Students who bullied N.Y. bus monitor are suspended for a year
Karen Klein, 68, told CNN's Anderson Cooper she doesn't believe her tormenters are bad kids "deep down".
June 30th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Students who bullied N.Y. bus monitor are suspended for a year

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Four middle school students caught on camera verbally abusing their bus monitor have been suspended for a year and will be required to complete 50 hours of community service, school district officials said Friday.

Recorded by a student with a cell phone camera on what was the second-to-last day of school, the brazen bullying went viral and spurred international outrage.

The incident occurred in Greece, New York, near Rochester.

"Following individual meetings this week with school and district administrators, each family waived their right to a hearing and agreed to one-year suspensions from school and regular bus transportation," the Greece Central School District said in a statement.

The students will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, it said. Each will also be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and must take part in a formal bullying prevention program.

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Filed under: Bullying • How we live
Americans divided on health care ruling
June 29th, 2012
07:29 PM ET

Americans divided on health care ruling

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) – Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's health care law has Americans divided, according to the first survey following the landmark decision.

Friday's poll from USA Today/Gallup showed 46% of Americans agree with the court's ruling, with 46% saying they disagree. Opinions were predictably split along party lines: 79% of self-identified Democrats agreed with the decision to uphold the president's law, while 83% of Republicans disagreed with the ruling.

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Filed under: Health • Politics • Polls • What we think
June 29th, 2012
05:26 PM ET

Zimmerman trustworthy, deserves bond, his lawyer argues

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Even though he misled the court about his finances, George Zimmerman should not be jailed as he awaits trial for the death of Trayvon Martin because the state's case is weak and his claim of self-defense is strong, defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued Friday.

O'Mara asked that Zimmerman be released on the same $150,000 bond granted by Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. in April after Zimmerman's wife and family testified they had little money. In reality, Zimmerman and his wife had collected more than $150,000 in donations from the public.

Lester revoked Zimmerman's bond on June 1, after learning that the defendant and his wife had failed to disclose the donations. The judge did not immediately rule on O'Mara's new bond request, which prosecutors opposed.

Lester did not say when he would rule, but O'Mara told reporters after the hearing that he expects the judge to spend the weekend reviewing the evidence before ruling.

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June 29th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

31 victims identified in widening Air Force sex scandal

By Chris Lawrence, CNN

(CNN) - The U.S. Air Force has now identified at least 31 women as victims in a growing sex scandal, a four-star general said Thursday, and there might be more. The Air Force is broadening its investigation to "actively seek any others that may have been affected by this," Gen. Edward Rice, the commander of Air Force Training, said.

"We are taking a comprehensive look not only at the cases that we know, but trying to do the best we can to assess whether or not there are other cases out there," Rice told reporters at the Pentagon.

Rice said the Air Force had taken "the unprecedented step" of shutting down all recruit training for one day to give a written survey to all basic military trainees at Lackland Air Force base. The Texas base has become the focal point of the growing scandal.

Air Force base reports more sexual misconduct charges

One trainer has pleaded guilty to having an improper relationship with a trainee, as part of a plea agreement.

Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado has been sentenced to 90 days in prison, 30 days hard labor and a demotion in rank and pay. In his plea deal, he also provided testimony against two other trainers who have been charged. He also said he had inappropriate relationships with 10 trainees.

The scandal came to light in June 2011, when a young female trainee came forward and accused her male instructor of assaulting her. Staff Sgt. Luis Walker now faces a general court-martial on 28 charges, including rape, adultery and aggravated sexual assault. He is scheduled to appear in court July 16.

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Filed under: Gender • Where we live • Women
Zimmerman to seek second bond
George Zimmerman will be allowed to attend the morning hearing unshackled and in civilian clothing.
June 29th, 2012
08:02 AM ET

Zimmerman to seek second bond

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - George Zimmerman and his attorney will be back before a Florida judge Friday to argue Zimmerman should be allowed bond a second time despite misrepresenting his finances.

Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder in the February shooting death of Trayvon Martin, will attend the morning hearing unshackled and in civilian clothing.

Video and photos of Zimmerman wearing jail garb could prejudice prospective jurors, defense attorney Mark O'Mara argued in a motion.

Zimmerman was released on a $150,000 bond after his arrest. But he was ordered back to jail early this month after the judge revoked his bail, citing about $150,000 in donations in an account controlled by Zimmerman that he had not disclosed at the first bond hearing in April.

O'Mara is asking Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. to set a similar bond.

The lawyer contends his client poses no danger to the community, is not a flight risk, and "cooperated fully" with police before his arrest.

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June 28th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Opinion: 'Stopping bullying means liberation'

Editor's note: Congressman Mike Honda represents Silicon Valley, California, in Congress. He is an educator of more than 30 years, the author of the landmark Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education now housed in the Department of Education and the Chair of the Congressional Anti-Bully Caucus.

By Mike Honda, Special to CNN

(CNN) - My experience with bullying began with a presidential order.

At the height of World War II, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, incarcerating more than 120,000 Japanese Americans. My family and I were imprisoned behind barbed wire at the Amache internment camp in southeast Colorado. I was less than a year old.

Sadly, the internment of Japanese Americans spread fear and intolerance far beyond the wire and towers of the camps. After the war, during my early years of public school, I was often confronted and insulted because of my appearance and ethnic origin. As a result, I struggled as a student. I was shy to speak up. I lacked self-esteem.

In the 70 years since internment, our nation has made great leaps in providing reparations for the internment and ostracizing of Japanese Americans. But the mistreatment of people thought of as "outsiders" or "different" is a problem that has not gone away.

Today the health, safety, competitiveness and moral fiber of America is threatened by an epidemic that affects more than 13 million children each year.

Read Congressman Mike Honda's full column

June 28th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

What the health care ruling means to you

By Josh Levs, CNN

(CNN) - The Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold the Affordable Care Act means that the predictions about how it will affect all Americans remain in place.

Read the court ruling (.PDF)

Here are some highlights:

The uninsured

The decision leaves in place the so-called individual mandate - the requirement on Americans to have or buy health insurance beginning in 2014 or face a penalty - although many are exempt from that provision.

In 2014, the penalty will be $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it goes up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income.

The insured

Because the requirement remains for people to have or buy insurance, the revenue stream designed to help pay for the law remains in place. So insured Americans may be avoiding a spike in premiums that could have resulted if the high court had tossed out the individual mandate but left other requirements on insurers in place.

Young adults

Millions of young adults up to age 26 who have gained health insurance due to the law will be able to keep it. The law requires insurers to cover the children of those they insure up to age 26. About 2.5 million young adults from age 19 to 25 obtained health coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Two of the nation's largest insurers, United Healthcare and Humana, recently announced they would voluntarily maintain some aspects of health care reform, including coverage of adult dependents up to age 26, even if the law was scrapped.

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Filed under: Health • History • How we live
June 28th, 2012
09:38 AM ET

Racial tension again tests Texas town

14 years ago, Jasper, Texas made headlines when James Byrd, Jr., a black man, was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged to death by three white men.

Today, the town says it is again divided, after Rodney Pearson, the first black police chief, was fired.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.

June 27th, 2012
07:30 PM ET

Montford Marines: Few, proud and black

Editor's Note: Today, Congress honored the Montford Marines with the highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. The following story, written in 2011 tells the history of the first African American Marines.

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Edwin J. Fizer got off the train to report for training at Montford Point, North Carolina in the summer of 1942. He, like all proud Marines, had to prove his mettle.

Except, Fizer had another tough hurdle. He was black, and until then, the U.S. Marine Corps had been all white.

But in June, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an order that began to erase discrimination in the armed forces. The Marines were the last to open up and the next year, Fizer was among 18,000 young black men who trained - not at Parris Island - but at a segregated facility in Montford Point, North Carolina.

"It was one of the worst times of my life," said Fizer, in Atlanta Saturday for the annual gathering of the Montford Point Marines. "I was fighting the war on racism and Jim Crow and at the same time getting ready to fight a war overseas."

The history-making Marines never received the same recognition as the famed Tuskegee Airmen, African-American pilots who fought in World War II. But the few Montford Marines who are still alive reunite each year at their convention and hope to spread the word about the path they paved.

Read the full story 

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Filed under: Black in America • History • Veterans • Who we are
June 27th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Female writers to Nora Ephron: 'I'll have what she's having'

by Alicia W. Stewart, CNN.com Identity editor

(CNN) - The romantic comedy is not a movie category necessarily known for churning out Oscar nominees, but in the capable hands of Nora Ephron, the "rom-com,"  a genre that elicits as many rolled eyes as clutched hearts, was a smart and lovely thing.

In the oft quoted scene from "When Harry Met Sally," for which Ephron earned a screenwriting Oscar nomination, Sally, played by Meg Ryan, imitates a moment of pleasure with great exaggeration, before promptly stopping and having a bite to eat.  A neighboring diner looks at Ryan, then at her waiter, and deadpans:

"I'll have what she's having."

Nora Ephron, prolific writer and filmmaker, dies at age 71

Ephron was a writer's writer: journalist, book author, playwright, blogger, editor, director. In the process, she became a symbol to a generation, similar to what  Dorothy Parker, the journalist known for her wit, was to her: an example of an intelligent, witty writer of a generation.

"I’m not going to lie: since I first learned of Nora, when I understood the body of her work, I wanted to be like her," Forbes contributor Liza Donnelly wrote.


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Filed under: Gender • Pop culture • Who we are • Women
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