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August 14th, 2014
04:14 AM ET

Teen Runaway Hides Out in Texas Walmart for Days

There in the baby section, behind boxes of strollers, was a 14-year-old boy with a secret.

The runaway had made the 24-hour Walmart in Corsicana, Texas, his getaway hideout.

For what may have been more than two days in July, he roamed the store unnoticed. When he was tired, he'd lay down in his hidden cubby and sleep while shoppers were unaware the runaway was back there.

Police had been looking for the boy, who was visiting his aunt in the town about an hour's drive south of Dallas, for 54 hours when they got a call from a Walmart. An employee had spotted the lad on the lam coming out of his hiding place.

Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told CNN the chain cannot verify how long the boy was in the store but said this is definitely an isolated incident.

"It seems to be a unique situation, for sure," he said.

Nick said Walmart hasn't asked for police to press charges.

"Our concern was getting the child to safety," he added.

See more on CNN.com

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July 11th, 2014
01:20 PM ET

Rocket Fired Into Northern Israel from Lebanon as Gaza Conflict Continues

Israel faced attack from a second front Friday, but it is unlikely that a rocket fired from Lebanon signifies the widening of a conflict that has left at least 100 dead in Gaza.

The rocket launched from Lebanon landed near the northern Israeli town of Metula, which sits right by the Lebanese border, and no damage or injuries have been reported. It was not immediately clear who fired the rocket.

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for the attack, but concerns that Israel will face a two-front conflict are unlikely to be realized.

Hezbollah, which operates in Lebanon and is caught up in other conflicts in the region, probably does not have the appetite to start a war with Israel.

Thousands of rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel during a war in 2006, but rocket attacks since then have been sporadic. Tensions are always high between Hezbollah and Israel, but Hezbollah's involvement in Syria's civil war means that a fight with Israel might not make sense.

Nonetheless, Israel responded with artillery that landed in the vicinity of the Lebanese town of Kfar Shouba. No casualties were reported, the Lebanese army said.

Israel continued to weather rocket attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza, but virtually all of the casualties in the conflict have been suffered on the Gazan side.

Though menacing, nearly all the Hamas rockets have been intercepted by the Israeli air defense system or struck empty areas. Airstrikes by Israel in Gaza, in contrast, have been blamed for at least 100 deaths, including 22 children and 20 women, a spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health said.

Hospitals in Gaza are unable to take care of the wounded - who top 700 - and patients are being treated on the floors because emergency rooms are overcrowded, medical sources told CNN.

The same medical sources said that medicines are running low and that the scenes at the hospitals are not unlike the chaos witnessed at Syrian hospitals during its civil war.

CNN staff in Gaza reported there are rolling blackouts, and there are water shortages in some areas because airstrikes have damaged pumping stations.

The Israeli military, meanwhile, said that some 100 rockets were fired at Israel today, including one that was intercepted over the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

MORE on CNN.com.

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May 30th, 2014
04:55 AM ET

Sources: $2B Deal for Clippers

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed a binding agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family trust, a source familiar with the situation told CNN on Thursday night.

A second source, who was familiar with the negotiations, confirmed the terms to CNN.

The sale, negotiated by Shelly Sterling - co-owner with estranged husband Donald Sterling - will have to be approved at a NBA Board of Governors meeting. It was unclear whether a meeting set for Tuesday will go on, given Thursday's developments.

And the sale still may have to be approved by Donald Sterling, according to earlier comments by his attorney.

Maxwell Blecher told CNN earlier that his client would have to consent to a sale and wants to be vindicated by the NBA, which is in the process of terminating the Sterlings' ownership in the team for racist remarks Sterling made in an audio recording released online in April.

The NBA has damaged Sterling's reputation, Blecher claimed in a lengthy interview with CNN's "The Situation Room."

"They know he is not a racist," he said.

Blecher said Sterling is troubled by the charges of racism. He thinks of himself as an exemplary owner with a 33-year history of supporting the African-American community, Blecher said.

"He wants to be vindicated. He doesn't want his tombstone to say, 'Here lies Donald Sterling, racist.' And the NBA has the power to make that right," Blecher said, without saying what Sterling wants the league to do.

CNN reached out to Blecher for comment on news of the sale, but didn't immediately hear back.

Blecher said earlier that Sterling had no interest in selling the team, rather than passing it down to his heirs. When reminded that Sterling would make a huge profit on a sale, even after capital gains taxes, Blecher it should have been the billionaire businessman's decision when to part with the team. It's not about money, he said.

In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling, fined him $2.5 million and prompted the league's other 29 owners to begin proceeding to strip the longtime owner and his wife of the team.

Sterling is considering suing the NBA if he doesn't get the resolution he wants. Blecher said they weren't in a rush to file the lawsuit and were waiting in part in deference to Shelly Sterling as she negotiated the sale.

MORE on CNN.com

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May 14th, 2014
04:18 AM ET

Magic Johnson to Donald Sterling: Sell the Team

Magic Johnson has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Sell the team, take the money and enjoy the rest of your life.

A day after Sterling appeared on CNN slamming the NBA legend's character, his battle with HIV and his community outreach efforts, Johnson said Tuesday that he feels sorry for the 80-year-old billionaire.

"It's sad. It really is. I'm going to pray for this ... man," Johnson told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview.

Sterling's explosive CNN interview that aired Monday night was the first time he had spoken publicly since audio recordings surfaced last month of him making racist remarks. Reaction to the taped remarks came fast and furious, and the NBA responded with a lifetime ban for Sterling.

Johnson became an involuntary figure in the controversy after Sterling named him in the leaked recording.

"Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me," Sterling is heard telling friend V. Stiviano.

Johnson told Cooper he is still waiting for an apology from Sterling for getting roped into Sterling's fight with Stiviano, and Johnson called the Monday interview - in which Sterling directed another tirade at the NBA legend - "disturbing."

"What's really sad is, it's not about me," Johnson said. "This is about the woman you love outing you and taping you and putting your conversation out here for everybody to know. ... This is between you two, but then he wants to include me."

Johnson said he had only met with Sterling three or four times, and most of those discussions had focused on basketball. Johnson couldn't say if the Clippers owner has slipped mentally.

Sterling "seems like he's all there," Johnson said. "But the problem is, he's living in the stone ages."

MORE on CNN.com

MH370: After Aborted Underwater Search, Crews Hope to Try Again
April 15th, 2014
04:30 AM ET

MH370: After Aborted Underwater Search, Crews Hope to Try Again

Time to try this again.

The first deployment of an underwater vehicle to hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was aborted early, sending the drone back to the surface 10 hours before expected.

Search officials analyzed data from the Bluefin-21's six hours underwater, and found no objects of interest, the U.S. Navy said Tuesday.

Crews will try to send the Bluefin-21 probe back into the Indian Ocean later Tuesday, weather permitting.

So what went awry the first time?

"In this case, the vehicle's programmed to fly 30 meters over the floor of the ocean to get a good mapping of what's beneath and to the sides, and the chart we have for the area showed that water depth to be between the 4,200 and 4,400-meter depth," said Capt. Mark Matthews, who heads the U.S. presence in the search effort.

But the water was deeper than expected - about 4,500 meters.

"Once it hit that max depth, it said this is deeper than I'm programmed to be, so it aborted the mission," Matthews said.

David Kelly, CEO of the company that makes the Bluefin-21, said the device's safety mechanisms have triggered such recalls have happened.

"Although it's disappointing the mission ended early, it's not uncommon," Kelly said. "We've operated these vehicles around the globe. It's not unusual to get into areas where the charts aren't accurate or you lack information."

Mathews said the initial launch Monday night took place "in the very far corner of the area it's searching, so they are just shifting the search box a little bit away from that deep water and proceeding with the search."

It is unclear how much of the area - 5 kilometers by 8 kilometers (3.1 miles by 4.9 miles) - the Bluefin scanned during its first attempt. It could take up to two months to scan the entire search area.

MORE on CNN.com.

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February 28th, 2014
05:55 AM ET

Former Super Bowl Champ Darren Sharper Turns Himself In

New Orleans police have issued arrest warrants for former NFL star Darren Sharper and another man in connection with the alleged rapes of two women.

Sharper, 38, and Erik Nunez, 26, each face two counts of aggravated rape, the Orleans Parish district attorney's office said in a statement.

Sharper and Nunez face the possibility of life without parole if convicted.

CNN reached out to an attorney for Sharper and to Nunez, but neither immediately returned messages seeking comment.

Sharper has also been charged in California with two counts of rape by use of drugs and other charges, according to Los Angeles County prosecutors.

He pleaded not guilty last week.

"Mr. Sharper must stay in Los Angeles County," a judge said at a bail hearing.

Judge Renee Korn set Sharper's bail at $1 million and ordered him to stay away from venues that sold alcohol as a primary item.

Prosecutors in Louisiana said the two alleged rapes occurred on September 23 in a New Orleans apartment.

The alleged rapes in California occurred in October and last month, authorities said.

Prosecutors there said the five-time Pro Bowl player, who became an NFL Network analyst, is also under investigation in Arizona and Nevada.

Tempe, Arizona, police say they expect to file charges against Sharper soon.

"We have nothing yet. We anticipate filing charges very shortly and we are still waiting on a couple of results from the crime lab," said Sgt. Mike Pooley.

In addition, a Florida woman last month filed a sexual battery complaint in Miami Beach against Sharper relating to a 2012 incident, a police report said.

According to the report, the woman was with two friends at a Miami Beach club in September or October 2012 when she met Sharper. The woman, her friends and another person went to Sharper's condo, where the woman claims the battery took place.

Miami Beach police are investigating the case, Miami Beach Detective Vivian Hernandez said last week.

One of Sharper's lawyers disputed all the rape allegations last week at his hearing.

"It was all consensual contact with women who wanted to be in his company," Leonard Levine said.

Sharper played for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints from 1997 through the 2010 season.

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November 19th, 2013
06:20 AM ET

Zimmerman Charged With Felony

George Zimmerman was charged Monday with felony aggravated assault after allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, according to Dennis Lemma, chief deputy with the Seminole County, Florida, Sheriff's Office.

Zimmerman, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin, was arrested after the incident at the home of Samantha Scheibe, Lemma said. He also was charged with two misdemeanors - domestic violence battery and criminal mischief - in connection with the same incident, Lemma said.

Zimmerman is being held in jail without bail and will make his first appearance in front of a judge Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

According to a police report on the incident, Scheibe said that after an argument Zimmerman broke a table with a shotgun then pointed it at her "for a minute."

Scheibe called 911 at 12:30 E.T., Lemma said.

On a 911 call recording released by police, a woman can be heard telling authorities: "He's inside my house breaking all my (things) because I asked him to leave."

The woman then says to someone at the house, "I'm doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to get the (expletive) out."

A man is heard telling her to calm down, but then she tells the dispatcher that the man just pushed her out of the house and locked the door.

On a separate 911 call, a man calls to report that his girlfriend was "for lack of a better term, going crazy on me" and throwing his things out. The caller says the woman is outside with police.

When asked why he is calling, the man says, "I just want everyone to know the truth."

He says he never pulled a firearm and that it is in a bag, locked. He claims she was the one who broke the table.

When deputies arrived at the house, Scheibe gave them a key. When they pushed open the door - which was blocked by several small pieces of furniture - they found Zimmerman, who was sitting and unarmed, Lemma said. He was passive and cooperative, Lemma said.

The sheriff's office was seeking a search warrant to look for two guns deputies believed were inside the home, he said. According to the police report, Zimmerman had locked up the guns before police arrived.

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October 28th, 2013
05:59 AM ET

Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies At 71

Lou Reed, who took rock 'n' roll into dark corners as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist for the Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, died Sunday, his publicist said. He was 71.

The publicist, Peter Noble, confirmed Reed's death but released no details. Reed had undergone a liver transplant in May, his wife, the musician/performance artist Laurie Anderson, disclosed over the summer.

Reed was a rock pioneer who went from record label songwriter to a member of the short-lived but innovative and influential Velvet Underground. The band and Reed's solo work tackled taboo topics like drug addiction, paranoia and sexual deviancy in songs that were largely spare, muscular and often saturated in feedback.

"Lou Reed's influence is one that there are really only a tiny handful of other figures who you can compare to him," said Simon Vozick-Levinson, a senior editor at Rolling Stone.

"He spoke incredibly frankly about the realities of being an artist, being a person who lived life on one's own terms. He didn't prettify things. He didn't sugarcoat things. He showed life as it really is and that's something that made him a true original, and one of our great all-time artists," he said.

Reed, violist/keyboard player John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker played their first show as the Velvet Underground in 1965 and soon drew the attention of pop artist Andy Warhol, who became their manager. Rock mythology has it that even though the group sold few albums, everyone who bought one started a band.

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