World News Beat

by Arturo Garcia Sierra

More than 230 dead at burning Brazilian nightclub

In Brazil, at least 230 people were killed at a nightclub that caught fire Sunday morning. Club security guard Rodrigo Moura told The Associated Press the venue in the Southern Brazilian city of Santa Maria was at its maximum capacity that night, between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees. AP reported a single exit was partially blocked by the bodies of those already dead. Dr. Paulo Alfonso, who went to the city’s Caridade Hospital to aid victims, said most of the deaths were by asphyxiation. The band Gurizada Fandangueira, which began playing at 2:15 a.m., used a machine to create a “luminous effect with sparks,” guitarist Rodrigo Martins said. According to AP, attendee Michele Pereira said the band’s flares set the ceiling on fire. Santa Maria is a university city with about 225,000 people.



Mothers pose nearly nude to raise school funds

In Spain, 12 mothers became calendar girls to raise school funds. Posing nearly nude, the moms raised about $12,000 for their children’s school in the small town of Montserrat, near Valencia. The money was used to put the school’s bus back in operation through spring, NPR reported. Eva Maria Casas Sancho, Ms. June, said her children walked almost three miles to and from their elementary school on a road without sidewalks. Sancho said the moms even sold copies to local politicians who had decided to remove the school’s bus system in the first place.


Human rights lawyer returns to prison

In Iran, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh returned to prison after a three-day leave to visit her husband and children. Sotoudeh has been serving in Tehran’s Evin Prison since September 2010. Initially sentenced to 11 years in jail for “propaganda against regime,” her verdict has been reduced to six years. According to The Guardian, Sotoudeh represented several political activists and protested against the execution of juveniles in Iran. Protesting her arrest in prison, Sotoudeh has participated in numerous hunger strikes—one reportedly lasted 49 days. The Guardian reported she lost both parents while in prison. Sotoudeh is one of many human rights lawyers arrested after the Iranian Green Movement whose clients were detainees.