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Sunday, September 17

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Editor's Note: The CNN Wire is a running log of the latest news from CNN World Headquarters, reported by CNN's correspondents and producers, and The CNN Wire editors. "Posted" times are Eastern Daylight.

Kennedy sister, wife of actor Peter Lawford, dies

(CNN) -- Patricia Kennedy Lawford -- the sister of President John F. Kennedy and wife of actor Peter Lawford -- has died, according to a statement provided by the families. She was 82.

"She was admired for her great style, for her love and support of the arts, her wit and generosity and for the singular sense of wonder and joy she brought into our lives. She was devoted to her friends, and was unstinting in her love for our family," said Sen. Edward Kennedy. "We grieve at her loss." (Posted 1:50 a.m.)

Helene strengthens, becomes 2nd major hurricane of the season

MIAMI (CNN) -- Helene strengthened into the second major hurricane of the 2006 season late Sunday with sustained winds near 115 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Category 3 storm was expected to grow more powerful over the next 24 hour, but was not forecast to threaten land.

At 11 p.m., Helene was about 920 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and was moving toward the northwest near 8 mph and was expected to make a gradual turn toward the west-northwest on Monday. (Posted 11:35 p.m.)

Spinach recall expanded after E. coli outbreak

(CNN) -- Federal authorities expanded their recall of products containing spinach Sunday after an E. coli outbreak that has killed one person and sickened 109 others.

The Food and Drug administration ordered a recall of "Spring Mix" made by the River Ranch company in California. The company obtained its spinach from Natural Selection, whose spinach products have been implicated in an outbreak of illness in 19 states.

Symptoms of E. coli of include diarrhea and vomiting, and the bacteria can lead to more severe complications, particularly in the very young or elderly, including anemia, and kidney failure. Investigators have blamed one death, in Wisconsin, on the outbreak. (Posted 7:10 pm.)

White House says compromise possible on interrogations

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration may be able to compromise with Republican senators who oppose its plan to "clarify" the U.S. reading of the Geneva Conventions so that it can continue a CIA program that includes tough interrogations of suspected terrorists, a top White House official said Sunday.

President Bush and other top officials have said the changes are needed to give clear guidelines and legal protection to CIA interrogators. But key Republican senators and retired generals like Colin Powell, Bush's old secretary of state, say the administration's effort to define acceptable conduct under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions would undermine protections for American troops.

National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said the administration might be able to get what it wants without changing the conventions, the international standards for treating prisoners. McCain told ABC's "This Week" that changing the U.S. reading of those standards could cost the United States the "moral high ground" in the battle against terrorists. (Posted 6:30 p.m.)

International outcry for intervention in Darfur

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of cities around the world Sunday to demand action to stop the killing in Darfur, Sudan.

Rallies for the "Global Day for Action on Darfur" took place in the United States, Canada, across Europe, Africa and Asia to urge the United Nations to send peacekeepers into western Sudan, despite resistance from Khartoum.

"We are all here because everybody is fed up in watching no action on Darfur, while we have been watching rolling genocide," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told CNN from New York's Central Park, where organizers said they were expecting tens of thousands of people.

The demonstrations were timed to coincide with the arrival of world leaders in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly. (Posted 3:15 p.m.)

Man charged with kidnapping, holding teen in rural bunker for 10 days

LUGOFF, S.C. (CNN) -- A man charged with kidnapping a South Carolina teen and holding her in an underground bunker for 10 days was already wanted on a sexual misconduct warrant before the girl disappeared, law enforcement officials said.

The 14-year-old, reported missing on September 6 after getting off a school bus, was found in a heavily-wooded area less than a mile from her Lugoff, S.C. home Saturday morning, two days after her mother received a cell phone text message that said she was in a hole, according to Kershaw County Sheriff Steve McCaskill.

The ninth-grader did not appear to be physically harmed and was released from a hospital after a checkup, McCaskill said.

Vinson Filyaw, 36, was captured Sunday morning after massive manhunt that started Friday and ended when a woman identified him as the suspect in an attempted carjacking in nearby Richland County, S.C. (Posted 2:18 p.m.)

Iranian-born American woman hopes to break barriers with space travel

MOSCOW (CNN) -- An Iranian-born American is scheduled to become the first woman to pay her way into space when she blasts off in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft early Monday on an 11-day journey with a Russian cosmonaut and his American counterpart.

Anousheh Ansari, 40, is to accompany fellow American Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian Mikhail Tyurin, replacing the current crew at the International Space Station.

The launch, from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, is scheduled for Monday 12:09 a.m. ET.

Ansari, who said she has dreamed of traveling into space since she was a little girl in Iran, will become the fourth space tourist.

"Being the first female has inspired a lot of women and girls in Iran," Ansari said. "I've received numerous e-mails, messages of different sorts saying how proud of me they are." (Posted 12:45 p.m.)

U.S. sailor killed Saturday in Iraq violence

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A U.S. sailor, assigned to the 1st Marine Logistics Group, died Saturday from enemy action in Iraq's Anbar province, the U.S. military announced on Sunday.

No other details were available.

With the death, 2,682 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war. (Posted 12:31 p.m.)

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood backtracks on accepting Pope's explanation

CAIRO (CNN) -- Egypt's main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said Sunday that Pope Benedict XVI's reaction to the outcry over his remarks regarding Muslims is "not enough," according to a statement from the group's deputy leader posted on the Muslim Brotherhood Web site.

Earlier, the same official told news agencies, including Agence France-Presse and Reuters, that the pope's explanation was "sufficient."

The pope said Sunday he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction to comments he made last week, when he quoted from a 14th-century emperor regarding Muslims.

Referring to the pope's remarks, Mohammed el-Sayed Habib had told Reuters earlier that the group "can consider them a sufficient apology even if we had wanted the pope to outline his ideas and vision of Islam."

However, in a statement posted on the Muslim Brotherhood's Arabic language Web site, Habib said, "The pope's comments that downplayed his earlier remarks are not enough. We will not accept anything less than an apology." (Posted 11:46 a.m.)

Lane downgraded to tropical storm, could cause flash flooding in Mexico

MIAMI (CNN) -- Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a tropical storm early Sunday after slamming into the northwest Mexican coast Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane, causing flooding and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center reported.

At 8 a.m. ET, Lane's maximum winds were 30 mph and it was dissipating over inland Mexico, according to the NHC.

"Continued weakening is expected today as the center moves farther inland," the center said.

All weather warnings for Mexico have been discontinued, the center said.

The hurricane made landfall as a Category 3 storm Saturday, about 20 miles southeast of El Dorado -- or 80 miles north of Mazatlan.

The tropical storm is expected to dump 3 to 6 inches over west-central Mexico, while some areas could get as much as two feet of rain that could cause "life-threatening flash floods and mud slides." (Posted 9 a.m.)

Roadside bomb targeting police kills 2 in Baquba

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A roadside bomb struck an Iraqi police patrol Sunday around 12:30 p.m., killing two Iraqi police officers and wounding three others in Baquba, north of Baghdad, police told CNN.

In Baghdad, police found 24 unidentified bodies around the city in the past 24 hours. Most of the victims were shot in the head, with bound hands and showed signs of torture.

Last week, more than 150 slain bodies were found dumped across Baghdad in killings authorities believe resulted from Sunni-Shiite sectarian hostilities. (Posted 7:45 a.m.)

Israeli politicians say there's progress in kidnapped soldier case

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Two Israeli politicians on Sunday hinted that there may be some progress in the case of kidnapped Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

"I don't want to be specific about any part of it, but we believe there is some kind of progress in the chances to release him," Cabinet minister Me'ir Sheetrit said as he entered a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. "I hope it will come true soon."

Vice Premier Shimon Peres also commented.

"I think it will be complicated but finally I am sure he would be released," he said.

Shalit, 19, was kidnapped June 25. Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups took responsibility for his abduction from an Israeli border post near Gaza. (Posted 7:45 a.m.)

Pope says he's 'deeply sorry' for the reaction to his comments

CASTEL GANDOLFO (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI said on Sunday he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction to his comments earlier in the week when he quoted from a 14th century emperor regarding Muslims.

"These in fact were a quotation from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought," the pope said in his regular Sunday blessing, the Angelus.

Speaking to a rain-soaked crowd at his summer residence in his first public comments since the controversy erupted earlier this week, the pope said he hoped his remarks now and an explanation by the Vatican Saturday were enough to "appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect."

The remarks came as the pope spoke to professors in Germany, when he quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," Benedict quoted.

The reaction from Muslims around the world was strong and swift, prompting Italian police to raise the alert level around the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo, a police spokesman said. The spokesman said that measures adopted to safeguard sensitive targets have never been relaxed, but that "obviously, given the circumstances, the attention level has gone up." (Posted 6:55 a.m.)

Series of car bomb attacks in Kirkuk kills at least 23

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Four car bomb attacks in less than three hours in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Sunday left at least 23 people dead and 66 wounded, Kirkuk deputy police chief Gen. Torhan Abdul Rahman told CNN.

The victims were police and civilians, officials said.

The first attack, carried out by a suicide car bomber, took place at 10 a.m. near the criminal investigation division of Kirkuk's police building, police said. Ten minutes later, a suicide car bomber detonated outside a building housing an organization for children, and 20 minutes after that, a parked car bomb exploded outside a mosque, police said.

The fourth car bomb exploded at 12:30 p.m. on a street in the center of the city. Kirkuk is 235 miles north of Baghdad. (Posted 5:57 a.m.)

Israeli government approves committee to examine political, security issues in fighting in Lebanon

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel's government on Sunday approved the creation of a committee to examine the political leadership and the security establishment regarding the recent fighting with Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon, the Israeli prime minister's office said.

The committee will be headed by retired Judge Eliyahu Winograd.

The fighting began after Hezbollah fighters kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid July 12. More than 1,069 people were killed in Lebanon and more than 4,055 wounded in the 34 days of fighting. In Israel, 41 civilians and 118 soldiers were killed and more than 1,000 people were wounded.

A United Nations-brokered peace deal stopped the fighting and an international peacekeeping force is moving into southern Lebanon to enforce the ceasefire. (Posted 5:52 a.m.)

Lane downgraded to tropical storm

MIAMI (CNN) -- Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a tropical storm early Sunday after slamming into the northwest Mexican coast Saturday as a Category 3 hurricane, causing flooding and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center reported. (Posted 5:34 a.m.)

6 wounded in suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Three Afghans and three soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were wounded on Sunday when a suicide bomber attacked a military convoy west of Kandahar, an ISAF spokesman said.

The incident occurred on a highway in the Zhare district, ISAF spokesman Maj. Luke Knittig added in a statement. (Posted 3:34 a.m.)

Abbas suspends unity government talks until his return from New York

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has suspended talks on a unity government with Hamas until after he returns from a United Nations meeting in New York, according to Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Erekat said Abbas was also upset by Hamas statements that it would not honor previously signed agreements with Israel.

Hamas, which won parliamentary elections in January, refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, which cut off international aid to the Palestinian government after Hamas took control. The unity government is seen as a bid to restore the money, which is the government's main source of funding. (Posted 6:47 a.m.)

IDF: One person injured by Qassam rocket

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A Qassam rocket fired from Gaza on Sunday hit the Israeli city of Sderot, leaving one person with minor injuries, the Israel Defense Forces said. (Posted 3:06 a.m.)

Hurricane Lane causes flooding, mudslides in Mexico

MIAMI (CNN) -- Hurricane Lane, which slammed into the northwest Mexico coast Saturday, weakened to a Category 1 storm by the middle of the evening, but heavy flooding and the danger of mudslides will exist through the weekend, forecasters said.

The hurricane made landfall as a Category 3 storm Saturday, about 20 miles southeast of El Dorado -- or 80 miles north of Mazatlan.

At 11 p.m. Saturday, a hurricane warning remained in effect for the Pacific Coast of Mexico from Mazatlan northward to Altata, but the National Weather Service expected the warning to be discontinued Sunday morning.

Lane's sustained winds decreased in velocity from 90 mph to near 85 mph, and the storm was moving north at 8 mph (13 km/hr). That motion was to continue for the next 24 hours, with a reduction in speed.

The center of the hurricane was located 30 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Culiacan and about 150 miles (240 km) north-northwest of Mazatlan. (Posted 12:30 a.m.)


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