January 1st, 2010
12:30 PM ET

Video: How do you say 2010?


Some people refer to the new year as "two thousand and ten," and other people refer to the new year as "twenty-ten." In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll 69% responded "two thousand and ten," with 29% choosing "twenty ten." CNN affiliate WCAX hit the streets for an unscientific poll. How about you? Are you more likely to say "two thousand and ten" or "twenty ten?

January 1st, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Text rescues man from trunk

Christine Dobbyn

We're hearing from a man who is giving a pat on the back to technology. He was abducted at gunpoint and forced into his own trunk and that's when he let his thumbs do the talking.

A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and a 16-year-old is also in custody. It was a text message that led deputies to both of them. It also may have saved the victim's life.

Thi Yuan Yen was leaving his apartment in Stafford on Christmas Day when the terrifying road trip began.

"I tried to find my GPS then suddenly the man opened my door," said Thi.

As Thi got into his car, he was forced to go for a ride he hadn't planned on taking.

"At the beginning, he used the gun and pointed it to my back," said Thi.

As he drove, the suspect who Fort Bend County deputies now identify as Jeremy Banguero, 17, suddenly told Thi to stop.

"He asked me to get out of the car and get into the trunk with the gun," said Thi.


Filed under: Crime • Technology
January 1st, 2010
10:40 AM ET

A 'lucky to be alive' passenger's story

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/01/01/schilke.eyewitness.flight.253/tzleft.schilke.family.courtesy.jpg caption="David and Iliana Schilke with their 5-year-old son." width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: David Schilke and his family were passengers on Flight 253. He and his wife Iliana work for Ford Motor Co. The following is from an e-mail he plans to send his co-workers on Jan, 4.

David Schilke
Special to CNN

As most of you already know my wife, my son and I were on "that plane" on Christmas Day. We had ringside seats. In order to keep myself from going crazy (repeating everything about everything over and over again) I am writing this e-mail. The therapeutic value of writing things down and staring at the words over and over again after such an event should also not be overlooked.

Please, that definitely does NOT mean that you can't come by and say hi, ask how we are doing, ask other questions or just stare at one of the luckiest persons you'll ever know. Stop by if you wish, any time. The only thing you are absolutely forbidden to ask me about is work.

So, here goes.

The most important thing:

My family and I are still here and so are 275 other people - so it didn't turn out so badly after all.

The facts:

The guy was on the left side of the plane, window seat, aisle 19. We were two rows back and I was four seats, plus an aisle, sideways from the guy. My son was next to me (on the aisle) and my wife was across the aisle from him.

About 15 minutes before landing - tray tables up, chairs forward, strapped in - most everyone heard a pop, very much like a New Year's Eve popper. I immediately poked my head up. I thought the sound had come from ahead of me but I saw a flight attendant standing in our aisle about four or five rows up looking straight across to the other side of the plane. Her eyes were wide open staring over in what proved to be the generally correct direction.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Airline Safety • Terrorism
January 1st, 2010
09:50 AM ET

For 2010, think of self-reliance as progress

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Editor's note: Peter Bregman is chief executive of Bregman Partners Inc., a global management consulting firm, and the author of "Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change." He writes a weekly column, How We Work, for HarvardBusiness.org.

Peter Bregman
Special to CNN

In last year's futuristic movie, "Wall-E," human beings, evacuated from an uninhabitable Earth, now live in a space station, confined to hover chairs and unable to walk because they have become so obese. Actually, it's the other way around. They became so obese because they no longer walked.

Either way, their situation reflects a powerful trait in the human race. We adapt. When we need a capability to survive, we acquire it. When we no longer use it, we lose it. How many of us know how to darn socks?

It's that time of year again. When we take stock of our lives and contemplate next year - when we decide how we want to move forward, how we plan to adapt to the world around us. Which got me thinking: What, exactly, is progress?

Recently I was in Shanghai, China, a city in transition, with newly built skyscrapers quickly replacing century-old crumbling shacks. Progress, right? Perhaps. But a "Wall E"-like vision is gaining momentum. The streets in Shanghai used to be filled with bicycles. Now, they're filled with cars, trucks, and buses. In the first eight months of 2009, passenger car sales rose 37 percent in China. Obesity is now considered an epidemic there.

But here's what struck me most: Men in blue cotton jumpsuits were on almost every street, sweeping trash, keeping the city clean. And what was interesting? They made their own brooms.

Keep reading...

Filed under: China • Economy
January 1st, 2010
08:44 AM ET

Dear President Obama #347: Re-resolution time!

Reporter's Note: Many people are a little draggy today after staying up half the night to welcome the New Year. Not sure what the president did, but hopefully he’s still game for today’s letter to the White House.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/31/art.nyeve.gi.jpg]

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

My family eats ham and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. It’s an old southern tradition, and I don’t really know all the meanings behind it. I suppose the ham symbolizes hope for wealth. A lot of city dwellers are confused by the notion of a pig representing riches, but the explanation is simple. Most animals on old-fashioned family farms served more than one purpose before they were slaughtered; chickens produced eggs, cows produced milk, sheep produced wool…you get the picture. But pigs just eat and eat, until they are eaten. Therefore, a farmer who could afford pigs was considered wealthy back in the day, and when we eat ham on special occasions we are unwittingly saluting Ol’ McDonald, Ee-i-ee-i-oh.

The black-eyed peas are supposed to bring good luck. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have read that it is because they are a humble food. If you start the year recognizing the simplicity of your needs, and your own unworthiness of the great bounty of life, God may reward you with more. Or something like that. It’s one of those “I’m so humble, I should get a prize!” sort of things.


January 1st, 2010
01:29 AM ET

Cold place, warm hearts, cool Sardine!

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John Dance
Senior Producer, CNN On-Air Promotion

2010 could not have started in a better way than with the people, and one very large sardine, of Eastport, Maine.

I joined 150 residents and tourists in downtown Eastport to ring in the New Year with the dropping of a Maple leaf at 11 p.m. and the dropping of a sardine at midnight.

They were both lowered from the third story window of the Tides Art Institute and Museum which puts on the event. The maple leaf is for the town's Canadian neighbors and the sardine represents the history of fishing and canning in Eastport.

Smiles and the sounds of "Oh Canada" and "Auld Lang Syne" filled the night air as families and neighbors filled the streets. This southerner was met with open arms and open hearts by the folks of Eastport.

For anyone looking for a unique experience to ring in 2011, put Eastport, Maine and The Great Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop at the top of your list.

To read more about the tradition, go here...

Filed under: New Year's Eve 2010
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