11 students die in Brazil school shooting; police kill suspect
A large crowd of concerned adults gathers outside the Rio de Janeiro school where 10 students were killed Thursday.
April 7th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

11 students die in Brazil school shooting; police kill suspect

[Update 3:43 p.m.] The number of students killed in a shooting rampage inside a school Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has risen to 11, Rio de Janeiro's health secretary said.

Thirteen students remain injured, including four in critical condition, he said.

[Update 11:33 a.m.] A shooting rampage inside a school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, killed 10 students before the suspect was fatally shot by police, the country's health minister said.

The student victims were nine girls and one boy, the health ministry told CNN. Eighteen others, 12 boys and six girls, were wounded. the government said.

Earlier reports erroneously stated that 13 had died at the Tasso da Silveira Municipal School.

[Update 10:47 a.m.] The suspect in the fatal shootings of at least 13 students and personnel of a school in Rio de Janeiro died after being shot by authorities, the state-run Agencia Brasil reported Thursday. He was identified as Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, 24, a former student at the school.

[Posted 10:08 a.m.] At least 13 people, both children and adults, were killed Thursday in a school shooting in Rio de Janeiro, CNN affiliate Record TV reported, citing civil police.

The incident happened at the Tasso da Oliveira Municipal School.

According to Record TV, a 24- or 25-year-old man entered the school in the morning armed with two handguns and opened fire on children and school personnel.

As the man fled, he ran into military police who were responding to the scene. There was a confrontation, and the man was shot, the state-run Agencia Brasil news agency reported. The man and the injured victims were taken to a hospital, the agency reported.

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Filed under: Brazil • Crime
On the Radar: Wreckage found, jet cracks, radioactive water, Obama, basketball
Authorities found pieces of the Air France jet in 2009 but now say they have found the main wreckage.
April 4th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

On the Radar: Wreckage found, jet cracks, radioactive water, Obama, basketball

Air France wreckage found - Bodies have been found from an Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic Ocean almost two years ago. They will be brought to the surface and identified. A French official said Monday that the main part of the wreckage had been found. Previously, only chunks of the plane had been recovered. It went down in a remote part of the ocean, an estimated two to four day’s travel by ship from the nearest Brazilian or Senegalese port.

Cracks in jets - Southwest Airlines canceled about 600 flights over the weekend to accommodate inspections after a hole opened in a plane on a Sacramento, California-bound flight. The Texas-based airline grounded 79 planes and expects to cancel about 100 flights Monday. Investigators have reportedly found cracks in three other aircraft. Southwest is advising passengers to check their flight status before going to the airport, and Boeing is sending out a service bulletin telling how to inspect planes for similar cracks.


Investigators find debris from 2009 Air France crash
April 3rd, 2011
05:26 PM ET

Investigators find debris from 2009 Air France crash

French investigators said Sunday that they have found pieces of the Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing all 228 people on board.

Air France Flight 447 disappeared after taking off from Rio de Janeiro on its way to Paris.

France's air accident investigation agency, the BEA, said that a team - led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - discovered parts of the aircraft during an underwater search operation conducted within the past 24 hours.

The agency did not immediately say what parts of the jet the team found.

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Filed under: Air travel • Brazil • France • Missing plane • Travel
Fruit could make cars stronger, more fuel-efficient, scientists say
Bananas could be raw material for car parts, Brazilian scientists say.
March 28th, 2011
08:49 AM ET

Fruit could make cars stronger, more fuel-efficient, scientists say

Get ready for a bananamobile or a pineapple wagon.

Scientists in Brazil say they've developed a way to use fibers from the fruits to make strong, lightweight plastics that could be used to form car parts.

"The properties of these plastics are incredible," the leader of the project, Alcides Leão of Sao Paulo State University,  said in a press release. "They are light, but very strong — 30 per cent lighter and three to four times stronger. We believe that a lot of car parts, including dashboards, bumpers, side panels, will be made of nano-sized fruit fibers in the future. For one thing, they will help reduce the weight of cars and that will improve fuel economy."

The product is almost as strong as Kevlar, used in bulletproof vests, Leão said in presenting his team's work to the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California, over the weekend.

Among the plant products that could provide raw material for the fibers are pineapple leaves and stems, bananas, coconut shells, agave, and cattails, the scientists say.


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Filed under: Auto Industry • Brazil • Science • World
Obama arrives in Brazil
President Obama and his family arrive in Brazil on Saturday.
March 19th, 2011
06:52 AM ET

Obama arrives in Brazil

U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday morning for a bilateral meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Vana Rousseff.

The first family left Friday night for stops in Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, where the president will meet with the leaders of each country to discuss trade and the global economy. It will be his first visit to the three countries and a chance to talk about hemispheric challenges.

The trip is designed to help "strengthen our economic relationship with neighbors who are playing a growing role in our economic future," Obama said Friday in an op-ed published in USA Today.

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Friday's live video events
March 18th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Japan earthquake/tsunami aftermath

9:30 am ET - Japan nuclear crisis briefing - Experts brief reporters at the National Press Club in Washington on the implications of Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Brazil • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tsunami • U.S. • World
Despite rain, satire in full bloom at New Orleans' Fat Tuesday party
March 8th, 2011
09:57 PM ET

Despite rain, satire in full bloom at New Orleans' Fat Tuesday party

Gray skies and a little rain didn't dampen the mood of Fat Tuesday revelry in New Orleans, home to the biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the nation.

Known as a day of excess before the start of the penitential Lenten season - when observant Christians typically fast or give up something in a show of faith - New Orleans' Mardi Gras reached raucous heights this year, owing to its overlap with many colleges' spring breaks and the approach of the anniversary of the BP oil spill - the object of ridicule for many maskers.

Sylvia Beyer, 57, of New Orleans led a group of five women in grass skirts and hats with the BP logo, CNN affiliate WSDU reported. On their backs were the slogans, Broken Promises, Brazen Polluters and Bloody Pathetic as they passed out voodoo dolls with a photo of former BP CEO Tony Hayward pasted to each.

Downriver in Grand Isle, Louisiana, the first populated piece of U.S. territory to see oil make land, residents on Sunday took a day off from worrying about the effects of the spill to enjoy a parade, complete with purple, green and gold bead necklaces and fleur-de-lis clappers.

Mayor David Camardelle estimates that Grand Isle is 80 percent back to normal, but still, he admits, tar balls keep washing ashore.

Far from the Gulf shores, Rio de Janeiro marked the end of its four-day carnival on Tuesday with its signature parade, complete with samba, King Kong, an oversized Jesus statue and supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Talk about excess!

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Filed under: Brazil • Gulf Coast Oil Spill • Holidays • Louisiana
March 5th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

26 people killed in Brazil tourist bus crash

A tourist bus collided with a truck carrying a heavy load of wood in southern Brazil Saturday, killing 26 people and injuring 21 others, Santa Catarina state officials said.

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New species of 'zombifying' fungi discovered in Brazil's Atlantic rain forest
Scientists have discovered four new species of fungi that target carpenter ants and manipulate their brains.
March 3rd, 2011
09:12 PM ET

New species of 'zombifying' fungi discovered in Brazil's Atlantic rain forest

Four new species of "zombie" fungi that infect ants and take control of their brains, eventually killing them, have been discovered in the Brazilian rain forest, according to a study published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

The article, "Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-Ant Fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis," names four new species belonging to the O. unilateralis species complex found in the Atlantic rain forest in the southeastern region of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungi alter the ant's behavior and causes it to die in an exposed position, typically clinging to and biting shrub leaves, the study says.

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The day's most popular stories
Babette Beatty (then Babette March) had already been on the cover of Elle before launching the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
February 18th, 2011
11:48 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Reflections from SI's first swimsuit star: Babette Beatty, born in Germany and raised in Brazil and Canada, now lives in relative obscurity in the Oregon boondocks. But in 1964 in Sports Illustrated's very first swimsuit cover, she was a page-turner. "It was just another job," she said. "I never expected it to be big. It just didn't even enter my mind."

The United States vetoes U.N. resolution against Israel: The U.N. Security Resolution would have declared Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said that while the United States agrees about "the folly and illegitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity, we think it unwise for this council to attempt to resolve the core issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians."

Diver apparently killed by sharks: Peter Clarkson, a well-known abalone expert, was attacked by two sharks as he returned to the surface from a dive, according to the watersport site Swellnet.  Divers in the shark-filled waters off South Australia often use shark cages, but Clarkson was not in a cage when he was attacked, police Senior Sgt. Mick Walsh told Adelaide Now.

Justin Bieber's views on abortion cause stir: The teenage hearthrob's opinion on abortion, in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, threatens to create a Belieber Backlash. "I really don't believe in abortion. I think [an embryo] is a human. It's like killing a baby. [In the case of rape], I think that's really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don't know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven't been in that position, so I wouldn't be able to judge that."

4.3 quake shakes tiny, tremor-filled Arkansas town: Speaking of rolling stones ... . Since September, seismologists have recorded 700 temblors around the town of Guy, Arkansas. The Arkansas Geological Survey has recorded 50 quakes in and around Guy since Sunday. That includes Friday morning's 4.3 window-rattler and three other lesser quakes that occurred within 20 minutes of each other around 11 a.m.

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Filed under: Brazil • Israel • Justin Bieber • Most Popular • Oregon
January 19th, 2011
11:43 AM ET

Rescue of man buried alive for 16 hours in Brazil mudslide captured on film

On a street cluttered with debris from a mudslide rescue workers heard a noise.

The flooding and mudslides that resulted from a month's worth of rain in one day have turned the once-picturesque tourist town of Teresopolis, Brazil, about two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, into a wasteland. Bodies and belongings remain strewn among fallen boulders as relatives search for loved ones.

In one mound of rubble, a faint voice could be heard. After so many stories of sadness and loss, that voice provided more than enough hope for rescuers to begin digging quickly.

As workers began what would be a three-hour process of pulling apart mud-covered rocks and debris, journalist Luciano Zimbrano, armed with a handheld camera, began filming, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph.

His dramatic video shows a crowd forming as workers remove layer by layer of debris, first revealing an arm. Then the back of a head appears.

Rescuers and Zimbrano soon learned that a man was trapped facedown 13 feet below the mud.

Slowly rescuers reached the man, and after putting a neck brace on him, they were able to pull him from the rubble, where he had been for 16 hours. He was put onto a stretcher as onlookers cheered.

It was only then, according to the Telegraph, that Zimbrano realized he knew the man he was filming - Marcelo Fonseca.


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After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead
January 17th, 2011
06:10 PM ET

After Brazil flooding, loyalty to the dead

As the death toll from devastating flooding in Brazil continues to rise, a single picture drives home the sense of loss.

Leao, a medium-sized brown mutt,  lies next to the grave of her owner, Cristina Maria Cesario Santana, who died in the catastrophic landslides caused by heavy rain.  This AFP/Getty picture was taken on Saturday, the second consecutive day that the dog refused to leave the woman's grave at the cemetery in Teresopolis, near Rio de Janiero.

Brazilians are bracing for more rain, fearing more landslides after waves of muddy water swallowed towns in the country's worst flood disaster on record.

At least 655 deaths were reported in a mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, northeast of the city of Rio.

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Death toll rises to 549 in Brazil flooding
January 15th, 2011
02:39 PM ET

Death toll rises to 549 in Brazil flooding

The death toll from flooding caused by torrential rains in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state rose to 549 people Saturday, Brazil's official news agency reported.

Most of the deaths were reported in the cities of Nova Friburgo and Teresopolis, located in a mountainous region northeast of Rio, according to Agencia Brasil.

Rescuers have not been able to reach some hard-hit areas and many more people are feared dead, the agency said Friday.

The rain is predicted to continue for several days in areas already submerged in water or slathered with mud.

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Filed under: Brazil • Natural Disasters • Nature • Weather
On the Radar: Arizona shooting, diplomacy, RNC and Steele, flood toll
Doctors say they see signs that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' condition is improving. Judge John Roll will be mourned Friday.
January 14th, 2011
10:10 AM ET

On the Radar: Arizona shooting, diplomacy, RNC and Steele, flood toll

Aftermath in Tucson - Doctors could remove the breathing tube for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Friday as she continues on her "miracle" journey to recovery after an assassination attempt and mass shooting, her husband said.

Giffords was shot in the head less than a week ago, but she is making progress, her husband and doctors told CNN. Her husband, Mark Kelly, told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his wife is aware to some degree of what is going on around her and has the ability to move her arms and legs.

Meanwhile, a funeral Mass will be held Friday for U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was one of six people killed Saturday in the Tucson, Arizona, rampage. Media reports say more than 100 judges will attend the funeral, and security will be tight.

CNN is covering other angles in the Arizona case, including how suspect Jared Loughner "creeped out" classmates, the investigation into a bag with ammo thought to be Loughner's, whether a hero nearly shot the wrong person in the middle of the chaos and whether it is too easy to blame Arizona when looking at the tragedy.


Forecaster: Two phenomena responsible for world's bizarre weather
A graphic outlining sea temperature anomalies the first week in January shows drops in the Pacific as air temperatures rise between the U.S. and Europe (continents in gray). La Niña and the North Atlantic Oscillation are to blame, an expert says.
January 13th, 2011
03:35 PM ET

Forecaster: Two phenomena responsible for world's bizarre weather

The catastrophic weather events taking place across the globe – from Brazil’s and Australia’s flooding to the Eastern United States’ heavy snowfall – have two likely explanations.

Tony Barnston, lead forecaster at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, said two phenomena – La Niña and the North Atlantic Oscillation – are likely responsible for the patterns we’re seeing.

Though La Niña is different every time, it can be simply defined as a drop in water temperature in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean. This particular La Niña appeared in July, Barnston said, and will last through spring.

During La Niña, there is less rainfall in the tropical Pacific and a horseshoe pattern of warm water typically forms in the North Pacific, the coast of Southeast Asia and the seas around Indonesia and Australia (check out the graphic above).

In this case, though, “the whole globe looks to be compensating,” Barnston said, noting that it’s difficult to determine if  La Niña spawns individual weather events.


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Filed under: Australia • Brazil • India • Indonesia • Philippines • Sri Lanka • Tropical weather • U.S. • Weather • Winter weather
Friday's intriguing people
December 31st, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Annie Lennox (pictured)

Singer Annie Lennox received an Order of the British Empire honor from Queen Elizabeth II for her charitable work.

Lennox was honored for her work fighting AIDS and poverty in Africa. She is one of 997 people named to the queen's annual New Year Honors List.

"As somewhat of a renegade, it either means I've done something terribly right or they've done something terribly wrong," Lennox quipped, according to the Scottish publication The Courier. (Lennox was born in Scotland and still lives there.)

Lennox has had numerous hit songs over the years with the Eurythmics and as a solo artist. Among them: "Sweet Dreams (are Made of This)," "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Walking on Broken Glass." Her 2010 Christmas album has sold more than 1 million copies.


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Filed under: Basketball • Brazil • Music • Queen Elizabeth II • Showbiz • Sports • United Kingdom
Clown set for Brazil's Congress after passing literacy test
December 1st, 2010
10:38 PM ET

Clown set for Brazil's Congress after passing literacy test

Tiririca the clown can take his seat in Brazil's Congress after all, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Francisco Oliveira, who performs as Tiririca, passed a literacy test after opponents alleged he couldn't read or write as law requires of congressmen, said Aloisio Sergio Rezende Silveira, a judge for a regional electoral court in Sao Paulo.

Oliveira was elected to the lower house of Congress in October after appearing in festive campaign ads in full costume. He claimed he didn’t know what federal lawmakers did, and he said voters wouldn't be worse off if he was elected.

“What does a federal representative do? I don't know, but vote for me and I'll tell you,” Oliveira said in one of the ads, according to a Portuguese-to-English translation.


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Latest updates: WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables release
November 29th, 2010
06:42 PM ET

Latest updates: WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables release

WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing website known for leaking state secrets, released on Sunday its latest batch of controversial documents. It has posted the first of what it says will be more than 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables.


[Updated at 10:14 p.m.]

- Ecuador has asked WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange to come to Quito and discuss documents regarding Ecuador and other Latin American countries. Ecuador expelled two U.S. diplomats in February 2009, accusing them of meddling in its internal affairs - allegations the State Department denied. The foreign ministry in Quito suggested Assange, an Australian citizen, apply for residency there.

- WikiLeaks documents posted on the websites of the Guardian and the New York Times suggest China is losing patience with its long-time ally North Korea, with senior figures in Beijing describing the regime in the North as behaving like a "spoiled child." According to cables obtained by WikiLeaks and cited by the Guardian, South Korea's vice-foreign minister Chun Yung-woo said he had been told by two senior Chinese officials (whose names are redacted in the cables) that they believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul's control, and that this view was gaining ground with the leadership in Beijing.

- The world's military shopping list is being exposed through the WikiLeaks publications. State-of-the-art missiles and American military helicopters are a frequent topic of discussion in the released diplomatic cables, which also show a keen interest in what weaponry Iran has and how to defend against them.

- From 2005 to 2009, U.S. diplomats regularly reported that Brazil tried to distance itself from what it saw as an "overly aggressive" American war on terror, and was highly sensitive highly to public claims suggesting that terrorist organizations have a presence in the country, according to cables released by WikiLeaks. But Brazil's counter-terrorism policy seemed to shift in 2009, with a cable detailing the government's strategy to deter terrorists from "using Brazilian territory to facilitate attacks or raise funds."

- Former President George W. Bush told a forum at Facebook's headquarters Monday that the document leak is "very damaging," adding that it may significantly hurt Washington's image abroad. "It's going to be very hard to keep the trust of foreign leaders," the nation's 43rd president said. "If you have a conversation with a foreign leader and it ends up in a newspaper, you don't like it. I didn't like it."

Here's a look at the leak, an overview of how WikiLeaks works and a summary of what some of the documents say about a variety of topics.


- Sunday's leak contained the first of what the site says will be 251,288 cables that it plans to release piecemeal in the coming weeks or months.


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Filed under: Afghanistan • Brazil • China • Egypt • Germany • Honduras • Iran • Iraq • Kyrgyzstan • Libya • North Korea • Oman • Russia • Saudi Arabia • South Korea • Turkey • United Kingdom • WikiLeaks • World • Yemen • Zimbabwe
November 26th, 2010
09:36 PM ET

Brazil sends military to violence-plagued Rio

Authorities sent in the military to help authorities quell violence that continued Friday in the slums of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, with criminal gangs torching at least two more buses and five cars before dawn, state media reported.

At the Complexo de Alemao, or German Complex, in northern Rio, some 800 soldiers joined hundreds of police from the Special Operations Battalion, federal police and marines, state-run Agencia Brasil reported Friday.

Police and drug gangs exchanged shots during the night.

Earlier Friday, Defense Minister Nelson Jobim met with the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Sergio Cabral, and security authorities of the federal and state governments. The Army agreed to make available 10 armored vehicles and the Navy offered three helicopters, according to the news agency.


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Filed under: Brazil • Crime • Drug violence
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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