May 3rd, 2010
02:51 PM ET

Volunteers recruited to help in oil spill threat


[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/04/30/impact.oil.spill/story.oil.spill.iyw.jpg caption="wildlife conservation groups say the oil could pose a disaster for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coastal areas." width=300 height=169]

Efforts to minimize the damage from the huge oil spill from last week's rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico are under way, but wildlife conservation groups say the oil could pose a disaster for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coastal areas.

How can you help? A number of organizations are recruiting volunteers.

The Audubon Society, which is affiliated with the Louisiana Coastal Initiative, is making its Center for Birds of Prey in Florida available for bird cleansing and rehabilitation and is seeking volunteers. Elsewhere, Audubon said it was gearing up to mobilize volunteers and provide assistance as the oil reaches land in Louisiana and elsewhere. Find a local office

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
May 3rd, 2010
01:50 PM ET

Presser today on murdered college student






Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

Authorities are expected to release new information today in connection with the killing of a Drake University student.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss new developments in the death of Benjamin Backstrom.

Backstrom, 22, was found last week on Highway 65 outside Indianola, police said. Courtney Greene, public information bureau chief for the Iowa Department of Safety told CNN the sophomore was shot.

He was taken to a local hospital where he died, she said.

Investigators have ruled the death of Backstrom as a homicide.

“Incomprehensibly tragic events such as this test the very fabric of the Drake University family,” school President Maxwell said. “It is a time when we as a community must come together to console and support one another, to do what we can to ease the pain for Ben's family and friends, and to find a way forward that honors Ben's memory and the place that he holds in the heart of the University.”

Anyone with information that could be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 515-961-1122.

Filed under: Gabe Falcon
May 3rd, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Ending illegal immigration benefits economy

David Frum
CNN Contributor

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/03/frum.immigration.education/tzleft.david.frum.ckennedy.jpg caption="Frum: tougher enforcement could contribute to a more economically competitive nation" width=300 height=169]

When Arizona police ask suspected illegal immigrants for IDs, they are protecting your grandchildren's economic future.

Three years ago, ETS - the people who administer the SAT - released an alarming study. It combined information on test scores with demographic trends to predict that the U.S. work force of 2030 would be less literate, less skilled and worse paid than the U.S. work force of 1990.

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Filed under: Immigration • Opinion
May 3rd, 2010
11:32 AM ET

Mexican drug violence claims 24 lives in 24 hours

Nick Valencia

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/05/02/mexico.drug.violence/story.mexico.jpg caption="All the slayings occurred in public places, including a bar" width=300 height=169]

Drug violence in the Mexican state of Chihuahua left 24 people dead in the span of 24 hours this weekend, the state attorney general's office said Sunday.

The killings were scattered over four locations throughout the state, with eight dead in Juarez, 10 killed in the capital of Chihuahua, five killed in Cuauhtemuc and one killed in Parral.

All the slayings occurred in public places, with the killings in Cuauhtemuc occurring in a bar, said Carlos Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state attorney general.

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Filed under: Mexico
May 3rd, 2010
11:24 AM ET

Obese kids more vulnerable to bullies

Anne Harding

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/HEALTH/05/03/obesity.bullying/t1larg.obese.girl.gi.jpg caption="Children who were obese were 65 percent more likely to be bullied than their peers of normal weight; overweight kids were 13 percent more likely to be bullied." width=300 height=169]

Children in Grades 3 through 6 who are obese are more likely to be bullied than their normal-weight peers, a new study has found.

No one who has attended grade school - or who has even the slightest familiarity with children - will be surprised by these findings. What is surprising, however, is that obese children are bullied more often even if they possess qualities that can discourage bullies, such as having good social skills or doing well in school.

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Filed under: Bullying • Medical News
May 3rd, 2010
11:09 AM ET

Geezer Bandit Strikes for 8th Time






Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://sandiego.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel10/images/geezer04202010_3.JPG]

The bank robber dubbed the “geezer bandit” has struck again. The elderly suspect held up a San Diego bank on April 30 bringing the total number of heists he’s accused of committing in the area to 8.

A $16,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

While the moniker may be amusing, authorities told CNN the “geezer bandit” has carried a weapon in at least one robbery and should be considered dangerous.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
May 3rd, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Oil spill changes everything

Michael Brune
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/01/brune.oil.spill.danger/tzleft.michael.brune.eanes.jpg caption="Brune: U.S. needs moratorium on new drilling, plan to wean off fossil fuels" width=300 height=169]

The oil disaster plaguing the Gulf of Mexico and our coastal states puts our desperate need for a new clean energy economy in stark relief. We need to move away from dirty, dangerous and deadly energy sources.

We are pleased that the White House is now saying it will suspend any new offshore drilling while the explosion and spill are investigated, but there should be no doubt left that drilling will only harm our coasts and the people who live there.

Taking a temporary break from offshore drilling is an important step, but it's not enough. We need to stop new offshore drilling for good, now. And then we need an aggressive plan to wean America from dirty fossil fuels in the next two decades.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • Opinion
May 3rd, 2010
10:27 AM ET

One disaster to another

Justine Redman
AC360° Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/weather/05/03/tennessee.flooding.deaths/c1main.tennessee.flooding.wmc.jpg caption="Redman: as the plane ducks down below the cloud cover for landing, the flooding spreads out as far as you can see." width=300 height=169]

I am sitting on a plane on my way to the Gulf coast to cover the oil spill, thinking about what we're going to see when we get there, when suddenly I'm confronted with a different disaster.

I've got to change planes in Memphis, Tennessee, and as the plane ducks down below the cloud cover for landing, the flooding spreads out as far as you can see. I wasn't really expecting it, because I knew the worst was in a different part of the state, closer to Nashville. But even here, the landscape is a patchwork of flooded fields, flashing silver as they catch the sun. It looks really bad; people's livelihoods drowned. It's the worst flooding here for decades, so many people's homes and lives are ruined... and many have already died.

As a journalist, I've never passed by a disaster before, and it's an uncomfortable feeling. I'm carrying on to another place where the worst destruction hasn't even happened yet. It's not that the suffering here is any less important than the story I'm going to cover, it's just that today it is somebody else's assignment.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Behind The Scenes • Justine Redman
May 3rd, 2010
10:22 AM ET

Storm leaves at least 15 dead in Southeast

CNN Wire Staff

A storm that killed at least 15 people in Tennessee and Mississippi rolled into Georgia early Monday, flooding parts of Atlanta.

The rain and flooding left at least 11 dead Sunday in Tennessee, closing interstates, displacing thousands from their homes, prompting evacuations of hotels and nursing homes, and turning streets and parking lots into raging rivers.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
May 3rd, 2010
10:05 AM ET

BP 'absolutely' will pay for Gulf oil spill cleanup, CEO says

CNN Wire Staff

BP will "absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation" of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, chief executive Tony Hayward said Monday. "There's no doubt about that."

"It is indeed BP's responsibility to deal with this and we're dealing with it," Hayward told NPR's "Morning Edition."

And, he added, "where legitimate claims [of damages] are made, we will be good for them," according to NPR's website.

The ruptured undersea well off Louisiana is spewing about 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico. And efforts to corral the rapidly growing oil spill have so far been unsuccessful.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill
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