Tonight, why in the world is amazon.com selling a guide book for Pedophiles? We're keeping them honest. Plus, the White House comes under fire for a "tweak" it made to a report on oil drilling safety and more.
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CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The Obama administration didn't violate federal law when it incorrectly asserted that its plans for a six-month halt to offshore oil drilling had been "peer reviewed" by experts, an independent watchdog agency reported Wednesday.
The erroneous claim was included in a report issued a month into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and stemmed from a White House edit of an Interior Department draft, according to the report Wednesday from the department inspector-general's office. A panel of scientists and engineers did examine new safety recommendations for offshore oil drilling following the undersea gusher in April, but did not study the planned drilling moratorium that was announced in late May, the report found.
In June, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar apologized for the error both in writing and in person to scientists who complained about the language, the report states. Investigators found the problem occurred when White House officials "revised and re-ordered" the report before its issuance, "placing the peer review language immediately following the moratorium recommendation."
"This caused the distinction between the secretary's moratorium recommendation - which had not been peer-reviewed - and the safety recommendations contained in the 30-Day Report - which had been peer reviewed - to become effectively lost," the report states.
(CNN) - An e-book for sale on Amazon.com that appears to defend pedophilia has sparked hundreds of angry user comments and calls for a boycott of the online retailer unless it pulls the title.
The author of "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" described the self-published title as "my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow," according to the Amazon.com product description.
"I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught," an author named Phillip R. Greaves II wrote in the Amazon.com listing.
As of 6:25 p.m. ET, there were 1,037 comments on the Amazon.com listing, and more were coming in by the minute. The lion's share of the comments deplored the title's publication and vowed to boycott Amazon until it removes the self-published title from the site.
"It is ILLEGAL to molest children, and for Amazon to promote such is insane. I'm an abuse survivor, and am OUTRAGED Amazon would choose to promote this nonsense. I will not be purchasing anything from your website until this is removed," one user wrote in a comment echoed by others.
Others lamented they could not give the book less than "one star" in submitting their reviews, saying they would shop elsewhere during the holiday season.
Full story on the CNN Just In blog
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Anti-G20 activists from Oxfam wear masks depicting the G20 leaders during a rally on November 10, 2010 in Seoul, South Korea. World leaders will converge on Seoul for the fifth meeting of the G20 group of nations to discuss the global financial system and world economy. (Photo credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
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“The guy next to me won the coin flip, and gets the Hillary mask…"
Vickie from the Show Me State
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CNNMoney.com Senior Writer
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In a surprise move Wednesday, the co-chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission released their preliminary proposals to curb growth in U.S. debt.
The report from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson recommends spending cuts beginning in 2012, as well as tax reform and other ways to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.
Three quarters of the $4 trillion would be achieved through spending cuts - including defense - and the rest from more tax revenue.
Among the proposed defense cuts: Freeze noncombat military pay at 2011 levels for three years to save $9.2 billion and reduce overseas bases by one-third to save $8.5 billion. It would also direct $28 billion in cuts already proposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates toward deficit reduction.
Outside of defense, the report recommends eliminating 250,000 contractors, saving $18.4 billion, and freezing federal pay for three years, saving $15.1 billion.
The 18-member commission, which will make formal recommendations to Obama on Dec. 1, has been closely watched by budget experts since its first meeting in April.
More on CNNMoney.com
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - They were the words Elizabeth Smart waited eight years to say, and when she spoke them from the witness stand Wednesday, they poured out with an intensity that brought jurors to the edge of their seats.
Brian David Mitchell was no prophet, she said. He was an unholy hypocrite.
There was nothing divine about his mission to steal her in the dark of night and make her his unwilling child bride, she said.
"He was crude and vulgar, self-serving," she stated, looking directly at the jury. "He was his number one priority, followed by sex, drugs and alcohol, but he used religion in all those aspects to justify everything."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Felice John Viti asked how she could be so certain about Mitchell's character, and Smart held nothing back.
"Well, nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God's servant and he had been called to do God's work, and everything that he did to me and to my family is something I know God would never tell someone to do," she said. "God would never tell someone to kidnap a young girl from her family's home in the middle of the night, from her bed that she shared with her sister, from her sister's side, and continue to rape her and sexually abuse her. ... I know he was not called of God because God would never do something like that."
Within minutes, Smart stepped down from the witness stand, ending three days of riveting testimony against the homeless street preacher accused of kidnapping her and holding her captive as his preordained "celestial" wife. Asked if she was glad it was over, Smart paused for a moment, as if carefully considering her response. She then smiled and said, "Yes."
Smart, who turned 23 last week, led the jury through the ordeal she calls "my nine months in hell." She was 14 when she was snatched from her bed at knifepoint and marched into the mountains behind her home to a makeshift camp, where Mitchell "sealed" her to him as his wife. Other kidnapped girls were to come, she said Mitchell told her, and her job would be to "demonstrate" to the newcomers how to carry out their sexual duties.
Updated: 6:19 pm
Program Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries.. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com
Nominated Harmon Parker | HIS STORY
I nominated Harmon Parker as my CNN Hero because he has voluntarily served as an authentic servant to remote Kenyan tribal groups for the past 15+ years. He has seen their lives up-close and first-hand, and he knows the critical nature of their needs.
He began by drilling simple water wells in arid areas, but soon moved along to small footbridges made of locally available materials. He is a brick-mason by trade, and uses his hands to save lives. He is from California, and could be living there quite well, building houses for the wealthy. He prefers building bridges for the desperate.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama will return from his travels abroad early because of a volcano that could interfere with his flight. Of course, he’ll find another eruption brewing back home…
Dear Mr. President,
Are you coming home soon? I certainly hope so. Sometimes when a president leaves the White House, especially right after a tough congressional election, it’s like parents going away after finals have ended at school: Chances are fair that all hell is going to break out in their absence.
In the past couple of elections, voters have made it pretty clear they are not happy with the status quo in DC. They don’t like the idea of either party running away with the agenda, and they really don’t like the take-no-prisoners approach to politics that keeps the war raging in Washington while the rest of the country burns…at least in an economic sense.
And yet too many Democrats and Republicans seem to be doing nothing right now except firing up their flamethrowers. It’s a little mind-blowing. Sure, Republicans are feeling invigorated by their big wins and believe that voters want them to reverse some of your agenda. And, of course, your Democrats are feeling hammered and want to desperately defend the legislative turf they’ve claimed.
(CNN) - The San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors on Tuesday banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys, as they're now served.
The ordinance, which requires McDonald's and other fast-food servings with toys to meet new nutritional standards, now goes to Mayor Gavin Newsom, who indicated before his election last week to California lieutenant governor that he would veto the law.
That veto would be meaningless because the board approved the ordinance 8-3, a veto-proof margin. With eight votes, the board could override the veto.
The new law, which San Francisco officials hope other cities will adopt in battling a child obesity epidemic, was a defeat for McDonald's, which led the fight against the measure.
"As previously stated, we are extremely disappointed with this decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," said McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud.
Proud said public opinion is against such government intervention.
"Any fair and objective review of our menu and the actions we've taken will demonstrate we've added multiple options for parents to choose. This includes Apple Dippers (bagged, sliced, pre-peeled apples), low-fat one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice and Chicken McNuggets made with white meat," Proud said in a statement. "And, as we have stated all along, we are committed to doing even more."
The new law addresses how toys and other marketing freebies entice kids to buy fast-food meals that are high in fat and calories, said Supervisor Eric Mar. He initiated the proposal because his fifth-grade daughter is in the 6-to-11 age group that has seen obesity rates quadruple over the past 30 years, the same time that the Happy Meal has been on the market.
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