August 27th, 2013
12:02 PM ET

Miley Cyrus' VMA Twerk-eversy

You may not have seen it live, but you certainly saw it somewhere, and heard about it, and saw plenty of comments go around about it too.

“It's the performance everyone's still talking about, former Disney darling Miley Cyrus "twerking" her way into infamy with this outrageous performance on Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards,” says CNN’s Nischelle Turner.

Some called the controversial performance disturbing, lewd, weird or both, out loud and online.

Actor Max Greenfield tweeted: “Billy Ray SIGHrus.”

Actress Nia Vardalos posted: "Gotta go, Miley's at my door waving that giant finger and twerking my dog."

The Parents Television Council voiced its displeasure with the raunchy performance in a statement saying, "How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"

Ironically enough, the singer’s father, Billy Ray Cyrus, is a member of the council’s advisory board, but it's unclear whether he had anything to do with the statement.

Meanwhile Robin Thicke's mom Gloria Loring told ‘OMG Insider’ she wasn't impressed with Cyrus’s dirty dancing to her son's hit ‘Blurred Lines.'

She said, “I think she's misbegotten in this attempt of hers. I think it was not beneficial.”

Yet all this controversy could have been Cyrus’ goal from the get-go.

The singer tweeted: "Smilers! My VMA performance had 306,000 tweets per minute. That's more than the blackout or Superbowl! #fact."

TV analyst Joe Concha believes her performance “was a calculated business and PR decision.”

“Of course, it's to help her album, but I think it's really to advance her second career as well. I can guarantee you this, E! MTV, and Bravo are all talking to her people about a reality show right now."

Perhaps for Cyrus, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Tonight, Billy Ray Cyrus will respond to the controversy over his daughter's performance on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” Tune-in at 9pm ET.

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August 27th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Fisherman Treads Water For Day: "I Had the Will to Survive"

A 51-year old Florida fisherman falls overboard his 16 foot boat, treads water without a life vest for nearly 24 hours, and lives to tell about it.

Steve Moumouris is thankful to be alive, reports CNN's Kate Bouldan. 

After fishing all day, Mourmouris texted his wife a picture of his catch and said he'd be home shortly. When his boat surfaced nine miles from the boat ramp without him,  his wife Anastasia, who goes by Sia, called authorities.

A family out scallop fishing found the tenacious man floundering in the Gulf of Mexico.

Moumouris and his wife spoke on "New Day" on Tuesday.  The fisherman talked about his determination to keep going hour after hour.

"I told myself, you have about half an hour to live. When you do it in the pool, it's real hard to tread water, but I decided, I said you have to make a plan and stick with it. I told god he'd have to pull me down by the heel if he wanted to take me. I had the will to survive."

Sia describes the moment she got the phone call that her husband was alive.

"I get it from the lady that has rescued him and she says, he told us to call you, he's alive. That's all I needed to hear. It wasn't the authorities so he was coherent enough to remember the number. I thought 'glory be to god.' We all witnessed a miracle that day."

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August 27th, 2013
11:41 AM ET

The U.S. Examines the Case Against Syria

Military action against Syria is looking more and more likely as the Obama Administration canvasses allies for support.

The White House and Secretary of State John Kerry  are making it clear they believe the Assad government is using chemical weapons and are weighing the military options the U.S. could take in response.

“Within days, President Obama's national security team will present him with its final, detailed options,” CNN’s Chris Lawrence reports.

Making the case for taking action against Syria, Secretary Kerry says, "President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most dangerous weapons."

“If the president gives the order, a senior defense official says four Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea could execute a mission within hours. U.S. and British submarines are also likely nearby, all armed with cruise missiles,” Lawrence says.

Tomahawk missiles can be launched from 500 miles away, with an ability to change course mid-flight. Its potential targets include: Syria’s delivery systems that can be used to launch weapons, militia training camps being run by Bashar al-Assad, and the Syrian government's command and control centers.

These military options are not intended to overthrow Assad's government, but to send a message and deter any further use of chemical weapons, which is President Obama's "red line."

As Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas says, "Any time you throw down the diplomatic gauntlet, your words have repercussions.” Now the president is under pressure to keep his word on his red line ultimatum.

Daily Beast Senior Political Writer and senior fellow at the New America Foundation Peter Beinart believes the U.S. will likely make an airstrike through a coalition with Britain, France and Germany.


Russia meanwhile said Tuesday morning it's warning the U.S. of catastrophic consequences if it strikes Syria. Lawrence reports that the U.S. has since canceled a meeting with Russia on Syria and the time frame of all of these strikes have to be weighed against the president's supposed visit to Russia next month.

Beinart thinks Russia’s warning won't stop  the U.S. from responding with a military strike.

“My guess would be that we're trying to send a message to the Russians, look, this is going to be a limited strike. We're not trying to necessarily overthrow Assad, and that will lead their response to not be that severe.”

Follow along at for developments.


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August 27th, 2013
11:34 AM ET

Olympic Speed Skater Sabotages Competitor, Blames Coach

An Olympic speed-skater is banned from the sport for two years after tampering with a competitor's skates back in 2011.

American Simon Cho, largely considered one of the teams' best, was suspended this week for bending the blade in the skates of a Canadian rival, reports CNN's Rachel Nichols. 

The International Skating Union handed down the punishment saying Cho will not be able to compete in the Sochi Olympics in February.

Cho won a bronze medal in Vancouver in 2010, and he was also crowned a World Champion in 2011, reports Nichols, although he has since admitted that at that competition, he secretly bent Canadian Olivier Jean's skate blade while alone in a locker room the two countries shared.

Cho calls it the biggest mistake of his life, but claims he was badgered by his former coach, Jae Su Chun.

While the older man denies the allegations, he was also suspended by the ISU for two years for violating the code of ethics.

The disgraced Cho spoke to CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday morning.

While he initially reasserted the incident was his coach's fault, the athlete eventually had a lesson for his younger fans.

"I definitely want to advocate, you know, sports ethics and behavior. Sometimes when you're lost and you're chasing a dream, you want to be the next Michael Jordan or the next Michael Phelps of your sport, sometimes you get tunnel vision, and you lose sight of things. Hopefully young athletes in this generation are able to take away from my experience."


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