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Tempting fate on Friday the 13th
July 12th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

Tempting fate on Friday the 13th

By Jim Roope, CNN

(CNN) - It’s Friday the 13th. There are both Christian and pagan roots for the phobia many have of the day. Briefly, Christians believe Jesus was crucified on a Friday after 13 people attended the Last Supper.

The stories of Adam and Eve and the Great Flood also have ties to either the number 13 or Friday.

One Norse legend tells of the god Loki who crashed a party of 12 gods, making him the 13th guest, and he tricked the blind god of darkness into killing the god of joy and gladness bringing bad luck to the Earth.

Also, many of the Knights Templar were arrested, tortured and eventually executed on Friday the 13th.

Whatever you believe, or don’t believe, many people worry for their luck on Friday the 13th. For some it’s a true test of superstitions. For others it’s a source of entertainment. For CNN’s Jim Roope, it’s both. Jim ventures out on the streets of Los Angeles to tempt fate on Friday the 13th.

Office manager in a downtown Los Angeles high rise building: “How’d you get in here? Great security we have. We don’t want to have to call and have you arrested” [1:24]

Executive assistant Tracy: “Actually anybody that looks like [Roope] needs some good luck. So, I hope you get it.” [3:30]

Is Friday the 13th just another day, or something you worry about? Let us know your experience with the 13th in the comments below:

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Embed America: Ask Memphis
Anthony Hardaway of Memphis speaks to HIV support groups around Memphis about living with the virus and resources available to help.
July 12th, 2012
02:21 PM ET

Embed America: Ask Memphis

By Gavin Godfrey, CNN

Memphis, Tennessee (CNN) – During our three-week road trip across the country, we're asking voters to give us their views of the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

In Memphis, Embed America's Team South met someone who's watching the election through the lens of his effort to help those living with HIV. Anthony Hardaway says sometime in the 1990's he stopped taking pictures of his friends. "I got sick of seeing the pictures I took ending up in the obituaries," he told a group of HIV-positive gay men on Tuesday.

Hardaway, who himself is gay, has been speaking to HIV support groups as an outreach employee of Memphis non-profit Friends For Life for more than two decades. He says this year's election is crucial if funding for HIV services is to be continued.

You can check out all our Embed America coverage here.

Embed America: What The Candidates Don’t Know About Jobs
Mike Thomas, 52, at a Lewiston, Maine job fair, a regular stop in two years of looking for work.
July 12th, 2012
12:55 PM ET

Embed America: What The Candidates Don’t Know About Jobs

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Lewiston, Maine (CNN) – President Obama and Mitt Romney can point fingers at each other over outsourcing all they want, but in Lewiston, Maine people told us the candidates neither understand the problem with jobs nor how to solve it.

Lewiston, nicknamed “the industrial heart of Maine," is a near perfect sample of what’s happening across the country – a place that is both creating some jobs and suffering because it has too far few of them.

It is a town of old brick industrial mills. Some closed, some becoming condos. But none leading to many jobs.

[5:23] Unemployed worker Mike Thomas on the election: “I mean bottom line, it doesn’t affect me that much." Lisa: "these two men are running for president and you think it doesn’t affect you?" Mike: "well, what they’re talking about doesn’t trickle down to me. It doesn’t seem to anyway.”

There are a dozen issues Embed America is covering first hand this month, crisscrossing the highways of America. None of them gets more time at the political podium than jobs.

People here in Lewiston pride themselves on being industrious, but many are like Mike Thomas, knocking on every door they can find and getting no offers. For years. There are some people you meet who you don’t ever forget and Mike Thomas, a construction worker who has been looking for a job for two years now, is one of them. He is a big bear of a man who talks about throwing yourself aggressively at any struggle, but who also tears up thinking of the limited food he, his wife and stepson live off now.

[4:37] Thomas on spending months retraining for a possible medical technician job: “Went through 8 hospital rotations from gyn to open heart and after all the tests, we took the natl certificaion which we passed. And just got on the trail to jobs, sending out applications and resumes to every hospital and medical facility in the area." Lisa: "And then what happened?" Mike: "nothing. Nothing happened.”

At the same time, Lewiston is the site of an incredibly good jobs story, one that many hope will set the stage for national change. Boston-based Carbonite, a computer services company, has closed its outsourced call center in India and moved more than 150 jobs stateside, to Lewiston.

[8:04] Carbonite Senior VP Rich Surace: “We haven’t trained our workforce or retrained our workforce to take the next step in the challenges that face us as our economy evolves. One of the biggest challenges we have is to find qualified skilled workers to work for us.”

You can check out all our Embed America coverage here.

Embed America: Postcard from Little Havana, Miami
Cuban-American seniors at the Domino Club in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.
July 12th, 2012
08:38 AM ET

Embed America: Postcard from Little Havana, Miami

By John Sepulvado, CNN

Miami, Florida (CNN) - As we travel across the country for Embed America, we'll be sending in the occasional sound postcard from the road. CNN Radio's John Sepulvado sent this postcard from Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, where many older Cuban-American men spend their Saturday afternoon playing games.

You can check out all our Embed America coverage here.

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