All posts by CNN.com - Top Stories

Boy, 3, shot in Chicago

  • NEW: A 3-year-old boy is in critical condition after being shot outside a Chicago home
  • NEW: He was with his mother and another man in the Brighton Park neighborhood
  • NEW: Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related
  • A 12-year-old boy was killed and 6 people wounded in a shooting Friday

(CNN) -- The flare-up in gun violence igniting the streets of Chicago caught a 3-year-old boy in the cross fire early Saturday morning, local police said.

The child is in critical condition.

The boy was with his mother and another man, in the city's Brighton Park neighborhood, when the shooting occurred outside a home on South Sacramento Avenue, police told CNN Chicago affiliate WLS.

The woman told investigators that three people -- two women and a man -- walked past them, and the man opened fire when they reached the end of the block.

Medical personal rushed the toddler to Mt. Sinai Hospital with gunshot wounds in his right hip and stomach, hospital officials said.

Police continue to investigate whether the shooting is gang-related.

This latest episode comes less than 24 hours after a shooter sprayed bullets outside a convenience store on the city's West Side, killing 12-year-old Samuel Walker and wounding six others.

Samuel had just finished a day at summer school Friday and stopped at the store, probably to buy a snack, when he was shot, his aunt Maribell Ruiz told CNN affiliate WLS.

"He was like a little man in the house," she said. "He helped his mother. He helped everybody."

Top cop: Blame weak gun laws for Chicago violence

Witnesses said the gunman got out of a car and started shooting.

Chicago police said the wounded included two 14-year-olds, two 15-year-olds and two men ages 21 and 25. Police said the oldest victim was treated and released at the scene while the others were in stable to serious conditions.

Police have not provided a motive or announced an arrest.

Chicago has been grappling with a spate of deadly gun violence. The shooting occurred a few hours after Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah unveiled "Chicago Stand Up," a new effort to fight Chicago gun violence.

$8 million push to protect students from gangs

Last weekend, 47 people were shot in Chicago, including an 11-year-old girl killed by a stray bullet while sitting on a friend's bedroom floor, Chicago police said. Over Independence Day weekend, nine people were killed and 60 wounded, police said.

Tackling Chicago's 'crime gap'

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed police to try new tactics, but said public safety in Chicago must go beyond police and into investments in after-school and summer job programs, community building and gun law enforcement.

Ruiz questioned whether Emanuel can to fix the problem.

"Rahm Emanuel cannot come up with a solution if he has not lived this life," said Ruiz. "If you have not been part of the street, you cannot come up with a solution for the street."

CNN's Lorenzo Ferrigno, Jennifer Feldman and Rick Martin contributed to this report.

10-month-old girl dies in hot car

  • A foster father in Kansas is arrested after a child in his care dies in a hot car
  • The 10-month-old girl was in the car with the windows up more than two hours
  • A Kansas agency launches inspections of foster and adoptive homes in the wake of the death

(CNN) -- The death of a 10-month-old girl left in a hot car in Wichita, Kanas -- the latest in a string of hot-car child deaths in the United States -- triggered the quick arrest of the girl's foster father and on Friday prompted state officials to launch home inspections of adoptive and foster families.

The foster father told police he picked up with child from a babysitter about 4 p.m. Thursday, drove home and forgot the child was in the back seat, according to Lt. Todd Ojile of the Wichita Police Department.

Investigators say the girl was locked in the car with the windows up for some two-and-a-half hours. Temperatures in the Wichita area reached the low 90s on Thursday.

The foster father was in the process of adopting the girl with his partner, according to police. "Both were extremely upset," Ojile said.

Ojile says the couple's other children have been removed from the home as the investigation continues. The couple are the adoptive parents of two children and are foster parents to four others with ages ranging from 3 to 18 years old, he said.

On Friday, Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore ordered immediate home inspections for all adoptive and foster families associated with the agency that approved the couple for foster care.

The 29-year-old foster father, whose name was not released by police, was booked on an aggravated endangerment charge but has not been formally charged. Ojile said the district attorney could file charges as early as next week.

So far in 2014, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, there have been at least 18 heatstroke deaths of children left in vehicles. In one highly publicized case, a Georgia father remains in jail awaiting trial on murder and child cruelty charges in the death of his toddler son, who was left in the father's SUV for seven hours.

Should the government step in to prevent hot car deaths?

After leaving a child in a car, 'that pain...never goes away'

Hostin: I, too, left my child in a hot car

Carjackers kill 3 kids in Philly

  • NEW: Mother of three siblings remains in critical condition
  • Two boys, 7 and 10, and their sister, 15 were killed as they raised money for church
  • Two men stole a real estate agent's SUV and drove it into a fruit stand
  • Police are offering a reward of $110,000

(CNN) -- Three children helping their mother operate a fruit stand were killed when a stolen SUV plowed into a small crowd on a Philadelphia street corner.

Police Lt. John Stanford said 10-year-old Thomas Reed was pronounced dead on the scene Friday, while 7-year-old Terrence Moore and 15-year-old Keiearra Williams were pronounced dead at the hospital.

They were the children of 34-year-old Keisha Williams, who remained in critical condition Saturday, according to Giselle Zayon of Temple University Hospital.

"They were sweet," Ursula Jackson of North Philadelphia told CNN affiliate KYW. "They were beautiful, they were beautiful little kids."

According to Philadelphia police, two men -- one black, one Hispanic -- carjacked a real estate agent who was showing a house and pushed her into the backseat of her Toyota SUV.

The men drove around Philadelphia at high speeds while holding the woman -- whose name has not been released -- at gunpoint. Stanford said she is in critical but stable condition, and that she has been able to communicate with authorities.

When the SUV rounded a corner at Germantown and Allegheny avenues, it ran into a small crowd on the corner, including the fruit stand where the family -- who lived just around the corner on West Hilton St -- was raising money for their church. Another woman helping at the fruit stand was hospitalized as well. On Saturday, police had not released her name or her condition.

The SUV wrecked in a wooded area and the two men ran away.

The father of the 7-year-old boy urged the suspects to surrender to authorities.

"Taking innocent peoples' lives. That was my son," he told KYW. "You took him away from me. Turn yourself in."

A reward of $110,000 has been offered for information leading to their arrest.

Stanford said Saturday the homicide unit was "following up on a number of tips and leads but (it had) nothing concrete at this time."

Lawyer: Marine’s Tijuana counsel blew it

Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi served with the Marines in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi served with the Marines in Afghanistan.
  • Attorney says Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi's first defenders allowed his case to "simmer"
  • Fernando Benitez: "Those first 96 hours" in a Mexican criminal case are crucial
  • Tahmooressi was detained in March by border officials for firearms in his possession
  • "I believe he was denied several basic human rights," Benitez says

(CNN) -- A U.S. Marine Corps reservist held in a Mexican prison for more than three months on a weapons charge could have been released within days of his detention if not for "missed opportunities" by his original legal counsel, his attorney told CNN.

In an exclusive phone interview, Fernando Benitez -- the latest attorney for jailed Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi -- said his client's case was allowed to "simmer" by his original attorneys. They have since been fired.

"For anybody being involved in a criminal case in Mexico, the first 96 hours ... those first 96 hours are crucial," Benitez said. "A lot can be done, and releases can and are obtained regularly, but you have to aggressively address a defensive strategy."

Now, Benitez says, his client is at the mercy of the Mexican judicial system, and there is no timetable for his release.

Mom begs State Department to help son
Alan Gross, at right with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, has been in Cuban custody since December 2009, when he was jailed while working as a subcontractor. Cuban authorities say Gross tried to set up illegal Internet connections on the island. Gross says he was just trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet. Former President Jimmy Carter and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson have both traveled to Cuba on Gross' behalf, but they were unable to secure his release.Alan Gross, at right with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, has been in Cuban custody since December 2009, when he was jailed while working as a subcontractor. Cuban authorities say Gross tried to set up illegal Internet connections on the island. Gross says he was just trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet. Former President Jimmy Carter and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson have both traveled to Cuba on Gross' behalf, but they were unable to secure his release.
North Korea announced Friday, June 6, that it has detained Jeffrey Edward Fowle, a U.S. citizen it says entered the country as a tourist on April 29 and broke the law. Citing unidentified diplomatic sources, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Fowle was part of a tour group and that he was detained in mid-May after allegedly leaving a Bible in a hotel where he had been staying.North Korea announced Friday, June 6, that it has detained Jeffrey Edward Fowle, a U.S. citizen it says entered the country as a tourist on April 29 and broke the law. Citing unidentified diplomatic sources, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that Fowle was part of a tour group and that he was detained in mid-May after allegedly leaving a Bible in a hotel where he had been staying.
This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by insurgents in Afghanistan since 2009. The White House announced Bergdahl's release on May 31. This undated image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by insurgents in Afghanistan since 2009. The White House announced Bergdahl's release on May 31.
An Iranian court threw out a 2011 death sentence for Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine charged with spying. But he was secretly retried in Iran and convicted of "practical collaboration with the U.S. government," his sister told CNN on April 11. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, she said. Hekmati was detained in August 2011 during a visit to see his grandmother. His family and the Obama administration deny accusations he was spying for the CIA. An Iranian court threw out a 2011 death sentence for Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine charged with spying. But he was secretly retried in Iran and convicted of "practical collaboration with the U.S. government," his sister told CNN on April 11. He has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, she said. Hekmati was detained in August 2011 during a visit to see his grandmother. His family and the Obama administration deny accusations he was spying for the CIA.
A North Korean court sentenced Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, to 15 years of hard labor for committing "hostile acts" against the state. Those alleged acts were not detailed by the country's state-run news agency when it announced the sentence in May. Bae, here in a photo from a Facebook page titled Remember Ken Bae, was arrested in November 2012. "This was somebody who was a tour operator, who has been there in the past and has a visa to go to the North," a senior U.S. official told CNN.A North Korean court sentenced Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, to 15 years of hard labor for committing "hostile acts" against the state. Those alleged acts were not detailed by the country's state-run news agency when it announced the sentence in May. Bae, here in a photo from a Facebook page titled Remember Ken Bae, was arrested in November 2012. "This was somebody who was a tour operator, who has been there in the past and has a visa to go to the North," a senior U.S. official told CNN.
Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson has been missing since 2007. His family says he was working as a private investigator in Iran when he disappeared, and multiple reports suggest Levinson may have been working for the CIA. His family told CNN in January that they have long known that Levinson worked for the CIA, and they said it's time for the government to lay out the facts about Levinson's case. U.S. officials have consistently denied publicly that Levinson was working for the government, but they have repeatedly insisted that finding him and bringing him home is a "top" priority.Retired FBI agent Robert Levinson has been missing since 2007. His family says he was working as a private investigator in Iran when he disappeared, and multiple reports suggest Levinson may have been working for the CIA. His family told CNN in January that they have long known that Levinson worked for the CIA, and they said it's time for the government to lay out the facts about Levinson's case. U.S. officials have consistently denied publicly that Levinson was working for the government, but they have repeatedly insisted that finding him and bringing him home is a "top" priority.
Warren Weinstein, a contractor held by al Qaeda militants, is a U.S. citizen who has been held hostage in Pakistan since August 2011.Warren Weinstein, a contractor held by al Qaeda militants, is a U.S. citizen who has been held hostage in Pakistan since August 2011.
U.S. tourist and Korean War veteran Merrill Newman arrives at the Beijing airport Saturday, December 7, after being released by North Korea. Newman was detained October 26 by North Korean authorities just minutes before he was to depart the country after visiting through an organized tour. His son Jeff Newman says the Palo Alto, California, man had all the proper paperwork and set up his trip through a North Korean-approved travel agency. U.S. tourist and Korean War veteran Merrill Newman arrives at the Beijing airport Saturday, December 7, after being released by North Korea. Newman was detained October 26 by North Korean authorities just minutes before he was to depart the country after visiting through an organized tour. His son Jeff Newman says the Palo Alto, California, man had all the proper paperwork and set up his trip through a North Korean-approved travel agency.
Mexican authorities arrested Yanira Maldonado, a U.S. citizen, right, in May 2013, for alleged drug possession. She and her husband, Gary, were traveling from Mexico back to the United States when their bus was stopped and searched. She was released a few days later and is now back in the United States.Mexican authorities arrested Yanira Maldonado, a U.S. citizen, right, in May 2013, for alleged drug possession. She and her husband, Gary, were traveling from Mexico back to the United States when their bus was stopped and searched. She was released a few days later and is now back in the United States.
Saeed Abedini, a 33-year-old U.S. citizen of Iranian birth, was sentenced to eight years in prison in January 2013, accused of attempting to undermine the Iranian government and endangering national security by establishing home churches.Saeed Abedini, a 33-year-old U.S. citizen of Iranian birth, was sentenced to eight years in prison in January 2013, accused of attempting to undermine the Iranian government and endangering national security by establishing home churches.
North Korea has arrested Americans before, only to release them after a visit by a prominent dignitary. Journalists Laura Ling, center, and Euna Lee, to her right, spent 140 days in captivity after being charged with illegal entry to conduct a smear campaign. They were freed in 2009 after a trip by former President Bill Clinton.North Korea has arrested Americans before, only to release them after a visit by a prominent dignitary. Journalists Laura Ling, center, and Euna Lee, to her right, spent 140 days in captivity after being charged with illegal entry to conduct a smear campaign. They were freed in 2009 after a trip by former President Bill Clinton.
Former President Jimmy Carter negotiated the release of Aijalon Gomes, who was detained in 2010 after crossing into North Korea illegally from China. Analysts say high-level visits give Pyongyang a propaganda boost and a way to save face when it releases a prisoner.Former President Jimmy Carter negotiated the release of Aijalon Gomes, who was detained in 2010 after crossing into North Korea illegally from China. Analysts say high-level visits give Pyongyang a propaganda boost and a way to save face when it releases a prisoner.
Eddie Yong Su Jun was released by North Korea a month after he was detained in April 2011. His alleged crime was not provided to the media. The American delegation that secured his freedom included Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues.Eddie Yong Su Jun was released by North Korea a month after he was detained in April 2011. His alleged crime was not provided to the media. The American delegation that secured his freedom included Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues.
Robert Park was released by North Korea in 2010 without any apparent U.S. intervention. The Christian missionary crossed into North Korea from China, carrying a letter asking Kim Jong Il to free political prisoners and resign. North Korea's state-run news agency said Park was released after an "admission and sincere repentance of his wrongdoings." Here, Park holds a photo of Kim and a malnourished child during a protest in Seoul.Robert Park was released by North Korea in 2010 without any apparent U.S. intervention. The Christian missionary crossed into North Korea from China, carrying a letter asking Kim Jong Il to free political prisoners and resign. North Korea's state-run news agency said Park was released after an "admission and sincere repentance of his wrongdoings." Here, Park holds a photo of Kim and a malnourished child during a protest in Seoul.
Josh Fattal, center, Sarah Shourd, left, and Shane Bauer were detained by Iran while hiking near the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009. Iran charged them with illegal entry and espionage. Shourd was released on bail for medical reasons in September 2010; she never returned to face her charges. Bauer and Fattal were convicted in August 2011, but the next month they were released on bail and had their sentences commuted.Josh Fattal, center, Sarah Shourd, left, and Shane Bauer were detained by Iran while hiking near the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009. Iran charged them with illegal entry and espionage. Shourd was released on bail for medical reasons in September 2010; she never returned to face her charges. Bauer and Fattal were convicted in August 2011, but the next month they were released on bail and had their sentences commuted.
Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American scholar, was also detained at Evin Prison, spending months in solitary confinement before Iran released her on bail in August 2007. Esfandiari was visiting her ailing mother in Tehran when she was arrested and charged with harming Iran's national security. Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American scholar, was also detained at Evin Prison, spending months in solitary confinement before Iran released her on bail in August 2007. Esfandiari was visiting her ailing mother in Tehran when she was arrested and charged with harming Iran's national security.
Sixteen Americans were among the dozens arrested in December 2011 when Egypt raided the offices of 10 nongovernmental organizations that it said received illegal foreign financing and were operating without a public license. Many of the employees posted bail and left the country after a travel ban was lifted a few months later. Robert Becker, right, chose to stay and stand trial.Sixteen Americans were among the dozens arrested in December 2011 when Egypt raided the offices of 10 nongovernmental organizations that it said received illegal foreign financing and were operating without a public license. Many of the employees posted bail and left the country after a travel ban was lifted a few months later. Robert Becker, right, chose to stay and stand trial.
Freelance reporter James Foley went missing in November 2012 after his car was stopped by gunmen in Syria. He is likely being held by the Syrian government, according to the GlobalPost, an online international news outlet to which he contributed, and Foley's brother. Freelance reporter James Foley went missing in November 2012 after his car was stopped by gunmen in Syria. He is likely being held by the Syrian government, according to the GlobalPost, an online international news outlet to which he contributed, and Foley's brother.
Filmmaker Timothy Tracy was arrested in Venezuela in April on allegations of funding opponents of newly elected President Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez. Tracy went to Venezuela to make a documentary about the political division gripping the country. He was released in June.Filmmaker Timothy Tracy was arrested in Venezuela in April on allegations of funding opponents of newly elected President Nicolas Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez. Tracy went to Venezuela to make a documentary about the political division gripping the country. He was released in June.
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
Americans detained abroad
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
Photos: Americans detained abroadPhotos: Americans detained abroad

Tahmooressi has maintained that he took a wrong turn on the California side of the border into Tijuana, Mexico, the night of March 31. His mother told CNN in May that Tahmooressi, who served in Afghanistan, had moved to the San Ysidro, California, area to get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was detained by Mexican border officials for possessing a .45-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge pump shotgun and an AR-15 rifle.

For weeks, Tahmooressi sat in a Tijuana prison while his defense attorneys failed to submit evidence to the court in the initial stages of his defense.

Tahmooressi and his attorneys alleged that he was beaten and tortured by guards and prisoners at the prison. Mexican officials have denied that claim.

He has since been transferred to El Hongo Penitentiary in Tecate, where he told CNN earlier this month that he is being treated well.

Benitez has submitted evidence and will continue to do so between now and August 4, Tahmooressi's next court date. His combined legal bills have already surpassed more than $20,000, according to the family.

"In Andrew's case, several windows of opportunity were missed," Benitez said. "It's frustrating to us. I would have loved to have taken advantage of those opportunities. But now we need to work with what we have and that's exactly what we're going to do."

Germane to Tahmooressi's defense is that Tahmooressi's rights were violated under the Mexican constitution, Benitez said.

"I believe he was denied several basic human rights, which, it's my contention, should result in reparation from the court" in the form of declaring a mistrial or tossing out the testimony "of those officers who are singling him out as the responsible party in this case."

A 20-year criminal defense veteran, Benitez said he has a strong track record of acquittals or cases being thrown out in federal court.

In 2011, he defended former Tijuana Mayor Hank Rhon, whose house was raided by Mexican soldiers who discovered an arsenal of illegal guns and ammunition. Benitez successfully argued that the raid was performed without a warrant. All charges were dropped.

The same should be expected for Tahmooressi's case, Benitez told CNN.

"Andrew's case, believe it or not, is technically not that complex," Benitez said. "It's a mistake many people have made. I've driven my car up to San Diego and back to Tijuana and I can tell you I've made the same mistake he made. And I'm a resident. The evidence we've been uncovering all supports his story."

Opinion: A mother's worst nightmare: My son is detained in Mexico

U.S. Marine 'optimistic' he'll soon be released from Mexican prison

U.S. Marine says he'd walked into Mexico before his arrest

Study: Dogs get jealous, too

  • A new University of California study suggests dogs can exhibit jealousy
  • Study dogs acted jealous when their owners displayed affection to a fake dog
  • Experts say study is significant step forward in understanding pets' emotions

(CNN) -- Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.

New research suggests that dogs can exhibit jealousy, a human emotion usually ascribed to squabbling siblings or the jilted third of a love triangle.

A study by scholars at the University of California, San Diego found that dogs showed jealous behaviors when their owners displayed affection toward an animatronic stuffed dog that barked, whined and wagged its tail. The dogs snapped at and pushed against the stuffed dog and tried to get between it and the human.

This may come as no surprise to any owner of multiple pooches who has seen them jostle for space on someone's lap. And it's not unusual for people to assign human feelings to their dogs, whose baleful eyes seem like deep pools of emotion when compared with those of, say, cats.

5 ways pets benefit your health

Hotels cater exclusively to dogs
See dogs surf the waves
Dog reunites with deployed sailor

But animal-behavior experts say the study is a significant step forward in understanding our dogs' emotional lives.

"This is the first study I know of that directly asks this question: Do dogs get jealous?" said Marc Bekoff, author of "Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Animal Intelligence, Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation."

The study by Christine R. Harris and Caroline Prouvost was published Wednesday in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed online scientific journal. For their research, the authors videotaped 36 dogs individually at their homes while their owners ignored them and interacted with a series of three objects: the fake dog, a children's book and a plastic jack-o'-lantern.

The canines included 14 small breeds such as pugs, dachshunds, corgis and terriers. Researchers chose small breeds so they could more easily control the dogs if they acted out violently.

The dogs acted jealous when their owners petted the stuffed dog and talked sweetly to it as if it was real, although they displayed less such behavior when the owner showered attention on the pumpkin or read aloud from the children's book, which had pop-up pages and played melodies.

In this way, the study suggests, the dogs' jealousy was triggered by social interaction and not merely by their owners' ignoring them for an inanimate object. Eighty-six percent of the dogs sniffed the butt of the toy dog during the experiment, so many of them may have seen it as real.

New app helps you find lookalike for Fido

The findings mirror those of other studies that found human babies as young as 6 months displayed jealous behaviors when their mothers interacted with a realistic-looking doll. The infants did not act jealous, however, when their mothers attended to a nonsocial item such as a book.

"These results lend support to the hypothesis that jealousy has some 'primordial' form that exists in human infants and in at least one other social species besides humans," the study said.

Although most animals clearly demonstrate primal emotions such as anger or fear, studies have been less conclusive in determining whether dogs are capable of more complicated feelings such as guilt or shame, Bekoff said.

But research has shown that dogs do understand when they're being treated unfairly, he said.

"Dogs are really keen social observers," Bekoff said.

Animal behavioral expert Patricia McConnell, author of "For the Love of a Dog" and other books, said she was impressed with the new study's methodology.

But she's not surprised by its findings.

"I think we share a tremendous amount of emotional life ... with dogs," she said. "But I have never thought of jealousy as a particularly complex emotion (in animals). Is human jealousy exactly like dog jealousy? I'm sure it's not."

Does your dog ever act jealous? Share your experience in the comments section below.

New York lawmakers ban piercings, most tattoos on pets

Loving and losing a dog: Your stories

Man leaves $1,000 tip for dog's surgery

Short on sleep? Beware false memories

Researchers say those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to remember false details than those who are not.
Researchers say those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to remember false details than those who are not.
  • A third of parents with obese kids thought their kids' health was excellent or very good
  • Brown fat may help protect us against obesity and diabetes
  • Sleep-deprived? Your brain may not remember things clearly

(CNN) -- Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation -- so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Sleep deprivation may lead to false memories

Journal: Psychological Science

Researchers from the University of California say those who are sleep-deprived are more likely to remember false details than those who are not.

Their study was conducted with 104 college-age participants who were split into four groups. Two groups were asked to look at photos of a crime scene upon their arrival, while the other two groups saw the photos the following morning. Half of them went to sleep, while half of them were asked to stay up all night. All were tested on the details of the photographs the following morning.

"The researchers found that only those students who had been sleep deprived for all parts of the experiment -- that is, they viewed the photos, read the narratives, and took the memory test after having stayed up all night -- were more likely to report the false details."

The study found that five hours of sleep or less was associated with the formation of false memories.

Of note, the group who saw the photos before they stayed awake through the night "were no more susceptible to false memories than the students who'd been allowed to sleep."

The authors put the results into the context of the courtroom, discussing how these findings might affect witness reliability.

Parents believe their obese kids are 'very healthy'

Overweight kids don't see it

Journal: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

We all know childhood obesity is a problem, but a recent study led by University of California, San Diego researchers suggests that parents aren't cognizant of their children's true weight.

The study looked at 202 patients age 5 to 20 at an obesity clinic; 94% of them were clinically classified as obese. Close to a third of the parents perceived their children's health as "excellent or very good," and 28% did not think their children's weight was a health issue.

The parents were more interested in improving their children's diets than encouraging the pediatrician-recommended hour of daily exercise. Two-thirds of the parents reported making healthy diet changes for their children, but only 41.1% said they were doing something to get their kids active.

Researchers were unable to find concrete evidence as to why parents did not appear to understand the importance of physical activity but said "poverty may also play a role in how much children move on a daily basis, as parents with annual incomes of less than $40,000 were also less likely to be actively engaged in ensuring their child got regular exercise."

Experts say that intervening early in childhood obesity is key, as age 14 seems to be the cutoff for successful parent involvement.

Read more from UC San Diego

Brown fat protects us against diabetes and obesity

Journal: Diabetes

Is all body fat bad? White fat might be a universal scourge, but its lesser-known counterpart, brown fat, seems to have some positive effects. Researchers at the University of Texas found that people with higher levels of brown fat had "better blood sugar control, higher insulin sensitivity and a better metabolism for burning fat stores."

Brown fat (or brown adipose tissue) is typically associated with generating heat and is primarily found in babies and hibernating animals.

This study placed normal, healthy men with either high or low levels of brown fat in mildly cold temperatures for five to eight hours, or at normal temperature. The team then took samples from the two groups to detect changes in body chemistry.

"In this study we show that, when activated via mild cold exposure, brown adipose tissue can increase energy expenditure and burn calories. This is good news for overweight and obese people," study author Dr. Labros Sidossis said in a statement. "Of even greater clinical significance maybe the finding that brown fat can help the body regulate blood sugar more effectively. This is great news for people with insulin resistance and diabetes and suggests that brown fat may prove to be an important anti-diabetic tissue."

Read more from the University of Texas

Less childbirth pain = lower depression risk

Journal: Anesthesia & Analgesia

The effects of epidural anesthesia during childbirth might be longer-lasting than you think. A Chinese study recently found that women who had epidurals and pain control during vaginal delivery had a much lower risk of postpartum depression than women who didn't have an epidural.

Dr. Katherine Wisner, a perinatal psychiatrist at Northwestern University, wrote an editorial on the Chinese study that was published in Anesthesia & Analgesia this week.

Postpartum depression affects 14.5% of women, according to the article, but prevalence rates have been estimated to be both higher and lower in multiple studies. The mechanisms and causes of postpartum depression are not well understood, but it can last up to a year after a woman gives birth.

One possible reason that an epidural led to lower depression rates, Wisner wrote, was that "pain control gets the mother off to a good beginning, rather than starting off defeated and exhausted."

Read more from Northwestern University

Not enough teens are getting the HPV vaccine

Journal: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been strongly linked to several types of cancer, including cervical cancer. Persistent infections of specific HPV strains are particularly dangerous.

Two vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, can prevent infection of several of those high-risk HPV forms. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV vaccine coverage levels for teens 13 to 17 remains low.

The organization found that only 57% of girls and 35% of boys get the HPV vaccine. In comparison, approximately 86% of teens have received the vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, called Tdap.

The CDC says physicians are not recommending the HPV vaccine often enough. "Approximately one third of parents of girls and over half of parents of boys reported that their child's clinician had not recommended that their child receive an HPV vaccination."

The problem is not that doctors are reluctant to give the vaccine, says Dr. Anne Schuchatt, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "It's more often a problem of miscommunication. Surveys show many are actually forgetting to mention it to patients."

CDC committee recommends boys receive HPV vaccine

HPV cases remain high despite vaccine

Arizona: Killer’s execution not botched

  • NEW: Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections defends execution
  • Media witnesses say Arizona murderer Joseph Wood gasped intensely
  • His attorneys tried to halt execution more than halfway through and have Wood revived
  • New drug combinations in lethal injections have sparked controversy

CNN's original series "Death Row Stories" explores America's capital punishment system at 10 p.m. ET/PT Sundays on CNN. Join the conversation about the death penalty at facebook.com/cnn or Twitter @CNNorigSeries using #DeathRowStories.

(CNN) -- Joseph Wood gasped and struggled to breathe during his nearly two-hour execution involving a novel combination of drugs, some witnesses say.

His last breaths were like "a fish on shore gulping for air," reporter Troy Hayden said. Wood's attorneys tried to stop the execution more than halfway through, with one calling it "bungled" and "botched."

State officials and his victims' relatives disagreed, saying Wood snored and didn't appear to suffer.

Reports that the execution was botched are "erroneous," Charles Ryan, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, said Thursday.

Wood was comatose and never in pain during his execution, Ryan said. The director said: "The record clearly shows the inmate was fully and deeply sedated ... three minutes after the administration of the execution drugs."

Suffering or not, Wood's death Wednesday afternoon took too long, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said, and she has ordered the state's Department of Corrections to review it.

Wood's slow death is fueling a debate stirred up as states look for new drug combinations for lethal injections, thanks in part to pharmaceutical companies' decisions to withhold or stop making drugs used in the past.

"It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes. We will renew our efforts to get information about the manufacturer of drugs as well as how Arizona came up with the experimental formula of drugs it used today," attorney Dale Baich said in a statement.

He added, "Arizona appears to have joined several other states who have been responsible for an entirely preventable horror -- a bungled execution."

One of the victims' relatives had a strongly different view -- that he didn't suffer, and that he got what he deserved.

"I don't believe he was gasping for air; I don't believe he was suffering. It sounded to me like was snoring," said the relative, Jeanne Brown.

"You don't know what excruciating is. What's excruciating is seeing your dad laying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister laying there in a pool of blood. This man deserved it. And I shouldn't really call him a man," she said.

The state used midazolam, an anesthetic, and hydromorphone, a narcotic painkiller that, with an overdose, halts breathing and stops the heart from beating. It's one of the new combinations that states have tried -- with some controversial results -- after manufacturers based or operating in Europe stopped U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions.

Opinion: I was 17, on death row -- and innocent

The execution began at 1:52 p.m. (4:52 p.m. ET) Wednesday and concluded, with Wood being pronounced dead, at 3:49 p.m. (6:49 p.m. ET).

Wood, convicted of murder and assault in the 1989 deaths of his estranged girlfriend and her father, objected to the drug combination in courts, arguing that it was experimental, that it would not put him out completely and that it would violate constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

The Arizona Supreme Court briefly delayed Wednesday's execution to consider his last-ditch request before denying it. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to intervene.

Arizona execution raises questions over novel lethal injections

A federal judge ordered local officials to preserve all physical evidence in Wood's execution.

"One thing is certain, however: Inmate Wood died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer," the governor said. "This is in stark comparison to the gruesome, vicious suffering that he inflicted on his two victims -- and the lifetime of suffering he has caused their family."

Lawyers rush to save him after injection

The Corrections Department said it followed protocol, affirming Wood's "deep sedation" seven times before he was pronounced dead.

Aside from snoring, he did not grimace or otherwise move, the department said.

But as the clock ticked, Wood's attorneys filed an emergency motion to stop the execution and save his life. He was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour," they said.

"He is still alive," the motion read. "This execution has violated Mr. Wood's Eighth Amendment right to be executed in the absence of cruel and unusual punishment."

Attorney Baich said the room was silent as Wood gasped. "I have witnessed 10 executions, and I had never seen that before," he said.

Baich blasted Brewer over her assessment and called for an independent investigation.

Witness: Execution 'was tough for everybody'

Michael Kiefer, a reporter for The Arizona Republic, said this execution was unlike the other four he has witnessed.

"Usually it takes about 10 minutes, the person goes to sleep. This was not that," he told other reporters afterward. "It started off looking as if it was going all right but then obviously something didn't go right. It took two hours."

Kiefer described the sound Wood made as a "deep, snoring, sucking air sound."

Hayden, a media witness from KSAZ-TV in Phoenix, told reporters the execution was difficult to watch. He likened Wood's breathing to a "fish gulping for air."

"It was tough for everybody in that room," he said.

Opinion: 5 ways to improve the U.S. death penalty

Drug combination controversy

As with executions in other states with new lethal drug combinations, many of the objections have centered on the drugs themselves.

Defense attorney Baich vowed to look into how Arizona came up with the "experimental formula of drugs it used."

The American Civil Liberties Union joined in his outrage.

"It's time for Arizona and the other states still using lethal injection to admit that this experiment with unreliable drugs is a failure," it said in a statement.

It called for Arizona and other states to prove the reliability of the drugs or stop the executions.

Some drugs hard to come by now

The quarrel over the drugs used in lethal injections is not new.

Executions have commonly been carried out with a combination of three drugs -- an anesthetic to render the inmate unconscious, followed by a paralyzing agent to keep him or her from flailing, then a third drug to kill the inmate, often potassium chloride to halt the heart.

The commonly used anesthetic was once sodium thiopental, which can also be used for surgical anesthesia.

Its sole U.S. manufacturer, Hospira, based in Illinois, suspended its production in 2009 and ended it for good in 2011. The company said it had never intended it to be used in lethal injections. European manufacturers of the same drug refuse to export it to the United States for the same reason.

Some states then looked to pentobarbital, a powerful anesthetic commonly used to euthanize animals. But that drug has been hard to come by since 2011, when Lundbeck, its Denmark-based manufacturer, said it would do its best to keep the drug from U.S. execution programs.

Controversies in Oklahoma, Ohio

New drug combinations were a focus of controversial executions this year in Oklahoma and Ohio.

Oklahoma put executions on hold after the death of inmate Clayton Lockett in April. Midazolam was part of the injection combination, and it took 43 minutes for him to die, Oklahoma officials said.

While state officials said Lockett was unconscious the entire time, a media witness for CNN affiliate KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City said he uttered the words, "Man," "I'm not," and "something's wrong" before blinds to the execution chamber were closed. His attorney, Dean Sanderford, said the inmate's body twitched and convulsed before he died.

The state Department of Corrections said an "exploded" vein was part of the problem.

"There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effect. So the doctor observed the line and determined that the line had blown," said Robert Patton, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

In January, Ohio used a midazolam-hydromorphone combination to execute convicted murderer and rapist Dennis McGuire. It took 24 minutes for him to die, and he appeared to gasp and convulse for 10 to 13 minutes, Columbus Dispatch reporter Alan Johnson said.

Ohio's correction department said it had wanted to use pentobarbital, but it ran out of its supply in September.

Combining new drugs in lethal injections may have sparked controversy, but the use of the old drug combination that included sodium thiopental was also not fail-safe, medical critics have said.

It is possible that executions were quicker and inmates flailed less with the old combination, but they may have been conscious as they experienced their executions, some critics say.

The real question to some is not if a specific drug is responsible for suffering, but if the method of execution itself is.

Mississippi mother swaps death row for jail cell to await trial

Death penalty facts that may surprise you

California's death penalty ruled unconstitutional

CNN's Mayra Cuevas, Dave Alsup, Ross Levitt and Michael Pearson contributed to this report.

Tornado hits campground; 2 die

  • NEW: The National Weather Service confirms an F1 tornado in Virginia
  • NEW: Police say a Jersey City, New Jersey couple died when a tree fell on their tent
  • NEW: 36 people were hospitalized, including the son of the slain couple
  • Photos show overturned campers and a downed tree on one vehicle

(CNN) -- The voices in the video tell the story.

"Something crazy is going on outside," a woman shouts. "I'm scared."

Moments later, the same voice yells that a tree has fallen and another says, "It's on that guy's camper."

Overturned campers, downed trees

The footage posted on the website of CNN affiliate WAVY came from the Cherrystone Family Camping Resort on the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, where a tornado on Thursday toppled campers and sent trees crashing onto vehicles.

State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said a New Jersey couple died when a tree fell on their tent and 36 people were hospitalized -- including the couple's 13-year-old son. He was in critical condition.

She identified the fatalities as Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, both 38, of Jersey City.

According to Geller, more than 1,300 people were staying at the campground and police have accounted for all of them, plus 40 Cherrystone staff members.

Photos from the scene in Northampton County showed overturned campers, with a downed tree crushing one vehicle.

The area was under a tornado warning, and Danielle Rivera -- who shot the video footage -- told WAVY of giant hail and crushing winds that tore off the awning of her family's camper.

"I was terrified"

"I was terrified," the 17-year-old Rivera said. "I was so scared."

She and her mother decided to stay in the camper until the hail and wind relented enough for them to make a dash to their car.

"I thought a tree was going to fall on us," she said.

Survivors were bused to a local high school set up as a temporary shelter, and workers made sure the devastated campground was safe before allowing anyone to return, Geller said.

The injured were taken to four different medical centers, with most going to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital, she said.

Tornado warning

According to the National Weather Service, a cluster of "supercells" ahead of a cold front formed a storm over Chesapeake Bay just after 8 a.m. ET.

The storm intensified as it moved on ashore about 30 minutes later. The area was under a tornado warning issued at 8:20 a.m., and Geller said the weather service confirmed that an F1 tornado hit the campground.

An F1 tornado has wind speeds of 73-112 mph.

Cherrystone opened in 1964 occupies 300 acres with 725 sites including cabins, cottages, and deluxe campers, its website says. Geller told reporters that the tornado appeared to come off the water and hit the campground. It also knocked over a tractor-trailer on a nearby road, injuring the driver, she said.

All the other damage and injuries occurred at the campground, Geller said, adding that most of those sent to hospitals had been treated and released.

Rivera told WAVYthat she and her family had been going there for 10 years, but "never have I ever witnessed anything this bad."

Obama weighs sending National Guard

  • The Obama administration weighs sending National Guard tropps to the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Congressional Democrats and Republicans have competing border crisis plans
  • The president is meeting with Central American leaders this week to discuss border crisis
  • The Obama administration is buoyed by slight slowing in immigrant kids at the border

Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration, after initially resisting the idea, is weighing whether to deploy National Guard troops to the southern border to help address a surge of migrant youth from Central America, many of them unaccompanied, a White House official told CNN.

The Pentagon and the Department of Health and Human Services sent a team earlier this week to assess Border Patrol efforts in the Rio Grande Valley, the official said, where tens of thousands of children have poured into the United States this year.

The administration's latest efforts in what most agree is a humanitarian crisis come as Washington struggles to address the matter with little optimism for a solution before Congress breaks for its month-long August recess.

Immigration protestors gather in Kansas
Humanitarian crisis ... in America?
Breaking through the immigration rhetoric

Immigrants or refugees?

Here's the latest:

Little optimism for a solution from Congress: House Speaker John Boehner accuses President Barack Obama of being "AWOL" on the crisis and flip-flopping on solutions.

A key partisan point of contention is a Republican proposal to change a 2008 law that allows Central American immigrant children to stay in the United States until they receive a hearing. That process can take months or years.

Republicans want to tweak the Bush-era law so that migrant youth from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, who do not qualify for refugee status, are sent home more quickly.

Democrats worry the expedited process will mean many will fall through the cracks and will be sent back to what many have characterized as violent situations in their countries.

"The administration started earlier this month by signaling some openness to changes in the 2008 law to accelerate the process of returning these children to their home countries," Boehner told reporters on Thursday. "The President called for this change, the secretary of homeland security called for this change, and other administration officials have called for this change. Now the President and his team have apparently flip-flopped."

House Republicans proposed a $1.5 billion package on Wednesday aimed at helping to resolve the crisis.

The tally is nearly $1 billion less than that proposed in a measure by Senate Democrats just a day before and less than half of the $3.7 billion Obama has said he needs to effectively combat the problem.

However, top congressional leaders from both parties say they doubt Congress will act before beginning its recess. Time to do something is also short when they get back in September due to the upcoming midterm elections in November.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and members from the Texas congressional delegation were to meet with officials from the Rio Grande Valley and the Brownsville office of Catholic Charitieson on Thursday to discuss the problem.

White House reconsidering National Guard: The White House has not embraced calls from Republicans and even some Democrats to send guard troops to the border with Mexico. President Barack Obama suggested, in a conversation with Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier this month, that it could be a temporary solution.

Perry followed up this week, announcing he would deploy up to 1,000 guard troops to the border area most affected by the surge -- the Rio Grande Valley.

A White House official told CNN there had been no request from homeland security officials for such a step, but that the Pentagon would make the call, if asked for help.

Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday the administration is "very pleased" and optimistic with conditions" at the border.

Kerlikowske also noted that the flow of migrant youth has slowed, but also said that is a usual occurrence in hotter parts of the summer.

Central American leaders in the U.S.: Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez are slated to speak at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonprofit, foreign policy think tank, on Thursday about ways to stem the from of immigrant kids.

Molina and Hernandez, along with El Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, are scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Friday.

Bush calls on Republicans to fix the problem: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal asking fellow Republicans not abandon comprehensive immigration reform and asking for the affected immigrant children to be treated more compassionately when they are taken into custody. His piece echoes themes in a similar statement last week to CNN.

"President Obama has promised to once again act unilaterally if Congress fails to take up immigration reform," Bush wrote. "Now is the time for House Republicans to demonstrate leadership on this issue. Congress should not use the present crisis as an excuse to defer comprehensive immigration reform."

Key questions about Rick Perry's border plan

Kevin Liptak and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Affleck’s ‘Batman’ makes appearance

Ben Affleck stars as Batman in 2016's
Ben Affleck stars as Batman in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
  • A close-up photo of Ben Affleck's Batman was shared at Comic-Con
  • It was part of a montage celebrating the hero's 75th anniversary
  • Affleck is playing Batman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
  • The movie will arrive May 6, 2016

(CNN) -- Attendees at 2014's San Diego Comic-Con have gotten up close and personal with Ben Affleck's Batman.

On Thursday, DC Comics gave the first close-up look at Affleck's caped hero, offering a profile photo of the newest Bruce Wayne as part of a montage honoring Batman's 75th anniversary.

First look at Ben Affleck in 'Batman vs. Superman'

In addition to the close-up photo, Affleck's cape and cowl from the upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" has been seen on the SDCC floor.

Henry Cavill suits up for 'Batman v Superman'

Affleck himself hasn't been spotted, but he's probably busy with director Zack Snyder's production schedule. Work on "Batman v Superman" is under way, with plans to shoot in Detroit and international locales.

Also starring Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" will open May 6, 2016.

Darth Car unveiled at Comic-Con

Cosplay at Comic-Con: Who wore it best?