September 1st, 2009
04:26 PM ET

Interactive Map: Battling the California blaze

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/08/29/california.wildfires/art.flames.gi.jpg caption="Firefighters look on as fire rages near Ocean View Drive in Los Angeles on Saturday."]

A fast-moving wildfire with a "mind of its own" threatens thousands of homes and businesses in Southern California near the Angeles National Forest.

Cooler temperatures Tuesday could help firefighters slow down a fast-moving, deadly wildfire that has charred nearly 122,000 acres in Southern California.

Two firefighters lost their lives Sunday trying to get control of the Station Fire, which is burning through steep and rugged terrain in the Angeles National Forest. This area north of Los Angeles has not seen a major fire in more than 60 years. It's the largest of at least five fires burning in the state.

Temperatures will be in the 90s, but they will be lower than the triple-digit highs that, combined with low humidity, caused the fire to explode in size from at least 40,000 acres on Sunday to more than 100,000 acres Monday.

Click here to see an interactive map of the fire.

Filed under: Wildfires
September 1st, 2009
04:20 PM ET

Beat 360° 9/1/09

Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and 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:

Local fishing guide Dan Vermillion reacts as President Barack Obama almost hooks a trout on the East Gallatin River near Belgrade, Mont., on Aug. 14, 2009.

Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.



Joneil Adriano

"President Obama reacts to the news that Dick Cheney was not duck-hunting anywhere nearby."


Barbara, Mesquite, NV

“Hey, I almost hooked that Republican on health care!”

_________________________________________________________________________________ Beat 360° Challenge

Filed under: Beat 360° • T1
September 1st, 2009
04:17 PM ET

Missing boy's mom: Jaycee's story 'makes my heart smile'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/01/mn.missing.boy/art.wetterling.jpg caption="Patty Wetterling says the return of Jaycee Dugard 'is reaffirming' and 'a success.'"]
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/01/mn.missing.boy/art.son.photo.jpg caption="Wetterling holds a photo of her son Jacob, who was abducted at age 11 nearly 20 years ago."]
Chris Welch

News of Jaycee Dugard's safe return after 18 years in captivity gives Patty Wetterling hope.

Wetterling's son Jacob is still missing after a gunpoint abduction almost 20 years ago near their home in St. Joseph, Minnesota.

"Jacob was with his best friend and his brother. They witnessed it," Wetterling says, recalling that day back in October 1989. "They saw this masked man with a gun."

Jaycee Dugard's return "is reaffirming," Wetterling adds. "There are cases where nobody believed [the children] were coming home, and they did. This is one. So for me, it makes my heart smile. It's a success."

Keep reading...

Filed under: Jaycee Dugard
September 1st, 2009
04:04 PM ET

FAQs on "mind control"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/08/31/missing.girl.officers/art.jaycee.cnn.jpg caption="Dugard was kidnapped at 11 and kept hidden for 18 years in a backyard compound, authorities say."]

Steve Hassan
Mental Health Counselor

We’re following the latest developments in the kidnapping case of Jaycee Lee Dugard. Police have said Garrido kept Dugard in a series of sheds in his backyard for 18 years, fathering two children with her who are now 11 and 15-year-old girls.

Was Jaycee Lee Dugard brainwashed by her Garrido? What kind of treatment did she endure for the 18-years that she was held captive in her captor’s backyard? Last night, we spoke to Steve Hassan, a mental health counselor and a nationally certified counselor about certain types of “mind control” that are often used to control a person’s psyche. Go here to learn for Frequently Asked Questions about these types of techniques.


Filed under: Jaycee Dugard
September 1st, 2009
03:37 PM ET

Financial Dispatch: Arrest in ID theft that hit Fed chief

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/01/bernanke.id.theft/art.ben.bernanke.cnn.jpg caption="Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged the identity theft involving his family."]

Andrew Torgan
CNN Financial News Producer

Federal agents have nabbed a woman allegedly involved in a sophisticated identity-theft ring that claimed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke among its victims, authorities said today.

Shona Michelle Young was arrested at the Airport Villas near Miami International Airport on Monday, said spokesman Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshal's office for the southern district of Florida.

Young is said to be a major check-casher for the identity theft ring, which stole the purse of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's wife, Anna, last summer.


Filed under: Andrew Torgan • Cash for Clunkers • Finance • Housing Market
September 1st, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Hurricane Jimena closes in on Mexico's Baja Peninsula

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/weather/09/01/hurricane.jimena/art.jimena.satellite.jpg caption="A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Jimena off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, on Tuesday morning."]
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/weather/09/01/hurricane.jimena/art.jimena.earth.mover.jpg.jpg caption="Heavy equipment moves beach sand to form a barrier on Tuesday in Puerto San Carlos, Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula."]

A "dangerous" Hurricane Jimena bore down Tuesday on the Mexican peninsula of Baja California, with the resort town of Cabo San Lucas lying in its path. Meanwhile, a new tropical storm was forming in the Atlantic Ocean.

Jimena's maximum wind speed dropped from 145 mph to 135 mph, but it still remained a Category 4 storm, according to the U.S. National Weather Service's 11 a.m. PT (2 p.m. ET) update.

"Some fluctuations in strength are likely today and gradual weakening is forecast on Wednesday," the weather service said. "However, Jimena is expected to remain a major hurricane until landfall."

Also on Tuesday, Tropical Storm Erika formed in the Atlantic, 390 miles east of the Leeward Islands, the National Hurricane Center said.

Jimena's storm center is forecast to come ashore on Thursday morning, but the weather service warned that "because it will be moving parallel to the coastline, any slight change in direction could have a huge impact in the location and timing of landfall."

Keep reading...

Filed under: Hurricanes
September 1st, 2009
11:15 AM ET

Did Obama underestimate his critics?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/01/zelizer.obama.healthcare/art.julian.zelizer.courtesy.jpg caption="Julian Zelizer says opponents have mobilized the public to block health reform for 60 years."]
Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

One of the great puzzles this summer has been why President Obama seemed to have underestimated the intensity of the counter-mobilization he would face in proposing health care reform.

Historically, each time an American president has sought to reform the health care system, opponents mounted a fierce and unrelenting attack to undermine public support.

President Harry Truman confronted such an attack after his dramatic upset against Republican Thomas Dewey in 1948. Truman proposed national health care as part of the "Fair Deal." The American Medical Association instantly branded the proposal "socialized medicine." It hired a public relations firm, Whitaker and Baxter, for $1.5 million in 1949.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Health Care
September 1st, 2009
10:31 AM ET

Inmate-release plan hits snag in California Assembly

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/25/california.prisoners.release/art.prison.gi.jpg caption="California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, right, and officials tour a prison last week in Chino after a riot there."]

California legislators plan to keep trying to find consensus on a controversial proposal that would release at least 27,000 inmates from state prisons.

The California Assembly on Monday delayed a possible vote on the plan. Lawmakers likely will take up the proposal Wednesday or Thursday, said Shannon Murphy, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.

"When we arrive at a responsible plan that can earn the support of the majority of the Assembly and make sense to the people of California, we will take that bill up on the Assembly floor," Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat, said in a statement.

Bass said legislators continue to meet with each other and law enforcement authorities to try to craft a plan that increases public safety, improves the state corrections department and reduces costs.

As part of the negotiations, a provision that would set up a 16-member sentencing commission - which would put new sentencing guidelines in place by 2012 - was stripped from the bill, Murphy said.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Crime & Punishment
September 1st, 2009
10:30 AM ET

It’s time for Little League Baseball to ban the curveball

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/01/art.vert.littleleague.pitcher.jpg width=292 height=320]

Paul Caron
CNN Producer

The Little League World Series is over and one thing, if you watched, you saw more than a dozen times a game: a Little League pitcher baffling a hitter with a curve ball, with no idea the damage he could be doing to his arm and his baseball future.

For the past several seasons, sports medicine researchers at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta have tracked every single pitch of the televised Little League World Series (LLWS) games. They found that the use of the curve ball goes up every year, and so do the number of youth pitcher arm injuries.

A few years ago, I attended a coach’s clinic put on by Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Braves. The Braves’ team doctor was there, as well as the best known arm surgeon to athletes – Dr. James Andrews – from Birmingham, Alabama.  The evidence they laid out was clear: more curve balls were thrown every year, year by year, in the LLWS.  And the number of arm surgeries needed for youth pitchers went up along with that (although no one has tracked how specific LLWS pitchers fared after their Little League pitching days).

In a recent New York Times Magazine story, Dr. Andrews described an "epidemic" of arm and shoulder injuries to young ballplayers.  Andrews says in 2001 and 2002 he performed a total of just 13 shoulder operations on teenagers. Between 2003 and 2008, he did 241.


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