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Monday, September 18

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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.

Gordon prompts hurricane warning for Azores; Helene has Category 4 'potential'

(CNN) -- Weather forecasters in the Azores issued a hurricane warning early Tuesday, as Hurricane Gordon defied earlier predictions and picked up intensity as it made a beeline toward the island chain off the coast of Portugal.

Meanwhile, powerful Hurricane Helene roared west across the central Atlantic Monday with 115 mph sustained winds, and forecasters said the storm was strengthening and "has the potential" to grow into a Category 4 hurricane, with winds in excess of 131 mph.

However, a low pressure trough moving off the U.S. East Coast should start pushing the storm north and then northeast by Wednesday, which should spare Bermuda and the eastern seaboard from Helene's wrath, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

At 11 p.m., Gordon was centered about 785 miles west of Terceira, in the Azores, moving east at 28 mph. On that track, it should arrive in the islands Tuesday afternoon, although it was expected to weaken somewhat to a Category 1 storm before it gets there, forecasters said. (Posted 12:10 a.m.)

Japanese Cabinet passes financial sanctions against North Korea

TOYKO (CNN) -- Japan's Cabinet Tuesday approved financial sanctions against North Korea that essentially ban transactions between Pyongyang and a list of 15 companies and one individual with ties to the North's missile and weapons programs.

Tokyo's move follows an earlier U.N. Security Council resolution condemning July's missile tests by North Korea.

On the list are a Swiss company, Kohas AG, and its president, along with 14 North Korean companies located in Pyongyang. (Posted 12:10 a.m.)

Bush to focus on 'freedom agenda' at U.N.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In his annual speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, President Bush will challenge U.N. members to "step up" and take more responsibility for "encouraging the forces of moderation in this struggle against extremism" in the Middle East, along with highlighting "positive steps" in the region, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said Monday.

Previewing the speech for reporters, Hadley said Bush will discuss how the struggle to build democracy in the Middle East -- at the core of what the administration refers to as its "freedom agenda" -- has "an important part to play to give the people in the region a vision of hope and opportunity and a better future."

And Bush will "showcase" what the administration sees as positive results from its agenda, "the most remarkable being the processes of freedom and democracy going on in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon," according to Hadley. (Posted 9:55 p.m.)

Riots rock Hungary after PM's taped admission

(CNN) -- Protesters seized the headquarters of Hungary's state television network and set fires in and around the building early Tuesday after the country's prime minister admitted lying about the economy "throughout the past one and a half or two years."

Smoke and tear gas wreathed the headquarters of state broadcaster MTV, where police clashed with demonstrators around midnight Monday. Officers turned water cannon on protesters, some of whom were trying to break into the building, and several officers were injured during the demonstrations, police spokesman Lajos Nenet told CNN.

The turmoil exploded Sunday, when state radio aired an audiotape of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany telling members of his ruling Socialist Party that his government had lied about the state of the country's economy throughout its two years in office.

Gyurcsany's center-left coalition won a new mandate in April by a narrow margin after opponents accused his government of manipulating economic data. President Laszlo Solyom said the prime minister's admission has caused a "moral crisis" in Hungary, but Gyurcsany -- who has led the the NATO and EU member state since 2004 -- has vowed to remain in office despite the protests. (Posted 9:55 p.m.)

Suspect in S.C. abduction denied bond

CAMDEN, S.C. (CNN) -- A 14-year-old girl sat huddled with her mother in a South Carolina courtroom Monday evening as the man accused of kidnapping her and holding her in an underground bunker for 10 days made his first court appearance.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Shoaf and her family looked on as Vinson Filyaw, 36, who was captured Sunday a few miles from the bunker, was denied bond by Kershaw County Magistrate Roderick Todd.

The judge said Filyaw posed a "significant threat" to the community and that his "calculated evasiveness" made him a flight risk. When the judge gave him a chance to speak, Filyaw -- handcuffed and wearing a bulletproof vest over his maroon jail uniform -- complained that investigators were trying to pressure him to cooperate by threatening to arrest members of his family.

"I just would like to say that nobody in my family was involved in this in any way," he said. (Posted 9:05 p.m.)

Texas governor Richards remembered for wit, 'big' life

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards was remembered Monday as an "electrifying" and "irreplaceable" woman of quick wit who "didn't want to to anything small" and overcame the challenges she faced in her life.

Richards, whose brassy, tough-talking persona and trademark white hair cut an indelible profile in Democratic politics, died Wednesday at age 73 after a six-month battle with cancer. Her memorial was attended by political dignitaries from around the country and across the Lone Star State, where she served as governor from 1991 to 1995.

"She was always going somewhere and moving, and she was always eager to take us along," her granddaughter, Lily Adams, said at Richards' memorial service. "She wanted to do it big. She wanted to do it right, with all the bells and all the whistles." (Posted 8 p.m.)

E. coli outbreak spreads to 21 U.S. states

(CNN) -- The outbreak of illness linked to E. coli in spinach expanded Monday to 114 cases in 21 states, up from Sunday's 109 cases in 19 U.S. states, a federal health official said.

Three quarters of the cases have occurred among women, probably reflecting increased consumption of spinach by women, said Dr. David Acheson, chief medical officer of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration. Nearly 60 percent of the cases are among people ages 20-64, he said.

The outbreak has put 60 people in the hospital, with 18 suffering from a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. One fatality, in Wisconsin, has been confirmed, with a second fatality under investigation in Ohio, Acheson said. (Posted 7 p.m.)

White House making changes to CIA interrogation bill, Senate aide says

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Hoping to break a deadlock with key Republican senators, the White House is making changes to its proposal to allow the CIA to continue using "alternative" interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, a spokesman for one lawmaker said Monday.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner, said a draft was headed to Capitol Hill with "new language," but no details of the changes were announced.

Warner and two other members of the committee, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, have led the fight against the Bush administration's plan to "clarify" what U.S. law considers acceptable treatment of prisoners under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Ullyot said Warner, Graham and McCain will have a "night of reading" and hope to have a response to the new proposal on Tuesday, when Vice President Dick Cheney will be on Capitol Hill for a regular meeting with GOP senators. --From CNN's Andrea Koppel and Lisa Goddard (Posted 6:12 p.m.)

Helene forecast to turn north into Atlantic; Gordon threatens Azores

(CNN) -- Powerful Hurricane Helene roared west across the central Atlantic Monday with 115 mph sustained winds, but forecasters expressed renewed confidence that the potentially destructive storm would start turning north Wednesday, which would spare Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters in the Azores, off the coast of Portugal, issued a tropical storm watch as Hurricane Gordon -- which, until now, had been no threat to land -- moved east toward the island chain. The watch means tropical storm conditions, with sustained winds in excess of 39 mph, were expected within 36 hours.

At 5 p.m., Gordon, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, was centered about 960 miles west of Terceira, in the Azores, moving east-northeast at 22 mph, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm was expected to near the islands late Tuesday, but forecasters said it should weaken to a tropical storm before it arrives.

However, Helene, now a major Category 3 hurricane, was forecast to strengthen slightly by Tuesday afternoon, with sustained winds of 120 mph, according to the hurricane center.

At 5 p.m., the eye of the storm was about 870 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and about 1,015 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, moving west-northwest at 9 mph. (Posted 5:42 p.m.)

Bush to name envoy for Sudan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Bowing to pressure from international aid and human rights groups, President Bush will appoint a special envoy to pursue ending the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, senior U.S. officials told CNN Monday.

Bush is expected to make the announcement Tuesday, the officials said.

They said Bush's pick is Andrew Natsios, former head of the US Agency for International Development, who is currently a professor at Georgetown University in Washington.

During his term, Natsios spent much of his time dealing with the crisis in Sudan. He visited Darfur with former Secretary of Sate Colin Powell, who labeled the situation in Darfur a genocide.

Activists and human rights groups have criticized the administration's policy on Darfur, claiming it has not devoted enough attention to the issue since former Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick departed the State Department earlier this year. --From CNN State Department Producer Elise Labott (Posted 5:10 p.m.)

Suspect in S.C. abduction to make court appearance

CAMDEN, S.C. (CNN) -- A man accused of kidnapping a South Carolina teen and holding her in an underground bunker for 10 days, until she managed to alert her mother with a cell phone text message, will make his first court appearance Monday evening.

Vinson Filyaw, 36, will be charged with kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, impersonating a police officer and two counts of possessing an incendiary device, Kershaw County Sheriff Steve McCaskill said Monday. The initial court appearance was scheduled for 5 p.m.

Filyaw -- who was captured Sunday morning a few miles from the bunker where Elizabeth "Lizzie" Shoaf, 14, was found Saturday -- has refused to talk to deputies and "hasn't shown any remorse," the sheriff said.

Meanwhile, the case has touched off a debate in South Carolina about the conditions under which an Amber Alert can be issued for a missing child. After Shoaf disappeared Sept. 6, an Amber Alert was not issued because state law requires law enforcement to be certain a child has been abducted, and to have a description of a suspect and a vehicle, McCaskill said. (Posted 5:03 p.m.)

FDA approves wider access to lead blood-level screening

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Health-care clinics, schools and doctors' offices will soon be able to administer a lead-poisoning test to children and adults that provides immediate results.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding access to the screening, done with the first portable lead-test system, making it available to more than 115,000 certified locations nationwide. The tests give results within three minutes.

"Broader availability and easier access to this test means health-care providers will have more opportunities to test for lead exposure in the community and detect and treat people earlier, before the damaging effects of lead poisoning occur," said Andrew von Eschenbach, the FDA's acting commissioner. "FDA's expansion of the test's availability bolsters ongoing efforts to reach populations at greatest risk for lead poisoning and to expand testing inside communities."

The test, called LeadCare II Blood Lead Test System, made by ESA Biosciences, is currently available only at hospitals or public and private laboratories. It's done by finger stick or a blood sample taken from a vein. In studies, the test was 98 percent accurate. (Posted 4:09 p.m.)

2 dead in building collapse in Milan

(CNN) -- At least two people died and 15 were injured when a four-story apartment building collapsed Monday in Milan in what appears to have been the result of a gas explosion, the Milan Municipal Police said. (Posted 3:49 p.m.)

Annan says Iraq in 'grave danger' of falling into civil war

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- Iraq is in "grave danger" of falling into civil war despite political progress over the past two years, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned Monday

Speaking at a meeting attended by Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, the secretary-general praised Iraq's adoption of a constitution and the establishment of a democratic government in the three years since the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

"It is thus absolutely heartbreaking that despite these achievements the everyday life of Iraqi people is dominated by the constant threat of sectarian violence and civil strife," he said.

With world leaders gathering in New York for this year's U.N. General Assembly session, he urged Iraq's neighbors and the international community to help stabilize the country. But he said Iraqis and their leaders "are now at an important crossroads."

"If they can address the needs and common interests of all Iraqis, the promise of peace and prosperity is still within reach," Annan said. "But if current patterns of alienation and violence persist much further, there is a grave danger the Iraqi state will break down, possibly in the midst of full-scale civil war." (Posted 3:48 p.m.)

Auto bill would offer rebates for buying fuel-efficient cars

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Auto buyers could get rebates topping $1,800 for buying a more fuel-efficient car under a bipartisan Senate proposal aimed at cutting the amount of gasoline Americans burn, its sponsors said Monday.

The measure's estimated price tag of $1.3 billion a year would be paid for by repealing a tax break for oil companies that congressional researchers and oil companies now consider unnecessary, said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. It would provide either cash back or tax credits ranging from $630 to $1,860 for people who buy cars that top the federal government's mileage standards by 25 percent or more.

"Automobile efficiency is the ballgame as it relates to the issue of energy security," said Wyden, a longtime advocate of boosting mileage standards. "That's where our oil is going."

Wyden is joined by Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett, a longtime critic of the federal government's corporate average fuel economy standards, known as CAFE regulations. Bennett, the chairman of the Senate's Joint Economic Committee, said those rules -- which require an average mile-per-gallon rating of 27.5 for passenger cars and 21.6 for light trucks -- have meant that automakers "have to make cars people don't want to buy."

Bennett said he and Wyden "have no illusions" that their proposal will make it out of Congress, "But we want to get the discussion started." (Posted 3:32 p.m.)

Outbreak traced to spinach spreads to 2 more states

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Health departments in two more states Monday each reported a case of sickness believed caused by eating fresh spinach, bringing the total of people sickened to at least 111 in 21 states.

In the latest cases, an elderly woman in La Salle County, in northern Illinois, was hospitalized with kidney failure linked to E. coli thought to have been contracted from contaminated spinach, said Melaney Arnold, communications manager for the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And a Douglas County, Nebraska, resident was sickened by the same strain of the bacteria, the state's public health department said in a written statement. The patient did not require hospitalization and has since recovered.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated Monday that consumers should not eat fresh spinach as investigators look for the source of E. coli bacteria. (Posted 3 p.m.)

Islamist Web site releases computer game about hunting President Bush

(CNN) -- A video game in which the player's goal is to kill President Bush has been posted on a number of Islamist Web sites.

"The Night of Bush Capturing" was first posted on and, by Monday afternoon, had been posted on several others -- available for free.

The player's goal is to advance through six missions against soldiers who look like Bush, culminating in a seventh mission against the president in a desert-like region like Iraq.

The missions are: "Jihad Beginning," "A Day at the Desert," "Jihad Growing Up," "Americans' Hell," "Searching for Bush" and "Bush Hunted Like a Rat."

During the game, jihadist songs are played in the background. (Posted 1:52 p.m.)

Suicide bombings in Tal Afar, Ramadi kill 22

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest Monday near a line of Iraqis waiting for propane gas cylinders in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, killing 20 people and wounding at least 17, police said.

The attack happened around 6:15 p.m. (10:15 a.m. ET) in an open air market Tal Afar, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Mosul.

Hours earlier, a suicide car bomber attacked a police station in Ramadi -- west of Baghdad -- killing two police officers and wounding 26 Iraqi security forces, an Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said.

The car bombing was followed minutes later by a second suicide car bomber, but that attacker did not cause any casualties at the al-Hurriya police station, the spokesman said. (Posted 1:46 p.m.)

Police sketch released in infant's kidnapping

UNION, Mo. (CNN) -- A composite sketch of a woman suspected of slashing a Missouri mother's throat and stealing her week-old baby was made public Monday, three days after an Amber Alert was issued for Abigale "Abby" Lynn Woods, investigator said.

A bloodied knife apparently used in the Friday attack on 21-year-old Stephanie Ochsenbine was found in woods near the Lonedell, Mo., home during a search by National Guard troops over the weekend, said Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke.

Although Ochsenbine did not see the woman's car, she did get a good look at her attacker, Sheriff Toelke said.

"She was with the suspect for a substantial period of time, and was able to give us a good description," he said.

Anyone who notices a new and unexpected infant added to a household should be suspicious and can call police, he said. (Posted 12:10 p.m.)

Car bomb targeting Somalia's president kills 8, wounds dozens; president unhurt

MOGADISHU, Somalia (CNN) -- A car bomb targeting Somalia's transitional president, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, killed eight people and wounded dozens of others Monday outside Somalia's parliament in Baidoa, according to presidential and hospital sources.

Ahmed escaped unharmed. He was inside the parliament building when the car bomb detonated near his convoy outside, according to Somalian Foreign Minister Ismail Hurre Haba.

Baidoa is the temporary seat of the United Nations-backed transitional government, which wields little power. Somalia's last functioning government collapsed in 1991.

In early June, the Islamic Courts Union militia wrested control of Mogadishu from a U.S.-backed coalition of secular warlords. (Posted 11:22 a.m.)

Armed man crashed SUV through fence, ran into U.S. Capitol before being caught

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A man was arrested Monday morning after crashing a vehicle through a fence into a Capitol building construction area and then running into the building.

The suspect had a small weapon, according to two Capitol Hill police sources.

A federal law enforcement official told CNN that he appeared mentally distraught and on drugs.

According to Jilles Richards, an electrician working on the site, the suspect drove a Chevy Blazer into the construction area, hit a wall, then got out and started running. He was chased inside by Capitol police.

"He had actually went over a wall and crashed into another wall, and got out of the truck and started running," Richards told CNN. (Posted 11:18 a.m.)

FBI: Final 2005 statistics show 2.3 percent increase in violent crime

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Murders in the United States increased 3.4 percent last year, while overall violent crime rose 2.3 percent, the FBI announced Monday.

The final statistics for 2005 released Monday reflect the first annual increase in the violent crime rate since 1991.

The compilation of crime figures reported by the nation's police departments and other law enforcement agencies is slightly lower than the 4.8 percent increase in murder and 2.5 percent increase in total violent crime indicated in the FBI preliminary report released in June.

There were 16,692 murders last year, up from 16,148 in 2004.

Local law enforcement officials say they are particularly concerned about violence fueled by a surge in juvenile gun crimes. Arrests of juveniles for murder increased nearly 20 percent last year. Police chiefs and political leaders in many of the nation's largest cities this month told federal officials they believe violent juvenile crime is continuing to increase this year, and pleaded for more federal help. --From Justice Producer Terry Frieden (Posted 11:01 a.m.)

At least 3 Afghan police officers killed in Kabul blast

KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A bomb exploded on the outskirts of Kabul Monday, killing at least three Afghan police officers, U.N. and Western security sources said.

Initial reports indicate the blast was the result of a suicide car bomber whose explosive prematurely detonated when his vehicle collided with a truck. Witnesses said the explosion, which happened around 6:15 p.m. (9:45 a.m. ET), was larger than any recent car bombings in Kabul.

The blast happened on Jalalabad Road near the customs department -- a site of frequent bomb attacks in the Afghan capital. -- From Journalist Tom Coghlan (Posted 10:32 a.m.)

3 Duquesne basketball players remain in hospital after shooting

(CNN) -- Three Duquesne University basketball players remain in Pittsburgh hospitals Monday morning more than a day after gunfire rocked the Catholic-college campus, injuring a total of five teammates late Saturday night, the Pittsburgh police department said.

"There was a verbal altercation," is all Pittsburgh police representative Tammy Ewin would confirm when asked about rumors that the violence arose from a fight over a girl minutes earlier at a school dance.

Homicide detectives did confirm that the suspect followed the basketball players as they left the dance and walked across campus, before he pulled a gun from his waistband. The suspect fled the scene immediately upon shooting.

Duquesne University president Charles Dougherty issued a statement saying the assailant is not a student at the school and "Pittsburgh Police have information about the shooter and are pursuing him." --From CNN's Lia Araujo and Brian Blank (Posted 10:30 a.m.)

2 policemen dead, 26 Iraqi forces wounded in Ramadi car bombings

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- A suicide car bomber attacked a police station in Ramadi -- west of Baghdad -- on Monday, killing two police officers and wounding 26 Iraqi security forces, an Iraqi interior ministry spokesman said.

The car bombing was followed minutes later by a second suicide car bomber, but that attacker did not cause any casualties at the al-Hurriya police station, the spokesman said. (Posted 10:23 a.m.)

4 Canadian troops killed in Afghan suicide attack

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A suicide bomber on a bicycle detonated near NATO troops in southern Afghanistan Monday morning as they handed out gifts to children, killing four Canadian soldiers and wounding dozens of others, including civilians, according to the Canadian military and NATO.

The soldiers -- part of NATO's 's International Security Assistance Forces -- were patroling the Panjwayi District of Kandahar Province when the attack took place at 9:30 a.m. local time, according to ISAF.

Initial reports indicated the bomb was an improvised explosive device, but ISAF later confirmed it was a suicide bomber.

Canada's Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM) confirmed four Canadian soldiers were killed and other soldiers were wounded.

NATO forces are in southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Medusa, which is meant to quell a Taliban-led insurgency in the region. The operation is being spearheaded by Canadian and Afghan troops. (Posted 9:54 a.m.)

FDA warns consumers not to eat any fresh spinach after E. coli outbreak

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Food and Drug Administration said Monday consumers should not eat fresh spinach as investigators look for the source of E. coli bacteria that has sickened at least 109 people.

Dr. Robert Brackett of the FDA told CNN, "We've expanded the warning actually to all of the fresh spinach. That's because we learned that some of the companies that produced the consumer bag spinach also produced larger food service size. And the other thing we've learned is, perhaps, some of the restaurants or grocery stores that sell the consumer size bag spinach have also had a practice of, perhaps, opening up the bags of consumer bag spinach to put them on their salad bars or into their bulk bins.

"We want to make sure consumers are aware that they don't consume any of the fresh spinach. We don't know whether it came from the bag or another state. We just don't have the focus down that much yet."

Spinach producers are voluntarily recalling their products. Brackett said the FDA does not have the power to order a recall but is working with the producers. (Posted 9:19 a.m.)

Bad smell prompts brief stir aboard space station

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Texas (CNN) -- Flashing smoke alarms and a bad smell aboard the International Space Station raised concern that something was burning Monday morning, but after about 20 minutes the crew realized it was a chemical spill and not a fire, NASA said.

Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini said it vapors of potassium hydroxide had leaked through an oxygen vent.

A "spacecraft emergency" was immediately declared, but that was a precaution to clear the communication channels, Suffredini said.

While the one American and two Russians on board immediately donned protective goggles and gloves, tests found nothing harmful in the air and the crew never used their oxygen masks, he said.

The crew turned on the atmospheric scrubbing system to clean the air, but it could take a day before the smell is completely gone, he said.

Although potassium hydroxide is an irritant, it is not life-threatening, Suffredini said. All chemicals in the atmosphere were "well below any limits we worry about," he said. (Posted 8:38 a.m.)

NATO patrol hit by IED

(CNN) -- A NATO patrol was hit by an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan Monday morning, causing an undetermined number of casualties among troops and civilians, according to a military statement.

"At around 9:30 a.m. today, there was an attack on a NATO patrol in Zarai District, around 20 km (12 miles) west of Kandhar city. An improvised explosive device was used against the patrol, but we can't confirm at this time whether that was a suicide bomb device or not," said Major Quentin Innes, a Canadian Military Spokesman. (Posted 5:10 a.m.)

Israel indicts 3 Hezbollah members on terror, murder charges

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- An Israeli court in Nazareth Monday indicted three members of Hezbollah on charges of murder, attempted murder, being members of a terrorist group and carrying out attacks.

According to Israeli police, the three men were captured by Israeli army in August during the Israel-Hezbollah war. A fourth man captured at the same time remains under investigation.

"The three were questioned by the police department for international crimes and investigations upon admitting to have been specifically trained in Iran, each one in their own field in both military and terrorist training and taking part in terrorist attacks against IDF soldiers," an Israeli police statement said. (Posted 3:55 a.m.)

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.)



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