Washington (CNN) - The criminal conviction of a sex trafficker known as the "S&M Svengali" was reinstated by the Supreme Court on Monday.
The case gave the justices a rare visit to the shadowy world of sadomasochism and sex slavery.
The high court by a 7-1 vote allowed the original conviction of Glenn Marcus to stand. He had been sentenced to nine years in prison for the sexual abuse, physical mutilation, and psychological humiliation of a woman who had agreed to be photographed as his "sex slave."
A federal appeals court in New York had dismissed the entire conviction, saying some of the offenses occurred before the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which was used to prosecute Marcus.
(CNN) - House Republicans plan to unveil their 2010 midterm agenda on Tuesday, one they hope will carry them to a majority position in November.
CNN's John Lisk asks CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser to explain what House GOP members are planning.
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Karen Floyd, chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, issued the following statement Monday:
“I have been and will remain neutral in the Republican gubernatorial primary, but I am speaking out today because I believe this primary should be decided on issues and ideas, and not on unsubstantiated personal attacks,” Floyd said. “South Carolinians deserve a higher level of political discourse than this, and they frankly deserve a press corps that focuses on real, substantive issues rather than on internet rumor mongering. No candidate deserves to have to defend themselves from these kinds of attacks, and South Carolinians are frankly tired of being fed unfounded gossip. I repudiate this attack, and I will defend the integrity of any of our gubernatorial candidates in the face of personal attacks of this nature.”
Washington (CNN) - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri meets with President Barack Obama on Monday on his first official visit to Washington after assuming office, the White House announced.
The two are expected to talk about a broad range of issues, including regional peace and security.
These are the first face-to-face talks between the two men since the United States moved to put an ambassador back in Syria, a country with which Lebanon has a difficult relationship.
Washington pulled its ambassador from Damascus in 2005, after Hariri's father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was killed in a huge car bombing, which the United States blamed on Syria.
Syria denied the accusations, but an investigation by a United Nations Special Tribunal found Syrian government involvement.
Washington (CNN) - Most Americans say that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will personally affect them, and more than three quarters say they disapprove of how BP has handled the situation, according to a new poll. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that a slight majority of the public disapproves of how the Obama administration's handling the spill.
Fifty-three percent of people questioned in the poll say the spill will affect them or their familes indirectly, with another 31 percent saying the spill affects them directly. Only 16 percent of people questioned say they and their families will not be affected by the spill.
"Although the spill is limited, for now, to one area, most Americans think its effects will ripple far beyond the Gulf states," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The number who say they will be directly affected by the spill is highest in the South, but about a third of people who live in the Northeast and Midwest also think they will be directly affected. That figure drops to 26 percent in the western states that are the furthest from the Gulf of Mexico."
The poll's release comes as a BP executive Monday defended his company's attempts to stop a massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, amid growing frustration and suggestions that the federal government could take over the effort.
More than three quarters of people questioned in the survey say they disapprove of how BP has handled the spill, with 24 percent saying they approve of how the oil company has acted.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Unbowed by a raft of boycotts over her immigration policy, Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer has requested helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from the White House to patrol the border region with Mexico.
Brewer, in a letter to President Obama, asked that the National Guard reallocate reconnaissance helicopters and robotic surveillance craft to the "border states" from other parts of the country.
The governor specifically asked for OH-58 Kiowa helicopters, used by the military for reconnaissance, noting that Arizona currently has only four of them "available for border missions."
(CNN) - South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, surging in the race ahead of the June 8 Republican primary, is forcefully denying a claim that she once had an extramarital affair with a prominent South Carolina political blogger.
Will Folks, the editor of what many consider the state's most influential political news Web site, wrote Monday that he had an "an inappropriate physical relationship" with Haley, who is married with two children, several years ago. The story was quickly picked up by other political news outlets.
"I have been 100 percent faithful to my husband throughout our 13 years of marriage," Haley said in a statement issued by her campaign. "This claim against me is categorically and totally false."
Haley called the accusation "sad" and "disgraceful" and questioned the timing of the charge, which comes just days after some polls indicated Haley vaulting to the front of the four-way Republican primary race.
"These attacks – and those sure to follow – are an effort at distraction, but I will keep my focus on what matters, and that is delivering South Carolina's government back to our people," she said. "That's a fight I have fought for the last five years. That's why I entered this race for Governor. And that's what I will continue to do, despite any outrageous and false claims that are thrown at me."
(CNN) - New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo holds large leads over all three of his possible Republican opponents in this year's battle for Empire State governor, according to a new poll.
The Siena Research Institute survey, released Monday morning, comes two days after Cuomo officially announced his gubernatorial bid and one day before New York State Democrats and Republicans hold nominating conventions. The survey was conducted before Cuomo formally launched his bid.
The poll indicates Cuomo leads former Rep. Rick Lazio by 42 points, 66 percent to 24 percent, and tops Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Democrat turned Republican, and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino by the same margin, 65 percent to 22 percent, in each case.
According to the survey, Lazio has a 13-point advantage over Paladino and 15-point lead over Levy in the battle for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Cuomo, the son of former three-term New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, has been widely expected for many months to make a bid to be the state's next chief executive.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - On Sept. 15, 2008, America woke up to its worst financial meltdown in generations.
Nearly two years and thousands of pages of legislation later, it is still unclear whether the government has found a way to prevent a similar collapse from happening again.
The Senate passed a financial reform bill Thursday with the aim of stopping future crises before they start. The bill addresses several leading causes: crazy lending practices, risky bets by banks, inflated credit ratings on junky assets and an inability to wind down collapsing financial institutions.
Will it prevent the next crisis? Even proponents of the legislation concede it might not.
The Senate bill - and a similar House measure - would do much to make the financial markets safer and fix many of the problems that arose. But it falls short of fundamentally changing the way that financial institutions do business.