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The CNN Wire: Saturday, September 1

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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 Time.

Hurricane Felix maintains strength

MIAMI (CNN) -- Hurricane Felix, packing winds of up to 75 mph, moved westward across the Caribbean Saturday, as forecasters warned that the storm would strengthen over the next day. As of 11 p.m. ET, Felix was about about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east-northeast of Bonaire and about 210 miles (340 kilometers) east of Aruba, the National Hurricane Center said.

The Category One hurricane was moving westward at about 18 mph and forecasters predicted that Felix's movement would bring the storm just north of Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba sometime Sunday. (Posted 11:20 p.m.)

Quake southeast of Solomons prompts Pacific tsunami bulletin

(CNN) -- A 6.9 magnitude earthquake centered about 22 miles undersea near the Santa Cruz Islands in the south Pacific erupted at 12:05 p.m. Sunday, prompting a tsunami bulletin to be issued for the region, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake's center was about 275 miles east-southeast of Kira Kira, San Cristobal, Solomon Islands and 1,370 miles northeast of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the USGS said.

There was not immediate information about damage. (Posted 11:18 p.m.)

Obama, Clinton, Edwards join others in skipping states that break primary rules

(CNN) - Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and former senator John Edwards joined Saturday other Democratic presidential candidates by promising to skip states that break party rules and hold early primaries.

On Friday, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina -- the four states the Democratic National Committee allows to hold nominating contests before February 5 -- asked the Democratic field to sign a pledge not to campaign or compete in Florida if the state violates party rules.

Obama, Clinton and Edwards said Saturday they would sign the pledge.

On Friday, Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, as well as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed the pledge. (Posted 8:45 p.m.)

19 freed South Koreans land in their country

SEOUL (CNN) -- Nineteen South Koreans who were held by the Taliban as hostages for six weeks arrived early Sunday at Incheon International Airport, outside Seoul. As cameras flashed, former hostage Yu Kyung Shik spoke to the crowd at the airport.

"Unexpectedly, we were kidnapped," he said simply of the group's ordeal in Afghanistan. "We are very apologetic and sorry for the trouble we caused our government and people." (Posted 7:06 p.m.)

Tropical Storm Felix nears hurricane strength

MIAMI (CNN) -- Clocking winds near 70 mph, Tropical Storm Felix churned westward across the Caribbean, and forecasters warned the storm could become a major hurricane Saturday night.

Winds must be at least 74 mph to reach hurricane status. At 5 p.m. ET, Felix was centered about 310 miles (500 kilometers) east of Aruba and about 395 miles (640 kilometers) south of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was moving westward about 18 mph (30 kph), the National Hurricane Center said.

Felix, the sixth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, is expected to continue on this track over the next 24 hours, passing near Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao late Saturday or early Sunday, the NHC said.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for the three islands off Venezuela's coast, meaning that tropical storm conditions -- including surface winds ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph -- were expected within the next 24 hours. (Posted 7:05 p.m.)

Search over for buried Utah miners

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The director of the nation's mine safety agency said Saturday there is "no remaining hope" of finding six men trapped since Aug. 6 in a Utah coal mine whose walls collapsed.

After drilling seven holes into mine tunnels from the mountaintop above, there has been no sign of the men -- and no sound from them was picked up on microphones. Tests showed that underground oxygen levels were too low to sustain human life.

The men were trapped early Aug. 6, and it is not known whether they survived the cave-in. Efforts to reach them were suspended 10 days later, when two rescuers and a federal mining official died, and six people were injured in a second collapse as they attempted to tunnel horizontally toward the area where the men had been working. (Posted 5:06 p.m.)

Iran's leader names new commander for Islamic Revolution Guards

(CNN) -- Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, issued a decree Saturday that names a new commander for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, a statement released by the IRGC said.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari was appointed as the new commander, and also promoted to major general. Jafari has been commander of IRGC's ground forces.

He also will have the role of military adviser to Khamenei, who thanked Jafari for his years of military service and 28 years of service to the "revolution."

In a separate decree, Khamenei appointed Brig. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi as his senior adviser and assistant in military affairs. Safavi was the commander of IRGC. (Posted 4:01 p.m.)

Masked gunmen attack and kill three cooks, Samarra police say

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Masked gunmen driving civilian vehicles attacked and killed three cooks as they left the Samarra police station early Saturday evening, police said.

The gunmen were using AK47 rifles and killed the civilian employees on the street of this Salaheddin province city, police said.

The victims had just finished cooking a meal at the station, police said. (Posted 3:29 p.m.)

Four grand prize tickets from latest Mega Millions lottery

(CNN) -- Lottery officials announced there were four winning tickets following Friday night's Mega Millions drawing -- sharing a jackpot worth $330 million.

One of the winning tickets was sold at a market in Cape May County, New Jersey, a spokesman for the New Jersey Lottery said Saturday.

The ticket was purchased at Blitz's Villas Market, New Jersey Lottery spokesman Dominick DeMarco said.

The other three winning tickets were sold in Texas, Virginia and Maryland. The winning numbers were 8, 18, 22, 40 and 44. The Mega Ball number was 11. (Posted 2:41 p.m.)

Tropical Storm Felix growing stronger

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Felix, clocking 70 mph winds, could become a major hurricane Sunday, forecasters warned. Winds must be at least 74 mph to reach that status.

At 2 p.m., Felix was centered about 420 miles (680 kilometers) south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was moving westward at about 18 mph (30 kph), the National Hurricane Center said.

Another named storm, Tropical Storm Henriette, has dumped heavy rain on Acapulco, Mexico, and has top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), the NHC said.

Henriette was located about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, at 11 a.m. ET. The storm was moving west-northwest at 12 mph (19 kph). (Posted 2:32 p.m.)

Politicians express relief over Craig's resignation

Saturday's announcement by Republican Sen. Larry Craig that he will resign next month was called the right decision by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had called the Idaho senator's actions "unforgivable."

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said President Bush called Craig after the press conference. "He told him he knew it was a difficult decision for him and he wished him well." Stanzel said the White House position is that "Senator Craig made the right decision for himself, his family, his constituents and the U.S. Senate." (Posted 1:33 p.m.)

Craig apologizes as he ends nearly 30 years in Congress

BOISE, Idaho (CNN) -- With the man who will appoint his successor standing behind him, Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho said Saturday he will leave Congress where he has served for nearly three decades.

"It is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate effective September 30th. In doing so ... I hope to allow a smooth and orderly transition of my loyal staff and for the person appointed to take my place," Craig said in a brief statement.

A cheer went up in the crowd after he said he would resign, but there also were political supporters and family members nearby. (Posted 1:01 p.m.)

Craig resigns amid sex scandal

BOISE, Idaho (CNN) -- Yielding to immense pressure from his own party, Republican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho said Saturday he will resign from Congress, where he has served for nearly three decades. (Posted 12:32 p.m.)

Tropical Storm Felix growing stronger in Atlantic

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Felix, the sixth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, is strengthening, forecasters warned Saturday.

Its winds reached 65 mph Saturday morning, the center said.

At 11 a.m., Felix was centered about 425 miles east of Aruba and was moving westward at about 18 mph, the NHC said. (Posted 12:22 p.m.)

Bhutto says she will return to Pakistan

LONDON (CNN) -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Saturday that talks over joint leadership with President Pervez Musharraf had stalled, but she was planning to return to Pakistan soon.

"No understanding has been arrived at and we are making our plans to return," she said at a news conference in London.

Bhutto said the date, place and time of her return would be announced September 14. (Posted 11:44 a.m.)

Four ETA suspects arrested in France

(CNN) -- Four alleged members of Basque separatist group ETA were arrested Saturday in France, Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.

The three men and one woman were allegedly planning a car bomb attack, and investigators found a car bomb ready for use, he said Saturday at a press conference in Madrid, the Spanish capital. The suspects were armed and had "major explosives," Rubalcaba said.

The arrests happened near Toulouse, France, Rubalcaba said. (Posted 9:45 a.m.)

Four grand prize tickets from latest Mega Millions lottery

(CNN) -- Lottery officials announced there were four winning tickets following Friday night's Mega Millions drawing -- sharing a jackpot worth $330 million.

The tickets -- which cost $1 each -- were sold in Texas, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey and the winning numbers were 8, 18, 22, 40 and 44. The Mega Ball number was 11.

The winning Mega Millions ticket in Texas was sold at a Kroger food store in Houston, Texas, spokesman for the Texas Lottery Bobby Heith said.

The winner bought the ticket from a self-service terminal, and chose the annual payout option, Heith said. (Posted 9:39 a.m.)

Sixth Atlantic storm of 2007 dubbed Felix

(CNN) Tropical Storm Felix, churning near the Windward Islands, became the sixth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season as its winds reached 45 miles per hour Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

Felix is centered about 75 miles west-northwest of Granada and is moving westward at about 18 miles per hour, the NHC said in its 8 a.m. advisory.

Felix is expected to continue on this track over the next 24 hours, which would take away from the southern Windward Islands later this morning and near the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao late Saturday or early Sunday, the hurricane center said. (Posted 9:30 a.m)

Suicide bomber kills at least 4 Pakistani soldiers

(CNN) -- A suicide car bomber killed at least four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers after slamming into an army vehicle in a tribal area near the Afghan border Saturday, an army spokesman told CNN.

The attack, which occurred in the northwestern Bajaur region, wounded seven others -- five soldiers and two civilians, the spokesman added. (Posted 7:21 a.m.)

Lebanese army seizes home of top Islamic militant

(CNN) -- Lebanese troops seized control of a top Islamist militia leader's home in northern Lebanon on Saturday, Lebanese military officials said.

The seized home belongs to Abu Hureira, one of the leaders of Fatah al-Islam -- an extremist group believed to have links to the al Qaeda terrorist network. Members of the group have been holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp outside the northern city of Tripoli for more than three months.

Meanwhile, smoke darkened the sky above the the bombed-out Nahr el-Bared camp Saturday, as part of ongoing efforts to purge militants entrenched inside.

Dozens of Lebanese troops have been killed trying to uproot the militants since the beginning of the fighting -- the country's worst internal violence since the end of the country's civil war in 1990. (Posted 7:20 a.m.)

Enemy fighters killed, captured in Afghan compound raid

(CNN) -- Coalition forces captured and killed several militants during an operation targeting a compound suspected of being used to move foreign fighters in Afghanistan Friday, according to a U.S. military statement.

Troops found mortars, artillery rounds, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades, small arms rounds, and ammunition vests inside a vehicle parked at the compound in the Dih Yak district of the Ghazni Province, the military said.

Coalition troops tracked down and killed several armed men who tried to flee the compound, the military said. Six others were detained for questioning, the military said. (Posted 5:23 a.m.)

Sixth Atlantic storm of 2007 dubbed Felix

MIAMI (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Felix, churning near the Windward Islands, became the sixth named storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season as its winds reached 40 miles per hour Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

Felix is centered about 30 miles northwest of Granada and is moving westward at about 18 miles per hour, the NHC said in its 5 a.m. advisory.

Felix is expected to continue on this track over the next 24 hours, which would take away from the southern Windward Islands later this morning and near the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao late Saturday or early Sunday, the NHC said.

The government of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for St. Vincent and The Grenadines and for Grenada and its dependencies.

The government of Trinidad and Tobago has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for Tobago.

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the northern coast of Venezuela from Cumana to Pedernales including the island of Margarita. (Posted 5:22 a.m.)

Four grand prize tickets from latest Mega Millions lottery

(CNN) -- Lottery officials announced there were four winning tickets following Friday night's Mega Millions drawing -- sharing a jackpot worth $330 million.

The tickets -- which cost $1 each -- were sold in Texas, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey and the winning numbers were 8, 18, 22, 40 and 44. The Mega Ball number was 11.

According to the Mega Millions official Web Site, winners can choose to receive a lump sum payment of $190 million, or be paid over a span of about 26 years.

If the players were to choose the annual pay out, they would receive about $38,000 each year before taxes for every million dollars won.

In addition to the jackpot winners, 36 ticket holders nationwide won second prizes of $250,000 after matching all of the numbers but the sixth Mega Ball number. (Posted 4:40 a.m.)

Family perishes in California plane crash

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Six members of a family died when their small plane crashed while trying to land at the Kern Valley airport in southern California Friday evening, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

The family was apparently beginning a Labor Day weekend camping trip when their plane -- a high performance aircraft Lancair Model Columbia -- crashed in a field near the runway and exploded into flames at about 5:45 p.m., said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.

Their flight originated at the Santa Monic Airport, Gregor said.

No names have been released. Several children were among the dead, he said.

A National Transportation Safety Board representative was expected to be on the crash site Saturday to investigate, he said. (Posted 3:22 a.m.)

Anonymous developers claim software unlocks iPhones for global use

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A group of anonymous software developers said they will soon start selling a program that will allow iPhone owners to use the hugely popular device on cell phone systems around the world and not just with AT&T.

Apple's iPhone, released in the United States two months ago, was engineered to operate for the first two years only on the AT&T system through an exclusive arrangement between Apple and AT&T. It has not yet been sold outside of the U.S.

Los Angeles software consultant Brett Schulte, who is not affiliated with the developers, demonstrated the software for CNN Friday evening. An iPhone that had the new software appeared to work on the T-Mobile system just seconds after Schulte replaced the AT&T SIM card with a T-Mobile SIM card. (Posted 2:29 a.m.) E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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