June 28th, 2010
11:01 AM ET

Senators signal contentious hearing on Supreme Court nominee

CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/06/27/senate.supreme.court/story.kagan.gi.jpg caption="Confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan begin Monday." width=300 height=169]

Leading senators on the Judiciary Committee signaled a contentious hearing starting Monday on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination, with some Republicans saying a GOP filibuster was possible.

Democrats countered that no nominee from President Barack Obama would have satisfied Republicans.

In an exchange on CNN's "State of Union," Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey chided Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas over what Menendez joked were unattainable GOP standards.

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Filed under: Elena Kagan
June 28th, 2010
10:09 AM ET

Is it time for national education standards?

Dave Schechter
CNN Senior National Editor

While the kids, most of them anyway, are on summer vacation, here’s an issue to consider: Has the time passed when it makes sense for each state to have its own standards for what children are taught in grades K-12?

The kids may not be thinking about school, but state education officials across the country face an August due date (some no doubt will ask for an extension) on whether to accept a proposed set of national standards for core subjects – English language arts, history, social studies, science and math, with goals specified by grade and subject. You can read them here.

Growing up in Illinois, we studied Abraham Lincoln. It makes sense to learn your state’s history. But shouldn’t students from Maine to California, from Washington to Florida, be at par with each other on the core subjects?


Filed under: David Schechter • Education
June 28th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

Cops: Mom locks babies in bedroom


An Indiana woman locked her twin baby daughters in their bedroom while she was away from home for hours, police said.

Jacquelyn Wood, 24, of Lebanon, was charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent.

Wood was arrested Sunday after returning home intoxicated, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. She has since posted bail.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/28/j_wood_pic_web.jpg width=292 height=320]

According to investigators, Wood’s grandfather stopped by the house Sunday morning and heard the 2-year-old girls crying and screaming from inside.

“He ended up breaking a back window on the back door to get into the house,” Deputy Chris Burcham, Public Information Officer, told CNN.

A nylon “tie down” strap, wrapped from the bedroom door handle to another door handle, prevented the children from leaving the room, police said.

The grandfather untied the strap, entered the room and found the girls were unharmed, authorities said.

The mother of the twins arrived home intoxicated while the deputies were still at the house investigating the incident, Burcham said.

“She stated she was with her mother, and that ended up not being true,” Burcham added.

The children were placed in the custody of another family member, police said.

Major Mike Nielsen commented:
“It’s a tragedy when children are victims of any crime especially child neglect because they can not defend themselves,” said Major Mike Nielsen in a statement.

“ In this case these children were put into grave danger by being locked in that bedroom and isolated for that amount of time. We are fortunate that the air conditioner was working and did not fail or the house did not start on fire while those children were in there. As serious as this was… it could have been much worse.”

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
June 28th, 2010
09:37 AM ET

Letter to the President #525 'World Cup? Uh... yeah... when is the Super Bowl?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/2010/soccer/world-cup-2010/writers/steve_davis/06/27/us.postmortem/usadone2-662×388.jpg caption="As you may have noticed, the US is out of the World Cup. Knocked off by the players from Ghana who hustled and held their ground relentlessly, while we missed some golden opportunities and ultimately had to pack our little cleated shoes and hop the next boat home." width=300 height=169]

Reporter's Note: President Obama, as I have noted before, likes basketball. Which I understand, because it is relatively fast; a game we all played at least once as kids; and it doesn’t involve teams coming from places that you have to look up on Google Earth. Still, the rest of the world has long been crazy about the Cup. So I offer a little guide to enjoying the game they call “futbol” in my daily letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

As you may have noticed, the U.S. is out of the World Cup. Knocked off by the players from Ghana who hustled and held their ground relentlessly, while we missed some golden opportunities and ultimately had to pack our little cleated shoes and hop the next boat home.

But we have proven to be a serious soccer nation after all, despite early skepticism from the rest of the soccer world (which still can’t stand it when we call it soccer,) and despite a tendency to give up early goals and rely too heavily on miracle finishes. (You’ll notice, btw, that I refer to “we” as if I am actually a member of the team, which is unlikely in the near future or for that matter… ever.) Still, a lot of Americans have been left with a lot of questions about our place in this game… and, to be honest, about the game itself.

First: Why is there no clock… you know, like a big countdown clock on the side of the field telling everyone precisely how much time is left in the game the way there is such a clock in… well, pretty much every other sport that is timed? The answer: Long ago the referees’ union bought up all the soccer watches. That’s why you can’t find them in sporting goods stores any more. During the off-season they take them home and hide them, and if any referee even hints that he might hand over a secret soccer watch for purposes of establishing a clock for the rest of us, the rest of the refs surround him in the union hall and wave yellow cards at him until he buckles.


June 28th, 2010
09:26 AM ET

Tar balls wash ashore in Mississippi

CNN Wire Staff

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/06/28/gulf.oil.disaster/t1larg.jpg caption="Mississippi officials report that oily tar balls have started washing up on their mainland shores" width=300 height=169]

Mississippi officials report that oily tar balls have started washing up on their mainland shores for the first time more than two months after the Gulf oil disaster began.

"It has hit our shores," Pascagoula, Mississippi, Mayor Robbie Maxwell said, adding that tar balls appeared on a nearby stretch of beach Sunday afternoon.

"This is what we've been expecting. We had hoped and prayed we would somehow miss this, but it's hit us now," Maxwell said. "The good news is that for the last five or six weeks, we've been preparing to attack it when it hit our shores, and that's exactly what we've done."

A 23-person crew was out on the beach Sunday afternoon, collecting tar balls, he said.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill • T1
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