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.

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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

ï»żHere'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 ï»żï»żï»żchurning in the eastern Caribbean Sea on Sunday after hitting the island of St. Vincent, where Tomas injured two people. Forecasters say Tomas ï»żcould 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