. The girl's mother said on "The Dr. Phil Show" Wednesday that she was "relieved" about Stiles' arrest, although it would have been "better if they found him dead." The woman said she will testify against Stiles if the case goes to court. She told Phil McGraw that her daughter remembers nothing about the videotaped assault and that she recently had a conversation with the girl about inappropriate touching. She said her daughter told her that if someone touched her inappropriately, the girl would scream and tell her mother. But, she told McGraw, "I don't trust anybody now." Although she is in a relationship with a man her daughter calls "Dad," she said, "I don't feel comfortable leaving her with him, nor with anybody else. ... I just cry and blame it on myself." Eight-and-a-half months pregnant, she said the incident has placed a lot of strain on her. Asked if she would rather not have known about the assault, she said, "Yes, I could have lived without knowing it." A former girlfriend of Stiles' said that, before the arrest, she lived in fear after going to police to identify the suspect after seeing enhanced photos from the videotape on the local news. "I've had my share of nightmares," Elaine Thomas told CNN's Nancy Grace. Thomas said she screamed when she recognized the photos on television and had no choice but to contact police about the man she had thought was a "weapons enthusiast" with only a minor criminal record. Watch Thomas say how she felt when she saw the photos » . "How could I not tell them who that man was? That little girl suffered unimaginable things, and I knew for a fact it was him," Thomas said. Another former girlfriend of Stiles', Tina Allen, said this month she thinks she is the reason Stiles came in contact with the girl and is "mortified" by the allegations against him. "He said he'd been in the Navy and, you know, I was looking for a strong guy to represent to my sons what I thought they needed to be," Allen said. Allen said she took Stiles to a crowded apartment where her son and daughter lived. Also living in the apartment were a family friend and her daughter, the alleged assault victim. Todd Allen, Tina Allen's son, said he recognized his old apartment from scenes in the video. E-mail to a friend . CNN's Ed Payne and Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.
NEW: Accused pedophile Chester Arthur Stiles gets additional charges . NEW: "I think he's a little out of it," his attorney says . Suspect's ex-girlfriend: "I've had my share of nightmares" Stiles, 37, arrested following a routine traffic stop .
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- South African fast bowler Dale Steyn took a career-best five for 34 as the Proteas took a tight grip on the first test against New Zealand in Johannesburg. Steyn's career-best 5-34 was his fourth five-wicket haul in 14 tests. New Zealand were bowled out for 118 in reply to South Africa's 226 and the home side piled on the agony by reaching 179 for two in their second innings. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis shared an unbeaten stand of 159 as South Africa stretched their lead to 287. South Africa's bowlers excelled to bring their side back into the game after their disappointing first innings. They snapped up five wickets in the morning session when the Kiwis could only muster 56 runs. Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming made 40 but the next best score was new cap Ross Taylor's 15. Fleming was struck on the right forearm by Steyn and did not field during the afternoon. Coach John Bracewell said he had gone for precautionary X-rays but there was only bruising. New Zealand, 41 for two overnight, lost nightwatchman Shane Bond, bowled by a Steyn yorker, before Makhaya Ntini claimed the crucial wicket of Fleming, who was well caught by AB de Villiers diving to his left at third slip. Scott Styris and Taylor scraped 19 runs in 10 overs before more wickets tumbled. Steyn's figures bettered his previous best of five for 47 against the same opponents at Centurion two seasons ago. It was his fourth five-wicket haul in 14 tests. Ntini took three for 47 and Kallis two for 11. South Africa made an uncertain start to their second innings with openers Herschelle Gibbs and captain Graeme Smith out cheaply, but Amla and Kallis blunted the attack and then took charge. They batted together for 205 minutes, Amla facing 230 balls and hitting 13 boundaries in his 85 while Kallis hit 12 fours off 122 deliveries in reaching 76. The Kiwis were left to regret Brendon McCullum's failure to hold a chance from Amla off Shane Bond, when the batsman had only scored two. "The ball was hard and new and we were trying to get momentum. It cost us a lot," said coach John Bracewell. E-mail to a friend .
South Africa lead New Zealand by 287 with 8 wickets standing in the 1st test . The Proteas reach 179-2 in their second innings after the Kiwis are 118 all out . South African paceman Dale Steyn takes a career-best 5-34.
(Real Simple) -- Here are five great ways to enjoy your summer. Lazing in a hammock is one of the best ways to spend a summer evening. Best way to cut jeans into shorts -- What better way to declare the start of summer? The key to cutting off jeans is not to go too short too soon. Slip on the jeans and mark the desired length on one leg with chalk. "Take them off, fold the leg at the mark, and iron the fold," says Caroline Calvin, creative director of Levi's. "Then cut just under the crease with fabric scissors. Lay the short jean leg on top of the other side and cut to evenly match." Repeat as needed to get the length you want. Ninety-degree days? Bring 'em on! The best way to catch fireflies -- How? With womanly wiles: "Fireflies blink to attract a mate," explains naturalist Lynn Havsall, director of programs at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, in Bar Harbor, Maine. "Males fly around while females sit in trees, in shrubs, or on the ground. So find a female and watch her blinking pattern. Then imitate the pattern with a pen flashlight and the males will come to you." ]A plus: The bugs move slowly, so they're easy to trap in a jar. Punch some holes in the lid and add a little grass and a piece of fruit for moisture. Admire your pretty night-lights till bedtime, then let them go. The best way to run on the beach -- Who needs a treadmill when you have miles of shoreline? Running on the beach can get you into great shape. Take it from lifeguard Benjamin Guss, 25, of Del Mar, California, who recently qualified to compete in this year's Iron Man triathlon (yes, that means swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles, and then running a marathon -- consecutively) in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Beware, shoeless Joes. If you choose to run barefoot, keep your workouts brief at first to allow tender soles to build up calluses. "You can get blisters, even burns, from hot, soft sand," says Guss. "I like to run barefoot, but for more than a couple miles, I wear shoes." Know your sand. "In soft sand, one mile is like two," says Guss. You may work foot and leg muscles you don't always use, so start slowly. And hard sand can be as tough on your legs as the road, so wear running sneakers. Pick the right time to run. "My favorite time is in the evening," says Guss. "The wind dies down, and the sand isn't that hot." To work harder, fill small bags with sand to use as hand weights. The best way to get in and out of a hammock -- Everyone looks good lazing in a hammock -- it's getting in and out that's tricky. To make it less so, try these tips from Penny Waugh, a buyer for • Position your backside toward the hammock's center and tilt back until you reach a 45-degree angle, with the hammock parallel to your rear. • Gently sit back into the hammock and let it level out. • Swing your legs up and stretch them out. • Lie back. Loll. Sigh contentedly. For a graceful exit, sit upright and swing your legs off, anchoring your feet on the ground. Then push with your behind, gathering momentum to stand. "It's tricky, since there's nothing to hold on to," says Waugh. "But it's good for the glutes." The best way to tie espadrilles -- Apply this lace-up logic from Meghan Cleary, author of "The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You." • Slide your foot fully into the shoe and plant it firmly on the floor. • Cross and tie the laces once behind the ankle, then bring them forward, cross and tie again, and continue up the leg, depending on how long the laces are. The calf is the maximum height -- any higher and you'll look like a gladiator. • Each time you cross and tie, secure the laces slightly tighter than is comfortable, since they will loosen a bit when you walk. Just don't cut off your circulation. • For a streamlined leg, make the final tie in the back. Create a more whimsical look by putting the final tie in front with a small bow. E-mail to a friend . Get a FREE TRIAL issue of Real Simple - CLICK HERE ! Copyright 2007 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
Real Simple tips can add up to great summer . Best way to catch fireflies starts with easiest to catch . Tip on how not to look like a gladiator when wearing espadrilles . There is a graceful way to get in and out of a hammock .

Dataset Card for CNN Dailymail Dataset

Dataset Summary

The CNN / DailyMail Dataset is an English-language dataset containing just over 300k unique news articles as written by journalists at CNN and the Daily Mail. The current version supports both extractive and abstractive summarization, though the original version was created for machine reading and comprehension and abstractive question answering.

Supported Tasks and Leaderboards


The BCP-47 code for English as generally spoken in the United States is en-US and the BCP-47 code for English as generally spoken in the United Kingdom is en-GB. It is unknown if other varieties of English are represented in the data.

Dataset Structure

Data Instances

For each instance, there is a string for the article, a string for the highlights, and a string for the id. See the CNN / Daily Mail dataset viewer to explore more examples.

{'id': '0054d6d30dbcad772e20b22771153a2a9cbeaf62',
 'article': '(CNN) -- An American woman died aboard a cruise ship that docked at Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, the same ship on which 86 passengers previously fell ill, according to the state-run Brazilian news agency, Agencia Brasil. The American tourist died aboard the MS Veendam, owned by cruise operator Holland America. Federal Police told Agencia Brasil that forensic doctors were investigating her death. The ship's doctors told police that the woman was elderly and suffered from diabetes and hypertension, according the agency. The other passengers came down with diarrhea prior to her death during an earlier part of the trip, the ship's doctors said. The Veendam left New York 36 days ago for a South America tour.'
 'highlights': 'The elderly woman suffered from diabetes and hypertension, ship's doctors say .\nPreviously, 86 passengers had fallen ill on the ship, Agencia Brasil says .'}

The average token count for the articles and the highlights are provided below:

Feature Mean Token Count
Article 781
Highlights 56

Data Fields

  • id: a string containing the heximal formated SHA1 hash of the url where the story was retrieved from
  • article: a string containing the body of the news article
  • highlights: a string containing the highlight of the article as written by the article author

Data Splits

The CNN/DailyMail dataset has 3 splits: train, validation, and test. Below are the statistics for Version 3.0.0 of the dataset.

Dataset Split Number of Instances in Split
Train 287,113
Validation 13,368
Test 11,490

Dataset Creation

Curation Rationale

Version 1.0.0 aimed to support supervised neural methodologies for machine reading and question answering with a large amount of real natural language training data and released about 313k unique articles and nearly 1M Cloze style questions to go with the articles. Versions 2.0.0 and 3.0.0 changed the structure of the dataset to support summarization rather than question answering. Version 3.0.0 provided a non-anonymized version of the data, whereas both the previous versions were preprocessed to replace named entities with unique identifier labels.

Source Data

Initial Data Collection and Normalization

The data consists of news articles and highlight sentences. In the question answering setting of the data, the articles are used as the context and entities are hidden one at a time in the highlight sentences, producing Cloze style questions where the goal of the model is to correctly guess which entity in the context has been hidden in the highlight. In the summarization setting, the highlight sentences are concatenated to form a summary of the article. The CNN articles were written between April 2007 and April 2015. The Daily Mail articles were written between June 2010 and April 2015.

The code for the original data collection is available at The articles were downloaded using archives of <> and <> on the Wayback Machine. Articles were not included in the Version 1.0.0 collection if they exceeded 2000 tokens. Due to accessibility issues with the Wayback Machine, Kyunghyun Cho has made the datasets available at An updated version of the code that does not anonymize the data is available at

Hermann et al provided their own tokenization script. The script provided by See uses the PTBTokenizer. It also lowercases the text and adds periods to lines missing them.

Who are the source language producers?

The text was written by journalists at CNN and the Daily Mail.


The dataset does not contain any additional annotations.

Annotation process


Who are the annotators?


Personal and Sensitive Information

Version 3.0 is not anonymized, so individuals' names can be found in the dataset. Information about the original author is not included in the dataset.

Considerations for Using the Data

Social Impact of Dataset

The purpose of this dataset is to help develop models that can summarize long paragraphs of text in one or two sentences.

This task is useful for efficiently presenting information given a large quantity of text. It should be made clear that any summarizations produced by models trained on this dataset are reflective of the language used in the articles, but are in fact automatically generated.

Discussion of Biases

Bordia and Bowman (2019) explore measuring gender bias and debiasing techniques in the CNN / Dailymail dataset, the Penn Treebank, and WikiText-2. They find the CNN / Dailymail dataset to have a slightly lower gender bias based on their metric compared to the other datasets, but still show evidence of gender bias when looking at words such as 'fragile'.

Because the articles were written by and for people in the US and the UK, they will likely present specifically US and UK perspectives and feature events that are considered relevant to those populations during the time that the articles were published.

Other Known Limitations

News articles have been shown to conform to writing conventions in which important information is primarily presented in the first third of the article (Kryściński et al, 2019). Chen et al (2016) conducted a manual study of 100 random instances of the first version of the dataset and found 25% of the samples to be difficult even for humans to answer correctly due to ambiguity and coreference errors.

It should also be noted that machine-generated summarizations, even when extractive, may differ in truth values when compared to the original articles.

Additional Information

Dataset Curators

The data was originally collected by Karl Moritz Hermann, Tomáš Kočiský, Edward Grefenstette, Lasse Espeholt, Will Kay, Mustafa Suleyman, and Phil Blunsom of Google DeepMind. Tomáš Kočiský and Phil Blunsom are also affiliated with the University of Oxford. They released scripts to collect and process the data into the question answering format.

Ramesh Nallapati, Bowen Zhou, Cicero dos Santos, and Bing Xiang of IMB Watson and Çağlar Gu̇lçehre of Université de Montréal modified Hermann et al's collection scripts to restore the data to a summary format. They also produced both anonymized and non-anonymized versions.

The code for the non-anonymized version is made publicly available by Abigail See of Stanford University, Peter J. Liu of Google Brain and Christopher D. Manning of Stanford University at The work at Stanford University was supported by the DARPA DEFT ProgramAFRL contract no. FA8750-13-2-0040.

Licensing Information

The CNN / Daily Mail dataset version 1.0.0 is released under the Apache-2.0 License.

Citation Information

    title = "Get To The Point: Summarization with Pointer-Generator Networks",
    author = "See, Abigail  and
      Liu, Peter J.  and
      Manning, Christopher D.",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)",
    month = jul,
    year = "2017",
    address = "Vancouver, Canada",
    publisher = "Association for Computational Linguistics",
    url = "",
    doi = "10.18653/v1/P17-1099",
    pages = "1073--1083",
    abstract = "Neural sequence-to-sequence models have provided a viable new approach for abstractive text summarization (meaning they are not restricted to simply selecting and rearranging passages from the original text). However, these models have two shortcomings: they are liable to reproduce factual details inaccurately, and they tend to repeat themselves. In this work we propose a novel architecture that augments the standard sequence-to-sequence attentional model in two orthogonal ways. First, we use a hybrid pointer-generator network that can copy words from the source text via pointing, which aids accurate reproduction of information, while retaining the ability to produce novel words through the generator. Second, we use coverage to keep track of what has been summarized, which discourages repetition. We apply our model to the CNN / Daily Mail summarization task, outperforming the current abstractive state-of-the-art by at least 2 ROUGE points.",
  author={Karl Moritz Hermann and Tomás Kociský and Edward Grefenstette and Lasse Espeholt and Will Kay and Mustafa Suleyman and Phil Blunsom},
  title={Teaching Machines to Read and Comprehend},


Thanks to @thomwolf, @lewtun, @jplu, @jbragg, @patrickvonplaten and @mcmillanmajora for adding this dataset.

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