Egypt-Missing (with art)
Ahmed Taha was 17 a year ago, when he says security forces abducted him outside Egypt's High Court, beat and raped him. "They beat me," he says. "One stepped on my face. I was wearing my glasses. They broke the glasses and my face was disfigured." He says the beatings were just the beginning.
Treating presidential polls as gospel is a little like placing political faith in the lifespan of a fruit fly. "People tend to subscribe a more durable nature to polling data," said Russ Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University. "It's more ephemeral." That's because polls, as those who conduct them stress, are simply snapshots.
POL-King-Battlegrounds-Colorado (with art)
Maria Zepeda-Sanchez remembers the excitement of the "change" argument in 2008. "There was really a change then," she said with a nostalgic smile. "People were really anxious to have a new person." Working the phones for President Barack Obama again four years later, though, change has a new -- and to her troubling -- meaning. "Different. It's a little different," she said of the then and now reaction when calling Latino voters in Colorado. "It was more hype I think back in 2008, yes." And now? "Some people are still really excited," Zepeda-Sanchez said during a brief break from her phone bank work. "Others say, 'Oh, I don't know, well, I haven't made up my mind.'" Then comes the sales pitch, and the new reality of incumbency -- of 2012.
The clock on the mantle has ticked past midnight, but Jessica Lundgren is studying -- so she can't afford to think about sleep just yet. "I'm a single mom to a 5-year-old girl who is fantastic," Lundgren told CNN this week. "I work full-time and go to school full-time. So my day usually starts around 4:45 a.m. and ends close to 1 a.m." She works at a call center and is studying to be a medical assistant. Long, hard days, but no complaints. "You do what you have to do in this economy," Lundgren said. "You do what you have to to further yourself." A few months back, Lundgren was invited to a focus group of so-called "Walmart Moms" and said she was leaning toward voting for Republican Mitt Romney. But she is undecided now, and Romney has only himself to blame.
POL-Cowley-Dbate (with art)
CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley will moderate Tuesday's second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, the first woman to do so in two decades. Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union" was asked about her role in a historic event, her expectations for how she'll manage the face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney and her feelings about being selected for the honor.
MONEY-Obama-Romney-Middle-Class (with art)
For all that divides President Obama and Mitt Romney, both candidates swear they'll protect the middle class from higher taxes. But that's a promise that will be hard to keep given their other stated aims -- to reduce deficits, reform entitlement programs and make what they call critical investments.
When asked directly about Social Security during their first debate, President Obama and Mitt Romney each gave a brief, detail-free answer. Then they used the rest of their time to talk about Medicare. Granted, Medicare poses a much bigger financial problem than Social Security. But Americans rely on both programs.
MONEY-American-Airlines-Customers (with art)
Dogged by ongoing service problems, troubled American Airlines is beginning to lose its most lucrative group of clients -- business customers.
Chinese car buyers boycotting Japanese brands due to a dispute over a group of oil-rich islands could end up hurting local engineering firms and dealerships as much as the big automakers in Japan.
Many low-income parents could see their tax bills jump by thousands of dollars next year if nothing is done to stop a series of tax breaks from expiring January 1. Unless Congress takes action before the end of the year, four important credits for families -- The Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the American Opportunity Credit -- will revert back to previous levels.
MED-Babies-Language-Study (with art)
Babies are born ready to learn any language in the world, and they have linguistic super-powers that many adults don't. For instance at 6 months old, they can distinguish between sounds in different languages that non-bilinguals hear as the same, such as an English "d" and a Hindi "d." They can also tell if someone is English or French without sound based on the mouth shapes of the speaker and rhythms. Only bilinguals retain these abilities throughout life. Really cool, right? But around 10 months old, babies typically stop being able to make these distinctions. As they get better at perceiving a native language, they are less sensitive to non-native sights and sounds, says Janet Werker, psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
MED-Paul-Ramirez-End-Epilepsy (with art)
For most of Paul Ramirez's life, only those closest to him knew that he lived with a serious brain disorder. Ramirez, of Pasadena, California, found out he had epilepsy when he was 22. Now 50, he's had seven grand mal seizures, which make him lose consciousness. Still, he often went years without having a seizure at all. "I kept it private from extended members of my family. I never told my friends. I was ashamed of it," Ramirez said. That changed in June. Ramirez was waiting to see his neurologist after a recent seizure. The doctor would help determine whether Ramirez should continue driving.
This fall, millions of Americans will be making an important decision that will affect their health care -- and it has nothing to do with the presidential election. Soon, many employers will ask people to select their 2013 health benefits -- a challenging decision for even the most empowered patient. In fact, Aetna's Empowered Health Index Survey found that Americans rank choosing health benefits as the second most difficult major life decision behind saving for retirement. Even though people found choosing health benefits to be more difficult than choosing a car or even parenting, there are some simple tips to follow that can help make the process easier.
When the job offer came from the Food and Drug Administration in the winter of 2005, Sarah Sellers jumped at the chance. It was her "dream job," she says, and she picked up her family and moved from Chicago to Washington. Two years later, she left in frustration, unable, she says, to do the job she was hired to do: help clean up compounding pharmacies.
People are inherently selfish. Research shows we're happier and our lives improve when we focus on ourselves. Makes sense, right? So why does research also show that we often put others first and fail to choose what will make us happy? The problem comes, researcher Jonathan Berman says, when we have to decide between spending the $20 we found on the ground on new shoes and donating it to charity.
TECH-Facebook-Politics-Friends (with art)
Steve Reeder says it's no secret among his Facebook friends: He's a Republican. But after he began posting news articles and political cartoons on his page that reflect his support for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, his friend count began falling off. Today, it's down by several dozen.
TECH-Pew-Voters-Smartphones (with art)
Nearly nine out of 10 registered U.S. voters own a cell phone -- almost half of which are smartphones. And many voters are using cell phones to get and share election information or news. By and large, however, they're not using their phones to connect directly with candidates, parties or interest groups, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
TECH-Dishonored-Video-Game (with art)
In an entertainment environment where sequels often do better than the original, it could be considered risky for a gaming company to do something different. However, one team thinks it's the perfect environment to showcase new ideas and stories, not more of the same.