All posts by CNN.com - Top Stories

Can talks end Hong Kong stalemate?

  • Student leaders will meet with Hong Kong government representatives on Tuesday evening
  • It's the first time the two sides have met since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets
  • Talks best chance for peaceful end to protests that have convulsed the city
  • However, few expect major concessions.

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Student leaders will meet with Hong Kong government representatives Tuesday, the first time the two sides have met since pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of the city more than three weeks ago.

But while the talks present the best chance for a peaceful resolution to the chaotic demonstrations that have convulsed the city and divided its residents, they are unlikely to yield major concessions given that the government and protest leaders remain poles apart.

"The start of talks is not an end in itself," said Anson Chan, a former senior government official.

"Only the government can break the current impasse. It must show the leadership that has been totally lacking in the past three weeks, by coming to the table with proposals that offer genuine and substantial reform."

Police and protesters face each other across a barricade as tensions continue in in Hong Kong on Monday, October 20. Pro-democracy demonstrators are angry about China's decision to allow only Beijing-vetted candidates to run in Hong Kong's elections for chief executive in 2017.Police and protesters face each other across a barricade as tensions continue in in Hong Kong on Monday, October 20. Pro-democracy demonstrators are angry about China's decision to allow only Beijing-vetted candidates to run in Hong Kong's elections for chief executive in 2017.
Riot police advance on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, October 19.Riot police advance on a pro-democracy protest encampment in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong early Sunday, October 19.
A woman reads on a road barricaded by pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on October 19.A woman reads on a road barricaded by pro-democracy protesters in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on October 19.
Police officers yell at pro-democracy protesters as they push forward in an attempt to clear a street in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Saturday, October 18.Police officers yell at pro-democracy protesters as they push forward in an attempt to clear a street in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Saturday, October 18.
Pro-democracy protesters sleep next to a barricade on October 18 after reclaiming streets in Mong Kok after a night of violent scuffles with police.Pro-democracy protesters sleep next to a barricade on October 18 after reclaiming streets in Mong Kok after a night of violent scuffles with police.
A Hong Kong journalist collapses in agony after being hit in the face with pepper spray during clashes with police on Friday, October 17. A Hong Kong journalist collapses in agony after being hit in the face with pepper spray during clashes with police on Friday, October 17.
Police use batons to hit pro-democracy protesters using raised umbrellas for protection during a clash on October 17. Police use batons to hit pro-democracy protesters using raised umbrellas for protection during a clash on October 17.
Protesters and riot police officers face off at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on October 17. Protesters and riot police officers face off at a main road in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong on October 17.
People shout at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Friday, October 17. People shout at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Friday, October 17.
Riot police clear out an encampment of protesters in the Mong Kok district on October 17. Police swooped in early to dismantle the protest campsite.Riot police clear out an encampment of protesters in the Mong Kok district on October 17. Police swooped in early to dismantle the protest campsite.
Demonstrators remove their belongings from a protest camp early October 17.Demonstrators remove their belongings from a protest camp early October 17.
Pro-democracy protesters break down as riot police clear their camp October 17.Pro-democracy protesters break down as riot police clear their camp October 17.
Riot police remove barricades early October 17.Riot police remove barricades early October 17.
Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung arrives for a press conference on Thursday, October 16. He said talks would resume with students as early as next week, but said street protests had caused severe disruption and could not continue.Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung arrives for a press conference on Thursday, October 16. He said talks would resume with students as early as next week, but said street protests had caused severe disruption and could not continue.
Pro-democracy demonstrator Ken Tsang gets taken taken away by police before allegedly being beaten up in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 15. Authorities have vowed to conduct an investigation into a widely circulated video that appears to show plainclothes officers kicking and punching the man. Pro-democracy demonstrator Ken Tsang gets taken taken away by police before allegedly being beaten up in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 15. Authorities have vowed to conduct an investigation into a widely circulated video that appears to show plainclothes officers kicking and punching the man.
A police officer shouts at a protester who was hit with pepper spray on October 15.A police officer shouts at a protester who was hit with pepper spray on October 15.
Pro-democracy protesters hide behind umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray on October 15.Pro-democracy protesters hide behind umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray on October 15.
Protesters move barriers as others block a main road in Hong Kong with metal and plastic safety barriers on October 15.Protesters move barriers as others block a main road in Hong Kong with metal and plastic safety barriers on October 15.
Police march toward pro-democracy protesters outside central government offices in Hong Kong on October 15.Police march toward pro-democracy protesters outside central government offices in Hong Kong on October 15.
Protesters gather near central government offices in Hong Kong on October 15.Protesters gather near central government offices in Hong Kong on October 15.
Police move toward pro-democracy protesters during a standoff outside central government offices in Hong Kong on Tuesday, October 14.Police move toward pro-democracy protesters during a standoff outside central government offices in Hong Kong on Tuesday, October 14.
Police remove bamboo that pro-democracy protesters had set up to block off main roads in Hong Kong on October 14. Police remove bamboo that pro-democracy protesters had set up to block off main roads in Hong Kong on October 14.
Pro-democracy protesters watch as police remove barricades in Hong Kong on October 14.Pro-democracy protesters watch as police remove barricades in Hong Kong on October 14.
Cleaners sweep the main road after the police's removal of barricades on October 14.Cleaners sweep the main road after the police's removal of barricades on October 14.
Police ask a protester to leave the main road of Hong Kong's Central district on October 14.Police ask a protester to leave the main road of Hong Kong's Central district on October 14.
Police dismantle barricades from the streets in Hong Kong on October 14.Police dismantle barricades from the streets in Hong Kong on October 14.
Police officers run to barricades set up by protesters on October 14.Police officers run to barricades set up by protesters on October 14.
Pro-democracy protesters raise their hands behind police officers after people tried to remove the metal barricades that protesters set up to block off main roads near the city's financial district in Hong Kong on Monday, October 13. Pro-democracy protesters raise their hands behind police officers after people tried to remove the metal barricades that protesters set up to block off main roads near the city's financial district in Hong Kong on Monday, October 13.
A police officer tries to stop a man October 13 from removing metal barricades set up by protesters.A police officer tries to stop a man October 13 from removing metal barricades set up by protesters.
A police officer scuffles with a man in Hong Kong on October 13.A police officer scuffles with a man in Hong Kong on October 13.
Police officers arrest a pro-democracy demonstrator in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on October 13.Police officers arrest a pro-democracy demonstrator in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on October 13.
A pro-democracy demonstrator sets up a new barricade made of bamboo in Hong Kong on October 13.A pro-democracy demonstrator sets up a new barricade made of bamboo in Hong Kong on October 13.
Police officers remove barricades used by protesters in Hong Kong on October 13.Police officers remove barricades used by protesters in Hong Kong on October 13.
Taxi drivers protest in Hong Kong on October 13, urging pro-democracy demonstrators to clear the roads.Taxi drivers protest in Hong Kong on October 13, urging pro-democracy demonstrators to clear the roads.
People gather beneath the statue "Umbrella Man," by the Hong Kong artist known as Milk, which has become a symbol at the protest site, on Saturday, October 11, in Hong Kong.People gather beneath the statue "Umbrella Man," by the Hong Kong artist known as Milk, which has become a symbol at the protest site, on Saturday, October 11, in Hong Kong.
Pro-democracy protesters remain scattered at the protest site in Admiralty on Thursday, October 9. The government canceled talks that day after protest leaders urged supporters to keep up the occupation. Pro-democracy protesters remain scattered at the protest site in Admiralty on Thursday, October 9. The government canceled talks that day after protest leaders urged supporters to keep up the occupation.
Taxi drivers attend a small demonstration calling for protesters to stop blocking roads through the city on October 9. Taxi drivers attend a small demonstration calling for protesters to stop blocking roads through the city on October 9.
A woman drinks a soda as she walks past a barricade erected by pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on October 9.A woman drinks a soda as she walks past a barricade erected by pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on October 9.
A pro-democracy protester sleeps on a street in the occupied area surrounding the government complex in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 8. A pro-democracy protester sleeps on a street in the occupied area surrounding the government complex in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 8.
A pro-democracy protester reads a newspaper in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Tuesday, October 7, as a police officer stands nearby.A pro-democracy protester reads a newspaper in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district on Tuesday, October 7, as a police officer stands nearby.
Protesters walk up an empty street inside the protest site near Hong Kong's government complex on October 7.Protesters walk up an empty street inside the protest site near Hong Kong's government complex on October 7.
Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student protest leader, is interviewed at the protest site near government headquarters on Monday, October 6.Joshua Wong, a 17-year-old student protest leader, is interviewed at the protest site near government headquarters on Monday, October 6.
A man walks to work as pro-democracy demonstrators sleep on the road in the occupied areas surrounding the government complex in Hong Kong on October 6.A man walks to work as pro-democracy demonstrators sleep on the road in the occupied areas surrounding the government complex in Hong Kong on October 6.
A ray of sunlight bathes sleeping protesters as they occupy a major highway in Hong Kong on October 6. Protesters say Beijing has gone back on its pledge to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong, which was promised "a high degree of autonomy" when it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.A ray of sunlight bathes sleeping protesters as they occupy a major highway in Hong Kong on October 6. Protesters say Beijing has gone back on its pledge to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong, which was promised "a high degree of autonomy" when it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.
People take an escalator to work as protesters sleep on October 6.People take an escalator to work as protesters sleep on October 6.
The statue "Umbrella Man," by the Hong Kong artist known as Milk, stands at a pro-democracy protest site in the Admiralty district on October 6.The statue "Umbrella Man," by the Hong Kong artist known as Milk, stands at a pro-democracy protest site in the Admiralty district on October 6.
People walk to work on a main road in the occupied areas of Hong Kong on October 6.People walk to work on a main road in the occupied areas of Hong Kong on October 6.
Police officers remove barriers outside government offices in Hong Kong on Sunday, October 5.Police officers remove barriers outside government offices in Hong Kong on Sunday, October 5.
Student protesters carry a barrier to block a street leading to the protest site on October 5.Student protesters carry a barrier to block a street leading to the protest site on October 5.
Pro-democracy demonstrators occupy the streets near government headquarters on October 5. Pro-democracy demonstrators occupy the streets near government headquarters on October 5.
Pro-democracy demonstrators surround police October 5 in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong.Pro-democracy demonstrators surround police October 5 in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong.
A pro-democracy protester holds on to a barrier as he and others defend a barricade from attacks by rival protest groups in the Mong Kok district on Saturday, October 4.A pro-democracy protester holds on to a barrier as he and others defend a barricade from attacks by rival protest groups in the Mong Kok district on Saturday, October 4.
Pro-democracy student protesters pin a man to the ground after an assault during a scuffle with local residents in Mong Kok on October 4. Pro-democracy student protesters pin a man to the ground after an assault during a scuffle with local residents in Mong Kok on October 4.
Pro-democracy protesters raise their arms in a sign of nonviolence as they protect a barricade from rival protest groups in the Mong Kok district on October 4. Pro-democracy protesters raise their arms in a sign of nonviolence as they protect a barricade from rival protest groups in the Mong Kok district on October 4.
A pro-Beijing activist holds up blue ribbons for anti-Occupy Central protestors to collect as pro-government speeches are made in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on October 4.A pro-Beijing activist holds up blue ribbons for anti-Occupy Central protestors to collect as pro-government speeches are made in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on October 4.
A man sits in front of a barricade built by pro-democracy protesters on October 4 in the Kowloon district.A man sits in front of a barricade built by pro-democracy protesters on October 4 in the Kowloon district.
Thousands of pro-democracy activists attend a rally on the streets near government headquarters on October 4 in Hong Kong. Thousands of pro-democracy activists attend a rally on the streets near government headquarters on October 4 in Hong Kong.
A group of men in masks fight with a man who tried to stop them from removing barricades from a pro-democracy protest area in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on Friday, October 3.A group of men in masks fight with a man who tried to stop them from removing barricades from a pro-democracy protest area in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on Friday, October 3.
Police raise hands against protesters as an ambulance tries to leave the compound of the chief executive office in Hong Kong on October 3. Police raise hands against protesters as an ambulance tries to leave the compound of the chief executive office in Hong Kong on October 3.
A protester tries to negotiate with angry residents trying to remove barricades blocking streets in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay on October 3. Large crowds opposed to the pro-democracy movement gathered to clear the area.A protester tries to negotiate with angry residents trying to remove barricades blocking streets in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay on October 3. Large crowds opposed to the pro-democracy movement gathered to clear the area.
Pro-democracy demonstrators protect a barricade from "anti-Occupy" crowds in Hong Kong on October 3. Pro-democracy demonstrators protect a barricade from "anti-Occupy" crowds in Hong Kong on October 3.
A man shouts at a pro-democracy demonstrator on October 3.A man shouts at a pro-democracy demonstrator on October 3.
Police try to pry a man from a fence guarded by pro-democracy demonstrators on October 3.Police try to pry a man from a fence guarded by pro-democracy demonstrators on October 3.
Pro-democracy demonstrators sleep on the street outside a government complex in Hong Kong on Thursday, October 2.Pro-democracy demonstrators sleep on the street outside a government complex in Hong Kong on Thursday, October 2.
As the sun rises, a protester reads during a sit-in blocking the entrance to the chief executive's office on October 2.As the sun rises, a protester reads during a sit-in blocking the entrance to the chief executive's office on October 2.
Yellow ribbons, a symbol of the protests in Hong Kong, are tied to a fence as police and security officers stand guard at the government headquarters on October 2.Yellow ribbons, a symbol of the protests in Hong Kong, are tied to a fence as police and security officers stand guard at the government headquarters on October 2.
Protesters confront police outside the government complex in Hong Kong on October 2.Protesters confront police outside the government complex in Hong Kong on October 2.
Protesters camp out in a street in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 1. Protesters camp out in a street in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 1.
Founder of the student pro-democracy group Scholarism, Joshua Wong, center, stands in silent protest with supporters at the flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong on October 1. Founder of the student pro-democracy group Scholarism, Joshua Wong, center, stands in silent protest with supporters at the flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong on October 1.
Hong Kong's Chief Executive C.Y. Leung attends a flag raising ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China on October 1. Hong Kong's Chief Executive C.Y. Leung attends a flag raising ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China on October 1.
A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters on Wednesday, October 1.A pro-democracy activist shouts slogans on a street near the government headquarters on Wednesday, October 1.
Hong Kong police stand guard outside the flag-raising ceremony October 1.Hong Kong police stand guard outside the flag-raising ceremony October 1.
Pro-democracy demonstrators gather for a third night in Hong Kong on Tuesday, September 30. Pro-democracy demonstrators gather for a third night in Hong Kong on Tuesday, September 30.
Protesters sing songs and wave their cell phones in the air after a massive thunderstorm passed over the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 30.Protesters sing songs and wave their cell phones in the air after a massive thunderstorm passed over the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 30.
Protesters take part in a rally on a street outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 30.Protesters take part in a rally on a street outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 30.
Student activists rest on a road in Hong Kong on September 30, near the government headquarters where pro-democracy activists have gathered.Student activists rest on a road in Hong Kong on September 30, near the government headquarters where pro-democracy activists have gathered.
A pro-democracy demonstrator guards a bus covered with messages of support in Hong Kong on September 30.A pro-democracy demonstrator guards a bus covered with messages of support in Hong Kong on September 30.
Protesters sleep on the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex at sunrise on September 30.Protesters sleep on the streets outside the Hong Kong Government Complex at sunrise on September 30.
Protesters hold up their cell phones in a display of solidarity during a protest outside the Legislative Council headquarters in Hong Kong on Monday, September 29.Protesters hold up their cell phones in a display of solidarity during a protest outside the Legislative Council headquarters in Hong Kong on Monday, September 29.
Protesters put on goggles and wrap themselves in plastic on September 29 after hearing a rumor that police were coming with tear gas.Protesters put on goggles and wrap themselves in plastic on September 29 after hearing a rumor that police were coming with tear gas.
Police officers stand off with protesters next to the Hong Kong police headquarters on September 29.Police officers stand off with protesters next to the Hong Kong police headquarters on September 29.
A man helps protesters use a makeshift ladder to climb over concrete street barricades on September 29.A man helps protesters use a makeshift ladder to climb over concrete street barricades on September 29.
Riot police fire tear gas on student protesters occupying streets around government buildings in Hong Kong on September 29.Riot police fire tear gas on student protesters occupying streets around government buildings in Hong Kong on September 29.
Police officers rest after protests on September 29. Police officers rest after protests on September 29.
Pro-democracy protesters argue with a man, left, who opposes the occupation of Nathan Road in Hong Kong on September 29. Pro-democracy protesters argue with a man, left, who opposes the occupation of Nathan Road in Hong Kong on September 29.
Pro-democracy protesters sit in a road as they face off with local police on September 29.Pro-democracy protesters sit in a road as they face off with local police on September 29.
Pro-democracy protesters rest around empty buses as they block Nathan Road in Hong Kong on September 29. Multiple bus routes have been suspended or diverted.Pro-democracy protesters rest around empty buses as they block Nathan Road in Hong Kong on September 29. Multiple bus routes have been suspended or diverted.
Police walk down a stairwell as demonstrators gather outside government buildings in Hong Kong on September 29.Police walk down a stairwell as demonstrators gather outside government buildings in Hong Kong on September 29.
Stacks of umbrellas are ready for protesters to use as shields against pepper spray on September 29.Stacks of umbrellas are ready for protesters to use as shields against pepper spray on September 29.
Protesters turn the Chinese flag upside-down on September 29 outside a commercial building near the main Occupy Central protest area in Hong Kong.Protesters turn the Chinese flag upside-down on September 29 outside a commercial building near the main Occupy Central protest area in Hong Kong.
Protesters occupy a main road in the Central district of Hong Kong after riot police used tear gas against them on Sunday, September 28.Protesters occupy a main road in the Central district of Hong Kong after riot police used tear gas against them on Sunday, September 28.
Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired during a protest on September 28. There is an "optimal amount of police officers dispersed" around the scene, a Hong Kong police representative said.Demonstrators disperse as tear gas is fired during a protest on September 28. There is an "optimal amount of police officers dispersed" around the scene, a Hong Kong police representative said.
Police use pepper spray and tear gas against demonstrators September 28. The protests, which have seen thousands of students in their teens and 20s take to the streets, swelled in size over the weekend.Police use pepper spray and tear gas against demonstrators September 28. The protests, which have seen thousands of students in their teens and 20s take to the streets, swelled in size over the weekend.
Riot police clash with protesters on September 28. Riot police clash with protesters on September 28.
Police and protesters clash during a tense standoff with thousands of student demonstrators, recently joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, on September 28.Police and protesters clash during a tense standoff with thousands of student demonstrators, recently joined by the like-minded Occupy Central movement, on September 28.
Benny Tai, center, founder of the Occupy Central movement, raises a fist after announcing the group would join the students during a demonstration outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28.Benny Tai, center, founder of the Occupy Central movement, raises a fist after announcing the group would join the students during a demonstration outside government headquarters in Hong Kong on September 28.
Pro-democracy activist and former legislator Martin Lee wears goggles and a mask to protect against pepper spray on September 28.Pro-democracy activist and former legislator Martin Lee wears goggles and a mask to protect against pepper spray on September 28.
A pro-democracy activist shouts at police officers behind a fence with yellow ribbons on September 28. A pro-democracy activist shouts at police officers behind a fence with yellow ribbons on September 28.
A sign for the Hong Kong central government offices has been crossed out with red tape by democracy activists on September 28. A sign for the Hong Kong central government offices has been crossed out with red tape by democracy activists on September 28.
Pro-democracy protesters gather near government headquarters on September 29.Pro-democracy protesters gather near government headquarters on September 29.
Protesters gather during a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Legislative Counsel on September 28 as calls for Beijing to grant the city universal suffrage grow louder and more fractious.Protesters gather during a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Legislative Counsel on September 28 as calls for Beijing to grant the city universal suffrage grow louder and more fractious.
Protesters tie up barricades on September 28 during a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. Protesters tie up barricades on September 28 during a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong.
An injured protester is tended to after clashing with riot police outside Hong Kong government complex on Saturday, September 27. An injured protester is tended to after clashing with riot police outside Hong Kong government complex on Saturday, September 27.
Riot police use pepper spray on pro-democracy activists who forced their way into the Hong Kong government headquarters during a demonstration on September 27.Riot police use pepper spray on pro-democracy activists who forced their way into the Hong Kong government headquarters during a demonstration on September 27.
People watch from on high as pro-democracy demonstrators are surrounded by police after storming a courtyard outside Hong Kong's legislative headquarters on Friday, September 26. People watch from on high as pro-democracy demonstrators are surrounded by police after storming a courtyard outside Hong Kong's legislative headquarters on Friday, September 26.
Students march to Government House in Hong Kong on Thursday, September 25. Students march to Government House in Hong Kong on Thursday, September 25.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
Photos: Hong Kong unrestPhotos: Hong Kong unrest

But this seems unlikely.

What can come out of Hong Kong talks?
Police, protesters clash in Mong Kok
HK protesters retake streets after clash

Beijing unlikely to budge

Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung has said repeatedly that he would not step down -- a key demand of protesters.

Nor, Leung has said, is Beijing unlikely to budge on its prescription for electoral reform in the city and offer the kind of democracy protesters are seeking.

Even the moderator of the talks, Lingnan University President Leonard Cheng, warned not to expect too much:

"I'm not going to speculate at all about whether there will be a resolution," he said on Monday, adding that this would not be the only round of talks.

Five representatives from the Hong Kong Federation of Students including Alex Chow, the group's secretary general, and his deputy Lester Shum will meet with Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's second in command, Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen and three other senior government officials or advisers.

The talks begin at 6 p.m. local time and will be broadcast live from The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in an event that will likely have the city's seven million residents gripped.

Some say they will hold viewing parties and the talks will be live-streamed to crowds on big screens set up in some areas -- including Mong Kok, a busy commercial district that has seen some of the most violent confrontations between demonstrators, police and residents that oppose the protests.

READ: Protests: Who's who?

Poor can't be trusted?

On Monday, Leung offered a controversial defense of Beijing's plan for elections in the financial capital, telling foreign media that an open nomination process would give the city's poorest residents greater influence over the political system.

"You have to take care of all the sectors in Hong Kong as much as you can," he said, according to the New York Times. "And if it's entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you would be talking to half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than $1,800 a month.

"Then you would end up with that kind of politics and policies."

His comments are likely to rankle the protesters and their sympathizers given Hong Kong's yawning wealth gap and a widespread perception that the current system of government is stacked against ordinary citizens.

READ: Police force seen in new light

Wiggle room

One possible concession the government could make to immediately defuse tensions would be to re-open Civil Square -- a fenced off courtyard outside central government headquarters that students stormed at the end of September, triggering the unprecedented protests.

There is also still some possibility of give-and-take on electoral reform, such as allowing more democrats on the nomination committee or by promising to introduce greater democracy in elections slated in 2022.

The framework proposed for the election of the city's next leader in 2017 will allow registered voters to select their leader, although candidates must be approved by a committee that critics say will be stacked with Beijing loyalists and not be representative of Hong Kong.

Currently, the chief executive is elected by a specially-appointed 1,200-member election committee.

However, even if the talks yield concrete concessions, there is no guarantee that the protesters on the streets will go home.

There are several protest groups and it's not always clear who calls the shots or whether Hong Kong's young protesters will listen.

"I would want C.Y. to step down and for the government to show that they are sincere," protester Janice Tung told CNN.

CNN's Esther Pang, Anjali Tsui, Paula Newton, Pamela Boykoff and CNN Money's Charles Riley contributed to this report.

Feds allege AIDS research fraud

  • Federal prosecutors accuse a researcher of falsifying HIV research
  • The NIH awarded Iowa State and the researcher nearly $15 million
  • Watchdog says Iowa State repaid the government about $500,000
  • If found guilty, the researcher faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine

Ames, Iowa (CNN) -- If government prosecutors are right, a former top researcher at Iowa State University is guilty of brazen scientific fraud-actions which a criminal complaint says have cost taxpayers nearly $15 million.

Federal prosecutors accuse Korean-born researcher Dr. Dong Pyou-Han of deliberately falsifying key blood research into a possible vaccine for HIV.

An indictment brought against Han says he falsely showed that rabbits infected with the virus had shown remarkable improvement. That improvement was so advanced that the government's National Institutes of Health awarded Iowa State and Han nearly $15 million in federal research grants.

Prosecutors say the false results actually cleared a first level of back-up testing but fell apart after Han's boss at Iowa State began to get suspicious.

According to the criminal complaint, the false results were secretly given to the NIH as well as a senior scientist at Iowa State after the first publication of the scientific paper. It was then, according to the complaint, that they discovered the rabbit blood was spiked with human antibodies, making it appear the rabbits were developing an immunity to the virus.

A spokesman for Iowa State University, John McCaroll, told CNN that the school's reaction was "disbelief, surprise, shock, disappointment."

In a letter attached to the complaint, and before he entered a plea of not guilty, Han said he was "foolish, coward and not frank." He added, "My misconduct is not done in order to hurt someone."

The U.S. attorney for the southern district of Iowa, Nicholas Kleinfeldt, told CNN that "just because somebody has a PhD, just because someone's involved in the scientific community, doesn't mean they're going to necessarily be treated differently than anyone else who's committed a criminal offense."

As for the roughly $15 million in federal research grants handed out to Han and Iowa State, most of it is gone, spent on salaries and lab gear, the spokesman said. The school did repay about $500,000.

According to Retraction Watch, a group that tracks research fraud, scientists who fake research rarely go to prison and hardly ever are forced to pay taxpayers back for misused grants.

In all, says a prominent scientist, the NIH has given about $58 million in funds to science that turned out to be phony over the past 22 years. Dr. Ferric Fang, a scientist at the University of Washington, added up the numbers but cautioned the real number may be even higher.

As for Han, there was no answer at a Cleveland apartment building where he was believed to be staying until the trial. CNN did reach him on his cell phone, and when asked what happened, time and again he said only two words: "I'm sorry."

If he's found guilty on all the four federal charges against him, prosecutors say he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Monica Lewinsky’s emotional plea

  • Monica Lewinsky said Monday that her new goal was to end cyberbullying.
  • "Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too."
  • Lewinsky joined Twitter on Monday, too, a coordinated effort to step into public life once again.
  • Lewinsky cited the 2010 Tyler Clementi case as the reason she was going public with her cause.

(CNN) -- Monica Lewinsky told an audience in Philadelphia on Monday that her new mission in life was to end cyberbullying. Her speech -- and her goal -- come as the former White House intern steps into the public eye after years of trying to live privately.

"Having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive, too," she told the audience at Forbes' 30 Under 30 summit. "I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past."

Lewinsky, who as an intern in 1995 had an affair with President Bill Clinton, said she was "patient zero" of online harassment.

"There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram back then," she said. "But there were gossip, news and entertainment websites replete with comment sections and emails which could be forwarded. Of course, it was all done on the excruciatingly slow dial up. Yet around the world this story went. A viral phenomenon that, you could argue, was the first moment of truly 'social media'."

Monica Lewinsky embraces U.S. President Bill Clinton at a Democratic fundraiser in Washington in October 1996. Lewinsky, the White House intern who had a sexual relationship with Clinton during his time in office, has finally broken her silence on the affair in a Vanity Fair article.Monica Lewinsky embraces U.S. President Bill Clinton at a Democratic fundraiser in Washington in October 1996. Lewinsky, the White House intern who had a sexual relationship with Clinton during his time in office, has finally broken her silence on the affair in a Vanity Fair article.
Lewinsky sits in a car after meeting with her lawyers in 1998.Lewinsky sits in a car after meeting with her lawyers in 1998.
Lewinsky is escorted by police officers, federal investigators and attorney William Ginsburg, second right, as she leaves the Federal Building in Westwood, California, in 1998. She was there submitting evidence on her relationship with Clinton, who was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was later acquitted.Lewinsky is escorted by police officers, federal investigators and attorney William Ginsburg, second right, as she leaves the Federal Building in Westwood, California, in 1998. She was there submitting evidence on her relationship with Clinton, who was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was later acquitted.
Lewinsky's father, Bernard, hugs her in front of his home in Brentwood, California, in 1998.Lewinsky's father, Bernard, hugs her in front of his home in Brentwood, California, in 1998.
In 1998, Lewinsky arrives at her attorney's office in Washington, where her immunity agreement with independent counsel Kenneth Starr was announced.In 1998, Lewinsky arrives at her attorney's office in Washington, where her immunity agreement with independent counsel Kenneth Starr was announced.
Lewinsky poses for a photo with President Clinton in this image submitted as evidence by Starr's investigation and released by the House Judiciary Committee in September 1998.Lewinsky poses for a photo with President Clinton in this image submitted as evidence by Starr's investigation and released by the House Judiciary Committee in September 1998.
Another image submitted as evidence in September 1998 shows Lewinsky meeting President Clinton at a White House function.Another image submitted as evidence in September 1998 shows Lewinsky meeting President Clinton at a White House function.
Another photograph submitted as evidence shows Lewinsky working in the White House office as President Clinton looks on.Another photograph submitted as evidence shows Lewinsky working in the White House office as President Clinton looks on.
Lewinsky, far left, is seen with President Clinton at the White House.Lewinsky, far left, is seen with President Clinton at the White House.
Lewinsky is pushed in a crowd of reporters after meetings with her attorneys in Washington in 1999.Lewinsky is pushed in a crowd of reporters after meetings with her attorneys in Washington in 1999.
Lewinsky speaks with young fans as she signs copies of her autobiography, "Monica's Story," in 1999.Lewinsky speaks with young fans as she signs copies of her autobiography, "Monica's Story," in 1999.
Lewinsky gestures during her deposition in a video shown during Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.Lewinsky gestures during her deposition in a video shown during Clinton's impeachment trial in 1999.
Lewinsky appears in a "Ladies Man" skit with Tim Meadows on "Saturday Night Live" in 1999.Lewinsky appears in a "Ladies Man" skit with Tim Meadows on "Saturday Night Live" in 1999.
Lewinsky laughs with actor Ian McKellen at the 2002 GQ Men of the Year Awards in New York City.Lewinsky laughs with actor Ian McKellen at the 2002 GQ Men of the Year Awards in New York City.
Lewinsky watches a collection presentation during the 2002 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.Lewinsky watches a collection presentation during the 2002 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
Lewinsky poses for a photo with rapper Cam'ron, left, and businessman Damon Dash in 2002.Lewinsky poses for a photo with rapper Cam'ron, left, and businessman Damon Dash in 2002.
Lewinsky and literary agent Luke Janklow attend a benefit for the American Cancer Society in 2011.Lewinsky and literary agent Luke Janklow attend a benefit for the American Cancer Society in 2011.
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Monica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlightMonica Lewinsky: Life in the spotlight
Monica Lewinsky tweets: #herewego

Lewinsky became emotional when describing the months after her 1998 scandal with the president, when national attention was fixed on her.

"Staring at the computer screen, I spent the day shouting: 'oh my god!' and 'I can't believe they put that in' or 'That's so out of context,'" she said. "And those were the only thoughts that interrupted a relentless mantra in my head: 'I want to die.'"

Lewinsky also recapped her affair with Clinton.

"Sixteen years ago, fresh out of college, a 22 year old intern in the White House -- and more than averagely romantic -- I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year old sort of way. It happens," Lewinsky said. "But my boss was the president of the United States. That probably happens less often. Now I deeply regret it for many reasons, not the least of which is that people were hurt. And that is never okay."

The former White House intern -- who since has received a masters from the London School of Economics and tried her hand as a purse designer -- said the affair was "my everything."

Regrets and insights: 6 major takeaways from Lewinsky's interview

Lewinsky, however, struck a resilient tone, according to Forbes, and focused on what she wants to do going forward: End cyberbullying.

The former White House intern has said in past interviews and essays that she feels a connection with people who have been caught up in online scandals that forever changed their lives.

In a May Vanity Fair piece, where she discussed life after her affair with Clinton, Lewinsky cited the 2010 Tyler Clementi case as the reason she was going public with her cause. Clementi was a freshman at Rutgers who committed suicide after his roommate secretly used a webcam to stream his sexual encounter.

"My own suffering took on a different meaning," Lewinsky wrote about her reaction to the Clementi case. "Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?"

In the piece, Lewinsky said her new goal was to "get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums."

Lewinsky's speech comes on the same day that she joined Twitter, a move that is just the latest step in Lewinsky's re-entry into public life.

Suspects sought in pumpkin melee

  • City officials in Keene, New Hampshire, say at least 30 hurt in melee
  • Police want to find people who threw rocks, bottles
  • Police will seek suspects through social media
  • Disturbance broke out at the city's annual pumpkin festival

(CNN) -- The police department in Keene, New Hampshire, wants to identify and prosecute the people who threw objects at police, overturned a car, set fires and engaged in other "riotous behavior" Saturday and Sunday at the city's annual Pumpkin Festival, the city government said Monday.

The fire department treated 30 people for injuries, mostly those hit by thrown objects, law enforcement authorities said at a news conference.

Dozens arrested at Pumpkin Festival

Full bottles and cans of alcohol and even billiard balls were hurled through the air, police said. People shouted expletives at officers, started fires in the road and flipped over a vehicle, Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meola said. Crowds were so hostile that firefighters had trouble reaching the injured, he said.

Eighty-four people were arrested over the weekend, Meola said, and more arrests are expected.

Police said high school and college students used social media to spread word about the event, held near Keene State College. The school's president, Anne Huot said some outside the community had billed the event "as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior."

Steven French, 18, who was visiting from Haverhill, Massachusetts, described the chaotic scene to the local paper, The Keene Sentinel, as "wicked."

"It's just like a rush. You're revolting from the cops," he told the paper Saturday night. "It's a blast to do things that you're not supposed to do."

Students could be expelled

Many of the suspects are from other New England colleges and the schools will trade information in an attempt to locate the suspects, Huot told reporters.

Besides being charged with crimes, Keene State students could be expelled if they participated, she said.

Police said they'll use social media in trying to locate and identify suspects.

Meola said the problem started about 1 p.m. Saturday when police tried to break up an unruly crowd of about 1,000 people at the festival. Police in riot gear used tear gas and pepper spray to to disperse the group.

A second group of about the same size also started throwing objects at police, he said. The groups eventually moved to another spot where they were partially contained, Meola said. Some of the suspects spilled over onto the campus and damaged property there, he said.

"This went on for approximately eight hours," he said.

"The potential for somebody being seriously injured or killed was there," said Col. Robert Quinn of the New Hampshire State Police.

Police used about 100 pepper balls and finally ran out, Meola said. Officers then resorted to "sponge rounds," which he said were "similar to an extended baton kind of stroke."

Police had problems last year

Keene police called in backup from the New Hampshire State Police and other nearby police forces.

Most of the injured were students.

"I got hit with a Jack Daniel's (whiskey) bottle, like across the face," Keene State student Roger Creekmore told WMUR.

The disturbances started early Saturday afternoon. Bonfires burned into the early hours of Sunday morning on city streets that were littered with broken beer and liquor bottles, video from CNN affiliate WMUR showed.

Police reported problems at last year's pumpkin festival, but not to this extent, Meola said. The Sentinel reported 140 arrests last year.

"This wasn't like a party we had to go break up," he said. "This was out in the public. Nobody organized it. It happened on its own."

Because of the arrests and injuries at past festivals, the community held forums in recent years -- inviting police and emergency room doctors as well as residents -- to explore ways to mitigate the violence, vandalism and littering that come with the celebration.

Town to discuss festival future

Keene Mayor Kendall W. Lane said public forums will be held in December to discuss the future of the Pumpkin Festival. This was the 24th consecutive year it's been held.

Huot said she was encouraged to see many students come out voluntarily Sunday morning to help clean up the debris from the disturbance.

The pumpkin festival is a source of pride for the community of 23,000 people about 80 miles northwest of Boston. Last year, the event set a world record with 30,581 lit jack-o'-lanterns, according to the festival's website.

"It's ridiculous. It's not Pumpkin Fest," Jacob Gowans, another Keene State student, told WMUR. "We're supposed to have a fun weekend. This is stupid."

CNN's Joe Sutton, Jackie Castillo and Ed Payne contributed to this report

Woman gets stuck inside chimney

A woman was rescued after being trapped in a chimney in Thousand Oaks on Sunday.
A woman was rescued after being trapped in a chimney in Thousand Oaks on Sunday.
  • California woman gets stuck inside the chimney of ex-online beau
  • Rescuers dismantled chimney brick by brick to extricate Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa
  • Homeowner: "I hope she gets help and I hope she stays offline"

(CNN) -- The perils of online dating are well-documented. But the mantle of absurdity in dating folklore might now belong to a Los Angeles-area man, and it's for where his online flame turned up: behind his mantel.

Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa had to be rescued over the weekend after becoming stuck inside of the chimney at a home in Thousand Oaks, California.

According to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, neighbors called police shortly before dawn Sunday to report the sound of a woman crying in the area.

When they arrived, they found the source of those cries, and then "carefully dismantled" the chimney brick by brick in order to free the spurned and quite sooty 30-year-old.

Nunez-Figueroa, who was conscious and alert, was taken to a hospital for evaluation and then arrested by the Thousand Oaks Police Department, accused of illegal entry and providing false information.

According to the guy who lives inside, it wasn't the first time Nunez-Figueroa -- whom he'd met online and went on a few dates with -- had been "over" to his house.

"She seemed totally cool until the first flag was her actually being on my roof two weeks ago," the unnamed homeowner told CNN affiliate KTLA.

"I hope she gets help, and I hope she stays offline. But even if she doesn't, people are going to know who she is now," he said before looking directly into KTLA's camera and adding, "you're welcome."

CNN's Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report

Why can’t the Catholic Church change?

  • Bishops bickered throughout a major meeting on Catholic doctrine
  • Pope Francis kept largely silent throughout the debate
  • Catholic teaching is not easy to change

(CNN) -- As Catholic bishops in Rome began a major meeting on modern family life two weeks ago, Pope Francis encouraged them to speak candidly and "without timidness."

He certainly got what he asked for.

Bishops bickered. Conservatives contemplated conspiracy theories. Liberals lamented their colleagues' rigidity.

Through it all, the Pope stayed silent.

Even when a report emerged from the bishops' meeting that welcomed gays and lesbians in strikingly open terms, Francis didn't say a word.

Catholic church changing tone on gays?
Pope Francis indicates talk of inclusion
Cardinal hails language on gays, lesbians

Even when that welcome was watered down, not once, but twice, and then, on Saturday, largely scrapped, the Pope revealed nothing.

By the midpoint of the meeting -- officially called the Synod of the Bishops on Pastoral Challenges to the Family -- conservatives were complaining that Francis had "done a lot of harm" by not making his own views known.

But if Francis had spoken, it would have shut down the very debate he wanted to spark, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, a close ally of the Pope's, told reporters.

"Roma locuta, causa finita," Ravasi said. That's Latin for, "Rome has spoken, the case is closed." (The Pope is the bishop of Rome.)

Finally, as the meeting closed on Saturday afternoon, the Pope addressed the nearly 200 bishops he had summoned to Rome.

In a widely praised speech, he told them the church must find a middle path between showing mercy toward people on the margins and holding tight to church teachings.

What's more, he said, church leaders still have a year to find "concrete solutions" to the problems plaguing modern families -- from war and poverty to hostility toward nontraditional unions. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for next October in Rome.

All of this may raise a few questions in people's minds. If the Pope is the head of the church, why can't he just make changes on his own? Why are so many Catholics resistant to revising church teaching? And what does all of this have to do with Jesus?

Here are some things to keep in mind.

WWJD?

Jesus didn't often talk about practical matters, scholars say, but he did talk about divorce.

"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery," Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew.

That statement may sound reactionary today, said Candida Moss, a scholar of New Testament and early Christianity, but it was actually pretty progressive at the time.

"In a world in which women had to be married to be successful," she said, "being this stringent about divorce actually helped those women." It especially helped women callously discarded by their husbands, which was allowed under Mosaic law, Moss added.

So, when Catholic bishops debate whether to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion -- as they did in Rome over the past two weeks -- many bring up this teaching from Jesus.

If Jesus said it, the logic goes, the church can't change it.

Tradition

The Catholic Church traces its roots to Peter, whom Jesus gave the keys to heaven and who is considered by many to be the first bishop of Rome -- a sort of proto-pope, if you will.

Between then and now, a span of more than 2,000 years, the church has accrued layers upon layers of teachings and traditions. Catholics call this the "deposit of the faith," and many conservatives say the job of modern church leaders is to guard it, not change it.

In fact, as truth -- with a capital T -- some conservatives argue that even the Pope can never change it.

"The Pope, more than anyone else as the pastor of the universal church, is bound to serve the truth," Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading conservative, told Buzzfeed recently.

"The Pope is not free to change the church's teachings with regard to the immorality of homosexual acts or the insolubility of marriage or any other doctrine of the faith."

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, another prominent church leader, suggested that doctrine could change, but only if the Pope called an ecumenical council.

More liberal church leaders argue that core Catholic teachings can evolve over time, as they did, for example, on slavery.

"Doctrine develops," German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said last week. "Saying that doctrine will never change is a restrictive view of things."

In the war of words between conservative and liberal Catholics, the biggest battle is here: what can and cannot change about the church's moral tenets.

The church universal

The Catholic Church has an estimated 1.2 billion members spread across hundreds of countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In many of those countries, ethics, particularly sexual ethics, differ widely.

For instance, in Africa, 75% of Catholics believe that divorced and remarried Catholics are "living in sin" and should not receive Holy Communion. In the United States and Latin America, just 30% agree.

On same-sex marriage, the gulf is just as wide. Africa (99%) and the Philippines (84%) reject same-sex marriage, while a slim majority of Catholics in the United States support it.

The Pope, as head of the whole Catholic Church, has to consider all of his far-flung flock -- not just cater to a particular segment, said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of the book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage."

"While he is interested in being prophetic and moving things forward, you can't move so fast that you lose an entire wing or geographic section of the church."

The old guard

For nearly 35 years, the Catholic Church was led by two popes -- Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI -- who held fast to traditional church teachings, and part of their mission was to appoint hundreds of bishops who share that view.

As a result, conservative bishops hold top positions in many dioceses across the world and in the Vatican itself.

"These are people who have spent a lot of time accruing power and supporters, and they feel very strongly" about the church not changing, Moss said.

Since his election in 2013, though, Francis has slowly but surely reversed that trend.

The Pope has appointed moderates in several big dioceses, including in Chicago earlier this fall, and he's removed some archconservatives from their posts.

Burke, for example, who is something of a hero to traditionalists, confirmed last week that he's been ousted from the Vatican's supreme court.

So, while many liberals expressed disappointment that the bishops' surprising welcome to gays was later retracted, others argue that at least the topic is still on the table for the next year's meeting, when the church will make final decisions on these issues.

Put another way, taking "three steps forward, two back, is still going forward," said Marx.

Judge scolds lawyer with baby in court

  • Judge denies lawyer's request to delay hearing while she was on maternity leave
  • Lawyer brought 4-week-old to hearing, got earful from judge when baby cried
  • Women across the country were outraged the judge did not delay the hearing
  • Women say case shows workplaces don't understand demands of working parents

Editor's note: Kelly Wallace is CNN's digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She is a mom of two girls. Read her other columns and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.

(CNN) -- When I first heard the story about an Atlanta judge who reportedly reprimanded an immigration attorney for bringing her 4-week-old to court for a hearing -- a hearing she asked the judge to reschedule because she was on her six-week maternity leave -- I was outraged like many other working women.

What appears to be a lack of compassion by the judge in question is troubling but sadly not surprising, many women say.

"Hearings are rescheduled all the time for a variety of reasons," said Avital Norman Nathman, editor of the motherhood anthology "The Good Mother Myth" and a mom of a 7-year-old. "To not reschedule a hearing because a lawyer is on maternity leave is appalling and disrespectful toward the attorney on both a professional and personal level."

Valerie Young, who practiced maritime law for more than a decade before becoming a policy analyst with Mom-mentum, formerly known as the National Association of Mothers' Centers, said maternity leave is "generally regarded as a 'vacation' by the profession."

The good ol' days of parenting
Top 5 parenting mistakes

"The judiciary continues to be majority 'pale, male and stale,' like most positions of power and authority in this country," she said. "I heard counsel (usually male) plead trial conflicts, planned vacation and even time off for custodial visits with their kids ('Your honor, I only get them for two weeks every summer') and the court always accommodated those other commitments."

There was plenty of comment, too, about what this story says about the state of maternity leave policies in our country.

READ: Work-life balance is not just a women's issue

"Why is it that the United States is so slow at accepting what so many other countries already know -- that nurturing, caring and being 'present' in the life of a newborn/infant is crucial for development and bonding?" said Louise Sattler, an educational psychologist and owner of a business providing sign language instruction.

But the larger outrage may be in reaction to how immigration Judge J. Dan Pelletier Sr. reportedly scolded Stacy Ehrisman-Mickle for bringing her child to court, when the infant, strapped in a baby carrier, started to cry during the hearing.

Did the judge assume the mom would have chosen to bring her child to a hearing instead of leaving the infant in the care of someone she trusted? Would any woman have truly chosen that option unless she felt she had no other choice?

Sarah McLachlan on parenting, music, sex
Breasts, babies and Jason Biggs

Ehrisman-Mickle's husband, a truck driver, was out of state; she had no family in the area and her child was too young for day care, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She asked her doctor if it would be OK to bring the baby to court and the doctor told her she could as long as she used a baby carrier and did not let anyone touch the baby.

Ironically, Pelletier, after the baby started crying, apparently said her doctor must be furious that she was exposing the baby to so many germs by bringing the child to court.

READ: Are moneymaking moms less happy?

"As for this specific situation, this was a case of 'common sense' not showing up to court," said Sattler. "This mother, who was given purportedly little to no choice, had to compromise the health of her child to appease the inflexible court system."

The story is just one case and certainly does not mean that all employers would have handled the situation the same way. But it does show how far we still need to go to get to a point where workplaces -- from courtrooms to corner offices -- are understanding about the demands of today's working parents and how sometimes it is impossible to truly separate work and family.

Cynthia Lieberman, a social and media strategist who owns and runs a private consulting firm, said that when her kids were younger, she worked in a high-ranking position for a 50-year-old woman who did not have children.

"On one rare occasion when I had a childcare emergency, she sniffed, 'That's why I don't like having women with children work for me,'" said Lieberman, who is also co-founder of Cyberwise.org, a digital literacy site for adults and children.

"Her 'coldness' and discriminatory behavior toward working mothers was a core problem, and I ultimately left a great job for a great company for a more friendly and empathetic environment (and never looked back)," she said.

READ: Microsoft CEO's gender gaffe: Worrisome for women

CNN\'s Kelly Wallace talks to women who were outraged after a judge scolded a lawyer for bringing her baby to court.
CNN's Kelly Wallace talks to women who were outraged after a judge scolded a lawyer for bringing her baby to court.

That said, there are examples of employers who seem to get it.

I remembered an anecdote first lady Michelle Obama likes to share about how she took her then-infant Sasha with her on a job interview with the University of Chicago Medical Center.

She said she was a breastfeeding mother of a 4-month-old who didn't have a babysitter, so she took Sasha with her.

"I thought, look, this is who I am," she told attendees at the White House Working Families Summit held in June. "I've got a husband who's away. I've got two little babies. They are my priority. If you want me to do the job, you've got to pay me to do the job and you've got to give me flexibility."

She ended up getting the job.

Pam Moore, who blogs about motherhood, fitness, home birth and life in Boulder, Colorado, recounted a similar experience. She brought her 4-month-old with her to a work review while still out on maternity leave.

"My supervisor had no problem with it," said Moore, host of the blog Whatevs. "I even nursed her during our conversation when she started to fuss. If my supervisor was shocked or offended, she did not let on."

PHOTOS: Moms, stop all the judgment!

Don't miss out on the conversation we're having at CNN Living. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest stories and tell us what's influencing your life.

Stacey Ferguson, a former practicing attorney and mother of three, said she almost never brought a child to work and would never have done so if she needed to be in court. (She sympathized with Ehrisman-Mickle but thought she should have found a sitter for her baby or at least someone to watch the infant outside the courtroom until the proceedings were over.)

"I fortunately had a workplace that was family friendly and a boss who was understanding in this regard," said Ferguson, who is known as Justice Fergie online and is founder of Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media and co-founder of Blogalicious. She was able to telecommute one day a week and work four days per week toward the end of her tenure at her federal agency.

That level of flexibility isn't available to all parents, but compassion from bosses and colleagues should be a given in the workplace.

Have you ever been reprimanded for bringing your child to work? Tell Kelly Wallace on Twitter or CNN Living on Facebook.

Pistorius’ sister: ‘I know his fears’

  • Oscar Pistorius is set to be sentenced on Tuesday
  • CNN spoke with his brother and sister
  • Whatever the sentence, their lives have changed permanently, they said

Johannesburg (CNN) -- On the eve of Oscar Pistorius' sentencing, some of his biggest supporters -- his siblings -- told CNN that the lives of everyone close to the trial have already been changed forever, no matter the outcome.

Pistorius, 27, is due to be sentenced Tuesday for culpable homicide and one weapons-related charge in connection with his fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

"No one who's been close to the situation can just overcome it," Aimee Pistorius said. "It's something my brother will carry with him forever and ... regardless of what's happening now it's just a certain phase in a journey that will never end."

Aimee Pistorius was in the courtroom throughout the trial, and the first to come over and console her brother during breaks in the proceedings. She has also been quiet about the case, declining to speak to the media until now.

As the defense attorneys have argued, she said there is no reason to doubt that her brother believed an intruder was in the bathroom who posed a risk to him and Steenkamp when he fired shots through the toilet door.

Pistorius sentencing may lead to appeal
Reeva's cousin: Pistorius needs to pay
Pistorius judge stern yet compassionate
Oscar Pistorius gestures as he leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Monday, October 13. Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics, faces sentencing this week for the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. A judge cleared Pistorius of premeditated murder last month, but he was found guilty of culpable homicide -- the South African term for unintentionally, but unlawfully, killing a person.Oscar Pistorius gestures as he leaves the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, on Monday, October 13. Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics, faces sentencing this week for the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. A judge cleared Pistorius of premeditated murder last month, but he was found guilty of culpable homicide -- the South African term for unintentionally, but unlawfully, killing a person.
Pistorius speaks with his uncle Arnold Pistorius during his trial at the Pretoria High Court on Friday, September 12.Pistorius speaks with his uncle Arnold Pistorius during his trial at the Pretoria High Court on Friday, September 12.
Pistorius cries on the stand in Pretoria on Thursday, September 11, as the judge reads notes while delivering her verdict.Pistorius cries on the stand in Pretoria on Thursday, September 11, as the judge reads notes while delivering her verdict.
Pistorius arrives at court on September 11.Pistorius arrives at court on September 11.
Pistorius speaks to someone in court as his murder trial resumes in Pretoria on Thursday, August 7.Pistorius speaks to someone in court as his murder trial resumes in Pretoria on Thursday, August 7.
Pistorius sits in court in Pretoria on Tuesday, July 8.Pistorius sits in court in Pretoria on Tuesday, July 8.
Pistorius arrives at court in Pretoria on Monday, July 7.Pistorius arrives at court in Pretoria on Monday, July 7.
Pistorius yawns during day 37 of his murder trial on June 3.Pistorius yawns during day 37 of his murder trial on June 3.
Pistorius hugs a supporter Wednesday, July 2.Pistorius hugs a supporter Wednesday, July 2.
Pistorius listens to evidence being presented in court on Monday, June 30.Pistorius listens to evidence being presented in court on Monday, June 30.
Pistorius leaves the court in Pretoria on Tuesday, May 20.Pistorius leaves the court in Pretoria on Tuesday, May 20.
Pistorius reads notes during his trial on Monday, May 12. Pistorius reads notes during his trial on Monday, May 12.
Ballistics expert Tom "Wollie" Wolmarans testifies for the defense on May 12.Ballistics expert Tom "Wollie" Wolmarans testifies for the defense on May 12.
A red laser dot points at bullet holes in the bathroom door for a forensic demonstration during the trial on May 12. Pistorius admits firing four bullets through the closed door, killing Steenkamp, but says he thought he was protecting himself from a burglar.A red laser dot points at bullet holes in the bathroom door for a forensic demonstration during the trial on May 12. Pistorius admits firing four bullets through the closed door, killing Steenkamp, but says he thought he was protecting himself from a burglar.
Pistorius returns to court as his murder trial resumes Monday, May 5, after a break of more than two weeks.Pistorius returns to court as his murder trial resumes Monday, May 5, after a break of more than two weeks.
Pistorius gets a hug from a woman as he leaves court in Pretoria on Wednesday, April 16.Pistorius gets a hug from a woman as he leaves court in Pretoria on Wednesday, April 16.
Pistorius rubs his eye Tuesday, April 15, after testifying during his murder trial.Pistorius rubs his eye Tuesday, April 15, after testifying during his murder trial.
Pistorius arrives at the court in Pretoria on Monday, April 14.Pistorius arrives at the court in Pretoria on Monday, April 14.
Pistorius' sister, Aimee, cries in court as she listens to her brother's testimony on Tuesday, April 8.Pistorius' sister, Aimee, cries in court as she listens to her brother's testimony on Tuesday, April 8.
June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, reacts as she listens to Pistorius' testimony on April 8.June Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother, reacts as she listens to Pistorius' testimony on April 8.
Pistorius is hugged by his aunt Lois Pistorius in court on Monday, April 7.Pistorius is hugged by his aunt Lois Pistorius in court on Monday, April 7.
Pistorius sits inside the courtroom as members of his defense team talk in the foreground Friday, March 28.Pistorius sits inside the courtroom as members of his defense team talk in the foreground Friday, March 28.
Pistorius leaves court on March 28. The trial was delayed until April 7 because one of the legal experts who will assist the judge in reaching a verdict was sick.Pistorius leaves court on March 28. The trial was delayed until April 7 because one of the legal experts who will assist the judge in reaching a verdict was sick.
Steenkamp's mother, right, and family friend Jenny Strydom react in court Tuesday, March 25, during cross-questioning.Steenkamp's mother, right, and family friend Jenny Strydom react in court Tuesday, March 25, during cross-questioning.
Cell phone analyst Francois Moller testifies during the trial on March 25. Questioned by the prosecution, Moller listed in order the calls made and received by Pistorius after he shot Steenkamp.Cell phone analyst Francois Moller testifies during the trial on March 25. Questioned by the prosecution, Moller listed in order the calls made and received by Pistorius after he shot Steenkamp.
Pistorius cries as he sits in the dock during his trial on Monday, March 24.Pistorius cries as he sits in the dock during his trial on Monday, March 24.
Pistorius talks to defense attorney Barry Roux on March 24. Pistorius talks to defense attorney Barry Roux on March 24.
Pistorius holds his head while members of his family talk behind him on Tuesday, March 18.Pistorius holds his head while members of his family talk behind him on Tuesday, March 18.
Steenkamp's mother, wearing the white collared shirt, looks on while a police officer takes notes in court March 18.Steenkamp's mother, wearing the white collared shirt, looks on while a police officer takes notes in court March 18.
Pistorius is hugged by his aunt Lois on March 18.Pistorius is hugged by his aunt Lois on March 18.
Pistorius takes notes Monday, March 17, as his murder trial enters its third week.Pistorius takes notes Monday, March 17, as his murder trial enters its third week.
Pistorius covers his head as he listens to forensic evidence Thursday, March 13.Pistorius covers his head as he listens to forensic evidence Thursday, March 13.
Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulen, left, is questioned during the trial March 13.Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulen, left, is questioned during the trial March 13.
Pistorius listens to questions during his trial on Wednesday, March 12.Pistorius listens to questions during his trial on Wednesday, March 12.
A police officer takes part in a court reconstruction March 12. A police forensic expert said Pistorius was on the stumps of his amputated legs when he knocked down a locked toilet door with a cricket bat to reach his shot girlfriend. That counters the track star's assertion he was wearing his prosthetic legs at the time. Defense attorney Barry Roux countered by suggesting that even with his prosthetic legs on, Pistorius would not be swinging a bat at the same height as an able-bodied person.A police officer takes part in a court reconstruction March 12. A police forensic expert said Pistorius was on the stumps of his amputated legs when he knocked down a locked toilet door with a cricket bat to reach his shot girlfriend. That counters the track star's assertion he was wearing his prosthetic legs at the time. Defense attorney Barry Roux countered by suggesting that even with his prosthetic legs on, Pistorius would not be swinging a bat at the same height as an able-bodied person.
Pistorius listens to cross-questioning on Monday, March 10.Pistorius listens to cross-questioning on Monday, March 10.
Friends of Steenkamp's family watch Pistorius during his trial on March 7.Friends of Steenkamp's family watch Pistorius during his trial on March 7.
Pistorius covers his ears on Thursday, March 6, as a witness speaks about the morning Steenkamp was killed.Pistorius covers his ears on Thursday, March 6, as a witness speaks about the morning Steenkamp was killed.
Pistorius' sister, Aimee, right, speaks with members of Steenkamp's family on March 6.Pistorius' sister, Aimee, right, speaks with members of Steenkamp's family on March 6.
Pistorius sits in court on the third day of his trial Wednesday, March 5.Pistorius sits in court on the third day of his trial Wednesday, March 5.
Pistorius appears on the second day of his trial Tuesday, March 4.Pistorius appears on the second day of his trial Tuesday, March 4.
Members of the media work during a break in proceedings March 4.Members of the media work during a break in proceedings March 4.
Pistorius talks with Roux inside the court on March 4.Pistorius talks with Roux inside the court on March 4.
Pistorius speaks with his legal representatives on March 4.Pistorius speaks with his legal representatives on March 4.
Pistorius is escorted out of the court Monday, March 3, after the first day of his murder trial.Pistorius is escorted out of the court Monday, March 3, after the first day of his murder trial.
People try to get a glimpse of Pistorius as he leaves the court building on March 3.People try to get a glimpse of Pistorius as he leaves the court building on March 3.
Pistorius is seen shortly after arriving for his trial on March 3.Pistorius is seen shortly after arriving for his trial on March 3.
Pistorius walks into the courtroom on March 3.Pistorius walks into the courtroom on March 3.
Pistorius takes a drink of water March 3 during his trial.Pistorius takes a drink of water March 3 during his trial.
The case has captivated South Africa. Here, Lauren Wentzel watches the proceedings from her home outside Cape Town on March 3.The case has captivated South Africa. Here, Lauren Wentzel watches the proceedings from her home outside Cape Town on March 3.
June Steenkamp arrives at the court building for the start of the trial.June Steenkamp arrives at the court building for the start of the trial.
Pistorius' relatives wait inside the courtroom on March 3.Pistorius' relatives wait inside the courtroom on March 3.
People at the court building wait for Pistorius' arrival on March 3.People at the court building wait for Pistorius' arrival on March 3.
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Oscar Pistorius murder trial
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
Photos: Oscar Pistorius trialPhotos: Oscar Pistorius trial

Aimee Pistorius said she was shocked when she first heard about the fatal shooting.

"But also knowing my brother -- his insecurities, who he is -- the very first thing that came to my mind is that it could have only been a mistaken identity for an intruder and that's because I know my brother and I know his fears," she said.

State prosecutor Gerrie Nel has called for a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for the athlete.

"This is a serious matter," Nel said at the end of the arguments over sentencing. "The negligence borders on intent. Ten years is the minimum."

There is no legal minimum sentence for culpable homicide in South African law, so it will be up to the judge's discretion.

The sentencing will bring a close to one chapter of the case, but an appeal is possible.

"It's never going to be over," Aimee Pistorius said. "Something like this changes my brother's life, our lives, the Steenkamps', their family, their friends."

CNN spoke with Aimee and her brother Carl Pistorius at the home of a family member in Midrand, South Africa.

The trial was beset by drama at times, and the most difficult thing for the Pistorius siblings in watching it unfold is the sense of loss.

"That is a heart-wrenching pain, having lost our mother at a young age -- it is an anguish that you feel when you know that someone else is going through deep, deep pain," Carl Pistorius said.

Whatever the court decides, public opinion has been harsh on Oscar Pistorius, which both siblings said had affected them.

There have even been reports of threats by gang leaders in prison against Oscar Pistorius that have the family worried.

"Absolutely, any threat needs to be taken seriously. So we are obviously concerned for his safety," Carl Pistorius said.

CNN's Robyn Curnow reported from Midrand, South Africa, and CNN's Mariano Castillo wrote from Atlanta.

How Kim Il Sung tried to live to 100

  • Former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung wanted to live to 100, his doctor says.
  • He ordered a "Longevity Center" be set up to fulfill this aim
  • Methods included blood transfusions and laughing at cute kids
  • Elder Kim's physician defected to South Korea in 1992

Seoul (CNN) -- North Korea's revered founder, Kim Il Sung, ordered his doctors to find a way to make him live to 100, taking treatments to stay young that ranged from the bizarre to the sinister.

Kim So-Yeon, his personal physician for many years before she defected to South Korea in 1992, led research at a "Longevity Center" set up to help in Kim's quest for a longer life.

It didn't work -- he died at 82 -- but that's still far better than the average 64-year life expectancy for the country.

The doctor's team devised many different ways to ensure a longer life.

"We did a lot of research," says Kim. "But we only gave him the treatments he had chosen from our list of options."

One treatment the late leader favored in his later years, according to Kim, was blood transfusions from citizens in their twenties.

Inside China's odd N. Korea border town
North Korea releases Kim Jong Un photos

Those who had been chosen for the honor of donating blood to the "Eternal President" were fed special nutritious food beforehand.

"He wanted to rule as long as he could. I think he wanted to live a long life for his own satisfaction," says Kim.

Another favorite, according to Kim, was watching young children do funny or cute things to make him laugh.

The center decided happiness brings good health, so prescribed more laughter to the North Korean leader. Kim is seen smiling in many official photos.

Comparison with younger Kim

After witnessing the stresses and health issues experienced by Kim, the doctor says Kim Jong Un, the country's current leader and Kim's grandson, could be suffering from similar problems.

The elder Kim has often often been compared to his grandson, who shares his looks and demeanor.

Walking with a cane, the young leader appeared in public last week for the first time in more than a month amid speculation about his health.

READ: North Korea says leader has reappeared

Before his disappearance, Kim was seen limping, prompting theories that he was suffering everything from weight gain to gout.

According to the doctor, the young leader may have inherited a number of health issues, including psychological problems and a history of obesity.

She told CNN both Kim Il Sung and Kim's father Kim Jong Il suffered from diabetes, heart problems and stress, and she reckons that the younger Kim's health problems could be worse than his father's and grandfather's.

After studying photos, she said Kim's face appeared to have been swollen due to painkillers and she also speculated that he has been receiving hormone shots to make him look more like his grandfather.

CNN cannot independently verify this claim.

"Kim Il Sung still has a good reputation because he was the founder of the country. So in order to instill in people that it is still Kim Il Sung's country, I think they are trying to make Kim Jong Un look like more like him."

READ: At the heart of China's legal (and illegal) trade with North Korea

Holder rips Panetta for dissing Obama

Washington (CNN) -- Attorney General Eric Holder took aim at former Defense and CIA chief Leon Panetta on Monday, whose recently-published memoir accused President Barack Obama of vacillating over policy in Syria and damaging U.S. credibility.

Holder, in an interview with CNN, defended the president's decisiveness and said Panetta acted improperly by dishing on the president.

AG Holder reveals his biggest failure

"I think [what] Leon said in the book is unfortunate. But frankly, I don't think it's something that a former Cabinet member should do while the president he served is still in office," Holder said. "That's not something that I would even consider doing."

Former defense secretary lays out disagreements with President Obama

Holder in the coming weeks is set to conclude his tenure as one of the original members of Obama's cabinet.

He announced plans to retire when the Senate confirms his successor. The White House says the president will announce a nominee after the midterm elections.

Holder said Panetta's characterization of the president is inaccurate.

"The president is a deliberate person in an appropriate way. But he's also resolute once he makes up his mind," Holder told CNN. "Let's remember, this is the president who took a chance in going after Osama bin Laden in the way that he did. He has been decisive in a whole variety of areas to keep the American people safe in doing it in a way that's consistent with our values.

When he leaves, Holder said, he plans to catch up on sleep and then perhaps take a long cross-country driving vacation, including visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time. Any later plans will have to wait, he said.