October 31st, 2010
10:38 PM ET

Iraqi forces storm church to end standoff; 37 killed

Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church Sunday where gunmen suspected of having ties to al Qaeda were holding worshippers hostage, ending an hours-long standoff, police officials said Sunday.

Thirty-seven people were killed in the operation, including hostages, kidnappers and security workers, they said. At least seven of the dead were hostages, police officials said, while another 57 were wounded.

Eight suspects were arrested.

"All the marks point out that this incident carries the fingerprints of al Qaeda," Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Obeidi said on state television Sunday.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Iraq • Terrorism
October 31st, 2010
10:29 PM ET

Brazil elects nation's first woman president

Brazil's new president-elect vowed to continue her predecessor's move to fight against inequality and promote human rights and fight poverty in her victory speech Sunday night.

"My mission is to eradicate poverty," Dilma Rousseff said after the country's Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared her the winner in Sunday's runoff election.

As the nation's first woman to hold the office, Rousseff said she has a mission to fight for more gender equality in Brazil.

"I hope the fathers and mothers of little girls will look at them and say yes, women can."

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Filed under: Brazil
October 31st, 2010
10:25 PM ET

JFK speechwriter Theodore Sorensen dies

Theodore C. Sorensen, a close adviser and speechwriter to President John F. Kennedy, has died, the White House said Sunday. He was 82.

Though he wore a number of hats in his relationship with Kennedy and later in life, he is best known publicly as the wordsmith who helped put Kennedy's ideas to paper in what remain some of the most recognizable speeches in American political history.

FULL STORY


Filed under: Obituary • Politics
Ahead of the Curve: The next 7 days
October 31st, 2010
07:18 PM ET

Ahead of the Curve: The next 7 days

Here's a look at some of the stories we plan to follow this week:

Who will control the House and Senate?

The moment of truth is approaching for America's two main political parties, which will learn through Tuesday's midterm elections whether Democrats will retain control of the U.S. House and Senate. Republicans would need to gain 39 House seats to control that chamber, and 10 seats in the Senate to take the majority there. All 435 House seats are up for election, as are 37 of the 100 Senate seats.

Thirty-seven governorships and numerous statewide ballot measures also will be decided. Visit our Election Center to get caught up with the basics on what is at stake, see where the pre-election polls stand, explore the issues and to watch the results as they come in.

Also, take a look at our iReport Election Project, a series of mobile iReport challenges related to the elections. For this week's challenge, we invite you to share your voting experience with us. Participants could be featured on CNN.

Hurricane Tomas could threaten Haiti

Forecasters say Hurricane Tomas could threaten Haiti and the Dominican Republic late this week. The Category 1 storm was churning in the eastern Caribbean Sea on Sunday after hitting the island of St. Vincent, where Tomas injured two people. Forecasters say Tomas could weaken and temporarily lose hurricane status as it heads west, but by the end of the week, it could become a Category 2 hurricane and turn toward Haiti, which still is recovering from a devastating January earthquake and is dealing with a cholera outbreak.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
October 31st, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Tomas leaves after ravaging St. Vincent

A weakened Hurricane Tomas was heading into open Caribbean waters on Sunday after pounding the island of St. Vincent with gusty winds and heavy rain, the National Hurricane Center said.

More than 1,000 people entered shelters as Tomas dealt a blow to the island, an emergency official said. Two people were injured, one critically, when they tried to go out and repair roof damage during the storm, said Michelle Forbes, acting director of National Emergency Management.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the center of Tomas was located about 180 miles (290 kilometers) west of St. Lucia and about 345 miles (550 kilometers) south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to the Miami, Florida-based Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at about 9 mph (15 kph). READ FULL STORY

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Filed under: Weather
October 31st, 2010
08:19 AM ET

Female engineering student arrested in alleged terror plot

A female engineering student has been arrested in Yemen as authorities investigate an apparent plot to bomb airplanes with devices hidden inside computer printers, a Yemeni human rights lawyer said.

Hanan Al-Samawi is a fifth-year student at Sanaa University, in Yemen's capital, said Abdul-Rahman Barman. The student's mother, Amatulillah Mohammed, has also been arrested, Barman told CNN, calling the arrest of the mother illegal.

The lawyer and human rights activist does not know where the mother and daughter are, he said, adding that authorities holding them in an unknown location "is a criminal act."

The student's father, Mohammed Al-Samawi, said she is innocent, according to Barman. READ FULL STORY


Filed under: Terrorism • Yemen
October 31st, 2010
07:28 AM ET

Kentucky teen crowned Miss World

Alexandria Mills waves after her win.

An American teenager is now Miss World 2010. Alexandria Mills, 18, is from Louisville, Kentucky. She won the international pageant Saturday in Sanya, China.

"It's a cliche but this really is a dream come true," she said, crying. "I can't believe it's happening ot me. My time has come. I'm loving it!"

Mills beat out 115 other young women in the 60th annual competition. As the final duty in her reign, Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar removed the multi-colored crown from her head and gently placed it on Mills. The first runner-up was from Botswana, the second runner-up was from Venezuela.

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Filed under: Kentucky
October 31st, 2010
06:06 AM ET

At least 15 injured in Istanbul blast

Fifteen people were wounded after a bomb exploded in the center of Turkey's capital Sunday, police said.

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Filed under: Turkey
October 31st, 2010
01:30 AM ET

Man arrested in Denver airport bomb scare

Authorities arrested a man at Denver International Airport after he said there was a bomb in his luggage, a United Airlines spokesman said.

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Filed under: Air travel
October 31st, 2010
01:23 AM ET

Death toll rises in wake of Indonesia tsunami

The death toll has gone up to 449 after a massive earthquake struck off Indonesia's coast, triggering a tsunami and leaving hundreds injured, authorities said Sunday.

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Filed under: Indonesia • Tsunami
October 31st, 2010
12:02 AM ET

Official: PETN packages linked to underwear bomb plot

Investigators are leaning in the direction that the same person or persons who crafted the Christmas Day underwear bomb were behind the PETN-based devices hidden in packages sent from Yemen, a U.S. government official told CNN.

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Filed under: National security
October 30th, 2010
07:39 PM ET

'Sopranos' actress dies at 46

Denise Borino-Quinn, who played the wife of a mob boss in the award-winning HBO series "The Sopranos," has died of cancer at 46.

Borino-Quinn died Wednesday at Morristown (New Jersey) Memorial Hospital, according to Farmer Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was held Saturday.

"The Sopranos," which ran from 1999 to 2007, told the story of mobster Tony Soprano and a colorful cast of bumbling criminals.

Borino-Quinn, who said in an interview that she got the part in a 2000 open casting call, played Ginny Sacramoni, married to Johnny Sacramoni. An HBO character bio described Ginny as "Rubenesque."

The actress married her late husband, Luke Quinn, in 2005.

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Filed under: Celebrity • New Jersey • Obituary • Showbiz
October 30th, 2010
07:28 PM ET

Insanely Sane: Humor brought everyone together

Okay, there’s no way to write this article without name dropping. To cut to the chase, I know Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and you don’t.

I used to work for The Daily Show and the Colbert Report as the audience warm up act.  Not a bad day job.
But knowing the hosts didn’t mean I got to parade on stage at Saturday’s “Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.” I was in the audience with the thousands of fans, reporting on the events for CNN.

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Filed under: Jon Stewart • Stephen Colbert
October 30th, 2010
06:03 PM ET

High school football game goes 12 overtimes

In a prep football game sure to go down in history, two Texas high school teams both went four score and then some Friday night.

In the end, the Fightin’ Indians of Jacksonville High School emerged victorious over the Nacogdoches Golden Dragons,  84-81.

Scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start, the District 14-4A game went 12 overtimes and didn’t end until 12:58 a.m. Saturday, according to CNN affiliate KLTV.

The 12 overtimes and nearly six hours of play may be a national prep school record. According to the National High School Record Book, two football games have reached nine overtimes.

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Filed under: Football • Texas
October 30th, 2010
03:32 PM ET

Stewart, Colbert preside over lighthearted, star-studded rally

Assisted by a colorful cast of characters, Comedy Central funnymen Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held a raucous rally on the National Mall Saturday in typical fashion before a cheering throng of
supporters.

Amidst all the hilarity, however, the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" carried a message about Americans turning their backs on hate and working together to make the world a better place.

Stewart and Colbert staged a mock battle, with Stewart supporting peace and sanity and Colbert promoting fear before a crowd that stretched nearly the length of the mall, most of the distance between the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Jon Stewart • Stephen Colbert
October 30th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

Woman believed to be tied to bomb plot arrested in Yemen

[Update: 303 p.m.] A woman believed to be connected to a plot to send explosive packages bound for the United States has been arrested in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, according to a Yemeni government official and a reporter with the state news agency.

Authorities have scrambled to find those responsible for sending two suspicious packages that were found in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Earlier, Yemeni security officials had surrounded a home where a woman believed to be connected to a plot to send explosive packages bound for the United States was thought to be hiding, President Ali Abdullah Saleh told reporters Saturday.

Read the complete story on CNN.com

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Filed under: National security • U.S. • World • Yemen
October 30th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Teen star Demi Lovato apparently quits Twitter

There's no official word, but teen pop star Demi Lovato apparently has deleted her Twitter account, according to Twitter traffic and sites including the "ultimate fan site" disneydreaming.com.

Searching for Lovato's tag @ddlovato yields a message from Twitter saying the page doesn't exist. The consensus of her fans on Twitter is that her account was hacked.

The celebrity website thefablife.com reported that Lovato, the 18-year-old star of Disney's "Camp Rock," had sent out a joke tweet saying she was engaged. She included a photo of a kneeling fan offering her a ring after her recent concert Thursday in Bogota, Colombia.

Lovato immediately sent out a second tweet to let everyone know that she was joking, the site reported.

Lovato is touring with the Jonas Brothers and is due to perform Saturday in Lima, Peru, and Monday in Quito, Ecuador, according to her MySpace page.

On her Facebook page, fans are demanding to know why she deleted her Twitter account. The hashtag #demicomeback was the No. 3 trend on Twitter at noon ET.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Showbiz • Twitter
October 30th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

U.K. official: Aircraft was likely target of attack

A suspicious package discovered at the United Kingdom's East Midlands airport contained "viable explosives," and could have brought down an aircraft upon detonation, British Home Secretary Theresa May said Saturday.

The preliminary U.K. investigation indicates that the target may have been an aircraft, May said, but authorities do not believe the perpetrators would have known the location of the device when they detonated it.

May added that there is no indication of any other attack on British soil, and the threat level in the United Kingdom remains unchanged and at severe threat level.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Terrorism
October 30th, 2010
12:33 PM ET

Hurricane Tomas bearing down on St. Lucia, St. Vincent

After intensifying into a hurricane, Tomas was nearing the northern Windward Islands on Saturday, taking aim at St. Lucia and St. Vincent, forecasters said.

Earlier, as a tropical storm, Tomas damaged homes and downed power lines on Barbados, according to the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center.

As of 11 a.m., Tomas was located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south-southeast of St. Lucia and about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of St. Vincent, the Hurricane Center said. Its maximum sustained winds were at 75 mph (120 kph), making Tomas a Category 1 hurricane, although it is expected to further intensify.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
October 30th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

NASCAR executive Jim Hunter dies at 71

Jim Hunter was among the first class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May 2010.

Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for communications, died of cancer Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida, the racing organization announced Saturday.

"Just woke up and find out that Jim Hunter a great friend passed away. All the prayers for his family," NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya tweeted Saturday morning.

Hunter, who was 71, was involved in auto racing for more than 40 years, according to his NASCAR obituary. He was inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in May.

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Filed under: Obituary • Sports • U.S.
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