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July 30th, 2012
06:38 AM ET

After two days, US second in medal count – Amanda Davies on the ups and downs for Team USA

All that glitters is not gold – it could be silver or bronze.

After a weekend that saw the Beijing Olympics golden boy Michael Phelps stumble and a world record performance from another US swimmer, Team USA have had no shortage of drama in London. But there were some bright spots: Swimmer Dana Vollmer makes a triumphant return to Olympic stage with a world record swim in the 100-meter butterfly to win a gold medal, and Kimberly Rhode won gold in women's skeet shooting, setting a record as the first American with medals in five straight Olympic games.

Leading the medal count as of this writing is China with 12 medals. The United States is right behind them with 11 medals, and Italy is in third place with seven.

This morning on "Early Start," Amanda Davies explains the ups and downs of Team USA in this year's Olympic run,

Amanda Davies on ups and downs for Team USA in the first weekend of Olympic competition.

Filed under: 2012 London Olympics
July 30th, 2012
06:28 AM ET

Colorado shooting suspect to return to court today – Jim Spellman on charges Holmes faces

Aurora, Colorado (CNN) - The man accused of opening fire inside an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater is expected to return to court Monday where he will face formal charges.

James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 during a screening of the new Batman film on July 20. He is also being held in connection with the subsequent discovery of his booby-trapped apartment, which authorities think he rigged before leaving for the Century Aurora 16 multiplex.

Holmes made an initial appearance in court last week, giving the public its first look at the 24-year-old former doctoral candidate since his arrest moments after the shooting.

Holmes is being held without bond at the Arapahoe County Jail, where he is in isolation. He is being represented by a public defender.

On "Early Start" this morning, Jim Spellman reports on the charges Holmes is likely to face in court today.

July 30th, 2012
06:16 AM ET

What's trending for July 30th, 2012

Mystery opening ceremony crasher ID'ed, Team USA's awesome fencing masks & images show US flags still fly on the moon.

Filed under: Trending
July 27th, 2012
07:59 AM ET

Why are lawmakers so reluctant to address gun control? Ron Brownstein weighs in

The controversial topic of gun control has taken center stage in the wake of the Aurora theater shooting, with politicians on both side of the aisle offering their perspectives on the issue.

Nevertheless, legislators remain reluctant to address the subject. When asked yesterday whether Congress would take up the issue, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid replied, "With the schedule we have, we're not going to get into the debate on gun control. But I'm very happy. I'm glad the president made the statement because its' something that needs to be done. But we're not going to address gun control."

On Early Start this morning, National Journal editorial director Ron Brownstein weighs in on the power of the NRA and the difficulty in legislating gun control.

Filed under: 2012 election • Gun control
July 27th, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Alleged Sandusky voice mails released – Jason Carroll reports

(CNN) - Attorneys for one of the victims Jerry Sandusky was convicted of abusing have released two voice mails that they say the former coach left on their client's phone just prior to his 2011 arrest - potential fodder for a civil lawsuit they now plan to file against Penn State and others.

The recordings are allegedly among "numerous voice mails" unearthed during an investigation, and were left on the phone of a person identified as Victim 2, attorneys with the firm Ross Feller Casey said in a statement Thursday.

On Early Start this morning, CNN's Jason Carroll discusses these new voice mails and Victim 2's plans to sue Penn State University.

Filed under: Penn State scandal • Sandusky
July 27th, 2012
07:14 AM ET

Mitt Romney slammed by British press for comments about the Olympics – Jim Acosta reports

Mitt Romney is facing some tough headlines across the pond this morning for questioning security and British enthusiasm for the 2012 summer Olympics, which officially begin in a few hours.

Romney and First Lady Michelle Obama, who is leading the presidential delegation to the Games, will both be on hand when the Olympic torch is lit tonight.

CNN's Jim Acosta reports live from London this morning about the backlash against the GOP candidate.

Filed under: 2012 London Olympics • Politics
July 27th, 2012
07:04 AM ET

What's trending for July 27, 2012

Mother Monster has landed her first movie role. Director Robert Rodriguez tweeted yesterday that Lady Gaga has been cast in his upcoming Machete sequel, Machete Kills, due in theaters in 2013.

Gaga will be playing the character "La Chameleon" and will be joined by fellow cast members Sofia Vergara, Mel Gibson, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Charlie Sheen, who is still rumored to be in the cast and playing the president.

Also trending this morning, the pictures of five men who posed for the same photo at Copco Lake, California for thirty years straight. The men plan to keep posing for the picture every five years until they die.

Filed under: Trending
July 27th, 2012
06:51 AM ET

Questions remain about Olympics opening ceremonies- Amanda Davies reports

The stadium is ready, the athletes are prepared, and in just a few hours, the 2012 summer Olympic Games will officially begin.

A billion people around the world are expected to tune in to the $42 million opening ceremonies this evening, dubbed "The Isles of Wonder."

Queen Elizabeth II and more than 100 visiting heads of state and foreign dignitaries plan to attend the spectacle, which will feature Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and James Bond, among others.

CNN's Amanda Davies discusses the mysteries that remain about the opening ceremonies on Early Start this morning, including who will light the large Olympic flame.

Filed under: 2012 London Olympics
July 27th, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Ahead of opening ceremonies, security is top priority in London – Dan Rivers reports

Ahead of tonight's opening ceremonies and with thousands of world class athletes and hundreds of heads of states on hand for the Games, security is obviously the top priority in London today.

With fighter jets on standby and about 18,200 troops participating in Olympic security, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he's confident that the Games will be successful and safe.

CNN's Dan Rivers joins Early Start this morning to explain what the security situation is like in London this morning.

Filed under: 2012 London Olympics • Security
July 26th, 2012
01:26 PM ET

John Berman: My top three Olympians

My top three Olympic athletes?

Before I start, I have a few confessions to make.

1) I am an Olympic nerd. I hear the music and I get chills. Whenever I see footage of Jim McKay in an oddly colored jacket or a sweater I just want to start chanting U-S-A!!!

2) Even though we are on the eve of the Summer games, I am much more of a Winter guy. I don’t want to rain on the parade (or opening ceremony), but if I am being honest, I have to admit I think the Winter games are more dramatic, interesting and fun. Maybe it is the snow? Maybe it is the Ice Dancing, or maybe…

3) …maybe it is because of the Miracle on Ice in 1980. The U.S. hockey gold in Lake Placid was simply one of the most epic moments of all time. So monumental it needs to be removed from all discussions about top Olympic moments. It’s too obvious, and too big. It’s like asking someone “what is their favorite thing to breathe?”

That said, my three top Olympians:

1) Eric Heiden. The dude won 5 gold medals. Five!!! And his thighs were like 76 inches, I think. The guy single-handedly made me want to become a speed-skater. Sadly I don’t skate well, and am a mess in tight clothing.

2) Bill Johnson. He came from nowhere a month before the Olympics to win his first big race. And then in Sarajevo, he shows up, trash talks the best skiers on the planet and wins. And he skied completely out of control. What’s not to like?

3) Kerri Strug. I loved that she stuck the landing on that bad ankle. However, the indelible memory I have from that was the timing. It was tape delayed!!! She stuck the landing before anyone saw it! This was in 1996. I was already working in news, so I knew that it happened, and couldn’t believe I had to wait hours to see it. It just seems strange. In this day and age, I can’t imagine anyone waiting to broadcast something like that. (oh wait….)

Speed skater Eric Heiden (#1!!)

Figure skater Brian Boitano

Filed under: 2012 London Olympics • John Berman
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