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June 14th, 2010
12:33 PM ET

20th body found at Arkansas campground

CNN Wire Staff

20 bodies recovered after flash flood at campground early Friday

20 bodies recovered after flash flood at campground early Friday

A 20th body was found Monday from last week's flash flood at an Arkansas campground, an official said.

It was not immediately clear if the body was the person listed as missing on Monday. "There's still a possibility there could be others," Gov. Mike Beebe told CNN.

Rescuers found the 19th body over the weekend about half to three-quarters of a mile downstream from the campground, Arkansas State Police Capt. Mike Fletcher told reporters. Eighteen of the 20 bodies recovered so far have been identified, Fletcher said.

A wall of water swept through the Albert Pike Recreation Area before dawn Friday, when most campers were sleeping. The park is located along the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers, and the flood struck so quickly there was little chance for campers to escape, officials said.

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Filed under: floods
June 14th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Thousands flee ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan

CNN Wire Staff

Dozens dead and more than 1,400 injured due to ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan.

Dozens dead and more than 1,400 injured due to ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan.

Osh, Kyrgyzstan– Smoke rose over the streets of Osh and sporadic gunfire could be heard Monday as ethnic groups continued to battle in the strategically important Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan.

An estimated 80,000 ethnic Uzbeks have fled the ongoing clashes against ethnic Kyrgyz, causing one aid official to describe the situation as a "humanitarian catastrophe," according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

At least 114 people have been killed in the clashes, and another 1,458 have been wounded, Kyrgystan's national news agency AKI Press reported Sunday.

It is the most serious outbreak of ethnic violence in the former Soviet republic since 1990, when hundreds died after clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz in Osh, the country's second city.

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Filed under: 360° Radar
June 14th, 2010
11:22 AM ET
June 14th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

U.S., Cuba set to talk about immigration issues

Charley Keyes
CNN Senior Producer

Relations between Washington and Havana have deteriorated in recent months

Relations between Washington and Havana have deteriorated in recent months

Washington (CNN) - U.S. and Cuban officials are set to sit down together in Washington on Friday to discuss immigration and other issues, according to a State Department spokesman.

"The U.S. views the migration talks as an important opportunity for both the United States and Cuban governments to discuss policies and procedures that promote safe, legal, and orderly migration," State Department spokesman Michael Tran told CNN Sunday.

Relations between Washington and Havana have deteriorated in recent months, in part because of Cuba's detention of American contractor Alan Gross, who has been held in Cuban prison since December. The two countries have not formally held immigration talks since February and next week provides another chance for the U.S. to call for his release.

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Filed under: Cuba
June 14th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Opinion: For Obama, crisis may outweigh record

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

Democrats are seeking to run on substance of Obama's legislative record.

Democrats are seeking to run on substance of Obama's legislative record.

Editor's note: Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security: From World War II to the War on Terrorism," and of a book on former President Jimmy Carter, to be published next fall by Times Books.

Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) - A cartoonist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Steve Breen, captured a big political challenge that President Obama is now confronting.

The cartoon features four frames, each with a picture of the president. Over the first two frames, with the president barely smiling, he says, "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "It's time I displayed some rage over the worst oil spill in U.S. history." The third frame shows him staring with a poker face. The restrained smile returns in the fourth frame, which reads, "Want to see it again?"

As Democrats move into the 2010 midterm elections and start thinking about 2012, the administration is struggling to deal with two difficult crises, both of which have generated concerns about the president's response and the perceptions of him as a leader.

The first is the oil leak in the Gulf, one of the greatest environmental catastrophes in American history. The second is an unemployment rate that continues to hover near 10 percent. The slow economic recovery has still failed to make a significant dent in the number of Americans who don't have jobs. American voters are frustrated and angry.

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Filed under: Economy • Gulf Oil Spill • President Barack Obama
June 14th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Opinion: Use Mississippi River to stop the oil

G. Paul Kemp
Special to CNN

High water levels in Mississippi River helped reduce spill's impact on coast, says Paul Kemp. To continue protection, he believes flow should be increased by Army Corps of Engineers.

High water levels in Mississippi River helped reduce spill's impact on coast, says Paul Kemp. To continue protection, he believes flow should be increased by Army Corps of Engineers.

Editor's note: G. Paul Kemp, Ph.D., is vice president, Louisiana Coastal Initiative, for the National Audubon Society. A former associate research professor at Louisiana State University, he served in the early 1990s as the first executive director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a nonprofit organization dedicated to returning Louisiana's Mississippi River delta to environmental and economic sustainability.

(CNN) - Every catastrophe has its unsung heroes. In BP's oil spill disaster, one such hero is not a person but a river: the Mississippi River. But the river's strength is flagging, and unless our leaders change what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing, things could get a lot worse for our coastal marshes.

Many people know that the Mississippi River flows through the Crescent City, New Orleans, Louisiana; but fewer are aware that this is only one of two paths it takes to the Gulf. The Mississippi divides to create its delta upstream of Baton Rouge at a place called Old River. The Atchafalaya River is the western channel. In 1963, the Corps built a dam with sluice gates at Old River between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya to keep the shorter Atchafalaya route from "capturing" the whole river. Later, they built more structures to gain better control.

Today, every drop of water that goes down either the Mississippi or the Atchafalaya marches to the orders of the U.S. Army, which traditionally seeks to maintain a constant 70-to-30 percent split - with the larger amount going to the main-stem Mississippi - between the two river branches, by adjusting the gates at Old River on a daily basis.

The Corps has the opportunity to sustain discharge on the main stem of the river by altering that rigid 70-30 ratio to, say, send 80 percent past New Orleans. If ever there were a time to switch off "autopilot" and utilize the power of one of our country's most powerful natural forces, it is now.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
June 14th, 2010
10:25 AM ET

Police release transcripts in Joran van der Sloot murder case

Mayra Cuevas
CNN

The suspect told police in Chile a different story about who killed Stephany Flores Ramirez.

The suspect told police in Chile a different story about who killed Stephany Flores Ramirez.

Lima, Peru - Joran van der Sloot said he elbowed murder victim Stephany Flores Ramirez in the face before strangling her and then suffocating her with his own shirt, according to transcripts of his confession released by Peruvian authorities.

The transcripts give shocking details of the murder van der Sloot is accused of and also gives the public its first glimpse of why van der Sloot says the alleged murder took place.

"There was blood everywhere," van der Sloot said in the transcripts. "What am I going to do now. I had blood on my shirt. there was also blood on the bed, so, I took my shirt and put it on her face, pressing hard, until I killed Stephany."

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Filed under: Crime
June 14th, 2010
10:12 AM ET

One person still missing in Arkansas flooding, governor says

CNN Wire Staff

Services for Kylee Sullivan, 7, will be Tuesday morning. Sullivan was one of 19 killed by flash flooding on Friday.

Services for Kylee Sullivan, 7, will be Tuesday morning. Sullivan was one of 19 killed by flash flooding on Friday.

One person remained missing Monday from last week's flash flood at an Arkansas campground that left 19 dead, and "there's still a possibility there could be others," Gov. Mike Beebe told CNN.

Rescuers found a 19th body over the weekend about half to three-quarters of a mile downstream from the campground, Arkansas State Police Capt. Mike Fletcher told reporters. Eighteen of the 19 bodies recovered so far have been identified, Fletcher said.

A wall of water swept through the Albert Pike Recreation Area before dawn Friday, when most campers were sleeping. The park is located along the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers, and the flood struck so quickly there was little chance for campers to escape, officials said.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: floods
June 14th, 2010
09:23 AM ET

Obama to address nation on oil disaster Tuesday night

CNN Wire Staff

Obama's address will be the night before he meets with top BP officials

Obama's address will be the night before he meets with top BP officials

President Obama will visit the Gulf states affected by the oil spill Monday and Tuesday and then address the nation on Tuesday night from the White House on the next steps in responding to the environmental catastrophe, his senior adviser said Sunday.

On his fourth visit to the Gulf region since the disaster began April 20, Obama will make stops in Theodore, Alabama; Gulfport, Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida, according to senior administration officials.

After returning from the two-day trip, Obama will make a televised statement from the Oval Office on the night before he is scheduled to meet with top BP officials.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • President Barack Obama • T1
June 14th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Letter to the President #511: 'A graduation speech: what not to learn'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

I wanted to send a few notes that you might use if you ever decide to speak on a subject just as important: What not to learn.

I wanted to send a few notes that you might use if you ever decide to speak on a subject just as important: What not to learn.


Reporter's Note: Finally the day is here! My elder daughter is graduating from high school. We’re all caught up in the pageantry, of course, and we’re excited because she will be one of the student speakers. I’m sure the whole affair will be wonderful, with smiles and tears all around. But, as I note in my daily letter, I hope some lessons will be missing from her final transcript.

Dear Mr. President,

In good schools, kids learn so much these days it is hard to comprehend, and I know you’ve made a lot of graduation speeches about what they can do with that learning. But I wanted to send a few notes that you might use if you ever decide to speak on a subject just as important: What not to learn.

Don’t learn too quickly to be cynical. Sure, plenty of folks are in it just for themselves, but give each person you meet a chance to show his or her decency and fairness. Assume at the start that they can and will work cooperatively for the good of others as well as themselves. Let them make mistakes without you rushing to unbending, negative judgments.

Don’t learn to criticize. Killing new ideas, poisoning new relationships, stomping enthusiasm into the ground is the work of the sinful; it demeans the human race and exposes your own pettiness far more than it underscores the mistakes of others.

Don’t learn to shrink your world. Reach out always and in every direction to find what others have to show you. Recognize ideas and wisdom no matter where they come from; heedless of the ethnicity, gender, religion, nationality, and/or culture of the source. The person who tells you that you are always right is a deceiver, and if you listen to them you are a fool.

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