Souls rose to heaven symbolically Monday night, when marchers in this southern Brazilian town remembered those who perished in a nightclub inferno during a packed concert.
The mourners, wearing white, released 231 white helium balloons into the sky - one for each life lost.
They hope there won't be more.
Eighty three more victims lie hospitalized - 75 of whom could forfeit their lives to the severe burns and smoke inhalation they suffered when the Kiss nightclub went up in flames Sunday, authorities said.FULL STORY
A riot at a Venezuelan prison left 50 people dead and dozens injured, CNN affiliate Globovision reported, the latest in a series of violent incidents in the nation's crowded detention system.
Clashes erupted yesterday after local media reported about a planned operation to disarm prisoners at the facility in Uribana, the prison ministry said in a statement.
Venezuela's top prison official said national guard troops entering the prison were met with violence.FULL STORY
Twelve people died over two days in clashes between Egyptian police and protesters amid reports of inadequate security at a soccer match that devolved into a riot, in which 79 fans were killed, officials said Saturday.
Seven people, including a police officer, were killed in Cairo, the Health Ministry reported. Five were killed in Suez, all by gunshot wounds, the ministry said.
The deaths tolls were revised because of a fluid situation and differing reports from ambulances and the morgue.FULL STORY
[Update 12:44 p.m.] The Israeli military says more than 85 rockets from Gaza have hit Israel since yesterday. "In the past two days, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have dramatically escalated their attacks against Israel — firing an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep as well as launching barrages of rockets at Israeli civilians," the Israel Defense Forces says.
The Palestinian official news agency WAFA posted this photo, saying it was taken in Gaza today after an Israeli strike. WAFA did not give an exact location. Israel has said it targeted a rocket-launching squad in Gaza.
This photo shows Israelis running for cover as a siren wailed in the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel, warning people of more rocket attacks coming in from Gaza, on Saturday night.
[Update 5:50 a.m. ET] The car bomb exploded outside a recruiting center about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad. Four of the dead were soldiers, but most were recruits, police officials said.
[Update 5:40 a.m. ET] Baghdad police officials have upped the death toll from the attack to at least 26 people. Another 30 have been wounded.
[Posted at 5:01 a.m. ET] Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and 11 others were wounded today when a car bomb exploded near an Iraqi army base in an area with many Sunni and Shiite residents, police officials said.
A 67-year-old cancer patient was arrested Wednesday in connection with a fire that ripped through a hospital in Taiwan killing at least 12 people and injuring 60 others.
Lin Chi-hsiung, who was found hiding in a storage facility at the hospital, confessed to starting the fire a day earlier because he was upset over his illness, according to Tseng Chao-kai, head prosecutor for the Tainan District Prosecutor's Office.
Lin is a colon cancer patient who has been hospitalized in the facility since late 2010, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported.FULL STORY
A ship carrying about 150 people has sunk in the waters between Australia and Indonesia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Wednesday. Two merchant vessels are trying to rescue people where the ship went down, about 107 nautical miles north of Australia's Christmas Island, the authority said.
Syrian forces pounded cities across the nation, opposition activists said, as a United Nations-brokered deadline for a troop withdrawal came and went Tuesday
At least 40 people, including three children, were killed Tuesday; 25 were in the besieged city of Homs, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. Tuesday's toll continues a shocking surge in violence and atrocities ahead of the deadline for troops to withdraw.
The Syrian government, however, said it had taken steps to abide by the peace plan laid out by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.
"We did withdraw some military units from some provinces, in accordance with point C of Annan's plan," Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said after meeting with Russia's foreign minister in Moscow.
President Bashar al-Assad's regime had agreed to the deadline, but demanded that its opponents, whom it calls armed terrorists, put down their weapons. Damascus also wanted a promise from foreign governments not to fund opposition groups.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Syrian government could have been more active in implementing the peace plan, but he urged heightened international pressure on opposition groups.
"But on the other hand," he said, "we cannot overlook the fact that Kofi Annan's proposals have not been agreed to by some of the opposition groups including the well-known Syrian National Council."
Sheikh Anas Airout, a senior member of the council, told CNN that Annan did not get an agreement from the opposition body but that the Free Syrian Army, the main armed opposition group made up mainly of defected soldiers, provided an explicit commitment to abide by the cease-fire as long as the regime stopped its attacks.
With both the regime and rebel fighters refusing to back down until the other side does, prospects paled for an end to the fighting. And the bloodshed continued unabated.FULL STORY
Patriot missiles found on a ship bound for Asia were being sent legally, a source told CNN Thursday.
Finnish authorities had discovered and seized the shipment for investigation.
The weapons were being sent to South Korea, a customs official familiar with the case told CNN.
"The exporters had all necessary permissions, including an export authorization and a special authorization for the export of war weapons," the source said. "The ship departed from the German port of Emden."FULL STORY
At least four bodies have been found and 49 people are missing after an offshore drilling rig capsized in the Russian far east Sea of Okhotsk, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said Sunday.
At least 14 people were rescued from the rig, which was being towed from Kamchatka, regional Emergency Services spokesman Aleksandr Ivelsky said.
But he insisted that it was too early to declare that the four people spotted in the water without signs of life were dead, since rescuers had not yet recovered the bodies.
There were 67 people aboard the Kolskaya platform, which was subcontracted to a company working for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Two ships were on the scene, the icebreaker Magadan and the tugboat Naftogaz-55, and will work on rescue operations through the night, Ivelsky said.
Helicopters were involved in the early phase of the rescue, which was made more difficult by the storm that sank the rig, Ivelsky said. They have stopped flying for the night but will resume work in the morning, he said.
The rig was floating about 124 miles (200 km) from Sakhalin Island, authorities said - north of Japan and northeast of China.
It was drilling a well about 11,480 feet (3,500 meters) deep, RIA-Novosti said.
Taimuraz Kasayev, a spokesman for the regional emergencies service, told RIA-Novosti the accident poses no environmental danger because the rig's fuel stocks were hermetically sealed and would not spill.
The television channel Russia Today reported that the rig was being towed into position when pumps failed, causing it to take on water and sink.FULL STORY
Devastation from a tropical storm that deluged the southern Philippines mounted on Sunday, with the death toll rising to 548, military officials said.
About 370 people are missing, the Philippine Red Cross said, after entire villages were swept away. The agency offered a different death toll than the military - 532 - but it was not clear why.
The stench of death permeated the air as aid workers scrambled to help survivors.
The vast majority of the dead were found in the port cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, according to military and disaster officials. Water-logged bodies from washed-away villages floated at the shoreline, on the northwestern coast of Mindanao island.
Five people were killed in a landslide, but virtually all others died in flash flooding after Tropical Storm Washi, which is called Sendong locally.
Survivors in the hardest-hit areas now contend with no electricity and a lack of clean drinking water. One woman in Cagayan de Oro collected murky brown floodwater in a bucket, just meters away from where a destroyed vehicle was submerged.
Flash flooding overnight Friday - following 10 hours of rain - fueled the devastation. As much as 20 centimeters (8 inches) of rain fell within 24 hours in some areas.FULL STORY
Early Sunday, as the sun ascended to the winter sky, the very last American convoy made its way down the main highway that connects Iraq and Kuwait.
The military called it its final "tactical road march." A series of 110 heavily armored, hulking trucks and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles carrying about 500 soldiers streamed slowly but steadily out of the combat zone.
A few minutes before 8 a.m., the metal gate behind the last MRAP closed. With it came to an end a deadly and divisive war that lasted almost nine years, its enormous cost calculated in blood and billions.
Some rushed to touch the gate, forever a symbol now of an emotional, landmark day. Some cheered with the Army's ultimate expression of affirmation: "Hooah!"
Once, when hundreds of thousands of Americans were in Iraq, the main highway was better known as Main Supply Route Tampa and soldiers trekked north towards Baghdad and beyond, never knowing what danger lurked on their path.
On this monumental day, the Texas-based 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division's main concern was how to avoid a traffic jam on their final journey in Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Gaumer, 37, was on this road in August 2003. It was his first time at war. He was frightened.
There was not a lot of traffic at that time, he recalled. He remembered a lot of cheering by Iraqis, even though the situation was tense.
Sunday morning, the air was decidedly different.
"It's pretty historic," he said about the drive south, hoping he will not ever have to come back through this unforgiving terrain again.FULL STORY
Thursday was the first of five government-declared holidays in Thailand, but it was not a day of fun. Floodwaters crept slowly but surely into Bangkok, stressing embankments and making roads, parking lots, factories and markets more suitable for fish than people.
Bangkok residents used the holiday to stream out of the capital, seeking higher ground or temporary shelters. Many saw floodwater enter their homes uninvited, their belongings soaked beyond salvage.
Most of Bangkok was expected to be flooded Thursday, with up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) of water in some areas, said Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, as the Chao Phraya River threatened to spill over holding walls and into the city of almost 10 million people.
Several districts were under a mandatory evacuation order.
Yingluck conceded Bangkok is entering a critical stage, the MCOT news agency reported. She said it was impossible to divert the floodwater and that it would certainly flow through every part of the metropolitan area.
"There is water from underground coming up," said Pracha Promnok, chief of the Flood Relief Operations Center. "We are unable to do anything (to stop it)."FULL STORY
Yemeni women defiantly burned their traditional veils Wednesday in protest of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
Thousands of women gathered in the capital, Sanaa, said witnesses. They carried banners that read: "Saleh the butcher is killing women and is proud of it" and "Women have no value in the eyes in Ali Saleh."
They collected veils and scarves in a huge pile and set it ablaze in an act that is highly symbolic in the conservative Islamic nation.
More than 60 women were attacked in October alone by the government, said protester Ruqaiah Nasser. Government forces are raiding homes and also killing children, she said.
"We will not stay quiet and will defend ourselves if our men can't defend us," she said. "FULL STORY
The world is days away from officially reaching a population of 7 billion, the United Nations said in a report Wednesday.
The milestone, to be declared on October 31, is a huge spike from less than a century ago. In 1927, the global population was only 2 billion.
Only 13 years ago, the population was at 6 billion, the U.N. says.
While reaching 7 billion in 2011 has long been predicted, the new U.N. report Wednesday - "State of World Population 2011" - looks at challenges and opportunities coming from the dramatic growth.FULL STORY
On the eve of his address at the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared his country to be "a new model for life to the world."
He also said that the United States might be willing to "hijack" the Middle East uprisings, according to the Iranian state-run news agency IRNA.
Ahmadinejad's appearance at the United Nations in New York comes a day after two U.S. hikers, held in an Iranian prison for more than two years, were released.
Wednesday evening, Ahmadinejad met with a group of U.S. university students, and then gave an interview to Iranian satellite television.
The days of calm that prevailed during negotiations shattered in one of Moammar Gadhafi's last bastions as loyalists fired on advancing opposition fighters, a chief interim council negotiator told CNN Thursday.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the new Tripoli Military Council said Gadhafi is cornered and has no means of escape.
Anees Al-Sharif would not divulge the fugitive leader's location, saying only that Gadhafi was surrounded within a radius of 60 kilometers (37 miles) with no way of leaving the area.
The anti-Gadhafi fighters were on a reconnaissance mission when they came under fire in Wadi Dinar, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) outside Bani Walid, said Abdallah Kenshil, a National Transitional Council member who is negotiating with tribal leaders in Bani Walid for a loyalist surrender.
Kenshil said Gadhafi and his sons, two of whom have been spotted by Bani Walid residents, were attempting to derail the peace talks.
"We know that Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and Mutassim Gadhafi are inside Bani Walid," he said. "Eyewitnesses we know by name inside Bani Walid told us they saw them."
Libya's new leaders have imposed a Saturday deadline on Gadhafi loyalists in the town to lay down their arms or face military force.FULL STORY
The newborn panda at Zoo Atlanta was named "Po" at a special ceremony Tuesday morning.
It's Chinese tradition to name a panda when he or she is 100 days old.
Born to Lun Lun on November 3, the cub was the only giant panda born in the U.S. in 2010.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Thursday:
Criticism of autism report: A now-retracted UK study that linked autism to childhood vaccines was an "elaborate fraud" that has done long lasting damage to public health, a leading medical publication has reported.
Alert ahead of religious festival: Egypt is on high alert ahead of the Coptic celebration of Orthodox Christmas Eve on Thursday, as well as Friday's holy day. It comes after a church bombing in Alexandria last weekend which cost 23 lives.
Transparency call over Sudan oil: A report released Thursday calls for more transparency over Sudan oil revenues to avoid conflict as the nation prepares for a vote that could see it split into two.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Wednesday:
Evacuations continue: Flooding that has soaked large parts of Australia will peak Wednesday, experts say, as authorities continue to help beleaguered locals.
Ivory Coast blockade lifted: Laurent Gbagbo, self-proclaimed president of Ivory Coast, has agreed to lift a military blockade around the headquarters of rival and president-elect Alassane Ouattara. The move by Laurent Gbagbo came after talks between the nation's political rivals and African mediators.
Rare public execution: Iran executed a man in a rare public hanging in Tehran on Wednesday morning, local media reported. The man, identified only as "Yaqub," was convicted of stabbing a man to death in broad daylight in October, said the official Islamic Republic News Agency.