Military Plane, Helicopter Collide off SoCal Coast Friday, Oct 30 2009 

The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy were searching early Friday for as many as nine people off the Southern California coast following a collision between a Coast Guard plane and a Marine Corps helicopter, officials said.

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Coast Guard C-130

The crash was reported at 7:10 p.m. Thursday, about 50 miles off the San Diego County coast and 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Allyson Conroy said.

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The Navy's AH-1W Cobra

A pilot reported seeing a fireball near where the aircraft collided, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said, and the Coast Guard informed the FAA that debris from a C-130 had been spotted. Seven people were on board the plane, a C-130, and two people were aboard the helicopter, he said.

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Bay Bridge ready for Friday commute Friday, Oct 30 2009 

(CNN) — Chances have increased slightly that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will reopen in time for the Friday morning commute, transportation officials said Thursday evening.

Repairs on the span, a major artery in and out of San Francisco, California, could wrap up by 10 p.m. PT Thursday, according to the state transportation department.On Tuesday, three days pieces of steel from the bridge fell onto its roadway, forcing its closure.

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Crews working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are replacing four steel rods.

Crews working on the bridge are replacing four steel rods, one of which failed and caused two rods to fall onto the bridge’s deck, California’s secretary of business, transportation and housing said at a news conference.Engineers also will make sure the rods are centered and will strengthen the welds to ensure stability, Dale Bonner added. Vibrations in the rods, affected by strong winds, caused the break.

The pieces that fell, which include a cross beam, came from a section that was repaired over Labor Day weekend, when crews worked almost round the clock to fix a crack.

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The Bay Area Rapid Transit system has been flooded with passengers since the Bay Bridge was closed.

The 73-year-old bridge spans the San Francisco Bay and carries an average of 280,000 vehicles daily, according to the state transportation department.In the wake of the bridge’s closing, commuters flocked to the Bay Area’s rail system as an alternative.

They make their mark in mug shot history Friday, Oct 30 2009 

(CNN) — Police say guilt was written all over their faces.

Police received a call Friday night that two men with hooded sweatshirts and painted faces had tried to break into a man’s home in Carroll, Iowa.When police stopped a vehicle matching the caller’s description blocks away, they were stunned by the men’s disguises.

There were no ski masks or stockings pulled over their heads; instead, Matthew Allan McNelly, 23, and Joey Lee Miller, 20, streaked their faces with permanent black marker.Carroll Police Chief Cayler told CNN the strange disguises made it easier for his officers.

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Matthew Allan McNelly, left, and Joey Lee Miller, 20, still had the permanent marker on their faces when they were booked

We’re very skilled investigators and the black faces gave them right away
Cayler said jokingly. I haves were kind of laughing at the time. I’ve never heard of coloring your face with a permanent marker.

Cayler said police believe one of the alleged burglars targeted the home because he suspected his girlfriend had a relationship with the man who lived there.

Passports Linked to 9/11 Found in Pakistan Friday, Oct 30 2009 

SHERWANGAI, Pakistan —  Pakistani soldiers battling their way into a Taliban stronghold along the Afghan border have seized passports that may be linked to 9/11 suspects, as they confront an enemy skilled in operating in a mountainous terrain with endless ways to wage a guerrilla war.

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Oct. 29: Photos and passports seized during military operations against Taliban militants are displayed on a table in South Waziristan. Oct. 29: Photos and passports seized during military operations against Taliban militants are displayed on a table in South Waziristan.

he military on Thursday took foreign and local journalists for a first look inside the largely lawless territory since it launched a ground offensive here in mid-October. The U.S.-backed operation is focused on a section of the tribal region where the Pakistani Taliban are based and are believed to shelter Al Qaeda.

Soldiers displayed passports seized in the operation, among them a German document belonging to a man named Said Bahaji. That matches the name of a man thought to have been a member of the Hamburg cell that conceived the 9/11 attacks. Bahaji is believed to have fled Germany shortly before the attacks in New York and Washington.

The passport included a tourist visa for Pakistan and a stamp indicating he’d arrived in the southern city of Karachi on Sept. 4, 2001.

Another passport, from Spain, bears the name of Raquel Burgos Garcia. Spanish media have reported that a woman with the same name is married to Amer Azizi, an alleged Al Qaeda member from Morocco suspected in both the 9/11 attacks and the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

Smokie – Alice Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

Chinese officials try to find parents of 60 lost children Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

Beijing, China (CNN) — In some of the photos, the young children are wearing bibs and slight smiles can be seen on their chubby faces.But these are not your normal baby pictures.

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Chinese authorities are searching for the parents of 60 children whose photos appear on a government site.

The Chinese government is trying to find the parents of these 60 homeless children, some of them so young that they had not yet developed the strength to hold their own heads up.This week the Chinese Ministry of Public Security posted pictures of these rescued children on its Web site.

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Some of the children on the site are just babies -- this child was believed to have been abducted this April.

Many of them had similar stories. They were kidnapped, stolen or sold and somehow had been rescued by authorities.Police tried to find their parents but could not find them through the national DNA database, state-run China Daily reported.And for the first time, the Ministry of Public Security posted their pictures.

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Police have already tried to find the children's parents through the national DNA database.

Even if I cant find my boys photo on the Web site today, it’a blessing for desperate parents like us who have nearly lost hope, Tang Weihua, a mother who lost her 5-year-old son in 1999, told China Daily this week.About 30,000 to 60,000 children are reported missing every year, but it is hard to estimate how many are involved in child trafficking cases, the Ministry of Public Security told China Daily.

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About 30,000 to 60,000 children are reported missing in China every year, according to authorities.

Police have rescued 2,000 children this year since China launch a nationwide anti-trafficking campaign, China Daily reported.But after rescuing the children finding the parents can prove difficult. One issue is that in some cases the parents sold the children.Earlier this week China’s state media reported that police arrested dozens in an alleged child trafficking ring that sold at least 52 babies.

Google changes to aid music searches Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — The Internets most popular search engine should get smarter about music, as Google updates the algorithms that power its searches this week, a company spokesman said.

You dont have to know what your looking for, Googles Jennie Johnson said. If it looks like theyre looking for a song, were including in the regular search result links to hear songs from partners,Johnson said.

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The song download sites will not pay Google for driving traffic their way, a spokeswoman says

The song download sites will not pay Google for driving traffic their way, she said.Its not like we get a fee, she said. The value to us is really realized through better search.

Obama Honors Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

President flies by helicopter to Delaware to greet flag-draped caskets of those killed in action

Standing in the pre-dawn darkness, President Barack Obama saw the real cost of the war in Afghanistan: The Americans who return in flag-covered cases while much of the nation sleeps in peace.

obamahonors

Oct. 29: President Obama salutes as an Army team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind. at Dover Air Force Base

In a midnight dash to this Delaware base, where U.S. forces killed overseas come home, Obama honored the return of 18 fallen Americans Thursday.
All were killed this week in Afghanistan, a brutal stretch that turned October into the most deadly month for U.S. troops since the war began.

The dramatic image of Obama on the tarmac was a portrait not witnessed in years. Former President George W. Bush spent lots of time with grieving military families but never went to Dover to greet the remains coming off
the cargo plane.

The lifting of the 18-year ban on media coverage of bodies returning to Dover was done to keep the human cost of war from being shielded from the public.Obama visited the base carrying the weight of knowing he may soon send more troops off to war.

Global premiere for Jackson movie Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 

Michael Jackson’s family and fans have attended the worldwide premiere of his concert documentary, This Is It.The movie was pieced together from 100 hours of footage shot at rehearsals for the star’s ill-fated comeback shows.

Jackson’s brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Randy, attended a star-studded screening in Los Angeles. Simultaneous premieres were held in 18 other cities.

Introducing the film, director Kenny Ortega described it as the last sacred document of our leader and friend.

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In Pictures: Jackson film premiere

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Fans around the world are attending the first screenings of Michael Jackson's This Is It, which documents the star rehearsing for his ill-fated comeback gigs. In New York, a dance tribute took place outside the Regal E-Walk cinema.

Jackson, who died on June 25 aged 50, had spent the previous four months rehearsing in Los Angeles.

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Jackson's brothers Jermaine (left), Randy, Tito and Marlon are attending a screening in Los Angeles. Their mother, Katherine, declines the invitation, saying it would be too

More than 800,000 tickets had been sold for the concerts, with organisers promising one of the “most expensive and technically advanced” live shows ever.

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Hollywood stars Jennifer Lopez and Will Smith were also among the first to see the movie.

He was just two weeks away from the opening night at the time of his death, which authorities in Los Angeles ruled a homicide.

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Other celebrities at the Los Angeles premiere included (l-r) Motown boss Berry Gordy, High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale, musicians Adam Lambert and Katy Perry and film director Kenny Ortega

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Even those too young to remember the star in his heyday dressed up to see his final farewell

Review: This Is It

Michael Jackson’s family and fans have attended the worldwide premiere of his concert documentary, This Is It.

The movie was pieced together from 100 hours of footage shot at rehearsals for the star’s ill-fated comeback shows.Jackson’s brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Randy, attended a star-studded screening in Los Angeles. Simultaneous premieres were held in 18 other cities.Introducing the film, director Kenny Ortega described it as “the last sacred document of our leader and friend”.

But some fans protested outside the screenings, saying the film covers up Jackson’s declining health.The dedicated fans, who have set up a campaign called This Is Not It, are accusing concert promoter AEG Live of putting too much pressure on the star during the build up to his 50-date run at London’s O2 Arena.

Jackson, who died on June 25 aged 50, had spent the previous four months rehearsing in Los Angeles.More than 800,000 tickets had been sold for the concerts, with organisers promising one of the “most expensive and technically advanced” live shows ever.He was just two weeks away from the opening night at the time of his death, which authorities in Los Angeles ruled a homicide.

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Huge Blast at Pakistan Market Kills at Least 57 Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 

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Oct. 28: Vehicles and shop fronts are seen in flames after the massive explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan —  A massive car bomb rocked a women’s market in Pakistan’s main northwest city of Peshawar on Wednesday, killing at least 57 people in the latest attack to shake the country as the army battles Islamist militants along the Afghan border.

The death toll was expected to rise further as local media reported “scores” buried in rubble.

At least 100 other people were wounded in the blast, a doctor said. It coincided with a trip to Pakistan by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was in the capital, Islamabad, some three hours drive away.

Tele2 in a hole over ‘meteor’ publicity stunt Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 

Company has admitted meteor strike was staged as publicity stunt

Company has admitted meteor strike was staged as publicity stunt

An elaborate publicity stunt by a Swedish mobile phone company involving a faked meteorite strike in a Latvian meadow has provided a new case study on how a marketing campaign can backfire.

Tele2 on Tuesday promised to reimburse the Baltic nation for the cost of sending military units and scientists to investigate a 10 metre-wide crater that appeared near the Estonian border after locals reported seeing a streak of light cross the sky on Sunday.

The Stockholm-based company admitted it had dug the hole and burned chemicals at its base to create the impression of a smouldering meteorite crater.News of the apparent strike attracted worldwide media attention on Monday as Latvian security forces cordoned off the area to conduct radiation tests.

Death toll rises to 160 in Baghdad bombings Monday, Oct 26 2009 

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) — The death toll from twin car bombings in Baghdad climbed to 160, with hundreds more wounded in the deadliest attack in the capital in more than two years, the Interior Ministry said Monday.At least 540 people were wounded in Sunday’s attacks.

One of the bombs exploded outside Baghdad’s governorate building, the other outside the justice ministry. The bombs detonated in quick succession about 10:30 a.m., officials said.

Among the wounded were three American security contractors, the U.S. Embassy said, declining to provide further details. The area struck is close to the heavily guarded “green zone,” which houses the embassy.

The blasts sparked questions about Iraq’s security and national elections planned for January.Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who visited the scene shortly after the explosions, said holding the elections as scheduled would send a strong message to the attackers.

“The cowardly attack … should not affect the determination of the Iraqi people from continuing their battle against the deposed regime and the gangs of criminal Baath party, and the terrorist al Qaeda organization,'” al-Maliki said in a statement.

14 U.S. Dead in Afghan Chopper Crashes Monday, Oct 26 2009 

File photo of a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter. At least 14 Americans died Oct. 26, 2009 when three unknown types of U.S. military helicopters crashed in Afghanistan.

File photo of a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter. At least 14 Americans died Oct. 26, 2009 when three unknown types of U.S. military helicopters crashed in Afghanistan.

11 U.S. Troops, 3 Civilians Die in Separate Incidents; Victims Reportedly Include DEA Agents

Helicopter crashes killed 14 Americans on Monday in the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years. The deaths came as President Barack Obama prepared to meet his national security team for a sixth full-scale conference on the future of the troubled war.

In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans – seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.

In a separate incident, two U.S. Marine helicoptersone UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra – collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Capt. Bill Pelletier said.

Experts: Latvian Meteor Crater Probably a Hoax Monday, Oct 26 2009 

A giant crater in Latvia that may have been caused by a meteorite

A giant crater in Latvia that may have been caused by a meteorite

RIGA, Latvia —  Visitor from deep space — or Latvian tricksters? That’s the question Monday as geologists study a 30-foot wide crater that some claim was caused by a 3-foot meteorite, and others say is just the work of pranksters.

Scientists from the University of Tartu in Latvia on Monday fternoon concluded that the hole was probably dug by people and not caused by a meteorite, according to Latvian news site Apollo.

The web site spoke with Girts Stinkulis from Latvia University’s Geography and Earth Sciences Department, who told the site that “scientists had … discovered that this is not true.” The scientists reached their initial conclusions after an hour-long study of the site.

‘Balloon Boy’ Says, ‘We Did This for a Show’ Friday, Oct 16 2009 

The 6-year-old Colorado boy thought to have floated off in a homemade balloon has raised questions whether it might have been a family stunt.During a live interview on CNN, Falcon Heene said he heard his family calling his name as he hid in the rafters of their garage. At the time, there was a frantic effort to bring down the balloon safely.Falcon’s father asked, “Why didn’t you come out?” The boy answered, “You had said we did this for a show.”

Oct. 15: Falcon Heene is shown with his father, Richard, outside the family's home in Fort Collins, Colo.

Oct. 15: Falcon Heene is shown with his father, Richard, outside the family's home in Fort Collins, Colo.

Richard Heene adamantly has denied the notion that the whole thing was a big publicity stunt, when asked by reporters.”That’s horrible after the crap we just went through. No,” he said.Before the interview, a local sheriff in Fort Collins, Colo., said there was no evidence of a hoax.

The Heene Family.

The Heene Family.

The boys’ parents — Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi — are storm chasers who appeared twice in the ABC reality show “Wife Swap.”And in addition to attaining a level of reality TV fame on the series, Richard Heene has his own amateur video series on YouTube in which he sizes up various pop culture phenomena.For each topic, from the Loch Ness monster to Britney Spears‘ chest, he asks the question “fake or real?”

The balloon lands in a Colorado field.

The balloon lands in a Colorado field.

On Thursday, Heene’s family became the center of a real-life drama that raised the same question, as Colorado authorities feared his son was trapped in a runaway flying balloon only to discover after the balloon crashed that the boy had been hiding, safe at home the whole time.Mystified authorities had launched a ground search for the boy after the flying balloon he was believed to have been trapped in crashed without him inside. The mystery was solved later when the boy, Falcon Heene, came out of hiding to see his mother, Mayumi Heene, who was sitting on the couch.

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