October 21st, 2009
05:19 PM ET

Child porn charges filed against priest


Father Robert M. Timchak was charged on Monday with 17 counts of sexual child abuse for allegedly having files of naked, underage boys on his computer.

Father Robert M. Timchak was charged on Monday with 17 counts of sexual child abuse for allegedly having files of naked, underage boys on his computer.

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

A Roman Catholic priest in Pennsylvania has been charged with more than a dozen counts connected to child pornography, authorities said. “I would believe that our community would be distressed upon hearing these allegations,” Pike County District Attorney Raymond J. Tonkin told CNN.

Tonkin said Father Robert M. Timchak surrendered on Monday and is now free on bail. Timchak, who was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton in 1992, was charged with 17 counts of sexual abuse of children, one count of criminal use of a communications facility, and one count of tampering with or fabricating evidence.

“There are no allegations at this time related to the actual touching of any children,” Tonkin said. “The allegations at this time are related to the possession of child pornography on his computer.”

The case against Timchak began, authorities said, with an anonymous letter sent to the Diocese of Scranton last December.

The affidavit of probable cause alleges “the letter contained explicit photographs and comments of young males, possibly children, that reportedly had been recovered during a search of the email address 'booker1441.'”


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
October 21st, 2009
04:55 PM ET

Country of origin profiles of U.S. Hispanics

The Pew Hispanic Center

More than six-in-ten Hispanics in the U.S. self-identify as being of Mexican origin. Nine of the other ten largest Hispanic origin groups—Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Honduran, Ecuadorian and Peruvian—account for about a third of the U.S. Hispanic population. There are differences across these ten population groups in the share of each that is foreign born, citizen (by birth or naturalization), and proficient in English. They are also of varying age, tend to live in different areas within the U.S, and have varying levels of education, homeownership rates, and poverty rates.


October 21st, 2009
02:53 PM ET

Map: Pakistan military battles militants


The top U.S. military commander for the Middle East and Central Asia visited Pakistan on Monday as the Pakistani army battled Taliban militants in the country's northwest, U.S. Embassy officials said.

Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, held meetings as U.S. Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also arrived on a separate visit.

Details about their visits were not immediately available.

Petraeus' and Kerry's arrivals came on the heels of Pakistani troops launching a massive ground offensive backed by air power over the weekend in South Waziristan, a refuge and power base for insurgents operating in Pakistan and along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Middle East • Military • Pakistan
October 21st, 2009
02:44 PM ET

Interactive: H1N1 Vaccine deployed around the world

Stephanie Busari

A mass H1N1 immunization program began in the UK Wednesday, with the country's health minister urging all priority groups to take up the vaccine.

Health and social care workers are among those identified in the "priority" group given first access to the vaccine against the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu.

Others include pregnant women, those over 65, people with asthma, diabetes and those having cancer treatment, the country's Department of Health has said.

From Monday, this group will be given appointments to visit doctors surgeries to receive the vaccine.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: H1N1
October 21st, 2009
02:21 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: State jobless picture improves… a little

Fewer states have seen an increase in unemployment as the Stimulus Act of 2008 continues to create new programs.

Fewer states have seen an increase in unemployment as the Stimulus Act of 2008 continues to create new programs.

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Fewer states posted an increase in their unemployment rates last month, even as the national unemployment rate hit a fresh 26-year high of 9.8%.

Jobless rates increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia in September, according to the Labor Dept.

On the flipside, 19 states posted a decrease in unemployment, and eight saw rates hold steady.

Michigan remains the hardest hit at 15.3% unemployment. Nevada was next with 13.3%, followed by Rhode Island at 13% and California, at 12.2%.

Overall, a total of 15 states reported jobless rates above 10% in September. FULL POST

Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Finance
October 21st, 2009
02:18 PM ET

LKL Web Exclusive: The Saudi Enigma

Robert Lacey

I chose these words to open my new book Inside the Kingdom, because I needed to understand the tragedy of 9/11 and the nation that produced no less than fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on those planes. Saudi Arabia has never been a spot that wins much favor in the west. How can you love a country that charges you $70 or more for a product that costs less than $10 to get out of the ground – and then gives you terrorists as well?

But I wanted to go beyond that – to find out how the culture and religion of a society could go so wrong as to produce such a poisonous boiling-over of intolerance and hatred. In theory Saudi Arabia should not exist – its survival defies the laws of logic and history. Look at its princely rulers, dressed in funny clothes, trusting in God rather than man, and running their government on principles that most of the world has abandoned with relief. Shops closed for prayer five times a day, executions in the street – and let us not even get started on the status of women. For many the Kingdom remains one of the planet’s enduring – and, for some, quite offensive – enigmas.

But in these notorious distinctions lies an answer that I would urge you to consider – for when you look harder, the differences are not quite as great as they seem. It was not so long ago in the west, certainly in the memory of our parents and grandparents, that women were second class citizens denied the right to vote; most respectable people were devout and rather intolerant believers, scared and suspicious of other races and faiths: capital punishment was considered a necessity – with public lynchings of non-whites in the south; books and plays were censored (our movies still are); people dressed in stiff and formal clothes – a sort of uniform; father knew best, and ‘nice’ girls remained virgins until marriage. For centuries western life was lived within the comfort of those structures and strictures, and it is only in the last 90 years (one modern lifetime) that we have started to look for new values – which we sometimes seek to define by criticizing those who are reluctant to abandon the security of what went before.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Larry King • Middle East • Terrorism
October 21st, 2009
02:16 PM ET

CNN Poll: Americans split on Obama proposals

Americans are split right down the middle over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals.

Americans are split right down the middle over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals.

Editor's Note: With campaign days dwindling down and gubernatorial races still heated in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida this year's election may signify an early referendum on President Obama's policies. A new CNN poll shows that Americans are split on the plan for health care reform. Read the full poll results here.

CNN Political Ticker

Americans are split right down the middle over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals, according to a new national poll.

But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that a majority say it would be better to pass some sort of reform legislation than to leave the current health care system unchanged. And the poll, released Wednesday, is the second national survey this week to suggest growing support for the public option.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned in the poll say they favor the president's health care reform proposals, with an equal amount in opposition.

According to the survey, 61 percent favor a public health insurance option that would compete with private plans. That's a six-point increase in support since August.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Health Care • President Barack Obama
October 21st, 2009
01:18 PM ET

United by a common language

Trey Etheridge

M-PACT SPORTS is a youth instructional facility in Orlando, Fla. We operate a 12,000 square-foot facility and we specialize in baseball and softball instruction, as well as speed, strength and agility training of athletes of all ages. From T-ball players to professionals, we have athletes of all abilities. Coaches and families visit our facility each day.

I grew up most of my life in west Texas and went to high school in New Mexico. My wife and I witnessed the growth of the Latino community (especially the Mexican Americans) in our home state of Texas. Here in Florida, the Puerto Rican and South American cultures are growing.

Thirty percent of the athletes at M-PACT SPORTS are of some type of Latino descent and are very important to our business. I’ve noticed many times Latino kids are often translating our training programs, pricing and policies to their parents or grandparents.

One day my wife, Lorri, and I decided we might be missing the proverbial ‘boat’ and could be more effectively reaching and catering to this crucial segment of our business. She reached out to Emilio Perez, the President of the Greater Orlando Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce. At the time the chamber was sponsoring a seminar on how businesses could more effectively market their services to the Latino community here in Orlando. It was at this conference that we were approached by CNN for the ‘Latino in America’ documentary.


Filed under: CNN Latino in America
October 21st, 2009
01:07 PM ET

Map: H1N1 swine flu by state

Elizabeth Landau

For 13-year-old Brandon Marti, the intranasal vaccine felt "good," "cold" and "watery" at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, on Tuesday.

Marti, among the first to get vaccinated against the novel H1N1 influenza virus this week, said he would tell his friends and classmates that "the swine flu vaccine is good, and protects me from getting the swine flu."

New York has received a shipment of 68,000 doses of the FluMist variety vaccine. This form was made available before the injectable kind because it was ready first, said Thomas Skinner, spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click here to keep reading and find out where H1N1 activity is greatest.

Filed under: 360° Radar • H1N1 • Health Care
October 21st, 2009
12:27 PM ET
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