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Saturday, October 29

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.

Hurricane Beta strengthening, headed to Nicaragua

(CNN) -- Hurricane Beta, which extended the record-breaking 2005 tropical weather season, battered the island of Providencia, east of Nicaragua, with torrential rain and damaging winds Saturday, and may strengthen before its expected landfall in Central America on Sunday, forecasters said.

At 5 a.m. Saturday, the center of the slow-moving storm that developed early Thursday was located about 145 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaraguan-Honduran border and about 130 miles east of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. It was moving northwest at near 3 mph, and was expected to continue slogging its way toward Nicaragua, the National Hurricane Center said.

Beta's maximum sustained winds were near 80 mph with higher gusts, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. "Beta could become a strong Category 2 hurricane before it makes landfall," the center said.

Providencia has been experiencing winds to near hurricane force, the center said. "Reports from the meteorological service of Colombia indicate extensive damage has occurred to homes ... there are still no communications with residents on the island." (Posted 4:58 a.m.)

U.S. soldier killed by land mine in Iraq

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A U.S. soldier died Saturday when the vehicle in which he was traveling struck a land mine, the military said.

The soldier was assigned to Task Force Liberty. His unit was conducting security operations southwest of Bayji early Saturday. Four other soldiers in the vehicle were injured in the blast. Two have returned to duty after being treated.

The soldier's name was being withheld pending notification of relatives. His death brings to 2,012 the number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq. (Posted 3:12 a.m.)

At least 35 dead after Indian passenger train swept into reservoir

(CNN) -- At least 35 people died when a passenger train derailed in southern India as it attempted to cross tracks washed away by a flood, police said, and the death toll was expected to rise.

The incident occurred about 4:15 a.m. Saturday in the Andhra Pradesh state near the town of Valigonda. Seven coaches of the 15-coach train remained in the water, and it was not known how many people remained inside. Each coach has a capacity of about 60 people.

Rescue workers were using cranes to retrieve the coaches from the water, and using acetylene torches to open them, authorities said. The train was crossing a bridge flanking a reservoir when it derailed, as a flood of water had washed the tracks away, said Krishnaiah Panabaka, spokesman for India's state-run South Central Railway. Hundreds of rescue workers were at the scene, he said, and the railway protection force and Indian Air Force were called in to assist. (Posted 2:52 a.m.)

Man accused of giving ExxonMobil workers fake flu shots

(CNN) -- The owner of a home health care company that administered fake flu shots to more than 1,000 ExxonMobil employees was in custody after being accused of trying to defraud Medicare, said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg in Houston.

Iyad Abu El Hawa, 35, was arrested Thursday after a criminal complaint was filed. No illnesses have been reported as a result of the fake vaccine. The owner of Comfort & Caring Home Health and two other health centers, Hawa has a court hearing Monday.

The Food and Drug Administration's laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, was testing the fluid in the syringes. Preliminary results show the fluid was purified water.

CNN has been unable to determine if Hawa has an attorney. (Posted 12:07 a.m.)

Bolton predicts U.N. passage of draft resolution on Syria

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The United States anticipates the U.N. Security Council will approve a resolution Monday demanding that Syria fully cooperate in the probe into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

The draft, sponsored by the United States, France and Britain still was undergoing changes, but a "final" draft could be ready by midday Saturday, said U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. "I think we're very close to concluding this. We're quite optimistic about a strong, clear message coming out of this resolution," he said.

According to the resolution, Syria "must detain" Syrian officials or individuals suspected of involvement in the Feb. 14 assassination, which helped lead to the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. The resolution calls for freezing the assets of and placing a travel ban on anyone named as a suspect by a U.N. investigation, and says Syria must allow investigators to interview Syrian officials and individuals outside Syria "and/or outside the presence of any other Syrian official." (Posted: 12:05 a.m.)

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