January 23rd, 2014
09:33 AM ET

Documentary Exposes French Imposter

"The Imposter" is a British-American co-production, and is the story of a Frenchman who impersonated a Texas child, Nicholas Barclay,  who went missing in 1994. The con might have worked, if not for one Texas investigator. CNN's Michaela Pereira reports.

Private Investigator Charlie Parker traced the imposter, Frédéric Bourdin, for a decade. He says he was hired by the show "Hard Copy" to go to the initial investigation and that's where he realized key differences in the man's eyes and ears from those of Barclay.

"I asked the cameraman to zoom in on his ears. It's a technique Scotland Yard uses to identify people. The ear is the only part of the human body that doesn't age. And I knew if I could compare the ears, I could know what I had here. So I got to my office, compared the ears, and I knew instantly I had an imposter."

See full interview below:

Tune in to CNN tonight at 9 p.m. ET to see the full movie.

Posted by
Filed under: Interview • News • Uncategorized • Videos
January 23rd, 2014
09:06 AM ET

Consumer Reports: Too Many Sodas Contain Potential Carcinogen

A chemical found in many sodas may be dangerous to your health, Consumer Reports says. And no, it's not sugar (this time).

The golden-brown color of many soft drinks comes with a dose of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MeI. On U.S. product labels it appears simply as "caramel coloring."

Those who say the chemical may possibly cause cancer include the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and the state of California, which now limits manufacturers to 29 micrograms of exposure for the average consumer per day.

Foods exceeding that limit have to carry a warning label that reads: "WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."

But when Consumer Reports purchased sodas in California and had them analyzed by a lab, it found that one 12-ounce serving of Pepsi One or Malta Goya exceeded the levels permitted without a warning label.

Ten other brands tested by the group did meet the California standard, which is estimated to limit the risk of cancer from 4-MeI to one case in every 100,000 lifetimes of daily exposure.

"We are concerned about both the levels of 4-MeI we found in many of the soft drinks tested and the variations observed among brands, especially given the widespread consumption of these types of beverages," said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, a Consumer Reports toxicologist, in a statement.

"There is no reason why consumers need to be exposed to this avoidable and unnecessary risk that can stem from coloring food and beverages brown."

The Food and Drug Administration does not set federal limits on 4-MeI in food, and the data gathered by Consumer Reports show that in some cases consumers outside California are drinking a slightly different ingredient. For example, Pepsi One purchased by the group in December in New York contains four times as much 4-MeI as the same product bought that same month in California.

Currently the FDA has no reason to believe that 4-Mel poses a health risk to consumers at the levels found in foods with caramel coloring, agency spokeswoman Juli Putnam told CNN in an e-mail. The government agency is testing a variety of food and beverages with the chemical and reviewing safety data to determine if any regulatory action needs to be taken, she said.

Consumers interested in more information on 4-Mel can check out the FDA's FAQ page.

In a statement to Consumer Reports, PepsiCo Inc. said data indicate that the average person consumes less than one-third a can of diet soda per day; therefore, its product meets the California standard, even if a complete serving exceeds that limit.

In addition to new federal standards, Consumer Reports is calling on the FDA to "require labeling of specific caramel colors in the ingredient lists of food where it is added, so consumers can make informed choices."

"First and foremost, consumers can rest assured that our industry's beverages are safe," the American Beverage Association said in a statement. "Contrary to the conclusions of Consumer Reports, FDA has noted there is no reason at all for any health concerns, a position supported by regulatory agencies around the world.

"However, the companies that make caramel coloring for our members' soft drinks are now producing it to contain less 4-MeI, and nationwide use of this new caramel coloring is underway."

Posted by
Filed under: Health • News • Videos
January 23rd, 2014
08:09 AM ET

DeBlasio: 'More Could Have Been Done' in Snowstorm Cleanup

New York Mayor Bill deBlasio dug out of his second snowstorm within two weeks of taking office on Wednesday and initially defended his administration's handling of the clean-up.

But later in the day, he acknowledged that after surveying the area and speaking with residents, earlier efforts to clear roads were insufficient and promised a continuing effort to get the job done.

With 11 inches of snow in Central Park and 6,300 miles of roads to clear, deBlasio said at a news conference in Brooklyn in the morning that anyone who felt their neighborhood was not plowed was mistaken.

While he admitted some streets might not have been cleared and promised to redouble efforts, he emphasized that "no one was treated differently and they need to be mindful it's not respectful to the workers out there plowing the streets."

DeBlasio then issued a statement later in the day acknowledging that the cleanup could have been done better.

"While the overall storm response across the city was well-executed, after inspecting the area and listening to concerns from residents earlier today, I determined more could have been done to serve the Upper East Side," deBlasio said.

He ordered the Sanitation Department to "double-down" on cleanup efforts on the Upper East Side. As a result more crews and vehicles were put into action.

"Our crews will remain on the streets around the clock until the roadways are clear in every neighborhood, in every borough, across New York City," he said.

DeBlasio's initial comments were in response to a front page New York Post article accusing him of "bungling" the clean-up when snow began falling a few hours earlier than expected on Tuesday, causing car accidents and traffic across the city.

DeBlasio said he didn't expect two snowstorms back to back, but admitted New York City has a rich history of dealing with storms and this is what he signed up for when he ran for mayor.

"If you start in the morning with no snow and end the day with a foot on the ground there will be challenges," he added.

A CNN team traveling throughout Manhattan on Tuesday night over a period of five hours saw very few plows and spreaders as the snow piled up.

But deBlasio said based on everything he saw and heard, the clean-up was sufficient and if more needs to be done he would do it and he would not stop until it's over.

DeBlasio, a progressive Democrat, won an overwhelming victory in November, succeeding Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who served three terms.

Posted by
Filed under: News • Videos
January 23rd, 2014
07:29 AM ET

See 8-year-old's Amazing Dance Moves

An 8-year-old boy on "India's Got Talent" puts the rest of the competition to shame!

You have to watch his awesome dance moves above. 

Posted by
Filed under: News • Social • Videos
« older posts
newer posts »