By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – To English speakers, the name of Israel’s anti-Hamas campaign sounds pretty straightforward: “Operation Pillar of Defense.”
But reading the name of the Israeli operation in Hebrew might provoke some head-scratching. In Hebrew, the Israel Defense Forces have branded their recently launched anti-Hamas effort as “Operation Pillar of Cloud.”
An IDF spokesman explained that most Israelis would recognize “Pillar of Cloud” as a biblical reference.
“It’s based on the pillar of cloud that accompanied the the nation of Israel during the Exodus as they left Egypt and traveling toward Israel,” said Eytan Buchman, head of the North American media desk for the IDF.
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“They wanted the protection from the troubles of the desert, from robbers and people that would attack them and from snakes and scorpions.”
Buchman said the anti-Hamas operation’s Hebrew name is meant to send the message that it is a defensive maneuver.
“We are coming up on a decade of rockets being fired indiscriminately at civilians,” Buchman said, referring to Hamas’ actions in southern Israel. The Jewish state’s current military operation, he said, “is a proverbial cloud that is coming to protect you.”
The Bible’s first reference to a cloud pillar comes in Exodus 14, which describes the Israelites’ flight from bondage, culminating in Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.
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“The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them,” reads the passage in the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
"It came between the army of Egypt and the army of Israel,” the passage continues. "And so the cloud was there with the darkness, and it lit up the night; one did not come near the other all night.”
The idea of the cloud pillar refers to both physical and spiritual protection, according to Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who leads Ohev Sholom, the National Synagogue in Washington.
“The spiritual message here is about praying to God for protection,” said Herzfeld, who heads an Orthodox congregation. “In Exodus, the pillar of cloud is spiritual protection of the Israelis.”
Herzfeld said the biblical reference would be instantly recognizable to the many Israelis who have had Jewish educations.
The phrase also appears in the Bible’s Book of Psalms, in a verse that says God spoke to Hebrew leaders like Moses, Aaron and Samuel “in the pillar of cloud.”
Israel’s choice of Hebrew words has provoked some criticism online.
"By calling this operation 'Pillar of Cloud,' the IDF are, in a sense, calling themselves God,” tweeted @joshua_eaton, whose Twitter bio describes him as a journalist covering religion and politics. “And they act like they believe that, too."
A blogger for the website Gawker, meanwhile, said that calling the Israeli operation a “pillar of cloud” evoked “an all-powerful, vengeful God seeking to demonstrate the primacy of his chosen people, to guide them in their affairs, and to confound their enemies.”
“Did Israel launch this attack because there was no other rational route to maintain its security?” asked the Gawker blogger, John Cook. “Or was it pursuing a broader agenda rooted in ancient mysticism?”
The IDF’s Buchman said he contacted Cook to challenge his interpretations, saying the Israeli military merely wanted to stress what he called the operation’s defensive nature.
“Inside the Bible,” Buchman said, “the cloud was defined as (following people that were) leaving and running away from a full army that had enslaved it.”
Buchman noted that previous IDF operations have also used biblical references.
In 2002, he said, the IDF used the name “Operation Noah’s Ark” for the seizure of a Palestinian vessel loaded with rockets, missiles and explosives.
And a 2008 IDF operation in Gaza was called “Operation Cast Lead,” which began during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and references a popular Hanukkah song.
a lot of angry people here, people that are angry at God, then you will make your silly little claim that their is no God or call Him a fairy. I would you call a coward afraid of the truth.
Truth absolute is GOD, and every hindu, ignorant denies HIM by in his hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism.
Truth absolute is GOD, and every hindu, ignorant denies HIM in his hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism.
Sadly the christian word of truth being the gospels of which are now many to be had can no more be held up in agonies righteousness sakes. To the christians; "The troubles with unfaithful trinitarians, those who belly-up to one god times three is, they read but only into it and get very little out of what they make 'go-spel-lingly' in amplifications of unblessed pleasings by the manly sons of God. Their rudimentary and timid preaching in devilish tongues beatifies only the dumb-hearted relics, the aged heartburns of their christiandumbness's idiosyncratic marmoset-like redundancies. Their godly embittered moralisms are but self-centered and selfishly censored upon redundant principles that are remorsefully archaic in round-about cultured replicants behooving those old fuddy duddies who fumble ever for their next glass worth of wine! Drunk and in temperamental stupors are the emotionally fallen within christiandumbs folds becoming sciatic pragmatisms unworthy of even one toasting for, but rather for the many to be rightly toasting against!"
I would call you the same thing. Difference is that I don't rely on a FAIRY GOD BOOK as TRUTH. If your burden of proof is based off a book written 2000 years ago by people that thought the earth was flat, seas monster existed, and that America didn't exist I would call you an idiot... Idiot.
It does make sense. Read scripture. If you thank it is rubbish...your decision to make but make and informed decision.
Read science and you will be better informed to make the best decisions.
As a person who was raised a Christian, you Christians sound dumb. Please read history. Start with the Taylor Prism written by an Assyrian king, then read Isaiah and kings. When you read the bible , remember it is filled with historical facts. Stop putting voodoo into it. You are not helping Israel with your ignorant comments. Yes I do believe in Yeshua, but you cannot believe when you don't research . Stop being lazy
Read the Taylor Prism, Isaiah, Kings. Read Herodious. They all agree what happened in Israel in the 7th century and so did the Egyptians . That is science goofball, not ignorance
Sounds like the aliens used to visit the earth on a regular basis back in the day.
I wonder why they don't get involved with our petty squabbles anymore.
"Palestinians in the Strip on Tuesday shot dead six alleged collaborators
in the Gaza Strip who "were caught red-handed," according to a security
source quoted by the Hamas Aqsa radio."
These 6 will undoubtedly be counted as civilians killed by Israel.
Best for hindu's, traitors.
What does Hinduism have to do with anything?
No, considered traitors responsible for the deaths of Pals. civilians.
CNN, it is possible to post intelligent comments elesewhere, you yoursleves are a pilllar of cloud, based in India. CNN is not America.
It seems this website is full of ultra left atheists who enjoy telling everyone with a tiny bit of faith they are evil oppressing cultists that will be wiped out soon? Why is this? Can we stay on topic, Israel is confronting gaza? Just so you know, Christians will not take your marriage away, will not take your weed, won't aggressively make it their life's work to convert you, or attack you. Though they might bake you cookies and sing songs to your family on the holidays, but I think you can tolerate that.
Tell us more lies.
Go on.. you're so used to it already. Tell another one.
PROTIP: If you don't want to get obliterated by a far superior military, don't fire rockets into said military's back yard.
Have you idiots counted the number of stupid "prophecy" or "end times" posts today? Your pathetic twits always fail to realize that you're a cancer on this world .. always spewing fear to get anyone to accept your bs. No one cares to be afraid of your delusions anymore.
Omg. The very fact you answered this shows you have no life, and are about as tolerant as these Muslim extremists, you preach tolerance, but can't stand Christians. Most Christians are actually pro gay marriage, and there are many gay intolerant atheists, we are all human
Act like a human first and dump your delusion and then you'll see what a joke you really were.
You have to realise most religious people don't go around shouting prophecies, less than 1 percent, kind of like the extremist atheists online, most atheists are very nice and tolerant. You are their 1 percent
Christianity is hinduism, absurdity of hindu Jew's, filthy secular s, deniers of truth absolute GOD, a laughable hinduism, ignorance.
Not atheists...just normal everyday people tired of being subjected to religious fanaticism.
So the complaint goes both ways.
Every one of you whack jobs deserve the full intensity of ridicule that comes your way. Confrontation with us atheists make you uncomfortable and then you pull the "we are the nice ones." Give your head a shake d.i.p.s.h.i.t.
Not attacking your beliefs. I am not a "militant atheist" bent on wiping the scourge of religion from the world, but I did find your post amusing. Mostly because each point you made was false. The reason we had such an issue with lobbying for gay marriage, and still do within most parts of the USA, is because of Christian influence. The main opponent to legalization of marijuana is moralism, which is directed by Christians. And finally, many Christians devote their entire lives in an attempt to aggressively convert others. It has been true for hundreds of years. It is still true today. For two months of the year Christians bake goods and sing songs, the other ten? Well, they do everything you say they don't. I am also not saying that every Christian is this way, in fact I would hazard that most are the same as everyone; too caught up in making it to tomorrow to worry about today. However, by claiming that Christians don't do these things, you are merely brushing a thousand years of conflict under the rug and asking "what mess?"
Ok, so lets check my beliefs-
The chance these things happened randomly is VERY small
The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to support life
The earth was chemically heated to the optimal conditions for organic molecules to form
Those rare organic molecules bonded together to form a membrane
They evolved into diverse animals
Formed a creature capable of full consciousness that dominated history and is beginning to find ways to defy the laws of our universe
There you go ..the old routine of the "fine tuned argument". You're a Chad wannabe. Ever so stupid too.
Just do this:: search with google:: && the two terms "fine tune" and "debunk" - and shut the hell up.
Where were you on this date adnd time?
"This happened on April 21, 2011 at about 1 pm."
I'm re-posting another of your 'kind' ..who claims that an Afirican American man (a god to Jason). Standing at 6'2 conversed with him. He (Jason) is a Eastern Orthodox Christian. Tell me now c-r-a-c-k pot; where were you when Jason "the faithful" met his lord on that date?
"The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to support life"
Are you frickin' serious with this? It wasn't always the perfect distance, and it won't stay the 'perfect' distance forever. Did you know the moon gets a little further away every day? And that earth's rotation is slowing?
Don't let crazy facts get in the way of your delusion, though, dude.
I am done arguing, I never meant to argue, I never meant to criticise anyone other than the extremists.
I don't know your age, but you have a lot to learn, so I would hope you are young. I am not a "crackpot" for believing the tormented people on this planet who respect their neighbours will be rewarded, I am asking you not rip up my culture, or take belief from others. You can reply and call me a lunatic and say I'm wrong, but the satisfaction will not be real
That would be fine if half your beliefs weren't holding the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE BACK
The only one seeking s-a-t-i-s-f-a-c-t-i-o-n is you? Idiot.
I seek to educate your lot on your falsehoods. I'll confront you miserable rabble from spreading your fear around while you recoil and go back to your safe bubble! It's like this every time when one of you do this routine.
We who call on your a-s-s-h-a-t ways makes you crumble. And we'll keep on doing. We'll make sure of it.
The Old Testament is the nationist drivel. It is the jewish Mein Kampf.
That is retarded. One is written by an insecure man who was angry with his dad. The other written by many a thoughtful men about what laws should rule a nation. Many if which we have adopted.
your name fits circus
and it is hinduism, corruption of true Torah, book of hindu's, gangsters.
Yeah, the old testament is about an angry, insecure dad! LOL
@ hinduism by Judaism self center ,secularism source of hindu filthy hinduism, racism.
(wow, what a post name).
Have you ever noticed that the intolerant, militant fanatics cannot exercise proper use of grammar, and attempt to force across "snippets" of eligible information? If not, that is because this is the way you post comments. Who truly cares about the influence of other people on a particular religion? Follow it, or don't. It is as simple as that. Rather than attempt to rally hatred towards a sect of people, just move on with your day. Israel is responding to aggressive actions taken against them, which was provoked by aggressive action. This is true in EVERY modern war. One group feels wronged. Another group feels wronged. Next thing you know, a war has begun. Neither side is right. Neither side is free from blame.
Jesus said to his own disciple,all who take the sword perish by the sword–and Jesus sent out his disciples without swords to spread his Gospel–and Jesus said he fulfills all the prophets,including the prophet Isaiah,and Isaiah 2:4,man learns war no more. The Roman Empire was the most powerful military nation on earth,and it eventually fell in wars,now we are the most powerful military nation on earth,which is not such a good thing to be. All this reveals that the politicians don't know what they're talking about when they support wars.
Go back and read what Yeshua said. He said whoever teaches men not to follow the law of Mises and does not do them will be least, but those who do and teach will be the greatest. There is no J in Hebrew Roman!
Israeli governments for decades and before the creation of Israel have used religion to justify killing of "human beings." (Yes, Palestinians are human!!). It's not different now. The Israeli citizens and most jews living outside are brain washed that this is a war and struggle between Jews and the evil Arabs/Muslims. One may say the same thing about Hamas and other groups, but this is not totally the same for many reasons including, 1) Choking of Palestinians for decades was carried out against Palestinians who were struggling for recognition and statehood on the basis of nationalistic Arab pretext, and they are now represented by Mr. Abbas PA, but absolutely nothing gained for them. Hamas and "Islamic"-based groups only gained foothold in the 1980's, I think. 2) Forget about Israelis being Jews for a moment and think of them as Europeans, Russians, and others whom their near ancestors did not live in this land, but many of them are first generation immigrants who came to steal Palestinians land. Hamas then would not be attacking them for religious reasons, but they attack them as being a colonial people land thieves. 3) Jews and Muslims in their history have not been in such animosity as exists now. On the contrary at times in history Muslims protected Jews against the persecution of the Europeans, e.g., in Spain. There are many Jews who still reside in Arab countries and refuse to contribute to the injustices that Israeli governments are exercising. Conclusion: Using Judaism to justify killing of the innocent no matter what the reason is, is totally political and Judaism, God's merciful religion, is innocent of it. As for Hamas and Jihad, they are using the religious pretext of an eye for an eye ...., which seem to be a universal concept. The Israeli government kill their innocents, they kill theirs, and this is how it has mostly started, albeit the Israelis always win this battle of course by a margin of >100:1. Solution: since it's a cycle of killing and revenge/retaliation that no one is able to break, impose a solution on both that allows all to live in dignity. Two state solution is dead, so just have one state with equal rights to all citizens and let's MOVE ON.
To add my voice to yours:
It's funny how their army is called the IDF: Israeli Defense Force. Another plus on their branding efforts. They really have excelled since way back on marketing themselves as the victim by claiming only to defend their right to exist! Meanwhile Palestine which long before the creation of Israel was at peace with the Jews continues to be taken as nothing but a scapegoat for terrorism! Please let us not forget that during their occupation of Palestine, extremist groups like the Stern gang and Irgun thrived and committed atrocities in the name of their so called "independence"! Extremism is wrong regardless of side but these Israeli government sponsored air attacks mainly on a civilian population is nothing but a crime against humanity. There are other means in the 21 century to get at extremists like sending in special ops. Why is Israel opting for carpet bombing now and with such a loud noise??? Where is the humanity in this? What happened to the lessons of the Holocaust??
Your Word does well and I do salute you in your thoughtfilled stewardship for kindled understanding. Jews yes are land thieves even though many so many centuries passings did the Jews once live upon now times Palestinian lands. Hell's patronage knows no other ways but to willfully fulfill the prophesied Word, the Gospel!
Can one body of people not change that which was declared to be biblically so written? Wherein the biblical can prophesying though forewarned be outwitted should warnings be prophetically heeded? Is it righteously endeavouring to wantonly fulfill a historically imbedded future thought just because it is so written? Should not a people of uncommon intellect become intellectually mundane just to satisfy biblical prophecies? Wherethen lays the lands ending of aberrance foretold of wanton means? Who are the lands beneficiaries should war bemoan them and all do die out due and thru warring?
If life were as simple as a civil conversation, and an agreement on terms... don't you think war would have ceased to exist long ago? Humans are aggressive, due to our survival depending on access to finite resources. Until you can develop a machine that can provide every human on Earth with everything they need to survive, your call for thoughtful decisions is merely an idealistic viewpoint of a world that does not, and will not exist.
I think its bogus that the Jews claim that they were justified in "reclaiming their holy land", by killing, and relocating thousands of people.
The only reason Zionists have the support of the US military is because it serves as proxy battlefront for the USA, at the same time, by giving them what they want, the Jews stopped attacking western countries (think Munich Olympics).
It's basically like taking a pack of ravenous pack of wolves, feeding them a steak and using them as guard dogs. What keeps the wolves in line? More steak, and a BIG stick.
How would Americans feel if the Serria and Washao tribes- TRUE Americans, came into Las Vegas with a Modern Army provided to them by China and took back their sacred holy land?
... it's basically the same thing.
Oh yeah- and the Washao Tribes had nuclear weapons pointed at Manhattan and L.A. at all times.
I'm sure dumb rednecks from Arizona and Texas would lob rockets or try to invade.
Munich involved the jews being killed? And when have the Jews attacked western nations in any of their history, if i remember correctly they were kicked out of their land almost everywhere in europe.
@Dan- read a history book
Your ignorance is astounding! You think the Jews were the attackers at the Munich Olympics? Please read your history before you pretend to argue historical facts.
When did Jews attack western countries?
What is the Christian / Islamic understanding of Zechariah 8:23
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
This book by christian and jewish accounts is end time prophesy.
What's your understanding of "The Night Before Christmas". By common knowledge, a factual account.
Why don't you idiots just post all your stupid tripe prophecy dates in a master list and just shut the hell up?
I don't think I despise anything more than I do religion.
"Pillar of defense"...with planes and tanks against people throwing rocks at us for 64 years...
...how brave and noble...
Oh really, rocks? Rocks don't blow up entire sections of shopping centers.
Gaza attacking Israel... It's like a midget attacking George St. Pierre. Hamas knew the risk and did it anyway. I think that shows they have no regard for the Palestinian's safety or well-being.
Maybe they're just ig nert...
The book "2052 Prophecies" depicts the battle of Armageddon in the Middle East in the coming years. See youtube video, "2052 Prophecies" a one minute video.
No thank you.
Fvck your prophecies.
I heard you dont have to watch the video if you have a proper tinfoil hat
People like you start wars just to make sure your prophecy comes true.
Go smoke a doob and chillax.
I knew it, I just knew this would happen. I came here expecting to see a slew of angry comments about the bible. It seems the mere mention of the bible is enough to send these non-believers into a panic. It's almost as though they are so insecure in their "belief" (or lack thereof) that they have to attack the bible at every turn. They can't bear to see it even mentioned because it undermines their fragile minds.
I concur. As a believer in Christ, I am excited to hear someone stand up for what our God (God of Abraham, Issaac, and Jacob) has said; we will not take a back seat and be silient to what is going on in America or the world. For those who do not believe in our God, shame on you; but as for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord, irregardless of what the majority of non-believers want to claim as false. We will stick with our God and his promises. PERIOD
It's not the bible, to non believers it is just another literary work. It's people that take it literally and are willing to kill because of it that anger us. It's sanctioned insanity. No thank you.
When your belief system is based on fiction, as opposed to logic, it's very easy to justify horrendous acts.
Well, the bible is a vile, hateful book for the most part. I see that critism of it drives your crazy so......Fvck JESUS
Jesus, you weirdos get weirder every day.
No....actually..."panic" is what you Thumpers do all the time.
The rest of us are just trying to calm your crazy a$$3$ down.
Well, in responce to Rachel at 3pm; scripture says this : Those secrets that are revealed to you, are yours. However, do not forget the book of Enoch, nor the offering to Azriel in the Pentatuch ( ok, scapegoat), meaning that,punishement was meeted out to the world, because "the cries of men reach unto heaven" by way of the secrets that were revealed to the daughters of men. The technology to make metals for war.
I thought that was Azazel.
Seems like God has a full time job "punishing man".
No wonder so many people have turned the other way.
That is correct., there are two or more different spellings ( I cant spell, anyway), he was one of the Twenty Watchers under the leadership of HAMIHAZA, he took the penalty to be meeted out to the ofspring of HAMIHAZA (trnslation-MY NAME HAS SEEN according to the DEad Sea SCroll translations by Joseph MIlik?) anyway, this is the concept of the scapegoat, Azriel is the quentisential Goat head on man torso and Satyr legs in the Pentagram dude, (Satan to the un-learned) The 5 pointed star represents what AZriel was about- Elemental power. The knowladge of material for metallurgy, e.g. Weapons of war etc.. Curious that the greeks called it THE AGE OF IRON (Hesiod), as what we know as the days of NOah, who was Enochs grandson by derivation; also curious is the Summerian mythos of around the same period (GIgalmesh etc) Good Luck Humans, X-RAy DElta ONe; TrAnsmission complete.
Only for the beyond-stupid citizens of Palestine and Israel:
More like the Pillar of Myth if you believe 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis:
origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.
New Torah For Modern Minds
“Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).
The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.
The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
"None of this is the real voice of anyone. And we must never believe that it is." NEGATIVELAND
suresure.Phenomenology and the holographic model would make all this _____ etc etc.
Read the Taylor Prism. Your own kind said Israel was there in 721 BC and used Hezekiah the Judite by name.
"Your own kind said Israel was there in 721 BC and used Hezekiah the Judite by name."
Who is "my own kind" ? Archaeologists? People who care about historical validity? I don't know what you are screaming about.
For those who disagree with the "New Torah for Modern Minds"/ Tree of Life, please send your rebuttal along with reliable references to:
The Rabbinical Assembly
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 280-6000
Fx: (212) 749-9166
General inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
There can be no peace on this planet until the learned few are able to convince everyone else to embrace science and reason, rather than hocus and pocus.
Science and reason comes by reading historical fact. The Taylor Prism and the book of Isaiah and kings said Israel was there. The Taylor prism was written by an Assyrian king. Now don't you feel ignorant?
Your science and reason is not going to stand a chance on judgement day.
How fvcked up is it that your type, Ken, has to resort to threats?
"Your science and reason is not going to stand a chance on judgement day."
There won't be a judgement day.
Ken, that's just the best way to get people on your side! Where did you learn those fantastic people skills??
"Science and reason comes by reading historical fact. The Taylor Prism and the book of Isaiah and kings said Israel was there"
Yeah, is every myth the jews believe about themselves true because they existed at the time?
People like Ken start wars to make sure their prophecy comes true.
Murdering religious fanatics.
They all think God wants them to extinguish their fellow man.
Where's the "good" in your faith?
Gawker is not a valid news source. They are a gossip blog with a severe political bias. Most of the writers are in their early teens.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.