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January 26, 2010

'Dancing Inmates' master Michael Jackson's 'This Is It'

Posted: 12:43 PM ET

Filed under: Michael Jackson


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Travolta flies personal jet to Haiti

Posted: 12:37 PM ET

By Douglas Hyde, CNN Entertainment Producer

So many stars have done their part for Haiti by raising awareness and funds, but one A-lister is actually taking the controls of a plane and flying into the heart of the disaster area himself – John Travolta.

One of Travolta's reps just confirmed to CNN that the star is personally flying one of his jets to Haiti to help out with relief efforts there.

In addition to relief supplies, Travolta is bringing along his wife Kelly Preston, several doctors and Church of Scientology ministers.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • John Travolta


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Yale murder suspect pleads not guilty

Posted: 12:29 PM ET

(CNN) - A lab technician charged with killing a Yale graduate student pleaded not guilty Tuesday during a court hearing in New Haven, Connecticut, his attorney said.

Raymond Clark III is charged with murder in the death of Annie Le. Her body was found inside a wall of a Yale lab building on September 12 - the day she was to be married. She had been strangled, the Connecticut medical examiner's office determined.

Clark also waived his right to a probable cause hearing, said his lawyer, Joe Lopez. The next pretrial hearing was set for March 3.

Clark is being held in lieu of $3 million bail.

Clark is not a Yale student, but has worked as a lab technician at the university since 2004. He lived with his girlfriend, who also is a Yale lab technician, according to New Haven police.

A Yale faculty member described Clark's job as maintaining colonies for animals used in research. The lab is in the basement of the building where Le's body was found.

A motive in Le's killing was unclear, but police said they were treating the case as workplace violence.

Le, who was 24, was buried in California on September 26.

Filed under: Crime


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Skating icon Nancy Kerrigan's brother jailed in father's death

Posted: 09:47 AM ET

The father of American figure skating icon Nancy Kerrigan is dead and her brother is behind bars, accused of assault and battery against 70-year old Daniel Kerrigan, according to Massachusetts authorities.

Daniel Kerrigan died Sunday after being taken by emergency personnel from his family home in Stoneham, Massachusetts, to a hospital, authorities said. His son Mark, 45, was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from an alleged assault.

According to Middlesex County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Keeley, police responded to a 911 call at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday from Brenda Kerrigan, wife of Daniel and mother to Mark and Nancy Kerrigan.

Keeley told Middlesex District Court Judge Mark Sullivan during the arraignment Monday for Mark Kerrigan that there was a violent argument and struggle between the father and his son, resulting in the elder Kerrigan falling or collapsing on the kitchen floor. Keeley said that Mark Kerrigan told authorities "that he did in fact have an argument with his father, the argument became physical, he grabbed his father around the neck, and at some point the father collapsed to the floor."

The Middlesex District Attorney's office said Monday that authorities were still investigating the "entirety of the circumstances of the incident," along with the cause and manner of death. The county medical examiner is expected to release a report within a couple of weeks.

According to Keeley, police found Mark Kerrigan in the basement of the house, "clearly intoxicated" and "extremely combative." He refused to comply with police officers, said Keeley, and they had to subdue him with pepper spray before forcibly removing him from the home.

Mark Kerrigan wept softly during Monday's arraignment. His attorney, Denise Moore, told the judge that Kerrigan was in grief and "quite distraught about his father's death." Through his attorney, Mark Kerrigan denied any responsibility in the death.

(read more)

Filed under: Justice


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January 25, 2010

TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE!

Posted: 07:52 PM ET

Haiti

As search and rescue operations end, the people of Haiti are trying to put their lives back together. Many are suffering from crush injuries that require amputations. We'll hear from Heather Mills - who has a heartfelt appeal based on first-hand experience - and our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta on this growing problem and what can be done to help the amputees.

Reunited

You've read on this blog about Joe and Jill Wilkins, whose adopted son Samuel Chancelet was still in Haiti when the earthquake struck. They have finally reunited with their son and will join Larry tonight to talk about their desperate journey to bring Samuel Chancelet home.

The Economy, Stupid!

Rep. Ron Paul vs. former Labor Secretary Robert Reich square off on whether President Obama is doing enough about the economy. Is the stimulus plan working? Where are the jobs? Is the administration more concerned with bailing out Wall Street than bailing out Main Street?

That's all tonight at 9ET/6PT!

And we want to hear from you:

Is President Obama doing enough to help middle-class Americans?

 

To learn more about the organization Heather Mills discussed on Larry King click here or visit Heather Mills own site.

Filed under: Economy • Haiti Earthquake • Obama


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Seven-year-old boy raises $160,000 for Haiti

Posted: 01:05 PM ET

By Agnes Teh for CNN

London, England - He's no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn't stopped seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from raising more than £100,000 ($161,000) for the Haiti earthquake. Simpson from Fulham, west London had hoped to raise just £500 for UNICEF's earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles)around a local park.

"My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives," said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts. "I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti," he said.

And with that simple call, messages of support flooded the site. "Such a big heart for a young boy, you're a little star!" wrote one supporter. "Well done Charlie. A real celebrity," said another. More donations began pouring in after the story caught the attention of the British media - with many cheering Simpson on towards the £100,000 mark. Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spreading the message. His "Downing Street" Twitter alias said: "Amazed by response to the great fundraising efforts of 7 yr old Charlie Simpson for the people of Haiti."

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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LKL Web Exclusive: Stacey Honowitz on talking about sexual abuse

Posted: 12:39 PM ET

NOTE: This is a LKL web exclusive by Stacey Honowitz, FL State Prosecutor and frequent LKL guest.  Honowitz is also the author of "My Privates are Private."

In today's society, "My Privates are Private" should be a staple in every household with children. This book was written to put both parents and children at ease when discussing this difficult and delicate subject matter.

The reality is this; sexual abuse is widespread in our culture and the idea of having a discussion about it can be uncomfortable and awkward. Sexual abuse has no boundaries, and because the crime is so secretive, we have come to learn that it touches every race, socio-economic and religious background, never really steering clear of anyone.

These are the reasons that I wrote the book; because after years of prosecuting these cases there was one theme that resonated throughout most of the cases I filed and ultimately went to trial on. Kids were afraid to speak up, to tell someone what was going on, and the idea of reporting someone made them feel bad.

Betsy Boodle puts all of those thoughts to rest. This little girl shares the importance of reporting, speaking your mind and not feeling guilty for making the report. The book is in a playful, limerick format which is not intimidating, which makes the message much easier to remember. Betsy says "even though I am young and short, I won't be afraid to go to court" and parents should not be afraid to discuss a subject that could change their lives.

(read more of Stacey Honowitz' commentary HERE)

Filed under: Justice • LKL Web Exclusive • Stacey Honowitz


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Haiti awash in doctors; nurses in short supply

Posted: 09:23 AM ET

So many doctors are answering Haiti's call for medical aid that the largest hospital in Port-au-Prince has a new problem: organizing and finding good use for them all.

"I think there is a lot of confusion," said Marivittoria Rava, a longtime volunteer with the charity Friends of the Orphans, which runs a children's hospital now caring for some post-operative patients from the general hospital.

Rava said that medical supplies and resources have improved, but the crush of volunteer doctors in Port-au-Prince can complicate treatment in the city while there is great need for help in other places hit by the earthquake.

The general hospital has nine operating rooms, but a near platoon of volunteer surgeons. That leaves many standing by for work, though there are relatively few nurses.

(read more)

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake


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January 24, 2010

Bringing Samuel Chancelet home: 'Our prayers had been answered'

Posted: 01:38 AM ET

Editor’s Note: Joe and Jill Wilkins of Portland, Oregon, were in the process of finalizing their adoption of a little Haitian boy, Samuel Chancelet, when the earthquake struck. Samuel Chancelet was not harmed in the earthquake, but the Wilkinses had been desperately trying to bring him home - until today. Joe and Jill have documented their journey on the LKL Blog. Joe, Jill, and Samuel Chancelet will be guests on Larry King Live on Monday at 9pmET/6pmPT!

As we sit here, writing this blog update, our son Samuel Chancelet is sleeping on the hotel bed in Miami. Two weeks ago, had someone told us would be in a hotel room, watching our baby, we would have taken a deep breath, sighed and said, “impossible.”

JOE:

It surely has been quite an interesting couple of weeks. I saw a lot of devastation and yet extraordinary things too. God’s Littlest Angels orphanage was a haven in the midst of catastrophe. All of the workers and volunteers are my heroes.

It is unreal that we have Samuel Chancelet with us now (this very second!) and it is amazing to be able to look over and watch him sleep. He is such a happy boy and I love him so much. It was such a long journey to get to Miami. God’s Littlest Angels (GLA) did a wonderful job entertaining the kids and, as Dixie put it, “We made a fun adventure out of it.”

We had some incredible volunteers, along with GLA staff who cared for the kids for over 18 hours. Yes, 18 hours (1.5 hours drive down from GLA to the airport, 5.5 hours waiting at the airport, 2 hours on tarmac, 2 hours in the air and about 7 hours to process the children’s paperwork in customs).

The kids were tired and the adults were exhausted. We stayed in a small immigration room where kids slept, played or were held by staff and volunteers. Taking care of 81 children is no small task. I was exhausted.

I was keeping Jill updated via text messages. It was hard knowing we were in the same area and couldn’t see one another. Since I had left for Haiti, we really had only talked or emailed regarding “business,” as things were moving so fast. I don’t think either one of us had internalized what was taking place.

When the moment finally arrived, I had a feeling of complete relief, like a burden was lifted off of my shoulders. We were finally together. I am not sure I have fully processed this. We have been through so many ups and downs throughout this adoption. I just can’t believe we were finally able to walk away with him in our arms.

JILL:

It was such a roller coaster of emotions for those 18 hours. Joe was able to text me with updates, so I was fed tidbits of information when they started their journey down the mountain from God’s Littlest Angel’s orphanage. We had no idea if the flight was actually going to get out, but were praying all the pieces would come together.

The parents were advised that the plane should land around 9:40pm. Most of us knew the paperwork could take some time, but I think we all wanted to meet each other, as we have shared this journey together for so long. Many of us are a part of internet chat groups and track blogs. I was looking forward to finally meeting them! Under normal circumstances that in itself would have been an incredible day. However, we had so much more to share!

We gathered around at the gate… with nothing but cameras and smiles. I really enjoyed meeting, visiting and sharing the anticipation of the incredible moment that was about to come. But around 11pm (around the time were hoping to hear the plane was landing) I got a text that said they were just taking off from Port-au-Prince. We all took a deep breath and sighed. Some went back to their hotel room, while others slept on the floor at the gate.

As frustrating as it was, we all knew that in the scheme of things, we could wait a few more hours. Joe let me know they were processing files and that it was going very slowly. At around 7am, the parents were taken to a new location, where we waited for 2.5 more hours. When Dixie finally walked in the door at 9:30am the whole room clapped, cheered and gave her the warmest reception (we all have such a deep respect for this woman). She spent time talking about the day, the process and what might be in store.

And then she announced it was time to meet our children!!! I was so emotional – was this really happening? When my name was called, I literally ran out the conference room door, where I saw Joe carrying Samuel Chancelet, along with our friend’s baby, Anri Jacob! I was overjoyed and overwhelmed all at once. The journey to having our own family has been so long for us.

All the pain, hurt and frustration melted away when I embraced both my husband and son, knowing we would get to be together, forever! God had a way of working this out. Everything was orchestrated perfectly, and our prayers had been answered. I am still finding that I need Joe to pinch me on occasion to make sure that I am not dreaming. I cannot wait for what life has in store for us!

PREVIOUS BLOG POSTINGS BY JOE AND JILL WILKINS:

Today is the day!

Making progress

Day 2

A couple's desperate journey

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Larry King Live


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January 22, 2010

'Hope for Haiti' airs on CNN tonight!

Posted: 05:43 PM ET

By Lisa Respers France

Programming Note: Watch "Hope for Haiti" starting at 8pmET tonight on CNN, CNN Live and on the CNN iPhone application.

(CNN) - If you're looking to watch "Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" on Friday night, you won't have any trouble finding it.

The two-hour, star-studded telethon is set to be one of the most widely distributed prime-time televised benefits in history, appearing simultaneously on more than 25 networks - including CNN, where Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti during the event.

The show will also be available on CNN.com/Live and the CNN iPhone application. Other networks airing "Hope for Haiti" include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT. The show will even air on the Discovery's eco-lifestyle television network, Planet Green.

MTV is presenting the benefit, which will be helmed by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney in Los Angeles, California, and musician Wyclef Jean from New York. CNN's Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti.

Plenty of entertainers have joined the roster to raise awareness about the earthquake in Haiti that has left tens of thousands dead and many more homeless and injured.

Some of the big name performers scheduled to appear include Beyoncé, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Taylor Swift.

Will Smith, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, Muhammad Ali, Meryl Streep and former president Bill Clinton are just a smattering of names of some of the other celebs who are set to make an appearance.

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Celebrity News • CNN • Haiti Earthquake


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