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August 17th, 2010
09:48 PM ET

Dr. Laura Ending Her Radio Show: Join the Live Chat

We're following breaking news. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is ending her radio show, in a cloud of a racially-charged controversy. Hear what she told Larry King just moment ago. Plus, two reports on the oil still lingering in the Gulf of Mexico raising some chilling possibilities and more.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)


Filed under: Live Blog
August 17th, 2010
09:01 PM ET

Adolescent hearing loss on the rise in U.S.

Sabriya Rice
CNN Medical Producer

Do you ever get the impression your teen is just not hearing you? Well, maybe he's not. Literally. According to a new study, more American adolescents may be suffering from early signs of hearing loss than previously estimated.

Researchers looking at hearing loss in people ages 12 to 19 found that when compared with data from the mid-1990s there has been a 30 percent increase in the development of minimal levels of hearing loss, and a 77 percent increase in more serious hearing problems – those where obvious communication difficulties can be observed. About one in 20 children experienced hearing loss in 1994, and that number jumped to about one in 5, or an estimated 6.5 million adolescents, by 2006.

“What we're seeing is a big jump in the prevalence of hearing loss in a very short period of time, in less than one generation,” says Dr. Roland Eavey, an author on the study. “That means we're on the front edge of an epidemic.” The results were published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hearing loss is a serious problem that can lead to developmental delays for school-aged children. Even though the condition is common, getting to the root of the problem remains a challenge.

The authors of the JAMA article conclude that more studies are needed to determine the exact cause of the increase. “We see smoke,” Eavey explains. “We’re not sure where the fire is yet, but we know it’s not good for the woods to be burning."

Keep reading...


Filed under: Medical News
August 17th, 2010
05:15 PM ET

Klein's letter to parents about NYC test scores

Joel Klein
NY Department of Education

Dear Parent or Guardian: As you may know, the State earlier this week released the results of the annual New York State math and English Language Arts (ELA) exams for students in grades three through eight.

I am sure you are anxious to see your child’s results. In the fall, all families will receive individualized reports from the State with their child’s test scores. This report will help you understand areas where your child needs work and will show you how your child is doing compared to other students

Read the letter here


Filed under: Education
August 17th, 2010
04:48 PM ET

Obama courageous, then craven on mosque

Hamid Dabashi
Special to CNN

Dabashi: Obama showed political cowardice on issue; it was disheartening to Muslims
Dabashi: Obama showed political cowardice on issue; it was disheartening to Muslims

At a White House dinner last week - an iftar on the occasion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan –President Obama delivered what many rightly considered a courageous speech in which he weighed in on the controversy surrounding the proposed construction of a mosque near ground zero.

While acknowledging "sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan," the president added eloquently, "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure."

Muslims around the world and American Muslims in particular (judging by the reception in the blogosphere alone) were deeply moved and rightly grateful that against much popular opposition, the president had taken a principled position.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Islam • Opinion • President Barack Obama
August 17th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

Scientists: Toxic organisms, oil found on Gulf floor

CNN

John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic.

It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.

Paul is a marine microbiologist with the University of South Florida. He and 13 other researchers were in the middle of a 10-day research mission that began August 6 in the Gulf of Mexico when they made the toxic discovery.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
August 17th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

Video: Dr. Laura's racist rant

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor


Filed under: 360° Radar
August 17th, 2010
03:24 PM ET

Opinion: United States of Islamophobia?

Arsalan Iftikhar
Special to CNN

Arsalan Iftikhar: Anti-mosque campaigns spreading from New York throughout nation
Arsalan Iftikhar: Anti-mosque campaigns spreading from New York throughout nation

Almost everybody has heard about the protests against the mosque and Islamic center planned to be built about two blocks from ground zero in Manhattan. But most people are still unaware that these anti-Muslim political campaigns are spreading throughout our beloved country as a new wave of Islamophobia hits.

Debate over the Islamic center has become ridiculously absurd. An ad objecting to the mosque depicts a plane flying toward the World Trade Center's towers as they burn on the left, with a rendering of the center on the right, and is set to run in New York buses.

Far away from New York, some right-wing Republican political candidates in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, have denounced plans for a large Muslim center proposed near a subdivision and hundreds of angry protesters have subsequently turned out for a march and a county meeting on the matter.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Islam • Opinion
August 17th, 2010
03:16 PM ET

From white or black, the N-word is not OK

LZ Granderson
Special to CNN

Granderson: Word too freighted and hurtful to be tossed around by Dr. Laura or anyone else
Granderson: Word too freighted and hurtful to be tossed around by Dr. Laura or anyone else

I was out roaming the streets of east London with a group of friends back in 2007 when we stumbled across this sweaty hipster club tucked between an old church and a bank. It wasn't a very large space, holding maybe a couple of hundred people, but what it lacked in size was more than made up in the energy coming from the predominantly white, eclectic crowd on the dance floor.

The music was a continuous flow of everything from '80s house music to current hip hop and I had just enough beers in me to join the raucous crowd in singing the words of each song at the top of my lungs. From Inner City's "Big Fun" to House of Pain's "Jump Around," it seemed with each track, the crowd grew louder and louder.

Then Kanye West's "Gold Digger" came on. For those of you who don't remember the chorus, allow me to refresh your memory:

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Opinion • Race in America
August 17th, 2010
03:02 PM ET

Video: Fareed: Don't demonize Islamic center

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”


Filed under: Islam
August 17th, 2010
02:38 PM ET

Reports of looting, violence surface in flood-ravaged Pakistan

CNN Wire Staff

Millions of children are at high risk of deadly diseases, United Nations says
Millions of children are at high risk of deadly diseases, United Nations says

Desperation erupted into violence Tuesday in flood-ravaged Pakistan as survivors who have yet to receive aid scrambled to put food in their empty bellies.

People in Sindh province blocked a highway to protest the slowness of aid delivery and clashed with police, the United Nations said. In a hard-hit district of Punjab, hungry mobs unloaded two aid trucks headed to a warehouse. Local aid agencies reported other incidents of looting.

An aid agency worker said distributions were hampered because of the crowds stopping the convoys and because large numbers of people were living along the road.

About 20 million people have been affected by the relentless monsoon rains that began falling three weeks ago, leading to massive flooding from the mountainous regions in the north to the river plains of the south.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: Pakistan
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