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Convicted mayor wants ‘final rodeo’

  • Buddy Cianci is running for mayor of Providence for the third time
  • Cianci resigned the post twice before over felony convictions
  • Cianci to CNN: "I've made mistakes in my life obviously, I've paid the price."
  • President Obama campaigns for Cianci's opponent Friday

Providence, Rhode Island (CNN) -- Tuesday's election in the littlest of states is causing the biggest of stirs.

When President Barack Obama hits the campaign trail here Friday to lend his star power to Jorge Elorza, the first-time candidate running in the city's deadlocked mayoral race, he won't be the most famous politician in the Ocean State that day.

That distinction belongs to the politician running against Elorza, the larger than life man who's never lost a political race, the man who served as Providence's mayor twice before -- and who was forced to resign each time in disgrace: Buddy Cianci.

"You're not going to get a Pulitzer Prize or an Emmy by saying 'Buddy Cianci is a convicted felon.' Cianci told CNN at his Providence headquarters this week. "Everybody knows that."

He added: "I'm probably the most vetted candidate in America right now. They know everything about me."

Cianci, a back-slapping machine politician reminiscent of a bygone era, served as the city's mayor from 1975 to 1984 and then again from 1991 to 2002, epochs recalled locally as Buddy I and Buddy II.

Buddy I came crashing down after Cianci was convicted of using a fire log and a lit cigarette to assault a man he accused of having an affair with his wife. Buddy II ended after Cianci was convicted on federal corruption charges. At the end of his 2002 trial, the judge rebuked Cianci before sentencing him to federal prison for five years.

"In this mayor's two administrations, there has been more corruption in the city of Providence than in the history of this state," said Judge Ernest Torres.

Cianci isn't shying away from his past.

"I've made mistakes in my life obviously, I've paid the price," he told CNN. "We all stumble, I stumbled. That doesn't prevent me from running for office...I've done my time, and I think I'm a contributing member to this society and this city."

While Cianci's stumbles didn't prevent him from running for office, his 37-year-old opponent hopes that they'll prevent him from capturing it. "We have a storied history of corruption here in our city," Elorza said at a recent press conference. "And those incidents of corruption are very well-documented in Mr. Cianci's administration."

Three former U.S. attorneys -- among them current U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse -- doubled down on those sentiments, urging voters to reject Cianci at a press conference they convened October 14. "I would very much doubt that the return of this particular shadow would do our applications any good," said Whitehouse, referring to federal grant applications.

But for Buddy, it's a familiar refrain. In fact, it's Cianci's past -- warts and all -- that lay at the heart of the campaign message driving the 73-year-old's "final rodeo" -- the quest for a Buddy III.

"They can talk all they want about me and my background," he said. "The question is: if you went into a hospital and you had to have open heart surgery, would you want the intern to do it or would you want the experienced doctor even though the doctor might have had a couple of problems in his life?

Everyone in Providence it seems has an opinion about Cianci, and they typically fall into one of three categories.

There are those that love him, such as Sandra Perrone. "I think of him as a Robin Hood." she told CNN. "I just think he should be given another chance."

There are those that don't. "Buddy Cianci is someone who's very flashy," said Joshua Shockly. "I think it's all show with him, there's not any substance behind what he does."

Even Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC cameraman recovering after being stricken with Ebola weighed on Twitter this week. "Meanwhile, back in my hometown of Providence, twice-convicted felon Buddy Cianci looks to become mayor AGAIN," he wrote.

Then there are the conflicted.

Cianci "is someone who is incredibly charming, actually very intelligent, very funny, (and) very glib," said Kent Mallard. "But somebody who I would never vote for for mayor."

"I think Buddy Cianci loves this city and that he did some good things for this city," added Shockly. "I just don't think this city needs somebody like him at this point in time where Providence and Rhode Island in general needs to take a step forward out of a past which has really kept us kind of behind everyone else."

That even Cianci's detractors concede that there is much to like and admire about the man reveals the underlying conflict facing voters in the city of nearly 180,000 as they head to the polls on Tuesday: Do they go with the candidate with a shadowy past but who nevertheless worked tirelessly to bring a once blighted, ne'er do well city out from those very shadows? Or do they go with the less experienced and younger Elorza, a candidate who Obama -- a politician who knows a little something about being young and inexperienced and running for office -- says will "will bring honest leadership to Providence?"

"A lot of positive things happened while (Buddy) was in office but a lot of negative things happened," said resident Dennis Emsley. "I mean, he's a celebrity, he has a certain cache, but there are other candidates that are more connected to what's going on in the city today and that are going to be more able to lead the city into the future and I don't think that'd be Buddy Cianci."

As for any other celebrity -- presidential or otherwise -- campaigning against a Buddy III, Cianci says his opponent can have them.

"You know what they all have in common? None of them live in the city of Providence."

Hagel memo criticized Syria strategy

Washington (CNN) -- Earlier this month, while on an trip to Latin America to discuss climate change, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sat down and wrote a highly private, and very blunt memo to National Security Advisor Susan Rice about U.S. policy toward Syria.

It was a detailed analysis, crafted directly by Hagel "expressing concern about overall Syria strategy," a senior U.S. official tells CNN. The official directly familiar with the contents declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The existence of the memo itself was first reported by the New York Times.

Hagel so far has not made his concerns public and is not likely to, according to the official. It comes at a time when the Pentagon is well aware there is growing, but anonymous chatter, that some White House officials are unhappy with Hagel's performance. So far there is no indication the President Barack Obama shares those views.

ISIS forcing U.S. & Assad to cooperate?

The focus of the memo was "we need to have a sharper view of what to do about the Assad regime," the official said. The official refused to provide additional details, but did not disagree with the notion that Hagel feels the U.S. is risking its gains in the war against ISIS if adjustments are not made.

Some analysts have pointed out US airstrikes in Syria against ISIS can benefit the Assad regime which also opposes ISIS. Hagel's concerns are not related to the Pentagon effort to train and equip moderate Syrian forces, something he still strong supports the official said.

World Series legend is born

  • No one could have predicted Madison Bumgarner would have enough to pitch five innings
  • Jeremy Affeldt was just as good, tossing more scoreless innings
  • Royals fans stay after game to show their pride
  • One person shot in San Francisco, CNN affiliate reports

(CNN) -- So much for destiny.

The Royals seemingly had karma on their side and were ready to put a Hollywood ending on a memorable season, but the baseball gods had a different plan.

Giants go crazy after World Series win

For they had created a pitcher who had a performance that surely isn't that of a mortal.

The San Francisco Giants celebrate after Game 7 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, October 29, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Giants won 3-2 to win the series.The San Francisco Giants celebrate after Game 7 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, October 29, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Giants won 3-2 to win the series.
Kansas City Royals pitchers Danny Duffy and Aaron Crow embrace in the dugout after a 3-2 loss against the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the World Series on October 29, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City Royals pitchers Danny Duffy and Aaron Crow embrace in the dugout after a 3-2 loss against the San Francisco Giants in Game 7 of the World Series on October 29, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy celebrates with the World Series trophy after defeating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 29.San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy celebrates with the World Series trophy after defeating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in Game 7 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 29.
San Francisco Giants players Buster Posey, left, and Madison Bumgarner celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 to win Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Bumgarner was the series MVP.San Francisco Giants players Buster Posey, left, and Madison Bumgarner celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 to win Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Bumgarner was the series MVP.
Members of the San Francisco Giants celebrate their 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Members of the San Francisco Giants celebrate their 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
San Francisco Giants' Michael Morse reacts after hitting an RBI single during the fourth inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Kansas City Royals on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.San Francisco Giants' Michael Morse reacts after hitting an RBI single during the fourth inning of Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Kansas City Royals on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval celebrates after scoring in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval celebrates after scoring in the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante tries to make a play in the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante tries to make a play in the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon is out at second as Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants turns a double play on a ball hit by Salvador Perez during the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series on October 29, in Kansas City, Missouri.Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon is out at second as Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants turns a double play on a ball hit by Salvador Perez during the fourth inning of Game 7 of the World Series on October 29, in Kansas City, Missouri.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson, left, walks off the mound after being relieved during the second inning of Game 7 of the World Series on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson, left, walks off the mound after being relieved during the second inning of Game 7 of the World Series on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez grimaces after being hit by a pitch in the second inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez grimaces after being hit by a pitch in the second inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kansas City Royals third baseman Alex Gordon hits an RBI double in the second inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City Royals third baseman Alex Gordon hits an RBI double in the second inning against the San Francisco Giants during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey breaks his bat in the first inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey breaks his bat in the first inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Tim Hudson of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Tim Hudson of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Fans wave towels before Game 7 of baseball's World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.Fans wave towels before Game 7 of baseball's World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants on October 29 in Kansas City, Missouri.
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World Series: Game 7World Series: Game 7

Led by Most Valuable Player Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants won an exciting and intriguing World Series Game 7 by a 3-2 score.

In the second World Series matchup of wildcard teams, it wasn't to be for the young Royals, who even got the tying run to third base in the ninth inning.

But the Giants had Bumgarner, and no one was going to score against him.

Madison the Magnificent

Early on, the Royals had to think things were going perfectly. They knocked out Giants starter Tim Hudson in a hurry, and it looked like San Fran skipper Bruce Bochy was going to have to make repeated calls to his bullpen.

They were keeping the game close, even though they trailed by a run.

Sure, the Giants had Bumgarner, their ace, available, but he just threw a complete game three days ago. Even if he came in, it seemed impossible he'd throw more than a couple innings.

He threw an inconceivable five. You know the last time that's been done before Wednesday. Probably never.

"I wasn't thinking about finishing the game or how many innings I was going to go or pitch count," Bumgarner said. "I was just wanting to get outs."

Bumgarner finished the World Series with two wins, one incredible save and an ERA of 0.43.

Asked if he was fatigued after such a magnificent performance, the 25-year-old star admitted, yeah, he was.

"I can't lie to you any more; I'm a little tired now," he said with a chuckle.

90 feet from extra innings

With Bumgarner locked in and two out in the ninth, San Francisco fans couldn't be blamed if they were celebrating. But K.C. still had a little life.

After all, these are the Royals who appeared doomed in the American League Wild Card game, only to rally for a win.

Kansas City's Alex Gordon was the last hope, and he laced a liner to left center. Hearts in Kansas City sank as it appeared Gregor Blanco might catch it.

Their hearts raced as the ball fell and skipped by the outfielder and rolled to the wall. Gordon headed toward third as Juan Perez fumbled the ball. Could it be? Would Gordon turn for home and score the most improbable of runs?

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said he was just thinking: "Let's get the ball in because Gordon can run."

Perez was able to pick up the ball and get it back to the infield in time to keep Gordon from scoring. Then Bumgarner closed out the game, enticing Salvador Perez to pop out.

"To end up losing the ball game by 90 feet, it's tough," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The hard part about this is, you work all year (beginning in February) to climb to the top of the mountain and then -- boom -- you fall back, and you gotta start right back at the bottom next year."

Just wait til next year

Royals fans have waited three decades (it seems even longer) but despite a tough loss, they were still proud of their lads.

"The @Royals may have lost, but this team and that city is all winner. Thanks for a GREAT post season. Congrats Giants and GO @KCChiefs!!!!" "Modern Family" actor Eric Stonestreet tweeted.

"Never been prouder of @Royals on a great season and an absolutely unforgettable, drama-filled playoff run. Well done, fellas," White House press secretary Josh Earnest wrote.

"I love my @Royals!!! Thanks for the best Series I've seen in 29 yrs! Congrats San Francisco Giants," added comedian Rob Riggle.

Fans at Kauffman Stadium stayed after the end and even broke into a loud "Let's go Royals" chant.

Affeldt bridges the gap

Years from now, when Jeremy Affeldt shows off his World Series rings, people will ask him about watching Madison Bumgarner pitch.

They'll have long forgotten, if they ever knew, that Affeldt had a lower ERA in the 2014 postseason then even the Giants star.

No one scored on Affeldt. No one.

In Game 7, before Bumgarner stole the headlines, Affeldt blanked the Royals for 2 1/3 innings. It earned him the win (Originally the win was given to Bumgarner but the decision was changed later).

Affeldt has now pitched in 22 consecutive playoff games without surrendering a run. Only the legendary Mariano Rivera has done better.

"Affeldt, he is incredible," Bochy said. "He's played a critical role in these three championships."

Party time

San Francisco fans are used to watching their team win the World Series on the road. Each of their clinching wins has been a road game.

According to CNN affiliate KRON, fans took to the streets in the Mission District and near Civic Center Plaza, where there had been a public watch party. And one person was shot in the arm, police told the station.

The suspect wasn't caught, police spokesman Gordon Shyy told KRON. Only a few people had been arrested, he added.

Mayor Edwin Lee took to Twitter to announce the victory parade would be held Friday.

Comedian, rap mogul arrested

Suge Knight spent time in prison after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.
Suge Knight spent time in prison after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.
  • The alleged incident happened September 5, authorities say
  • Suge Knight could face up to 30 years in prison
  • Katt Williams was arrested while heading to court for another case

(CNN) -- Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight and comedian Micah "Katt" Williams were arrested Wednesday, accused of stealing a photographer's camera last month.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said each man was charged with one count of robbery. The alleged incident, involving a female photographer of celebrities, took place September 5 outside a studio in Beverly Hills.

Knight, 49, faces up to 30 years in prison because he has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. Williams, who was arrested when he showed up at court for a different assault case, faces a maximum of seven years. Knight was arrested in Las Vegas.

Prosecutors said they will ask for Knight's bail to be set at $1 million and for a $75,000 bail for Williams, 43.

Beverly Hills Police are still investigating the case, authorities said.

CNN reached out to representatives for both men Wednesday night without immediate success.

Knight founded the successful Death Row Records in 1991, signing artists such as Snoop Doggy Dogg (since then known as Snoop Dogg and Snoop Lion) and Tupac Shakur.

Knight was driving the car in which Shakur was a passenger when the rapper was shot to death in Las Vegas in 1996.

Shortly afterward, Knight spent several years in prison for violating parole on assault and weapons convictions. That prison time -- along with Shakur's death, feuds between Knight and a number of rappers and desertions by Dr. Dre, Snoop and others -- contributed to the label's bankruptcy in 2006.

In August, Knight and two other people were shot while inside a celebrity-filled Sunset Strip party hosted by singer Chris Brown on the eve of the MTV Video Music Awards.

Williams began his career as a stand-up comic, gaining attention in 1999 for his often raunchy comedy club appearances. Television appearances on the BET network led to more success.

His 2006 HBO special "Katt Williams: Pimp Chronicles Pt.1" raised his profile even higher.

He has acted in several movies, including Eddie Murphy's "Norbit," and his voice is featured in several popular cartoons, including "The Boondocks."

CNN's Lorenza Brascia and Sonya Hamasaki contributed to this report.

Scientists link 60 genes to autism

Genetic research has been used to treat all kinds of disorders and diseases.
Genetic research has been used to treat all kinds of disorders and diseases.
  • Scientists identify 60 genes with greater than 90% chance of increasing autism risk
  • Studies zero in on the exact nature of the genetic mutations that cause the disorder
  • This discovery could lead to faster diagnosis and better treatments

(CNN) -- Researchers have found dozens of new genes that may play a role in causing autism, according to two studies published Wednesday in the medical journal Nature.

Scientists identified 60 genes with a greater than 90% chance of increasing a child's autism risk. Previous research has yielded only 11 genes that had been confirmed with this level of certainty.

Though other studies have shown the importance of genetics in the development of autism, experts say these new studies zero in on the exact nature of the genetic mutations that cause the disorder.

The researchers say these genes appear to be clustering around three sets of key biological functions.

The first set focuses on the development of synapses in the brain, which are responsible for all kinds of communication between nerves. The second set is responsible for the creation of genetic instructions, and the third is responsible for DNA packaging within cells.

Each of these functions could have an effect on the individual that would cause the traits commonly associated with autism, according to one of the studies.

Dr. Matthew State, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-author of both studies, believes that the most important thing to take away from the studies is a new knowledge base. Instead of focusing on environmental factors, he says, these studies are focusing on what happens inside of the brain.

This kind of genetic research has been used to treat all kinds of disorders and diseases, State says, but before now had not been applied to psychiatric disorders. Similar genetic studies for childhood leukemia took it from nearly always fatal to a treatable, often curable disease.

"It's the understanding of biology at that level that's helped treatments for cancer. It's something we've been missing in psychiatric disorders in general," State said. "They lay the groundwork for a transformed understanding of the disorder and hopefully a transformation in how we're able to diagnose and treat it."

Autism is a complex disorder, one that has been difficult to treat because it is so poorly understood. By tapping into the genetic foundation of the disorder, scientists theorize, it may be possible to provide more personalized treatment based on a person's own unique gene set.

"I think that if everybody were to be genotyped when they're diagnosed, the more this is studied, the more we'll be able to say what the biological causes are ... and we can target your symptoms with more personalized medicine," said Dan Smith, senior director of neuroscience at the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.

In addition to developing treatments based on a better understanding of the disorder, the study provides hope for the prevention of autism as well. A portion of the genes studied were de novo genes: not passed down from either parent but developed in the egg or sperm shortly before conception. Further studies could determine what environmental factors cause those genes to mutate.

"This is going to begin to give us an opportunity to study the interactions between genes and environment," State said. "The rate of new mutation increases with age, specifically fathers, because a lot of these mutations are in sperm."

State is optimistic about the future and what these two studies will contribute.

"The big difference is that five years ago, we had no idea. When you have no idea, you have no opportunity to think in a systematic or rational way to develop treatment," he said. "We can finally say something really concretely about a large number of genes that contribute to risk."

Fired air marshal — hero or agitator?

  • Robert MacLean was fired as a federal air marshal in 2006
  • The TSA says he leaked "Sensitive Security Information" to the media
  • MacLean says he revealed scheduled cutbacks in air marshals on long-distance flights
  • The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case

Washington (CNN) -- Hero or agitator? Exposer of wrongdoing or threat to the state? Robert MacLean has been called many things as he fights the federal government over his firing, for what he says was retaliation after he exposed cracks in the nation's air passenger security.

But the Obama administration counters the former federal air marshal's leaks to the media were specifically prohibited by law, and could have had catastrophic consequences.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time will hear a case involving a federal whistleblower. At issue is whether a government employee who makes a disclosure "specifically prohibited by law" -- in this case, security information -- is still immune from employer retaliation.

A federal appeals court had earlier decided MacLean's disclosures deserve whistleblower protection. The government then asked the justices to intervene. Oral arguments are set for next Tuesday morning.

Tom Devine, a lawyer with the Government Accountability Project who is representing MacLean, said he is "chomping at the bit" to argue that MacLean's leak was in the national interest, saying it may have helped prevent terrorist attacks on the United States.

The Transportation Security Administration and the Justice Department declined comment, as is custom in a pending legal case.

MacLean, now a resident of Orange County, California who sells residential solar systems, hopes a Supreme Court ruling in his favor will eventually lead to his return to the ranks of the Federal Air Marshal Service, which places armed, plain-clothes officers on commercial airplanes.

The case began in July of 2003, when MacLean, then based in Las Vegas, tipped off an MSNBC reporter the TSA was suspending overnight missions just days after air marshals were briefed about a new "potential plot" to hijack U.S. airliners.

The agency planned the cutback -- which would have kept air marshals off most long-distance flights -- because it was then running out of money at the end of a fiscal year. MacLean also said he had privately voiced his concerns to his government supervisors.

The news caused an immediate uproar on Capitol Hill, with Sen. Charles Schumer, and then-Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry, among others, writing letters expressing concerns. The TSA retreated, killing the scheduling cuts before they went into effect.

A year later, MacLean appeared on NBC News -- in disguise and identified only as "Federal Air Marshal 'Mike'" -- to criticize the agency's dress policy, which, he said, made it easier for terrorists to identify the undercover air marshals.

But someone from the TSA recognized MacLean's voice -- the Justice Department said he used "a disguise that proved to be inadequate" -- and the agency ordered an investigation into MacLean for an "unauthorized media appearance." During that investigation, he admitted leaking information to the media about the 2003 suspension of long-distance flights.

The agency fired MacLean in April of 2006, saying his leak was an unauthorized disclosure of "Sensitive Security Information," or SSI.

Supporters say MacLean brought to public light a TSA action that violated federal law, which mandates that the agency give priority to flights that present high security risks, specifically mentioning "nonstop, long distance flights." They say the information he gave was factual and that it ultimately protected passengers by changing a flawed policy.

MacLean argued the information he disclosed was not Sensitive Security Information, saying the TSA sent the information as a text message on his cell phone, instead of as an encrypted message on his password-protected pager. And it was not labeled SSI.

The former Air Force veteran and Border Patrol agent said his firing was retaliation for his union activities.

But the Merit System Protection Board -- an independent government agency with jurisdiction to review federal personnel actions -- said that even if the scheduling directive was not labeled SSI, deployment information was "within the definition of SSI." MacLean "admittedly knew that he was not permitted to tell anyone about (air marshal) scheduling, yet he did so anyway, and it could have created a significant security risk," the board said.

The board also concluded there is "no direct evidence" the agency retaliated or discriminated against MacLean for his union activities.

But the Washington-based federal appeals court later reversed, holding MacLean had met the threshold of being eligible for whistleblower protection.

If he wins at the high court, MacLean would have to go back to the board and further demonstrate that he reasonably believed that his disclosures "evidenced a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety."

"Frankly, that's a hearing we would relish because there's little question that his disclosures were worthy," said Devine, MacLean's attorney. "Numerous members of Congress attacked (the travel cuts) as betraying the department's (responsibilities). The Department of Homeland Security said it was a mistake and canceled the orders less than 48 hours after his disclosure. They only corrected the mistake because of his disclosure."

The tricky legal issue is whether the revelations were "specifically prohibited by law," as the statute indicates.

The Justice Department will tell the nine justices that these kinds of leaks are covered, since "the phrase 'by law' is presumed to include both statutes and substantive regulations that have the force and effect of law."

"In the course of its efforts to secure the nation's transportation network, the TSA necessarily develops and acquires a great deal of information, including information about security vulnerabilities, that has the potential to cause extreme harm if publicly disclosed," government lawyers wrote to the court. "The (lower court's) decision in this case, however, effectively permits individual federal employees to override the TSA's judgments about the dangers of public disclosure."

But MacLean, supported by a range of lawmakers and advocacy groups, strongly disagrees.

Six bipartisan members of Congress -- including Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, told the court they "know that whistleblowers are more likely to come forward when they can do so without fear of reprisal."

A ruling for the government "would open the door to agency over-reach in suppressing inconvenient information, as decades of experience confirms," said the legislative group, which includes four congressmen. "Just from reading the statute, it is far from clear whether the particular information MacLean disclosed is included" in the DHS rules.

MacLean continues his personal crusade with an active website and unflinching mission. In testimony to Congress last month, the married father of three called it "a whistleblowing experience I never wanted to have. But it forced me to make the most difficult choices and decisions of my life, about my duty to the country as a public servant and law enforcement officer."

The case is Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean (13-894). A ruling is due by the spring of 2015.

CNN Senior Producer Mike M. Ahlers contributed to this report.

What’s fishy about your shrimp?

A new study says 30% of shrimp products tested were misrepresented.
A new study says 30% of shrimp products tested were misrepresented.
  • New study found 30% of shrimp products sold in stores are misrepresented
  • Most common mislabeling was farmed shrimp sold as "wild" shrimp
  • Many labels just listed product as "shrimp" with no country of origin or production method

(CNN) -- You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it and saute it, but one of America's favorite seafoods -- the humble shrimp -- might not be what you think it is.

Ocean conservation group Oceana released a study today showing that 30% of sold shrimp products are misrepresented, with 15% of the tested shrimp being straight-up mislabeled in production method (wild-caught vs. farm-raised) or species type.

Oceana outlined the misrepresentation as such: "mislabeled (one species swapped out for another), misleading (i.e. farmed species labeled as "Gulf"), or mixed/mystery (i.e. commingling species among bagged shrimp)."

The study tested 143 shrimp products from 111 grocery stores and restaurants in cities around the Gulf of Mexico like New Orleans and Houston as well as Portland, Oregon; New York; and Washington.

Among the major findings, the most common species substitution was farmed whiteleg shrimp sold as "wild" or "Gulf" shrimp, and 40% of the shrimp samples were species not known to be sold in the United States (including one banded coral shrimp, which is typically an aquarium pet, in a bag of frozen salad shrimp).

Oceana also found a general lack of information on sourcing, with 30% of samples in grocery stores lacking labeling on a country of origin and 29% lacking labeling on whether the shrimp was farmed or wild.

Kimberly Warner, the report author and senior scientist at Oceana, said that not knowing where and how shrimp is caught or farmed makes it nearly impossible for consumers to make informed choices.

Last year, the same group found that one-third of fish sold at stores, markets and restaurants was not identified properly.

In June, President Obama created a task force to help promote sustainable seafood amid illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, as well as to combat such seafood fraud.

"It is in the national interest of the United States to promote a framework that supports sustainable fishing practices and combats seafood fraud and the sale of IUU fishing products," Obama wrote in the memorandum.

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Warner says that although there isn't a major health concern with the shrimp Oceana couldn't identify, there are minor concerns that have to do with bad practices in aquaculture, particularly using chemicals banned in this country.

According to an August import alert by the Food and Drug Administration, 25% of seafood samples of catfish, basa, shrimp, dace and eel from China included drug residue. (Approximately 80% of the seafood consumed in the U.S. as imported, with China being a top exporter for shrimp.)

Warner says traceability and transparency are key.

"Most consumers are not given enough information," she said. "If consumers don't speak up that they want more information about what they're eating, nobody is going to know that they care."

New clue in Amelia Earhart mystery?

Amelia Earhart laughs before a flight to Northolt, England, in a DH 82 Tiger Moth plane on June 24, 1928.Amelia Earhart laughs before a flight to Northolt, England, in a DH 82 Tiger Moth plane on June 24, 1928.
Earhart poses in front of her plane in the 1930s.Earhart poses in front of her plane in the 1930s.
Earhart looks through the cockpit window of her plane.Earhart looks through the cockpit window of her plane.
Earhart stands on the roof of the Hyde Park Hotel in London with Capt. Hilton H Railey on June 20,1928.Earhart stands on the roof of the Hyde Park Hotel in London with Capt. Hilton H Railey on June 20,1928.
A crowd surrounds Earhart, center, upon arrival at Hanworth airfield in London after she crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.A crowd surrounds Earhart, center, upon arrival at Hanworth airfield in London after she crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.
Earhart poses for a photo in Newfoundland, Canada.Earhart poses for a photo in Newfoundland, Canada.
Earhart poses with Capt. A. N. White in Northolt, England, on June 20, 1928.Earhart poses with Capt. A. N. White in Northolt, England, on June 20, 1928.
The Lockheed Electra 'Flying Laboratory' piloted by Earhart and Fred Noonan flies over the Golden Gate bridge in Oakland, California, at the start of a planned around-the-world flight on March 17, 1937. The trip had to be abandoned after the plane crashed on takeoff in Hawaii.The Lockheed Electra 'Flying Laboratory' piloted by Earhart and Fred Noonan flies over the Golden Gate bridge in Oakland, California, at the start of a planned around-the-world flight on March 17, 1937. The trip had to be abandoned after the plane crashed on takeoff in Hawaii.
  • Aircraft recovery group says metal piece may be from Amelia Earhart's plane
  • Group: Metal patch is "as unique to her particular aircraft as a fingerprint is to an individual"
  • Group's theory is that Earhart's plane landed on Nikumaroro, a deserted island in the Pacific
  • In June 2015, group will go to island to try and find the plane

(CNN) -- Could one of aviation's most enduring mysteries be solved? An aircraft recovery group says it may already have a part of Amelia Earhart's plane, and it thinks it knows where to find the rest of it.

The International Historic Aircraft Recovery Group says new testing of a piece of metal found in the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean in 1991 gives the group "increasing confidence" that it's a part of the Lockheed Electra.

In a press release the group argues that the aluminum debris is likely a patch that Earhart had put on her plane in place of a window. The group says the patch had a distinctive shape, size and "pattern of rivets."

"The patch was as unique to her particular aircraft as a fingerprint is to an individual," the group wrote. Now the groups says research on the aluminum "matches that fingerprint in many respects."

A recovered aluminum metal patch bears high similarity to a unique patch on Amelia Earhart's aircraft, says an aircraft recovery group. A recovered aluminum metal patch bears high similarity to a unique patch on Amelia Earhart's aircraft, says an aircraft recovery group.
A recovered aluminum metal patch bears high similarity to a unique patch on Amelia Earhart's aircraft, says an aircraft recovery group.A recovered aluminum metal patch bears high similarity to a unique patch on Amelia Earhart's aircraft, says an aircraft recovery group.

Erhart's Lockheed Electra never made it back from an attempt to circle the globe in 1937.

Deserted island theory

Over the years many theories have emerged. For example: Earhart's plane was forced down by the Japanese around the Marshall Islands. Or even, Earhart secretly returned to the United States and the government gave her a new identity.

This clue may help solve Earhart mystery
Amelia Earhart to fly around the world
Photo might help find Amelia Earhart

But International Historic Aircraft Recovery Group has developed its own theory. The Pennsylvania-based group believes Earhart actually landed safely. The groups says she and her navigator Fred Noonan set the plane down on a reef on a deserted island in the Pacific called Nikumaroro.

The group lays out what it thinks happened next in its press release: Earhart "sent radio distress calls for at least five nights before the Electra was washed into the ocean by rising tides and surf leaving Earhart and Noonan cast away on the uninhabited atoll."

The group, which operates as a nonprofit, isn't deterred by the fact that its previous searches of the area in 2010 and 2012 turned up no debris. That's because the group thinks the plane may be resting in mostly one piece.

International Historic Aircraft Recovery Group came up empty two years ago, but it thinks during that search it may have uncovered the plane itself.

"Several months after the 2012 expedition a member of TIGHAR's online Amelia Earhart Search Forum spotted an unusual feature in the sonar imagery," the group says. Six hundred feet below the waves, at the base of a cliff, the group detected an "anomaly in the underwater topography."

An anomaly

Further analysis shows, the group says, an object the "right size and shape" of Electra's fuselage.

It's not the first time this group has made a splash with its findings. When it first discovered sonar imagery of the "anomaly" the group got tepid reaction from Louise Foudray, caretaker and historian of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum.

"We don't want to shrug off the hard work anyone is doing. We do like the idea that people are still interested," she said at the time. "But we're skeptical."

And the group itself isn't ready to say for sure it has cracked this cold case.

"Is the anomaly the aircraft?" the group asks. "The only way to know is to go look."

And in June of 2015 the groups says it will spend 24 days doing just that.

That missing fan just went for a walk

  • NEW: "I knew God was walking by our side," stepdaughter posts on Facebook
  • Paul Kitterman decided he wanted to walk "somewhere warmer," police say
  • The Broncos fan, 53, disappeared from a game against the Chargers last week
  • Police: He slept in bushes and discarded his hat so no one would recognize him

(CNN) -- A Denver Broncos fan who disappeared during a game five days ago simply had "had his fill of football" and decided to take a walk to "somewhere warmer," police said Wednesday.

Paul Kitterman, 53, was found safe Tuesday night in Pueblo, Colorado, about 110 miles south of Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Though the Pueblo Police Department released additional details about Kitterman's disappearance, questions will probably persist among his family and friends. One pal told CNN early Tuesday she was sure that "something bad" had happened to him.

Kitterman was attending his first game with his stepson, Jarod Tonneson, and two friends who sat in another section in the stadium for the Thursday Night Football showdown. The four had ridden from Kremmling, Colorado, together.

Denver man disappears at Broncos game
Denver Broncos fan disappears during game

Despite it being his first experience at a Broncos game -- and the Broncos leading 14-7 at halftime in a matchup with division rivals, the San Diego Chargers -- Kitterman apparently decided to leave the game while Tonneson was in a bathroom.

Pueblo police got a report Tuesday that a man fitting Kitterman's description was in a Kmart parking lot. Police found him in good health, and he "was speaking and answering questions intelligibly that were asked of him," according to a police statement.

Asked why he vanished, he told an officer that he had "had his fill of football and decided to go for a walk," the statement said. He wanted to walk "somewhere warmer," it said.

Kitterman further told police he'd ditched his Broncos hat so no one would recognize him and "mentioned sleeping in treed areas and in bushes during his journey to Pueblo," the statement said.

Kitterman said he was tired, so police chaplains arranged a room for him, and police called his family to pick him up.

Before Kitterman was found in Pueblo, Tia Bakke, one of the friends with whom he attended the game, told CNN this type of behavior was not customary of him.

He was not intoxicated, and he had no mental health issues, she said.

"Paul is the best guy you could ask for. They don't make them like Paul anymore," said Bakke, who met Kitterman through her boyfriend, who has known Kitterman for a decade.

He'd been known to get away -- to ride his horse or go camping -- but he always told people where he was going, Bakke said.

Making matters more complicated was that police couldn't track him via a cell phone or credit cards. He didn't care for either, friends and family said.

The family is not releasing any details, according to stepdaughter Tawna Tonneson's Facebook post, which also said that Kitterman was safe and back with his family.

"We thank everyone again for everything y'all did to help us," the post said. "I knew God was walking by our side."

CNN's Ana Cabrera, Justin Lear, Steve Almasy, Jean Casarez and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.

Jennifer Lopez: I’ve felt abused

Jennifer Lopez's love life has always been in the spotlight. In a new book, the actress and singer says she's learned some important lessons along the way, including "how to take care of myself and know my worth." Here's a look back at Lopez's life and career:Jennifer Lopez's love life has always been in the spotlight. In a new book, the actress and singer says she's learned some important lessons along the way, including "how to take care of myself and know my worth." Here's a look back at Lopez's life and career:
Lopez's big break came in the title role of the biopic "Selena," which catapulted her into the limelight. She brought then-husband Ojani Noa to the Hollywood film premiere in 1995.Lopez's big break came in the title role of the biopic "Selena," which catapulted her into the limelight. She brought then-husband Ojani Noa to the Hollywood film premiere in 1995.
Lopez also put a great deal of energy into her music career, which was upstaged in 2000 by this outfit at the Grammys.Lopez also put a great deal of energy into her music career, which was upstaged in 2000 by this outfit at the Grammys.
Remember when Lopez and Ben Affleck were engaged? The pair attended the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood in 2003.Remember when Lopez and Ben Affleck were engaged? The pair attended the 75th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood in 2003.
Lopez is also a businesswoman with an empire that includes a few fragrance lines. In 2004, she made an appearance at Macy's Herald Square in New York. Lopez is also a businesswoman with an empire that includes a few fragrance lines. In 2004, she made an appearance at Macy's Herald Square in New York.
Lopez and then-husband Marc Anthony leave the Jennifer Lopez Fall 2005 show during Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park in New York.Lopez and then-husband Marc Anthony leave the Jennifer Lopez Fall 2005 show during Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park in New York.
Lopez and Anthony became parents to twins Max and Emme in 2008.Lopez and Anthony became parents to twins Max and Emme in 2008.
Lopez attended the Launch of Gucci Children's Collection in 2010 in Beverly Hills. Lopez attended the Launch of Gucci Children's Collection in 2010 in Beverly Hills.
Lopez hosted an American Music Awards afterparty on November 20, 2011, in West Hollywood, California.Lopez hosted an American Music Awards afterparty on November 20, 2011, in West Hollywood, California.
Lopez joined Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler as judges for "American Idol" in 2012. She left after a season, but returned to the show in 2013. Lopez joined Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler as judges for "American Idol" in 2012. She left after a season, but returned to the show in 2013.
Even while singing and heading her business empire, Lopez has continued to act and in 2012 attended the premiere of her film "What To Expect When You're Expecting" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.Even while singing and heading her business empire, Lopez has continued to act and in 2012 attended the premiere of her film "What To Expect When You're Expecting" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Lopez performed her hit "On The Floor" in 2011 at the American Music Awards.Lopez performed her hit "On The Floor" in 2011 at the American Music Awards.
Lopez at a post-concert party at the Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace in 2012 in Las Vegas.Lopez at a post-concert party at the Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace in 2012 in Las Vegas.
Lopez and actress Cameron Diaz presented the Oscar for makeup at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012.Lopez and actress Cameron Diaz presented the Oscar for makeup at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012.
After her divorce from Anthony, Lopez started dating dancer Casper Smart, who is 18 years her junior. The pair, seen here attending a 2012 event at Planet Dailies & Mixology 101 in Los Angeles, broke up in 2014.After her divorce from Anthony, Lopez started dating dancer Casper Smart, who is 18 years her junior. The pair, seen here attending a 2012 event at Planet Dailies & Mixology 101 in Los Angeles, broke up in 2014.
Lopez is also very involved in charity work. In June 2013, she was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award at the fourth annual amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York. Lopez is also very involved in charity work. In June 2013, she was the recipient of the Humanitarian Award at the fourth annual amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York.
In June 2013 she also received the 2,500th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. In June 2013 she also received the 2,500th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
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  • Jennifer Lopez opens up about past relationships in new book
  • Lopez says she's felt abused in "one way or another"
  • She does not say that she was physically abused
  • The star says her book represents a journey of self-discovery

(CNN) -- Not all abuse leaves physical scars, and that's a reality Jennifer Lopez is exploring in a new memoir.

The actress and singer has written a book about a period of self-discovery that occurred around the time of her first world tour in 2012. While she intended for the project "to be a fan book, a diary of the years I went on tour," what resulted was a book that helped the star "face a lot," as she tells People magazine.

One of the things she faces in her memoir are her experiences in past relationships.

"I've never gotten a black eye or a busted lip, but I've felt abused in one way or another: mentally, emotionally, verbally," Lopez writes in the book, titled "True Love."

People magazine notes that the 45-year-old doesn't name her abuser, nor does she say she was physically abused.

Lopez adds that she intentionally doesn't divulge details.

"I would never go into specifics about my relationships, and I don't. But the idea was that I learned something," she says.

Lopez has tied the knot three times, with her most recent marriage, to singer Marc Anthony, ending in 2011 after seven years. Looking back on all of her past relationships, she says she's learned to "take care of myself and know my worth."

"When things are not working out, and you're not being treated in a way that you want to be treated, you have to look at that because it's nobody's fault but yours," Lopez tells People. "You have to take control and you have to set up your own boundaries. You have the power to change it."