Suspect kills self after deadly classroom attack

Police Chief Chris Walsh said officers canvassing the building found two bodies in a third-floor classroom.
Police Chief Chris Walsh said officers canvassing the building found two bodies in a third-floor classroom.
  • NEW: "This is the worst day of my career," the Casper College president says
  • NEW: The suspect "appeared to be completely alone," Casper police chief says
  • 3 are dead at two separate, but related crime scenes, according to police
  • They were killed by "a sharp-edged weapon," though authorities did not elaborate

(CNN) -- A man fatally injured one person, then burst into a Wyoming college class Friday morning to kill another person and, ultimately, himself, police said.

According to Casper police, "there were no firearms involved in the crime(s), and the (victims') injuries were caused by a sharp-edged weapon." It was not immediately clear how the three people -- one of whom was a Casper College faculty member -- were killed.

"I've been a college administrator for about 40 years, (and) I can say without a doubt this is the worst day of my career," said college President Walter Nolte.

Police Chief Chris Walsh did not immediately identify the three dead but said one was a woman and two were men, including the suspect. All of them knew each other, he added.

Authorities got their first call shortly after 9 a.m. MT (11 a.m. ET) about "a traumatic injury on the campus of Casper College." About 33 law enforcement officers from various agencies arrived within minutes, according to Walsh.

Casper College subsequently went on lockdown, as did the Natrona County Schools, as authorities tried to ascertain what happened.

As they canvassed the world physical science building, officers found two dead bodies in a third-floor classroom, the police chief said.

Meanwhile, two minutes after that first call, police learned of another "traumatic injury" at a site off-campus. Police are working under the assumption that this death is related to the other two and that the man behind all the violence is dead.

"There is no one at large, and there's no threat of violence or anything like that," Walsh told reporters early Friday afternoon.

The police chief said the suspect was not a current Casper College student, although he didn't elaborate or explain how the three dead knew each other. Walsh did say "the suspect appeared to be completely alone."

66 species of coral proposed for protection by US

Seaview Survey, in partnership with Google, has been capturing 360-degree views of famous coral reefs. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports.

By Miguel Llanos, NBC News

In its most sweeping use of the Endangered Species Act, the nation's oceans agency on Friday proposed listing 66 species of coral as endangered or threatened -- and cited climate change as driving three key threats: disease, warmer seas and more acidic seas.

"Climate change and other activities are putting these corals at risk," Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in announcing the proposal. "This is an important, sensible next step toward preserving the benefits provided by these species."

Lubchenco argued that the benefits extend to fishermen -- some of whom are worried that any coral protection could mean less fishing.

"Corals provide habitat to support fisheries that feed millions of people," she said, as well as generating jobs through recreation and tourism, and protecting coastlines from storms and erosion.

In its press release, NOAA emphasized that since President Barack Obama had directed agencies to minimize regulatory burdens it would strive to "adopt the least burdensome means" of compliance should it create protected habitat. "A full analysis of economic impact, including impact on jobs," will also be undertaken, it stated.

Dave Gilliam and Liz Larson Nova Southeastern University and James Byrne, The Nature Conservancy discuss the large scale environmental program that is underway in Florida's coral reefs.

The proposal is the result of a court settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned to have 83 coral species listed. NOAA agreed to review 82 of those species.

"While the government decided that 16 of the corals we proposed do not warrant listing, the fact that dozens are moving forward with protections is good news," the group's oceans director, Miyoko Sakas hita, told NBC News.

"Our coral reefs are dying and need federal protection," she added.

Last April, NOAA scientists reported that more than half of those 82 species were "more likely than not" to face extinction by 2100.

Corals are very sensitive to disease and temperature change, and the fact that seas have warmed and become more acidic as carbon dioxide emissions have risen led to NOAA's proposal and focus on climate change. The acidity weakens the skeletal structure of coral.

The polar bear is the only other species listed under the Endangered Species Act because of climate change, and that's because of shrinking sea ice.

Since climate change is global in nature, NOAA can't do much to protect coral from that threat, but Sakas hita said actions that the U.S. could eventually take include protecting corals from overfishing.

"For example, in the Caribbean we have a lawsuit pending that challenges overfishing of parrotfish, which are important grazers for coral reefs to keep them free of algae," she said. "Other local threats that need attention include water pollution, dredging, or coastal construction that impacts coral habitat."

See dozens of wonders from coral reefs and other exotic seascapes, courtesy of the Catlin Seaview Survey.

To date, just two species of coral -- staghorn and elkhorn -- are on the Endangered Species Act, and both are in Florida and the Caribbean. Now listed as threatened, they would be reclassified as endangered under the proposal.

Of the 66 species now proposed for listing, 12 would be listed as endangered -- seven in the Pacific and five in the Caribbean; 54 would be listed as threatened -- 52 in the Pacific and two in the Caribbean.

NOAA aims to finalize the listings in late 2013, after public meetings and a comment period. Comments can be made via NOAA's listing proposal site.

NOAA had never before analyzed so many species over such a wide geographic range. The closest in scope was a review of 30 West Coast salmon and steelhead species in 1994.

Friday's proposal came as nations met in Qatar to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol with a new framework for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Little progress has been made, and the talks continue next week.

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Martin: Show the GOP who's boss

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addresses the media following a UN Security Council meeting on July 11, 2012 .
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice addresses the media following a UN Security Council meeting on July 11, 2012 .
  • GOP senators are criticizing Susan Rice for her comments about Benghazi attack
  • Roland Martin says the focus on Rice is unwarranted given her limited role on issue
  • He says President Obama should defy critics, pick Rice to be secretary of state
  • Martin: President should show that he can't be bullied by Republicans

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

(CNN) -- Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte really want us to believe that their shameful behavior toward United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice is all about getting to the truth about what happened in Libya, but the truth is that this is the first salvo in a GOP war against President Barack Obama over the next four years.

Do they think Americans are dumb enough to believe that Rice, who had no responsibility over intelligence or approving security requests at the State Department, is the main person who should be answering their queries over what happened in Benghazi that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens?

Roland Martin

These three continue to assert that Rice should have known better than to read talking points on several Sunday morning shows provided to her by the intelligence community, as well as provide an assessment that went outside of what she was told.

Is it fair that she be asked about those talking points? Of course. But to somehow try to pin the blame on her is downright offensive.

It has been amazing to watch the degree to which U.S. senators don't want to criticize Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has jurisdiction over the department. Yes, Clinton, and not Rice, oversees U.S. ambassadors across the world, and it is her department that denied the security requests from Stevens.

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If there is anyone who should be answering questions about security of our consulate in Libya, it's Clinton. Instead, it's all Rice, all day.

McCain, Graham and Ayotte also want to know why the intelligence was so botched, so what do they do? Try to pin that on Rice as well. Again, it has been stunning to see the degree in which members of Congress are afraid to even utter David Petraeus' name, as if vigorously questioning the assessment of the Central Intelligence Agency, which he ran before a sex scandal forced him to resign, is off limits.

GOP senators troubled after meeting Rice
Ayotte would 'hold' Rice nomination

If GOP senators are demanding intelligence answers, then they should continue to haul leaders of various agencies down to Congress to testify under oath. Instead, they've made the calculation to turn Rice into their piƱata, desperate to scuttle a potential secretary of state nomination.

What finally took the cake was seeing Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins raise questions about Rice and the handling of the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa.

Seriously? Now they are trying to pin those bombings on Rice?

This has turned into a charade that is shameless, pathetic and embarrassing.

Now it's Obama's turn to play hardball and make clear to the GOP that he won't get pushed around with his appointees in his second term.

After January 1, he should make clear to the nation that he is going to appoint the eminently qualified Rice to be his secretary of state, and dare the U.S. Senate to deny him his pick.

The president should send an unmistakable signal to the GOP that he won't be bullied by anyone. He forcefully defended Rice in a news conference a week ago and publicly thanked her at this week's Cabinet meeting, but the ultimate sign of confidence -- and strength -- would mean forgoing the easy pick of U.S. Sen. John Kerry and daring them to stop Rice.

Obama shouldn't be afraid to engage in a public battle with the GOP. To heck with the naysayers who say Rice is damaged goods. What's damaged is the logic of McCain, Graham, Ayotte and Collins, who look foolish every day with their remarks about Rice.

Obama won. Romney lost. And before him, McCain. Now it's time for the president to make clear he has no plans to be an idle bystander in another attack on a member of his Cabinet.

Mr. President, it's clear the GOP is itching for a fight going into the new year. So give it to them. And show them who is boss.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland S. Martin.

FDA reversal: Keep taking recalled drug

Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals issued a recall November 9 of a generic form of Lipitor that might contain specks of glass.
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals issued a recall November 9 of a generic form of Lipitor that might contain specks of glass.
  • Atorvastatin, or generic Lipitor, was recalled November 9
  • The FDA changed its guidance after a conference call with pharmacies and other groups
  • "We need to fix our process a little bit," says FDA official

Editor's note: The Empowered Patient is a regular feature from CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen that helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

(CNN) -- The Food and Drug Administration advised patients Friday to keep taking a popular cholesterol drug even though it might contain specks of glass, reversing advice it gave just a day ago.

Millions of people take Ranbaxy Pharmaceutical's generic Lipitor, or atorvastatin, and many have been calling pharmacies confused about whether to take the drugs they have in their medicine cabinets.

Ranbaxy initiated a recall November 9 and told pharmacies to stop dispensing the drug, but gave no advice to consumers about what to do with what was in their medicine cabinets.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said the agency would review how it handles communication to the public during recalls.

Elizabeth Cohen

"It took us some time to figure out what was going on," she said. "We need to fix our process a little bit."

FDA: Stop taking recalled cholesterol drug

Between 3 million and 4 million people take Ranbaxy's atorvastatin, according to Ross Muken, senior managing director at ISI Group. The company has more than a 40% share of the generic Lipitor market.

The FDA made no public statements on the recall until Thursday, when the agency said concerned patients should stop taking their medicine if their pharmacist confirmed it was from a recalled lot.

After a conference call Friday afternoon with pharmacies and other groups, the agency decided to change their guidance.

"Yesterday's statement was poorly phrased," Woodcock said Friday. "It made people think they should stop taking their medicine."

The glass particles are "the size of a grain of sand," she added.

The pills "aren't of the quality we would expect of a drug, but they aren't risky, either," Woodcock said.

Ranbaxy has stopped making atorvastatin while they investigate how the glass got into the drug, according to the FDA.

Recall leaves glass-specked drug in hands of patients

Amputee's 18-hour ordeal in Ironman triathlon

View more videos at: http://nbcbayarea.com.

By Vignesh Ramachandran, NBC News

When Jeff Schmidt completed the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii earlier this fall, crossing that finish line after nearly 18 hours on the course meant more than just the end of a race. It signified a positive highlight in a long physical and emotional battle the San Jose, Calif. resident has faced for over a decade.

"It was exciting, because it's a dream," Schmidt told NBCBayArea.com's Garvin Thomas.

Fifteen years ago, Schmidt was a star player on his Missouri high school soccer team — a young man dreaming of a college career and then going pro. During the first playoff game of his senior year, he had just finished saving a goal, when another player hit the side of his shin as his leg was in the air.

At that moment, Schmidt's life changed forever.

"I knew instantly my leg was [broken]," Schmidt said. His leg ended up being set and cast in the wrong way, which caused permanent damage. That led to 10 years of constant pain, failed surgeries and not being able to walk very far.

Schmidt faced depression and thoughts of suicide.

"We didn't know how to handle that kind of stress," his wife, Jenny, told NBCBayArea.com. "It ... caused medical issues, financial issues, emotional issues. It was tough. We went through a lot of really, really hard times."

Eventually in 2004, it was suggested that Schmidt should have his lower leg amputated. But the suggestion made him mad.

"I felt like I had fought so hard to keep that foot and ankle that to suggest getting rid of it, to me was like giving up." Schmidt said.

But three years after that suggestion, he went through with the amputation.

"If something in your life is causing you nothing but anguish, and you can get rid of it, what do you do? You get rid of it," he said.

A second chance
At wife Jenny's suggestion, Schmidt, who now has a prosthetic leg, soon began training for triathlons like she was.

That brings the story back to 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

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On the day of the triathlon, Oct. 13, Schmidt felt good going in to the race, but challenges eventually arose: The run portion turned into a walk for him.

"I don't like to give up," Schmidt told NBCBayArea.com. "It's not something that is really in me to do."

Then, just four miles from the end, race officials told him he would not make the finish line before the course officially closed at midnight. But that didn't stop Schmidt.

"I had come too far not to finish," he said.

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Nearly 18 hours after the race began, and half an hour past midnight, Schmidt was the last Ironman still going.

But he crossed the finish line, last, to cheers.

"We were in awe, really," said Tal Johnson, president and COO of Berkeley, Calif., race sponsor Goo Energy Labs. "All of us. You know -- grown men, experienced athletes who were moved to the point of tears."

"Going through everything with my leg and the amputation, and to be able to come and finish at Kona ... to me it's one of the highlights of my life," Schmidt said.

NBC Bay Area's Garvin Thomas contributed to this story. The 2012 Ironman World Championship was telecast by NBC Sports on Oct. 27. Next year's Ironman in Kailua-Kona takes place on Oct. 12, 2013.

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Obama warns of 'Scrooge' Christmas without tax-cut deal

  • NEW: Nancy Pelosi predicts 100% of House would back a "middle-class" tax cut
  • President Barack Obama urges quick deal on tax-cut extension for most Americans
  • Republicans are balking at Obama's first proposal, including $1.6 trillion in revenue increases
  • "There's a stalemate," House Speaker John Boehner says

Hatfield, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- After touring a Pennsylvania toy factory that's churning out would-be holiday gifts, President Barack Obama warned Friday of a "Scrooge" Christmas if Congress does not pass legislation extending tax cuts for 98% of Americans.

The visit and speech was part of Obama's campaign-like push to curry public support for his plan to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and the automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would come with it.

"Let's get that done," Obama said of approving tax cuts for most Americans, while letting rates for the top 2% go up. "Let's go ahead and take the fear out for the vast majority of American families so they don't have to worry about $2,000 coming out of their pockets next year."

In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, raised alarms about an impasse a month before the fiscal cliff would set in, to the detriment of the nation's fragile economic recovery, many economists warn.

Boehner: 'There's a stalemate'

"There's a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves," Boehner said.

With little evidence of a breakthrough, Obama has tried to amp up pressure on Republicans by making his pitch public. The Rodon Manufacturing Group plant in Hatfield that he visited makes K'Nex toys, which Obama jokingly offered to members of Congress who make his "nice" list.

Not on that list are many House Republicans.

The Democratic-controlled Senate has already passed legislation calling for the extension of tax cuts for all but the most wealthy Americans, but the matter has not come up for a vote in the House.

Republicans who control that chamber, many of whom oppose any tax rate increases, have insisted the tax-cut extensions apply to all Americans and balked at considering separately the tax cut that applies to 98% of Americans. Obama says House Republicans are holding "hostage" something that would help the vast majority of the country to protect the wealthy few.

"That doesn't make sense," the president said, urging Americans to flood House Republicans with calls, letters and social networking messages.

Addressing the tax-cut extension for lower- and middle-class families is the most urgent "ticking clock" among the provisions in the "fiscal cliff" package of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect January 1 if lawmakers and the administration can't reach a compromise, Obama said.

Without the cut, the administration has argued many Americans could pull back on purchasing during the crucial holiday shopping season.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed Obama's sentiments, saying the election and polls show public support for extending the "middle class" tax cut while raising rates for the wealthiest.

She and her caucus are ready to solicit the support of some Republicans in amassing 218 signatures to bring the Senate tax-cut extension bill up for a vote next week.

"I think we would get 100 percent vote on it if it came to the floor," the California Democrat said Friday.

The remarks came a day after the Obama administration unveiled details of a comprehensive package, widely rejected by Republicans, to avert the fiscal cliff.

The president's proposal calls for $1.6 trillion in increased revenue, some of it the result of higher tax rates for families making more than $250,000.

Obama also wants to close loopholes, limit deductions, raise the estate tax rate to 2009 levels and increase taxes on capital gains and dividend taxes.

The proposal also calls for additional spending, including a new $50 billion stimulus package, a home mortgage refinancing plan and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. It would also extend the payroll tax cut passed early in Obama's administration to give taxpayers more money to spend.

In return, multiple sources told CNN that Obama is offering $400 billion in new cuts to Medicare and other entitlement programs. Specifics on cuts would be decided next year, the sources said.

Boehner characterized Obama's proposal for spending cuts as a trifle, calling for "a little, not even $400 billion" in cuts to the $3.8 trillion federal budget.

"It was not a serious proposal," he said.

Republican aides also said the $1.6 trillion in increased revenue was higher than previously discussed. Democrats said the number should not be a surprise, as Obama discussed it during his re-election campaign. On the campaign trail, the president also repeatedly said the wealthiest Americans should pay more than they do now to help lower the national debt.

Longer term, analysts and the Congressional Budget Office have said that going and staying over the fiscal cliff -- meaning the tax hikes for all and spending cuts aren't pulled back -- would threaten millions of jobs, especially those dependent on government contracting, and risk a return to recession.

Wall Street and big businesses are lobbying the administration and lawmakers to reach a deal. Investors have been grappling with the uncertainty over the prospect of higher taxes and damaged consumer confidence caused by political gridlock over deficits and the debt.

CNN's Jessica Yellin, Deirdre Walsh, Ted Barrett, Kate Bolduan, Paul Steinhauser and Dan Lothian contributed to this report.

Tennis ump's murder charge dropped

  • Charges are dismissed against a woman suspected of murdering her husband
  • Suspect Lois Goodman is a tennis umpire who had worked the U.S. Open
  • The prosecutor's office says the case was dropped because of "additional information"
  • Goodman's attorney said earlier in November that his client's husband died in an accident

Los Angeles (CNN) -- New evidence has persuaded Los Angeles County prosecutors to drop murder charges against a U.S. Open tennis umpire.

Lois Goodman, 70, had been accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband, Alan, with a coffee mug, and then fatally stabbing him with the broken mug's shards at their California home in April.

"We received additional information regarding the case," Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Friday. "Based upon this information, we announced that we are unable to proceed with the case at this time. The court granted our request to dismiss the case without prejudice."

The district attorney and police are still investigating the case, and "will not make any further statements that might compromise that investigation," Gibbons added.

Police arrested Lois Goodman in New York in August as she was preparing for the U.S. Open tournament. Her preliminary court hearing had been scheduled for December 7 by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Jessica Silvers.

On November 8, Mrs. Goodman's lawyer, Robert Sheahen, maintained his client's husband died "an accidental death," and volunteered to let prosecutors check out Goodman's property.

"It is not something we would be doing if we had anything to hide," he said at the time. "We don't feel we have anything to hide, and we want them to be able to come out and actually look at the scene so that they can see the scene consistent with the way we view it."

In August, the assistant chief Los Angeles County coroner said Alan Goodman's death was no accident. "Mr. Goodman had injuries that were not, as reported, from a possible fall, and we did an autopsy, and it was determined that he died at the hand of another," Ed Winter said.

The prosecutor had claimed on November 8 that the state had a "strong circumstantial case" against Lois Goodman.

What's driving Egypt's unrest?

  • Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets to protest a presidential edict
  • The decree gave the president unchecked power until a new constitution was drafted
  • President Morsy has been locked in a power struggle with factions of the old regime
  • The hurried completion of a draft for a new constitution may provide a solution

(CNN) -- In scenes reminiscent of the mass demonstrations that brought about the downfall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, thousands of protestors have turned out in Cairo's Tahrir Square over the past week.

What is the behind the latest unrest?

The protests have been sparked by a November 22 presidential decree issued by President Mohamed Morsy -- the first freely elected leader of this country of 83 million, the most populous Arab nation -- which prevented any court from overturning his decisions until a new, post-Mubarak constitution was ready. The ruling has essentially given him unchecked power.

What was Morsy's rationale?

Insisting the order is temporary - it will last only until a new constitution was drafted - Morsy claimed the move was intended to safeguard the revolution. He also gave an assurance his decree would only apply to "sovereign" matters.

In particular, Morsy said, the edict was aimed at preventing interference from the courts in the work of Egypt's constituent assembly, currently drafting a new constitution. The judges, many of whom were appointed during the reign of his predecessor Mubarak, are widely viewed as hostile to the Islamists who now dominate the assembly that has been charged with framing a new constitution.

The move, which has concentrated power in the hands of the executive, is a continuation of the power struggles between Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood - the Islamist movement which is Egypt's most powerful political force and won nearly half the seats in parliamentary elections -- and the remnants of the military-dominated establishment of the Mubarak years.

In June, just weeks before Morsy's election, Egypt's military leaders declared parliament invalid and dissolved the body, a ruling which was upheld by Egypt's highest court in September. After his election, Morsy defied the military leader by calling parliament into session. Morsy's edict ruled out the possibility of repeat interference.

In August, the president moved against the military leadership, sending into retirement Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi - who, as Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, had acted the country's de facto ruler in the wake of Mubarak's ouster and prior to Morsy's election.

What has been the response?

Morsy's decree has sharply divided Egyptians. While the Muslim Brotherhood is standing by their man, calling a rally to show support, many other Egyptians have seen the order as an alarming power grab - and a lurch back towards an authoritarian style of leadership the country has only recently overthrown.

Left-leaning and liberal Egyptians -- who had played a large part in the revolution but were sidelined by the success of Islamists in subsequent elections -- made up a large component of the protestors in Tahrir Square. Many of their chants have accused Morsy, the first democratically elected president, of becoming a "new pharaoh" and a "dictator."

Many of the original grievances behind the revolution were derived from questions around extreme inequality and corruption. Those issues have not been addressed.
Laleh Khalili, School of Oriental and African Studies

"In some ways, the liberal and left-wing forces are trying to stake a claim to the revolution again through the protests," Laleh Khalili, a reader in politics at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, told CNN.

The demonstrators, who have been calling on Morsy to rescind the edict or resign, also included those sympathetic to the military and the old regime, she said.

How did it come about?

Morsy issued his edict the day after the November 21 cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which he had played a central role in brokering. Khalili said that, buoyed with newfound political capital from his successful foray on the international stage, the Egyptian president may have miscalculated, underestimating the level of outrage his actions would provoke.

The anger on the streets, she said, also reflected a level of public dissatisfaction with progress made since the revolution in addressing issues of poverty and inequality in a country with an unemployment rate of more than 12%, a median age of about 24 years and a per capita GDP of $6500.

"Many of the original grievances behind the revolution were derived from questions around extreme inequality and corruption," she said. "Those issues have not been addressed."

The protests represented "a perfect storm of many grievances coming to the fore," she said, and it was not clear how it would play out. "It's a fundamental challenge to the legitimacy of the regime."

What else was in the declaration?

Other aspects of Morsy's edict are likely to prove popular with many of those who have taken to the streets against him. In his decree, Morsy also announced that all deaths and violence connected to the uprising against Mubarak would be reinvestigated, with those responsible retried if necessary.

This raised the possibility that Mubarak, currently serving a life prison term, could be reprosecuted, along with a number of regime figures who were previously acquitted.

Some Egyptians have expressed disappointment that security forces and officials have escaped punishment over last year's violent crackdown on protestors.

This could be a way for him to get out of this debacle without reversing his decree
Aly Hassan, judicial analyst

Morsy also sacked the prosecutor-general in his declaration, and extended the timeline for drafting the constitution by two months.

But while those resolutions may be welcomed by many, the unilateral manner in which Morsy has gone about expanding his powers has alarmed many.

"It's the way he's doing it that has gotten people upset, because it reminds them of the way Mubarak used to govern," Peter Jones, a Middle East expert at the University of Ottawa, told CNN.

According to reports, one popular slogan during the current protests has been "Morsy is Mubarak."

If Morsy's new powers are only temporary, why the outrage?

Firstly, there is no guarantee that Morsy will relinquish power as promised.

Secondly, even if Morsy rescinds the decree after the constitution is finalized, protesters fear that he will have used the edict to hijack the process of drafting the new constitution, producing a document that reflects his Islamist vision and consolidates his power in the new Egypt.

Liberal, left-wing and Christian members of assembly have boycotted the body over concerns that Islamists are dominating the process.

"By the time you get that new constitution, it will have been written by an Islamist-dominated assembly that all non-Islamists have completely abandoned, and the new parliamentary elections will likely exclude members of the former ruling party who posed the greatest threat to his authority," Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told CNN.

What is happening with the constitution now?

Despite the extended deadline to complete the framing of the constitution, the assembly charged with crafting the document rushed to produce a finalized draft on Friday, after a marathon 21-hour negotiation session through the night.

The 234-article draft will go before the public for a vote within 15 days; if it passes the referendum, Morsy says the decrees would be lifted.

Some critics have seen the move as a successful attempt by Islamists to "hijack" the constitution. Others see the hurried drafting of the document as a strategy to defuse the crisis: The passing of a new constitution could bring an end to Morsy's new provisions without requiring him to back down.

"This could be a way for him to get out of this debacle without reversing his decree and decisions," Aly Hassan, a judicial analyst affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, told CNN.

What does the drafted constitution say?

The draft constitution maintains the principles of sharia as the main source of legislation - a position unchanged from the constitution under Mubarak.

But critics fear it could lead to excessive restrictions on certain rights.

"There aren't really any protections for women," Heba Morayef, the Egypt director for Human Rights Watch, told CNN.

Mustapha Kamel Sayed, a Cairo University professor, told CNN the old constitution was better, "as far as rights are concerned."

But others have welcomed the completion of the draft, as a way out of the current impasse.

"The draft constitution will end the state of political division, because it will cancel the constitutional decrees that the president issued," Dawood Basil, a Cairo University constitutional law expert told CNN.

"I feel overwhelming joy after hearing the final wording of the articles."

Charges dropped in coffee cup murder case

Andrew Burton / Reuters file

Former tennis official Lois Ann Goodman is led away from the Manhattan Criminal Court on Aug. 23.

By Jason Kandel, NBCLosAngeles.com

The case against a tennis umpire accused of bludgeoning to death her husband has been dismissed, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Friday.

The announcement came during a preliminary hearing for Lois Goodman, 70.

She was accused of stabbing her former husband of nearly 50 years, Alan Goodman, using a coffee mug as an improvised knife, prosecutors said.

"The District Attorney's Office asked the court to calendar this matter today because we received additional information regarding the case," said Los Angeles County District Attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. "Based upon this information, we announced that we are unable to proceed with the case at this time.

"The court granted our request to dismiss the case without prejudice."

Gibbons declined further comment, saying "because there is an ongoing police and district attorney's investigation, we will not make any further statements that might compromise that investigation."

Alan Goodman's bloodied body was found in their Woodland Hills home on April 17. Officers ruled the death suspicious, because they initially couldn't determine if foul play was involved, according to an LAPD press release.

But after launching a full homicide investigation and working closely with the L.A. County Coroner's Office, detectives determined on Aug. 2 that Alan Goodman was killed, and they named his wife as the prime suspect, the LAPD said.

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Goodman was arrested on Aug. 21 in New York, where she was set to work as a line judge at the U.S. Open. She has pleaded not guilty to murder and remains under house arrest.

Veteran tennis official Lois Ann Goodman, 70, was scheduled to work the U.S. Open currently underway in New York but is instead home in California, out on bail after being charged with murdering her husband last April. NBC's Mike Taibbi reports.

Goodman's attorneys claim the police botched the investigation and argued that Goodman was not physically capable of committing the slaying. They also said that her DNA was not found on the coffee mug and that she passed a lie detector test.

A website and a Facebook page were set up to raise bail for Goodman. Family members praised Goodman in court records, arguing for her bail.

In a character reference letter in support of a motion to reduce Goodman's bail on Aug. 28, Goodman's youngest daughter, Allison Goodman Rogers of San Diego, wrote that her mother "is the most honest, loving, kind, generous, funny and trustworthy person you could ever meet."

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Goodman Rogers wrote that she was raised in a "normal Jewish family" in the San Fernando Valley and looked up to her parents as role models. She believes the death was an accident.

"She would do anything for anyone," Goodman Rogers wrote in court documents. "Happily married to my father just shy of 50 years, there was never once a foul word between the two of them. There was never once any sort of violence between the two of them.

"For her to even be accused of something like murdering my father is ludicrous! It's simply not possible."

Goodman's eldest daughter, Joan Goodman, 48, of Glendale, wrote about fond memories of family trips to Palm Springs every other weekend. They went cherry picking and visited arts festivals in Laguna Beach.

Joan Goodman wrote that her mother was not physically capable of such an act. She said her mother had many ailments, including a hearing aid, arthritis, two knee replacements, a shoulder replacement and back issues.

"My parents were adorable together," Joan Goodman wrote in court documents. "He was the yin to her yang. They were united in all their decisions."

100 'AK-style' rifles stolen from Atlanta boxcar

By Jeff Martin, The Associated Press

Federal authorities were hunting Friday for more than 100 rifles stolen from a boxcar parked in an Atlanta train yard.

The weapons were taken from a CSX rail yard on the city's northwest side in mid-November, said Richard Coes, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The weapons include assault rifles that Coes described as "AK-style." He declined to discuss other aspects of the case. 

Gary Sease, a spokesman for rail line CSX Corp., said the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company is cooperating with law enforcement to recover the weapons and investigate the theft. 

The rifles were stolen on or around Nov. 12, authorities said. The boxcar was parked at the CSX Tilford Yard about four miles northwest of downtown Atlanta. 

The Tilford Yard is one of the company's major rail yards in Georgia, according to the company's website. 

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© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bandits kidnap 20 Iraq army recruits

  • Kidnappers surround bus in SUVs, abduct 20 New Iraqi Army recruits
  • The kidnapped men are mostly Sunnis from Mosul, heading to Baghdad for administrative work
  • Iraqi security forces are looking for the abducted men

Baghdad (CNN) -- In a brazen afternoon ambush, gunmen snatched 20 young New Iraqi Army recruits on Friday, Iraqi police told CNN.

The abducted men, mostly Sunnis from Mosul, were traveling in a bus from Mosul to Baghdad to finish their paperwork, medical tests and security checks, according to police.

After the bus stopped for lunch on a highway near Baiji, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Baghdad, at least six SUVs carrying more than 15 gunmen surrounded the bus and forced the driver to head for an unknown location, police said.

Iraqi security forces were searching nearby areas for the missing men.

50 Grades of Grey: Harvard approves BDSM club

University of Chicago

A poster promotes the Nov. 1 meeting of RACK, the BDSM club at the University of Chicago. Click the image for the full-size version.

By M. Alex Johnson, NBC News

It's a club where you might, in fact, use a club: Harvard University has joined the small but growing roster of U.S. colleges that have approved official student organizations devoted to kinky sex.

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Harvard administrators were to formally approve the group, Harvard College Munch, on Friday, The Harvard Crimson reported. The recognition means the group, which has grown to 30 members since its informal founding earlier this year, can officially meet on campus to discuss issues related to the bondage-discipline, dominant-submission, and sadism-masochism communities, known collectively as BDSM.

More important, its founder told the newspaper, speaking under the pseudonym "Michael," is that the move bestows "the fact of legitimacy."

While Harvard's club drew widespread attention this week, it's far from the only BDSM club officially recognized by, or at least tolerated at, U.S. colleges.

At the University of Minnesota, Kinky U is Student Organization No. 2370. It meets weekly — after office hours "for maximum safety and confidentiality" — to discuss "topics related to kink and the kinky community."

At Tufts University in Medford, Mass., Tufts Kink started meeting this semester.

"I think there's a number of students who feel sort of isolated and alienated, and I think it's very powerful for them to have just a place where they can express themselves and a place where they can make friends," co-founder Anschel Schaffer-Cohen told The Tufts Daily.

There's no national registry of campus BDSM groups, but consensus is that the oldest is at Columbia University, in New York, where Conversio Virium meets on campus every Monday night at 9.

"Conversio virium" is Latin for "conversion of forces," and the group says it dedicates itself to 'the full exploration of BDSM, both in its sexual and spiritual aspects."

"We encourage acceptance and communication between members," its charter says. "We urge them to learn from each other's play styles and experiences and to set aside any assumptions they may have about who people are and what they do." 

Actual sex isn't allowed at such on-campus gatherings, which usually host discussions or the occasional live demonstration of safe and consensual kinky sex.

The point is to "raise general awareness of kink and to promote acceptance and understanding of BDSM," according to the bylaws of Risk-Aware Consensual Kink, or RACK, at the University of Chicago.

RACK is an intellectual group, it says, not a play group. It provides "resources to students who are interested in or curious about BDSM" and demonstrations that "give students an opportunity to learn from experienced members of the BDSM community about safely practicing kink."

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3 dead after bow-and-arrow attack at Wyo. college

Casper College

Casper College posted this alert Friday, Nov. 30, ordering students, faculty and staff to stay away from the campus.

By NBC News staff

New in this version: Police say three dead, one of them off-campus

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET: Three people were killed Friday in an attack involving a bow and arrow-type weapon at Casper College in Casper, Wyo., police and college officials said.

The attack occurred before 9 a.m. (7 a.m. ET) at the physical science center, said Rich Fujita, a spokesman for the college. Police indicated that the weapon on campus was a "bow and arrow type," Fujita told NBC News.

Police told NBC station KCWY of Casper that two of the bodies were found on campus. One appeared to be a male faculty member, and the other appeared to be of "student age," Fujita said. The third body was found off campus.

The campus was locked down temporarily while police checked for other suspects, but the lockdown was later lifted. An alert on the community college's website said that all classes and activities had been canceled and that counselors were being provided for the colleges faculty, students and staff.

Casper College is a two-year community college of 4,400 students in Wyoming's second-largest city.

The school has a small security team on campus, but they're not armed.  

"It's such a small town that Casper police is very close," Fujita said.

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Bow and arrow attack kills 1 at Wyoming college

By NBC News staff

One person was killed and another seriously wounded Friday in an attack with a bow and arrow-type weapon on the campus of Casper College in Casper, Wyo., a college spokesman told NBC News.

The attack occurred before 9 a.m. local time at the physical science center on campus, according to Casper College's Rich Fujita.

He said police found a male faculty member dead and a second person seriously injured. That person was taken into custody and may be a suspect. 

Police indicated the weapon was a "bow and arrow type," Fujita said.

The campus was locked down temporarily while police checked for any other suspects, but the lockdown was later lifted. An alert on the community college's website said all classes and activities had been canceled.

Casper College is a two-year community college of 4,400 students in Wyoming's second-largest city.

The school has a small security team on campus, but they're not armed.  

"It's such a small town that Casper police is very close," Fujita said.

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Powerball winners introduced to nation: We're 'stunned'

NBC News

The Hill family of Dearborn, Mo., is introduced at a press conference in Missouri after winning their millions.

By Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

A six-year-old girl from Dearborn, Mo., may get the pony she has dreamed of having, thanks to the record Powerball jackpot that her family just won.

The Hill family of Dearborn, Mo., who won half of the record Powerball jackpot worth $587.5 million, appeared at a press conference on Friday, with six-year-old Jayden clutching a stuffed horse as her parents were handed an oversized check made out for their half of the pot: $293,750,000.

"We're still stunned by what's happened. It's surreal and people keep asking us, 'What are you going to buy with it?' I just want to go home and be back to normal," Cindy Hill, 51, said at the press conference in which she, her husband Mark, and their three adult sons and adopted daughter were introduced to the nation. 

After hearing on Thursday morning that one of the winning tickets was sold in Missouri -- the other was sold in Arizona -- Cindy dropped her daughter Jayden off at school, went to a convenience store for a winning numbers report, and checked her tickets in her car.

Upon seeing that one of the five tickets she bought had the winning combination, Cindy said she headed straight to her mother-in-law's house and asked her to double-check the ticket. Husband Mark, 52,  joined her there to see for himself.

 "You know it's the Show Me State, so he said, 'Show me,'" Cindy said, according to a Missouri Lottery press release.

With the odds of any single ticket winning the jackpot at 1 in 175 million, the Hills said they hardly gave a thought to winning.

"I was just telling my daughter the night before, 'Honey, that probably never happens (people winning),'" Cindy said.

The Hills said they have just begun dreaming of how to spend their $293.7 million share of the pot. Cindy was an office manager until she was laid off in 2010; Mark works as a mechanic for Hillshire Brands, according to the Missouri Lottery.

The couple has three adult sons and a 6-year-old Jayden, who they adopted from China, a friend of theirs, David Troutman, said on TODAY before the couple's identity was confirmed by lottery officials.

Since winning, they have considered adopting again, the lottery press release said. Mark has spoken of getting a red Camaro; they also would like to take their 6-year-old to the beach, since she's never been to one. 

Their daughter also wants a horse, according to Cindy, so "in a couple of years, I'd say yes."

They are looking forward to not working and traveling together as a family using their winnings, she added.

Troutman, a former high school classmate of the winning couple, said they first posted the news on Facebook.

"I was on Facebook and I saw that his wife had posted, 'Thank you God, we won the lottery.' Of course everybody in town, all his friends, gave all thumbs up. It couldn't have happened to a better guy,'' Troutman said.

The Hills are high school sweethearts, he said. In the tiny town of Dearborn -- population, 496 -- their identity didn't stay secret for long. 

"Word spread that he won so fast,'' Troutman said. "I heard that it was a winner from Dearborn, and by the time I walked in the door my mom was on the phone, and she said, 'He won. It was him.' Who knows what the impact will be on Dearborn.''

Dearborn is about 35 miles north of Kansas City, the home of the Royals baseball team.

No one has come forward yet to claim the winning ticket in Arizona, but on Thursday, a mystery man showed up at a gas station in Upper Marlboro, Md., claiming to hold the big winner.

Surveillance video showed a man in a yellow construction suit slowly amble up to the counter, where he pulled out some lottery tickets. After confirming that the numbers on one of the tickets matched, he can be seen in the video repeatedly pumping his fists. It's unclear what the man was doing in Maryland with a ticket ostensibly from Arizona.

NBC's Kerry Sanders reports from Dearborn, Mo., where the town is celebrating one family's luck of winning half the record Powerball jackpot. A family friend of the couple, expected to be named by lottery officials Friday, tells TODAY's Savannah Guthrie "it couldn't have happened to a better guy."

Dad's mean letter to kids goes viral

Should parents confide their disappointment in their children? Dr. Gail Saltz says honesty is necessary to a degree.
Should parents confide their disappointment in their children? Dr. Gail Saltz says honesty is necessary to a degree.
  • Father Nick Crews wrote a scathing e-mail to his children about their failings
  • When the e-mail became public, many people praised Crews for his bravery and honesty
  • Others said he was too harsh and a parent should never speak to children so viciously
  • CNN's Ronni Berke said that though the letter was harsh, parents could learn from it

(CNN) -- They're calling it the "Crews missile."

Fired from the keyboard of 67-year-old Nick Crews, the missive blew the lid off his dysfunctional family.

In an e-mail titled "Dear All Three," published in U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, Crews excoriates his three grown children for their professional and personal failures and for the "bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out" to him and his wife.

Crews, a retired British naval officer, was fed up with his children's unsuccessful marriages and inability to earn a living that, as he said, measures up to their potential.

"I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children's underachievement and domestic ineptitudes."

In the e-mail, made public with his permission by his daughter Emily, Crews describes his concern for his grandchildren.

"It makes us weak that so many of these events are copulation-driven and then helplessly to see these lovely people being so woefully let down by you, their parents."

And then this ultimatum: "I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement or a REALISTIC plan for the support and happiness of your children to tell me about."

Whoa. This is beyond disappointment. This sounds just plain mean.

Yet, the story, and support for Crews, has gone viral. It "struck a cord," wrote Telegraph reporter Cristina Odone.

Sure, what parent doesn't fear raising a bum? But as the mother of two young adult children, I had to wonder whether a withering e-mail attack was the best way to go about getting the kids to shape up.

I asked Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, whether the former submarine captain took the right tack.

For a parent fed up with his child's behavior, "It can be useful to do something shocking to get someone to take it to heart," said Saltz. But, she added, one must pave the way long before the children became adults, with a warm, communicative relationship.

Although two of his children haven't spoken to him since receiving the note, "Crews has been swamped with encouraging messages," writes Odone. Many are applauding Crews for "telling it like it is."

But does he? In the e-mail, he alludes to his own mistakes: "Having done our best, probably misguidedly, to provide for our children..." He describes his envy when hearing his friends brag about their children, and seems deeply wounded by the fact that his children don't consult him or his wife before making life decisions.

Perhaps he played a larger role than he would admit, or even knows, in how his children turned out. He did acknowledge to Odone that due to his naval career, he was pretty much an absentee father.

The Crews story may sound frighteningly familiar to baby boomer parents.

In the wake of the Great Recession, many parents have resigned themselves to the fact that their college-graduate children may not be moving out anytime soon and may not even have a job.

A U.S. 2010 policy brief sponsored by Brown University showed that 43% of those under 25 live with their parents, up from 32% in 1980.

But is the economy alone to blame for what I fondly call "Deadbeat Kid Syndrome?"

"Not everything is parenting and not everything is biology," said Saltz. "There's a combination here." And sometimes, she added, families just have bad luck.

Saltz said although Crews obviously loves his children, "he ended up missing the mark" with the e-mail.

Still, the fact that so many are rallying to his defense can be a positive thing, Saltz said, especially in a world full of "overly indulgent parents," who aren't teaching children life skills.

Everyone's tweeting and boasting about their kids' successes, but missing an important point, failure is important too.

"If you don't teach your kids any resilience, you fail them out of everything," Saltz said. "They need to fall down, say I fell down before but got back up, and I know I can do that."

I'm guilty of this sort of thing. Growing up, I never once called my mother at work. Yet I allowed my own kids to call me all the time. It just took that much longer to wean them off the "workday quickie advice call." Perhaps I should have let them figure out mundane daily jams on their own.

Many parents have blinders on. If you don't want your kids to end up with an entitled attitude, why lambast their teachers for giving them bad grades, which they likely deserve, or for failing them for cheating?

Timothy Law Snyder is vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland and lectures nationally about generational differences. Snyder says some parents blame the school or the professor, rather than the student, for bad grades, even when their child is caught plagiarizing.

"It's at its worst when the parent is living through their child," he said. "The parents' successes, even life accomplishments, are identified entirely with those of their child."

"It used to be parents would go to the school and care that (their) kid has a moral compass and understands right and wrong," Saltz said. Nowadays, the concept of right and wrong isn't as clear. "They're more concerned that the kid gets an A than be a kind person, a moral person."

Saltz said parents are under pressure for things to look good and feel good. "They love their children. .... But they've got tunnel vision."

Case in point: when everyone who plays soccer gets a trophy no matter how well, or poorly, they've played.

"Children come out and experience nothing but success, not necessarily done by them but enabled by their parents, intervening all the time," Saltz said.

Such intervention also creates a shortcut to adulthood, and that's not a good thing. Nor is having too many choices too soon.

Take the beauty salon. How young is too young for a manicure? In my salon, there's a 4-year-old girl who's been getting "mani-peds" for two years. She loves the pedicure bath," the manicurist told me. What happens to that little girl when she grows up and can't afford manicures?

And think, does your 6-year-old really need a cellphone?

As for the Crews saga, Saltz said she hopes it makes a lot of people think about being more honest with their children.

"Someday they'll have to frustrate their child, disappoint their child, point out their child's mistakes. By doing those things earlier rather than later, they'll help their children to be better people."

Would you write a letter like Crews' to your children? Do you think such a message would be effective in changing behavior? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

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