April 2nd, 2013
08:16 AM ET

Brazil police make 3rd arrest in tourist's rape

Police in Brazil have arrested a third person in connection with the rape of an American woman on a minibus in Rio de Janeiro.

Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos was arrested Monday night, police said.

The woman boarded the minibus with another tourist in the Copacabana beach district in Rio de Janeiro early Saturday. Three men subsequently boarded the minibus and forced off all the other passengers, police said.

The woman was raped, and the other tourist, a man, was held captive and robbed, authorities said.

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Filed under: Brazil • Crime • Travel
January 29th, 2013
03:52 AM ET

Funerals, tears, cries for justice after Brazil club fire

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.

January 27th, 2013
07:15 AM ET

Brazil nightclub fire death toll 233 and rising

[Update 2:49 p.m. ET] The death toll in Sunday's nightclub fire in Brazil has risen to at least 233, officials say.

Panicked crowds pushed toward the exits as fire swept through the packed Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria. Many died of smoke inhalation, state-run Agencial Brasil reported. Others were trampled, a security guard told CNN affiliate Band News.

[Original post 7:15 a.m. ET]  A fire swept through a popular nightclub in the southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria, killing at least 90 people early Sunday, officials said.

The death toll was expected to climb as firefighters continued to pull bodies from the Kiss nightclub, Col. Adilomar Silva, the regional coordinator of civil defense said.

Most of those killed appeared to have died of smoke inhalation, he said. Hundreds are believed to have been injured, though an exact count was not immediately available.

The fire started at about 2 a.m. after the acoustic insulation in the Kiss nightclub caught fire, he said.

January 26th, 2012
08:45 AM ET

3 dead, 19 missing in Rio building collapse

Brazilian rescue workers dug through rubble in search of survivors Thursday morning, hours after three buildings collapsed in the historic center of Rio de Janeiro, Mayor Eduardo Paes told reporters.

Nineteen people were still missing, Paes said, and five people had been rescued with injuries.

Three bodies were found Thursday morning, CNN affiliate Band TV reported, but it was not known if they were among those reported missing.

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Filed under: Brazil
Cuban leader criticizes Obama U.N. speech
September 26th, 2011
10:25 AM ET

Cuban leader criticizes Obama U.N. speech

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro ended a long writing hiatus Monday, penning a three-page essay printed in state media slamming U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the United Nations last week.

"Who understands the gibberish of the President of the United States speaking before the United Nations?" Castro wrote in his so-called "Reflection."

He also accused NATO of "monstrous crimes" in Libya and wrote that in Syria, "Yankee aggression could lead to an even more terrifying massacre than in Libya."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Cuba • Fidel Castro
Cuba seeks 20 years in jail for American USAID subcontractor
Cuban President Raul Castro accused Alan Gross of distributing illegal satellite communications equipment to dissidents.
February 4th, 2011
05:11 PM ET

Cuba seeks 20 years in jail for American USAID subcontractor

An American USAID subcontractor jailed in Havana over a year ago has been charged with "acts against the independence and integrity" of Cuba and could face up to 20 years in prison, Cuban state media reported on Friday.

The December 2009 arrest of Alan Gross put relations between the United States and Cuba back in the deep freeze despite initial signs of a thaw under President Barack Obama.

At the time, Cuban President Raul Castro said Gross had been distributing illegal satellite communications equipment to dissidents. Other officials referred to him as a spy.

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Filed under: Cuba
September 15th, 2010
04:01 PM ET

Cuba complains restrictions unchanged under Obama

Cuba accused U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday of failing to keep his promise of a new start with the communist island, saying that far from easing the U.S. trade embargo, his administration has tightened some restrictions.

"The president has fallen far short of the expectations created by his speeches," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said at a news conference.

"The blockade has not changed a bit," he said, referring to the nearly 50-year-old embargo. "In fact, they have strengthened it when it comes to executing fines."

The comments came a day after a U.S. State Department official warned that Cuba's imprisonment of an American contractor is an "obstacle" to "certain measures" that Washington could take to improve bilateral relations.

Asked about the comment, Rodriguez declined to say anything on the case, but said the embargo is a unilateral action and "should be lifted unilaterally."


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Filed under: Cuba
April 6th, 2010
08:27 PM ET

Cuba releases photos of 16-year-old Elian Gonzalez

Cuba has published photos of Elian Gonzalez, the boy who sparked a political battle with the U.S. in 2000, attending a gathering of the Union of Communist Youth.

Gonzalez, 16, appears in the olive-green uniform of the military school he attends, waving a Cuban flag, in photos posted on an official Cuban Web site, Cubadebate.cu.


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Filed under: Cuba • World
March 11th, 2010
08:28 PM ET

Dissident hunger striker hospitalized in Cuba

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas was hospitalized Thursday for the second time since starting a hunger strike on February 23, his doctor said.


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Filed under: Cuba • World