Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 2:40am


A man who was carjacked by renegade former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner says he deserves the $1 million reward in the case because his information helped end the manhunt.


An Idaho man has been charged with simple assault after he allegedly uttered a racial slur and slapped a 2-year-old boy who cried on a Delta plane as it began the final descent into Atlanta, court papers show.

TRAVEL-Cruise-Ship-Fire (will update)

Carnival Triumph passengers scattered to the four (better smelling) winds Friday, headed anywhere and everywhere but back to the stinky, crippled ship where they were trapped for days. By the busload, passengers arrived in New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and Houston, destined for flights or car trips that would take them home after the ill-fated trip -- which went horribly wrong after an engine-room fire Sunday left the ship drifting, largely without power, in the Gulf of Mexico.


A writer commissioned to help launch a new "Adventures of Superman" comics series is drawing controversy for the comics' publisher not for his perception of the Man of Steel, but for his perception of marriage -- specifically, his opposition to same-sex marriage.


After 28 years in the Senate, John Kerry now finds himself "sort of walking a new line," as he says, not allowed to mix politics with international policy.

But Kerry does see a direct connection between what the State Department does abroad and its impact at home.


In an interview with CNN, Rep. Steve Cohen described how an Internet search for a former romantic interest led him to discover his daughter three years ago.




An international sports icon is behind bars. His girlfriend is dead. And South Africa is grappling with one of its most notorious killings in recent memory. Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius, known as Blade Runner for his lightning-fast prosthetic legs, shook and sobbed Friday when a judge officially charged him with killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day.


A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's Urals region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt. The number of injured continues to rise as new reports come in from across a wide area.


A Europe-wide scandal over horse meat in products labeled beef spread still further Friday, as UK authorities revealed the results of DNA testing on beef products and raided the premises of three more UK food firms.


Venezuelans got the first glimpse in more than two months of their ailing president Friday in a series of photos the government released in a televised announcement. Chavez is temporarily having difficulty speaking after doctors inserted a tracheal tube, Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said.


Can companies patent human genes? It was the question considered by an Australian federal court judge who on Friday ruled that a U.S. biotech company was within its rights to hold Australian patent 686004. That patent covers mutations of the human gene BRCA1 which point to a greater hereditary risk of breast and ovarian cancer.


An unusual standoff is unfolding on the island of Borneo where about 100 men from the southern Philippines have come ashore demanding to be recognized as representatives of a sultanate that has historical claims on the area, Malaysian authorities said.


Serena Williams wept with delight after becoming the oldest woman to ever hold the number one world ranking. The 31-year-old American star clinched a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open to move back to the summit following a two-and-a-half year interval which almost saw her quit the sport.


Soccer stars will face a more systematic regime of drug testing following world governing body FIFA's decision to introduce biological profiles for players.


U.S soccer star Robbie Rogers has "come out" as gay on the day he retired from the game Friday. The former Columbus Crew winger represented America on 18 occasions, including at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But Rogers, who was released from his deal by Leeds United last summer before taking up a spot with third-tier Stevenage, revealed on his blog that he is homosexual and keen to seek a life away from football.


Uribe overtakes teenager Ko in Australia.


Last hurrah for horse racing's returning superstar Black Caviar?


It might not have been a royal procession, but Ted Ligety's tag as "King of Schladming'"is undeniable after he reigned supreme in Austria Friday.



A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's Urals region Friday morning before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left about 1,000 people hurt, authorities said. Described by NASA as a "tiny asteroid," the meteor's explosion created a blast in central Russia equivalent to 300,000 tons of TNT, the space agency's officials said Friday, adding that the incident was a once-in-100-years event.


It came closer ... closer ... and then it started heading away. But you may not have noticed at all. An asteroid passed relatively close to Earth around 2:24 p.m. ET Friday. As scientists had been predicting all week, it did not hit. A different and unrelated small asteroid entered the atmosphere over Russia on Friday, hours before the much larger asteroid's fly-by, injuring about 1,000 people. Scientists say that incident was a pure coincidence. The larger asteroid, called 2012 DA14, never got closer than 17,100 miles to our planet's surface.


At least 1,000 people are injured in Russia as the result of a meteor exploding in the air. Meanwhile, an asteroid is set to to speed by Earth but not hit it, coming closest about 2:25 p.m. ET. The meteor in Russia and the asteroid approaching this afternoon are "completely unrelated," according to NASA. The trajectory of the meteor differs substantially from that of asteroid 2012 DA14.


If your house is hit by a space object -- such as the remnants of the meteor that stunned people in the Urals region of western Siberia -- it won't be a major hit to your bank account.


A lot of scientists dream of making a discovery that will make an impact. Planetary scientist Don Yeomans is not one of them. Yeomans manages the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which means he spends his days monitoring the thousands of asteroids and comets swirling around the solar system, making sure that none of the bigger ones are on a collision course with Earth. He and his team play a "Men in Black" type of role, constantly finding, assessing and ruling out threats to the planet from outer space. The importance of Yeomans' work is especially in the spotlight Friday, when an asteroid about half the length of a football field is expected to pass relatively close to Earth -- closer than many of our orbiting communications satellites -- going roughly eight times as fast as a speeding bullet.


Meteor shows why it is crucial to keep an eye on the sky.



"A floating toilet, a floating Petri dish, a floating hell." That was how a Texas woman described the Triumph in a lawsuit filed Friday against Carnival Cruise Lines. In the nine-page complaint, Cassie Terry, of Lake Jackson, south of Houston, seeks unspecified damages for what she says she endured on a vacation cruise aboard the Triumph to Mexico.


Carnival Triumph passengers scattered to the four (better smelling) winds Friday, headed anywhere and everywhere but back to the stinky, crippled ship where they were trapped for days. By the busload, passengers arrived in New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and Houston, destined for flights or car trips that would take them home after the ill-fated trip -- which went horribly wrong after an engine-room fire Sunday left the ship drifting, largely without power, in the Gulf of Mexico.


Brianna Adkins stepped off the Carnival Triumph and into the arms of her anxious parents, bringing to an end a nightmarish journey aboard a crippled ship that saw sewage sloshing in the hallways and power outages.


The crew aboard Carnival Triumph didn't hesitate when a fire broke out and power was lost, an emergency that turned the cruise liner into a bobbing Porta-Potty. From blackjack dealers to chefs to dishwashers, the disparate crew, from about 60 countries, did "things I wouldn't do," one passenger said. Most passengers said the one thing that kept their sanity was the professionalism of the crew.


Carnival CEO Micky loud about his NBA team, quiet about his cruise company.


For passengers on-board the Carnival Triumph, Friday marked the end of a days-long ordeal at sea. Shareholders in Carnival Corp. may also be breathing a sigh of relief, as the cruise line operator hopes to move past its public relations nightmare. The stock is on track to end the week down about 4%.


In what's believed to be the first case of its kind, the same-sex spouse of a member of the military will be buried in a national cemetery.


The first woman mayor of San Diego has acknowledged in court she misappropriated more than $2 million from her late husband's foundation to fund a casino gambling habit in which she allegedly won and lost $1 billion over nine years.


A tank storing radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington is leaking liquids to the tune of 150-300 gallons per year, the governor said Friday. "This is an extremely toxic substance and we have to have a zero tolerance policy for leaks of radioactive material into the ground, and potentially groundwater of the state of Washington," Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters. He stressed the leak poses no immediate public heath risk, but said that fact should not be an excuse for complacence.


The commander of all Navy SEALS is sharply critical of claims attributed to a man called "The Shooter," identified in a published report to have been the SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden but felt mistreated by the military when he left the service.



Federal prosecutors on Friday filed a plea agreement reached with former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in which he admitted to the misuse of about $750,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and gifts. The document indicates the Illinois Democrat purchased a variety of luxury items, including furs and Michael Jackson memorabilia.


President Barack Obama said Friday that children from communities wracked by poverty and violence need help from the government, schools, family and clergy to have a chance to climb "ladders of opportunity" to reach the middle class and beyond. Speaking at a Chicago high school near where he used to live, Obama cited gun violence that killed 443 people in the city last year as one reason why children need community wide support to help them believe they can improve their lives through education and hard work.

POL-Gun-Control-Ad is moving into the TV fight over curbing gun violence. The progressive group will announce Friday that it's going up with a television commercial that goes after members of Congress who accept donations from the National Rifle Association.


President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the CIA met for an hour with one of the filmmakers of "Zero Dark Thirty," the movie about the agency's effort to find and kill Osama bin Laden. John Brennan, who currently serves as the president's chief counterterrorism adviser, detailed that meeting for the first time in written answers to questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel is considering his nomination to head the spy agency. Brennan told the committee that he and other White House officials met with filmmaker Mark Boal on June 30, 2011, for an unclassified discussion "on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden" the previous month.


On a typical Monday morning, lines of travelers heading toward the security checkpoint at Washington's Reagan National Airport snake past a sign that reads: "Not much longer. 25 min. approximately from this point." But wait times could lengthen if millions of dollars in mandated spending cuts force the Transportation Security Administration to trim the number of agents that screen passengers and cargo for bombs, guns and other prohibited items. From military training to educational grants to border patrols to hurricane relief, federal agencies face $85 billion in automatic, government-wide spending cuts this year. It was part of a $1.2 trillion deal struck by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2011 to extend U.S. borrowing authority and cut the deficit.


State Department spending would drop by more than $2 billion this year under mandatory, government-wide budget cuts due to take effect in March. Secretary of State John Kerry detailed the cuts, known formally as sequestration, in a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, saying they would have far-reaching consequences.


Two weeks before automatic cuts are scheduled to hit government agencies the House of Representatives passed a bill freezing federal workers' pay for the third year in a row. The vote was 261-154, with 10 Republicans breaking with their leadership and opposing the measure. Forty-three Democrats voted for the bill. The bill overturns an executive order President Obama signed recently authorizing a pay raise for federal workers.


A spirited Sen. Frank Lautenberg formally announced Friday he would not seek re-election in 2014, a decision his office made public the day prior.


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former two-term Iowa governor, will not seek retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's seat in 2014, according to Democratic officials.


Independent's Day: King hopes to bridge divided D.C.


They wrangle over nearly everything else, but members of Congress from both parties have found agreement on one topic: Olympic wrestling. Senators and representatives from both parties stood in agreement Friday against the International Olympic Committee's decision to take wrestling to the mat, eliminating the sport from the games starting in 2020. They introduced resolutions urging the IOC to reinstate it and called on the United States Olympic Committee to "work actively to reverse this decision."


First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are headed out West this weekend for their annual ski trip with family friends, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.



Facebook says it was recently hacked, though it says no data about its more than a billion users was compromised. The company described the "sophisticated attack" in a blog post on Friday, saying it took place in January when a small number of employees visited a compromised website that installed malware on their machines.


The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that it had obtained a court order to freeze assets in a Swiss trading account, questioning profits made ahead of the announcement of H.J. Heinz Co.'s $28 billion acquisition by a group including Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.


The S&P 500 managed to eke out its seventh winning week Friday as stocks ended the day with a whimper.


Shares of controversial nutritional supplements company Herbalife soared as much as 17% in early trading Friday, after activist investor Carl Icahn said he'd taken a large stake in the company. Icahn disclosed his 13% stake in Herbalife in a filing with the SEC late Thursday.


Investors plan to withdraw more than $1.68 billion from SAC Capital, according to a source familiar with the fund. Investors originally had until Feb. 14 to say whether they wanted to pull their money out of the embattled hedge fund, which has been at the center of the SEC's largest insider trading investigation. Last month, SAC had projected about $1 billion would be withdrawn.


Can a Tesla Model S make it from Washington D.C. to New England without riding on a flatbed truck? The electric luxury car recently had some trouble making the long-haul trip up the Eastern Seaboard, running out of juice during a test drive conducted by the New York Times.


Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love and romance. But unfortunately, it can be just the opposite.


Luxury retailer Tiffany & Co. is seeking millions in damages from warehouse club Costco, alleging the discount retailer was selling counterfeit Tiffany diamond rings.


Billionaire investor George Soros is increasingly bearish on gold.


The mission is clear, but it's certainly not easy. Whoever becomes the next governor of the Bank of Japan will be expected to make full use of the central bank's tools to reflate the Japanese economy, while avoiding accusations that it is igniting a currency war by deliberately depressing the yen.


The London Summer Olympics may have been the most-watched event in television history but advertising revenue from the 2012 Games surprisingly disappointed French advertising group Publicis, as did revenue from last year's highly-watched European football championships.



Five questions for 'Downton Abbey' finale.


Thursday nights are about to get a little more intense. NBC's "Hannibal" will premiere on Thursday, April 4 at 10 p.m. ET, series creator Bryan Fuller announced via Twitter. Fuller's highly anticipated drama boasts modern versions of author Thomas Harris' characters, Hannibal Lecter and FBI agent Will Graham, played by Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, respectively.


Bryan Adams and Alicia Grimaldi are now the proud parents of two. The "Summer of '69" singer and Grimaldi, a trustee and co-founder of The Bryan Adams Foundation, welcomed their second baby girl in London this week, Adams rep confirms to CNN.


Iceland is working on banning Internet pornography, calling explicit online images a threat to children.


Meet the Rules of the Internet.


A contest for Web startups offers to pay a young company to move to the Web-savvy city of Austin, Texas. It will award $100,000 to move and support a startup during this year's South by Southwest Interactive Festival, considered a sort of mashup of the Super Bowl and spring break for the tech elite. Participants say the contest is a way to give back to up-and-comers in tech.


Apparently This Matters: Out of control at 125 mph.


Bengali Harlem: Author documents a lost history of immigration in America.


Fur on the catwalk: Is it worth the controversy?


Chicago's record murder rate: Don't blame guns alone.


How we talk about guns in my Chicago classroom.


Chicago's violence took my dad, friends.


Pistorious case and the plague of violence against women.


On Tuesday, the international community reacted to North Korea's third nuclear test by calling its action "provocative," while South Korea's foreign minister warned that it was a "clear threat to international peace and security." It was what Kim Jong Un, the nation's young leader, wanted.


Nine of us booked a trip on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph to celebrate our recent college graduation.


How Carnival can clean up the PR mess.


When my publisher first suggested the title for my new book, "Work Like A Spy" I bristled. Being called a spy is a pet peeve shared by everyone I know in the intelligence community, after all. So, to set the record straight, CIA officers are not spies --- a spy is someone who commits espionage against his own country. CIA officers recruit spies.


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