Skip to main content
Search
Services
U.S.

Tuesday, October 25

Editor's Note: CNN News Update is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers and compiled by Wires.CNN.

Weary Floridians wait and wait and wait for water, ice

MIAMI (CNN) -- Thousands of frustrated North Miami residents stood in line for nearly 12 hours Tuesday for a bag of ice and three bottles of water, and as darkness fell, the only lights came from TV cameras because of power outages.

One day after Hurricane Wilma battered southern Florida, up to 7,000 people began lining up at 8 a.m., expecting the relief distribution to begin at 2 p.m. But it took another five hours before the supplies were handed out -- a delay that angered and frustrated the growing crowd.

National Guard and police patrolled the packed parking lot outside a Wal-Mart. The reason for the delay wasn't immediately clear, but the handouts were to continue into the night.

Long lines also formed for supplies in Hollywood. But just north of there, in Dania Beach, men were seen unloading crates of bottled water -- but no one was there to receive it. In Naples, on the southwest coast, residents were angry when Federal Emergency Management Agency staff didn't show up to distribute water when they said they would. "What are we supposed to do? We're supposed to count on FEMA. It's disgusting," she said. Naples Mayor Bill Barnett added, "Don't commit if you can't deliver."

Crowds also formed outside gas stations -- the ones with electrical power to run the pumps -- and at supermarkets and building supply stores. The extensive damage in southeastern Florida -- extending more than 100 miles up the coast -- was largely unexpected since the storm made landfall on the west coast.

Nearly 3 million households and businesses, or 6 million people, were without electricity Tuesday night, according to Florida Power & Light's Web site. The company, which serves 35 counties, said many customers are likely to be without power for days, and some will remain without power for weeks. Even by Nov. 15, the company expects power to still be out for 5 percent of its customers.

FP&L President Armando Olivera said the company hopes to restore power by late Wednesday to Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties on the west coast, and to northern Brevard County on the east coast. Power to a majority of the customers should be back by Nov. 8, he said.

An insurance industry report estimated that damage to insured property in south Florida would range between $6 billion and $10 billion.

Wilma battered Mexico's Yucatan peninsula over the weekend, then brought damaging storm surges to Cuba and the Florida Keys before coming ashore Monday morning at Cape Romano, Fla., south of Naples.

The storm moved quickly across the Everglades and was still carrying 100 mph winds when it struck heavily populated southeast Florida. Tuesday evening, Wilma was over the Atlantic, with top winds of 85 mph, was located 205 miles south-southeast of Haifax, Nova Scotia, according to the National Hurricane Center. Further weakening of Wilma was expected. (Posted 10:40 p.m.)

Draft U.N. resolution demands Syria detain suspects

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A draft U.S.-French resolution being circulated among U.N. Security Council members Tuesday says Syria "must detain" Syrian officials or individuals suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The resolution also calls for freezing the assets of and placing a travel ban on any individual named as a suspect by a U.N. investigation, and says Syria must allow investigators to interview Syrian officials and individuals outside of Syria "and/or outside the presence of any other Syrian official."

"Syria must stop interfering in Lebanese domestic affairs," the hard-hitting draft says. The resolution comes just days after the release of a report by Detlev Mehlis, the German prosecutor appointed by the United Nations to investigate Hariri's death, concluded there was "converging evidence" that Syrian and Lebanese officials were involved -- a conclusion strongly denied by the Syrian government, which has dismissed the report as false and politically motivated.

Hariri, a veteran Lebanese politician who had become a critic of Syria's military occupation of Lebanon, was killed along with 20 other people by a powerful car bomb on February 14. His assassination triggered massive protests that eventually led to Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon. (Posted 9:30 p.m.)

Bush to Syria: Stop 'meddling' in Lebanon

(CNN) -- President Bush on Tuesday warned Syria to stop "meddling" in Lebanon, and said Damascus "must take the demands of the free world very seriously."

"There were some very strong implications in the report," he said, referring to a U.N. report that concluded there was "converging evidence" that Syrian and pro-Syrian Lebanese officials were involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In an interview with Al Arabiya television, Bush said he has instructed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to "call upon the United Nations to host a foreign ministers meeting as quickly as possible."

Asked if the United States and other countries were headed toward confrontation with Syria, Bush said, "I certainly hope not." (Posted 9 p.m.)

White House tight-lipped on report linking Cheney to CIA leak case

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With speculation rampant in Washington that indictments could be handed down any day in the CIA leak investigation, the White House was being tight-lipped Tuesday about a newspaper report linking Vice President Dick Cheney to the complicated, twisting drama.

The New York Times reported that notes of a conversation between Cheney and his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, indicate that Libby first learned about the CIA operative at the center of the case, Valerie Plame, from Cheney -- and that Cheney got the information from then-CIA Director George Tenet.

However, the Times reported that the notes do not indicate that Cheney or Libby knew Plame was an undercover operative, whose identity was protected by a federal law making it a crime to deliberately disclose it.

The Times cited as its sources lawyers involved in the case, who described the contents of the notes to the newspaper. (Posted 8 p.m.)

Parks' death provokes outpouring of praise

(CNN) -- Rosa Parks, the African-American seamstress whose refusal 50 years ago to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., to a white man, was credited Tuesday with igniting the civil rights movement and, ultimately, with helping change the nation's laws on race.

Parks died Monday at age 92.

"By sitting down, refusing to move, she was really standing up for all of us," said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. He was 15 at the time, and credited her with sparking his own interest in politics. "I wanted to find a way to get involved in the movement and I became part of that effort to help desegregate the American South."

Parks' lone act of disobedience led a 26-year-old minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to organize a bus boycott. Unassuming, proud and dignified, Parks was one of more than 50,000 African-Americans who, by walking, carpooling and taking church buses, leveraged their economic clout. After 381 days, the boycott ended when the Supreme Court ruled segregation on public transportation illegal. (Posted 6:33 p.m.)

Draft U.N. resolution demands Syria detain suspects

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A draft U.S.-French resolution being circulated among the Security Council Tuesday says Syria "must detain" Syrian officials or individuals suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

"Syria must stop interfering in Lebanese domestic affairs, either directly or indirectly, refrain from any attempt aimed at destabilizing Lebanon, and respect scrupulously the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence of this country," the draft says. (Posted 6:17 p.m.)

Neighbor interviewed again on whether he knew Plame was covert CIA operative

From CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A neighbor of Valerie Plame has been interviewed by FBI agents for the second time. The agents asked Marc Lefkowitz on Monday night whether he knew about Plame's work at the CIA before her identity was leaked in a July 2003 column. Lefkowitz told agents he did not, according to his wife, Elise Lefkowitz.

Plame is married to former Ambassador Joe Wilson, and they live in Washington.

Lefkowitz said this is the second time FBI agents have asked whether the couple was aware of Plame's CIA work. She said the first interview took place several months ago.

FBI agents are looking into who leaked Plame's name to the press. Federal law makes it a crime to deliberately reveal the identity of a CIA operative, and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is heading a probe into the matter. (Posted 6:01 p.m.)

South Florida power outage no quick fix

MIAMI (CNN) -- Many residents of southern Florida will be without electricity for days in the wake of Hurricane Wilma, and some with remain in the dark for weeks, the power company says.

Nearly 3 million households and businesses, or 6 million people in 17 counties, had no electricity Tuesday, said Florida Power & Light spokeswoman Lourdes Campbell. Most of the outages were south of Interstate 4.

The company, which serves 35 counties, said that even by Nov. 15, it expects power to still be out for 5 percent of its customers.

FP&L President Armando Olivera said the company hopes to restore power by late Wednesday to Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties on the west coast, and to northern Brevard County on the east coast. Power to a majority of the customers should be back by Nov. 8, he said. Olivera said about 60 percent of the utility's territory was affected by the hurricane. (Posted 5:48 p.m.)

Hurricane Wilma aids New England's first nor'easter of fall 2005

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A nor'easter with strong wind and heavy rain plagued New England residents early Tuesday, leaving thousands wet, cold and without power.

The nor'easter, the first of this year's winter weather season, developed about 150 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and gathered strength by pulling some energy and moisture from Hurricane Wilma, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Tracey McCormick. As Wilma traveled north at approximately 53 mph, the nor'easter moved inland and the two systems just missed one another.

Had the nor'easter and Hurricane Wilma combined over the Atlantic, New Englanders would likely be suffering a great deal more.

Estimates of customers without power included 41,500 in Massachusetts, 7,700 in Rhode Island, and more than 25,000 in Connecticut.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for the Housatonic and Connecticut rivers and some coastal areas.(Posted 5:30 p.m.)

Security Council readies demand for Syrian cooperation in Hariri probe

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A draft of "strong resolution" demanding that Syria cooperate fully in the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could begin circulating among U.N. Security Council diplomats Tuesday evening, according to the American ambassador to the world body.

Speaking to reporters after the Security Council discussed preliminary results of an investigation into Hariri's death, Ambassador John Bolton said the resolution was being drafted and could begin circulating later Tuesday, with a goal of having it considered by the council on Monday.

"We want a very strong signal from the council to the government of Syria that its obstructionism has to cease, and cease immediately," Bolton said. "And we want substantive cooperation in the investigation from Syria."

"We want witnesses made available. We want documents produced. We want real cooperation, not simply the appearance of cooperation."

Asked if there would be serious consequences if Syria failed to comply, Bolton said, "Yes. ... It will be a strong resolution. I can tell you that right now." He did not outline what those consequences might be. U.S. officials have said privately that the United States has not ruled out pushing for sanctions against Syria. (Posted 5:15 p.m.)

U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,000

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The U.S. military death toll in Iraq reached 2,000 Tuesday with the reports of three new deaths, and President Bush prepared the nation for more casualties, saying the "defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice."

"We've lost some of our nation's finest men and women in the war on terror," Bush said in a speech to military spouses at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington. "Each loss of life is heartbreaking. And the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission and lay the foundation of peace by spreading freedom."

The U.S. military Tuesday said Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died Saturday from injuries sustained earlier in the week when a roadside bomb detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Samarra, raising the U.S. death toll in the two-and-a-half-year-old war to 2,000.

The military reported earlier in the day that two Marines were killed by a roadside bomb Friday while conducting operations near Amariya in the volatile Anbar province -- an attack that also killed two other Marines, whose deaths had been reported earlier. The military had also previously reported a Marine died Sunday from small arms fire. (Posted 5:12 p.m.)

State Department defends efforts to help American tourists stranded in Mexico

From CNN State Department Producer Elise Labott

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The State Department on Tuesday defended its efforts to help between 10,000 and 15,000 American tourists stranded in Cancun after Hurricane Wilma.

"We in the Department of State realize ... American tourists in Mexico have been through a very difficult past couple of days, having suffered through a monster hurricane that has greatly disrupted their lives and worried their loved ones," deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. "Our priority ... is to provide them assistance and to get them home quickly and safely."

Ereli said 23 U.S. consular officers are scrambling to reach Americans stranded in hotels and shelters, and the United States already had helped 1,900 Americans to get out of the affected area in Cancun by bus to nearby Merida, where the airport is open.

That statement conflicted with one by a representative of Mexicana Airlines, which began flying tourists from the Cancun airport Tuesday. Adolfo Crespo, senior vice president for public affairs and customer service for the airline, said the road to Merida was still blocked Tuesday. (Posted 4:15 p.m.)

NTSB team travels to Nigeria to aid in crash investigation

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday it has dispatched a team of investigators to Lagos, Nigeria, to help investigate the crash Saturday of a Bellview Airlines jet in which all 117 people aboard were killed.

The five-member team is headed by senior NTSB investigator Dennis L. Jones, and includes investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney.

Four FBI agents were at the site Monday, after the Nigerian government requested their help in the investigation into the cause of the crash.

The plane -- Bellview Airlines Flight 210 -- was carrying 111 passengers and six crew members to the Nigerian capital of Abuja when it crashed Saturday night near the town of Lissa. (Posted 3:47 p.m.)

Mexicana Airlines begins evacuating tourists stranded in Cancun

(CNN) -- Mexicana Airlines announced Tuesday that it has begun evacuating some of the 20,000 international tourists who were left stranded last week in Cancun when Hurricane Wilma blew through the region.

Eight hundred people boarded five flights from Cancun to Mexico City, said Adolfo Crespo, senior vice president for public affairs and customer service. "We're going to be sending four flights tomorrow," he said. "Then we're going to be playing it by ear."

Mexicana was the sole airline to be flying from the airport, and was able to fly only during the day, because the airport's radar were rendered inoperable by the storm, Crespo said.

About half of the town's tourists are Americans; most remain stranded in shelters, waiting in long lines for food and supplies. (Posted 3:36 p.m.)

Bush approval rating halts downturn

(CNN) -- President Bush's job approval rating showed a hint of recovery in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Tuesday compared to an all-time low rating last week, but those questioned said they would vote for a Democrat if an election were held this year.

Among 1,008 adults questioned Oct. 21-23, 42 percent approved of the way the president is handling his job and 55 percent disapproved. In the previous poll, released Oct. 17, 39 percent approved of Bush's job performance -- the lowest number of his presidency -- and 58 percent disapproved. However, all the numbers are within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, so it's possible that the public's opinion has not changed at all.

In the latest poll, 55 percent of the respondents said that if there were an election this year and Bush were again running for the presidency, they would vote for the Democratic candidate. Thirty-nine percent said they would vote for Bush.

More than half, 57 percent, said they don't agree with the president's views on issues that are important to them, while 41 percent said their views are in alignment with those of Bush on important issues. (Posted 3 p.m.)

Poll finds disappointment with Miers' nomination for Supreme Court

(CNN) -- A national poll released Tuesday found that Americans are disappointed in President Bush's choice of Harriet Miers to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, but are now split on whether the Senate should approve her nomination.

Fifty percent of the 1,008 adults questioned in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll were not pleased with the president's choice, while 40 percent approved.

Critics question Miers' ability to serve on the nation's highest court because she has never been a judge and there is little in her background to show whether she may be qualified. She currently serves as the White House counsel and is a member of the president's inner circle.

When asked if the Senate should confirm Bush's pick, 43 percent said no and 42 percent said yes. For the same question in the last poll, conducted Oct. 13-16, 44 percent said Miers should be confirmed while 36 percent said she shouldn't. The latest poll questioned 1,008 adults Oct. 21-23 and has a sampling error of plus/minus 3 percentage points. (Posted 3 p.m.)

Americans split on whether administration officials committed illegal or unethical acts in CIA leak probe

(CNN) -- Americans questioned in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll poll released Tuesday are split on whether Bush administration officials did anything illegal or unethical in connection with the leaking of a CIA operative's name.

Thirty-nine percent said some administration officials acted illegally in the matter, in which the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, was revealed. The same number of respondents said Bush administration officials acted unethically, but did nothing illegal. Ten percent felt they did nothing wrong at all.

The poll questioned 1,008 adults Oct. 21-23 and has a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Federal law makes it a crime to deliberately reveal the identity of a CIA operative, and special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is heading a probe into the matter. (Posted 3 p.m.)

Longtime New York Giants owner Wellington Mara dies at 89

From CNN News Assistant Chris Browne

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Wellington Mara -- an NFL Hall of Famer and president of the New York Football Giants for almost eight decades -- died Tuesday at the age of 89, a Giants team spokesman said.

"Wellington Mara represented the heart and soul of the National Football League," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Mara's tenure with the New York Giants spanned almost 80 years. He and his brother, Jack, now deceased, inherited ownership of the team from their father and fellow Hall of Famer, Timothy J. Mara, in 1930. (Posted 2:22 p.m.)

Search for food, fuel leads to long lines in south Florida

MIAMI (CNN) -- South Florida residents found long lines at nearly every turn as they tried to cope with electricity outages and damage to their homes Tuesday, a day after Hurricane Wilma swept through.

Getting food, water and fuel to millions of south Florida residents was the top priority for relief agencies, as about 6 million people had no electricity, and the power company's estimate of how long it will take to get everyone back online stretched to a month.

Lines of people with shopping carts stretched around the block at the grocery stories, Wal-Marts and Home Depots that were open Tuesday. Perhaps more frustrating were the dozens of cars and trucks jamming the streets leading to any gas station that had gas and the power to pump it.

"Life without power is very frustrating," said Gov. Jeb Bush in a news conference Tuesday morning in Miami. "Power makes the world go around."

Power has been restored to Miami International Airport, but it remains closed and may not reopen until Tuesday evening or later because fences guarding the runways suffered major damage, an airport spokesman said. (Posted 1:53 p.m.)

U.S. troop death toll in Iraq war at 2,000

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- CNN has determined that the U.S. troop death toll in the war in Iraq now totals 2,000, a number many consider a milestone.

The U.S. military does not publish an up-to-date running tally of deaths. Since the war started in March 2003, CNN has undertaken its own count of U.S. military deaths. CNN researchers carefully tracked U.S. military reports of deaths in combat and non-hostile situations. Other news agencies and groups also prepare their own tallies.

The CNN count is based on Central Command death reports. Central Command typically makes mention of a death without identifying the serviceman or woman, noting that next of kin must be notified before a victim's name can be released. Later -- sometimes days later -- the Pentagon issues a report with the victim's name.

Problems can pop up during this process, and over the past two and a half years, CNN and other news agencies have had to modify their counts to take account of discrepancies between details provided by different branches of the military.

There have been times the Pentagon has issued a news release on an incident that wasn't reported by Central Command. The same death might be reported twice, with differing details in each report. What was considered two deaths actually is one. In addition, the report of someone who is wounded in combat and dies weeks or months later might be overlooked.

Regularly, CNN's researchers audit our data against other published reports and the names published by the military. CNN's most recent audit occurred Monday.

The latest death -- the killing of a Marine on Sunday in Ramadi -- was reported on Monday. The numbers that brought the toll to 2,000 were three deaths last week that were reported Tuesday. Two U.S. Marines were killed on Friday near Amariya in Anbar province and a U.S. soldier died on Saturday from wounds suffered while riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device October 17. (Posted 1:05 p.m.)

Web site carries claim of responsibility for Baghdad blast Monday

(CNN) -- A Web site carried a claim of responsibility from al Qaeda in Iraq for Monday's attacks in the heart of Baghdad that killed at least 10 people and wounded 22 others.

The claim was made on a site used by the group, which is led by wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Its authenticity cannot be verified by CNN.

Suicide car bombs, including a cement truck packed with explosives, rocked Iraq's capital near two hotels housing international journalists and contractors. The cement mixer blast sent a plume of smoke hundreds of feet into the air, shattered windows on nearby buildings and caused extensive damage to the lobby of the Palestine Hotel, where many journalists have been staying since the start of the U.S.-led Iraq invasion. (Posted 12:37 p.m.)

8 killed in suicide bombing in Kurdish city in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Eight people were killed and 12 were wounded in a suicide bombing Tuesday in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya. according to a political official there.

It was one of three suicide bombs that detonated between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m., according to Mula Bakhtiar, a high-ranking Patriotic Union of Kurdistan official. The suicide car bomb detonated in front of a building housing peshmerga militia members, killing five militia members and three civilians.

Two near-simultaneous suicide car bombs targeted Bakhtiar's convoy, he said, wounding three bodyguards. Earlier, security sources reported explosions that killed several people in the city but couldn't provide specifics. (Posted 12:10 p.m.)

Mehlis asks for 'meaningful cooperation' from Syria

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The head of a U.N. investigation team looking into the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is urging that Syria show "meaningful cooperation" with the ongoing probe.

German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, speaking Tuesday before the U.N. Security Council, noted that the report released last week is only preliminary and that investigators will "look into emerging leads" before the investigation ends on Dec. 15.

He said the next seven weeks will "provide yet another opportunity for the Syrian authorities to show greater and meaningful cooperation and to provide any relevant, substantial evidence on the assassination."

Mehlis' report to the United Nations concluded there was "converging evidence" of Lebanese and Syrian involvement in Hariri's assassination in February. Syrian officials deny any involvement in the killing and have said the report is false and politically motivated. (Posted 11:35 a.m.)

Wilma weakens to Category 2

(CNN) -- Hurricane Wilma weakened to a Category 2 storm -- with 105 mph top winds -- as it sped east-northeasterly at a swift 53 mph pace in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. EDT advisory.

The storm is moving parallel to the East Coast about 570 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Forecasters don't expect the storm to make a second landfall in the United States, although it could scrape across southern Newfoundland in Canada Wednesday afternoon. (Posted 11:06 a.m.)

Florida hurricane damage could hit $10 billion

MIAMI (CNN) -- As south Florida began to clean up after Hurricane Wilma, an insurance industry report estimated damage to insured property there could range between $6 billion and $10 billion, making Wilma one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.

Risk Management Solutions said the largest concentration of damage is likely along Florida's east coast, between West Palm Beach and Miami.

Despite Wilma's power, south Florida appeared to escape major structural damage, officials in several areas said. "We're seeing a lot of windows broken. We're seeing a lot of trees down, power lines down," said Miami-Dade County Emergency Management spokesman Louie Fernandez. But restoration efforst will take weeks, he said, because "the devastation is just so large."

Florida Power and Light said 6,000 utility workers were in the field, many from other states, repairing power lines. About 3 million homes and businesses in Florida were without power -- affecting 6 million people -- and it could take a month before service is fully restored to all areas, the company said. The power company reported on its Web site Tuesday morning that service had already been restored to 251,800 customers. (Posted 11:05 a.m.)

Nothing found after bomb threats made against 2 California airports

(CNN) -- Two airports in California were briefly shut down Tuesday after bomb threats that were phoned in to airport officials, according to a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., got a call around 2:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m. ET) warning about a bomb, the spokesman said, but a security sweep of the airport turned up nothing. No flights were delayed and the airport is open again, he added.

Around 3:25 a.m. (6:25 a.m. ET), another threat was made, this one to the Long Beach Airport, the TSA spokesman said. The airport was searched and nothing was found, he said, and it reopened shortly before 8 a.m. (11 a.m. ET.)

Despite the proximity of the airports, the spokesman said, it's not known if the two threats are linked. The wording of the threats was not the same, he said. (Posted 11 a.m.)

With Wilma gone, South Florida's recovery starts

MIAMI (CNN) -- Getting food, water and fuel to millions of south Florida residents is the top priority Tuesday a day after Hurricane Wilma swept across the peninsula, leaving about 6 million people without electricity, many roads blocked by debris, windows blown out and roofs ripped away along its path.

Government officials on Florida's west coast -- where Wilma came ashore as a Category 3 storm -- expressed relief that structural damage was not greater while the state's east coast suffered a more severe blow than many may have expected.

Wilma remained a Category 3 storm -- with 115 mph top winds -- and sped northeasterly at a swift 53 mph pace in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center's 5 a.m. EDT advisory. The storm is moving parallel to the East Coast about 310 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Forecasters don't expect the storm to make a second landfall in the United States, although it could scrape across southern Newfoundland in Canada Wednesday afternoon. (Posted, 9:30 a.m.)

U.S. troop death toll in Iraq war at 2,000

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The U.S. troop death toll in the war in Iraq now totals 2,000, according to a count of military figures by CNN.

The U.S. military on Tuesday reported three deaths late last week that raised the count.

Two U.S. Marines were killed in Iraq on Friday near Amariya in Anbar province and a U.S. soldier was killed on Saturday while riding in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was struck by an improvised explosive device. (Posted, 9:30 a.m.)

Election officials in Iraq: Constitution referendum passes

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The constitution referendum has passed, according to final results issued on Tuesday by Iraqi election officials.

A representative from the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq said these are "final provisional figures" that need to be certified.

The figures show that the tally failed to get a two-thirds "no" vote in at least three of the 18 provinces that would have been required to defeat the measure.

Supporters of the referendum were concerned about the voting in several provinces with significant populations of Sunni Arabs, who largely opposed the measure.

"No" votes exceeded two-thirds only in Salaheddin and Anbar provinces. There was a "no" vote in Nineveh province, but only with 55 percent, and Diyala province voted "yes," with its population having a slight Sunni Arab majority. Shiite Arabs and Kurds largely back the document. (Posted 7:25 a.m.)

In Iraq, deaths reported in attack, explosions

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two people were killed in a Baghdad attack and a number of people died in explosions in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, authorities said.

A pair of roadside bombs targeting U.S. military convoys exploded about an hour and a mile apart in western Baghdad's Mansour neighborhood Tuesday morning, killing two civilians and wounding five others, police said. No U.S. military personnel were wounded in the attack.

Security sources in Iraq reported multiple explosions in the city of Sulaimaniya, killing a number of people. (Posted 5:43 a.m.)

Indonesia confirms 2 new cases of bird flu in humans

(CNN) -- Indonesia's Ministry of Health has confirmed two new cases of bird flu in its citizens, including a fourth death, according to the World Health Organization's Web site.

Exposure to infected poultry was the likely source of infection in both new cases, authorities said. The death involved a 23-year-old man from Bogor, West Java. He was hospitalized on September 28 and died two days later. In the second case, a 4-year-old boy from Sumatra Island in Lampung Province developed symptoms on October 4. He was hospitalized and has since recovered and returned home.

The boy's 21-year-old uncle was also hospitalized with the often-deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. "Although the two cases are related and lived in the same neighborhood, human-to-human transmission is considered unlikely," the WHO Web site said.

Since the outbreak began in 2003, Indonesia has reported seven human cases of H5N1 avian influenza -- four of which have been fatal. (Posted 5:38 a.m.)

4 bombs explode at four courthouses in northern Spain

From CNN's Al Goodman

MADRID (CNN) -- Bombs exploded early Tuesday at four courthouses in northern Spain, causing some property damage but no immediate reports of injuries, Spanish media reported.

The first bomb went off shortly after midnight, with the fourth detonating around 7:30 a.m. The bombs went off in four northern provinces that the Basque separatist group ETA is trying to turn into an independent homeland.

The attacks follow a statement published by ETA in a Basque newspaper in which the group reiterated its claim to self determination and took responsibility for several recent bombings.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombings or warning call -- tactics often, but not always, employed in ETA attacks. (Posted 5:37 a.m.)

American among dead in Nigerian plane crash

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- A U.S. citizen was among the 117 people who died Saturday when a passenger jet crashed shortly after take-off from Lagos, the U.S. military said Monday.

"Maj. Joseph J. Haydon, Jr., 40, of Fredericksburg, Va., was assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation in the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, an office that manages security assistance programs and provides liaison between the U.S. military and host nation militaries," a U.S. European Command statement said. (Posted 5:36 a.m.)

Clean-up begins, after Wilma blows out to sea

(CNN) -- From Cancun to Key West and Marco Island to Miami, people mopped up water and swept up debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma, which remained stubbornly powerful Monday night as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolinas.

The deaths of at least 10 people -- four in Mexico and six in Florida -- were being blamed on the storm. At least 3.2 million homes and businesses in Florida were without power, and Florida Power and Light said it could take a month before service is fully restored to all areas.

The acting director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, David Paulinson, described the damage in the Sunshine State as "pretty extensive from the west coast all the way across to the east coast."

"A lot of power lines down ... a lot of tree damage, a lot of trees down, a lot of roof damage," Paulinson told CNN's "Larry King Live." He also said mobile homes in the storm's path were "pretty much all wiped out." (Posted 10:50 p.m.)

'Mother of civil rights movement' Rosa Parks dies at 92

(CNN) -- Rosa Parks -- the woman who inspired the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala. in December 1955 -- died Monday. She was 92.

Rep. John Conyers, a long-time friend who first met Parks during the early days of the civil rights struggle, said Parks died in Detroit Monday evening.

"I think that she, as the mother of the new civil rights movement, has left an impact not just on the nation, but on the world," he told CNN in a phone interview. "She was a real apostle of the non-violence movement."

Conyers said Parks worked on his original congressional staff when he first was elected to the House of Representatives in 1964. He remembered her as someone who never raised her voice -- an eloquent voice of the civil rights movement.

"You treated her with deference because she was so quiet, so serene -- just a very special person," he said, adding, "There was only one," Rosa Parks.

Gregory Reed, a long-time friend and attorney, said Parks died between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. of natural causes. He called Parks "a lady of great courage." (Posted 10:50 p.m.)

Senate oil-for-food report accuses British parliamentarian

From CNN Senior Producer Liz Neisloss

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- A Senate report Monday unveiled evidence it says links illegal oil money from Saddam Hussein's regime to the political campaign of a British lawmaker and to the accounts of his Jordanian wife -- and accused him of lying under oath about the payments.

The 65-page report by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accuses British Parliamentarian George Galloway of perjury and obstruction of congressional proceedings. The evidence will be handed over to the Department of Justice for possible criminal charges.

Galloway -- a left-wing politician known for his theatrical rhetoric and fierce debating style -- appeared voluntarily before the Senate panel on May 17, and denied having taken any money.

At the time, he challenged the chairman, Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., to bring him evidence beyond what had been presented that day, which he called a "school boy howler." (Posted 10:05 p.m.)

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN
CNN.com gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines