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Oct 04 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Europe triumph in thrilling Ryder Cup finale

by Rob Woollard, AFP

1 hr 21 mins ago

NEWPORT, Wales (AFP) – Europe defeated the United States to win the Ryder Cup here on Monday, prevailing in a thrilling contest to finally overcome a gutsy American fightback.

US Open champion Graeme McDowell was the hero for the Europeans, holding his nerve to close out a three and one victory over world number 16 Hunter Mahan amid joyous scenes at Celtic Manor.

The victory avenged Europe’s defeat to the Americans at Valhalla two years ago and was witnessed by an estimated 35,000 fans, who turned out in droves to see the first Monday finish in the history of the competition.

2 Father of the ‘test tube baby’ Edwards wins Nobel Prize

by Nina Larson, AFP

52 mins ago

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – IVF pioneer Bob Edwards, who brought the joy of parenthood to millions of infertile couples, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday, more than three decades after the first test tube birth.

In their first announcement of the annual prize season, the Nobel committee hailed the 85-year-old Briton’s work as “a milestone in the development of modern medicine” while the original test tube baby offered her congratulations.

“It’s fantastic news. Me and mum are so glad that one of the pioneers of IVF has been given the recognition he deserves,” said Louise Brown.

3 Bosnia divided on key vote

by Katarina Subasic, AFP

Mon Oct 4, 10:56 am ET

SARAJEVO (AFP) – Bosnia’s election results showed moderates gaining ground in the central government, but hardliners remained entrenched in the Serb entity, casting a shadow Monday over the country’s European future.

Moderate Bakir Izetbegovic was set to secure the main Muslim seat in Bosnia’s tripartite presidency after Sunday’s vote, according to partial results.

The Serbs meanwhile re-elected hardline Bosnian Serb nationalist Nebojsa Radmanovic, who has advocated secession of the Serb-run Republika Srpska.

4 UN climate chief urges Chinese flexibility

by Dan Martin, AFP

Mon Oct 4, 7:50 am ET

TIANJIN, China (AFP) – China should show more flexibility in global negotiations on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, the UN climate chief said on Monday, although she praised the Asian nation for helping lead the talks.

“It is absolutely indispensable that China show leadership, accompanied by all other countries, to be flexible in order to be able to reach the compromises that are necessary before Cancun,” Christiana Figueres said.

The head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change spoke on the opening day of talks hosted by China that are aimed at paving the way for agreements at a UN climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, starting on November 29.

5 Sanofi-Aventis launches hostile bid for Genzyme

AFP

Mon Oct 4, 12:30 pm ET

NEW YORK (AFP) – French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis on Monday said it had launched a 18.5-billion-dollar hostile bid for US biotechnology group and rare disease specialist Genzyme, which urged shareholders to refrain from action.

“Genzyme’s refusal to take part in constructive discussions has led Sanofi-Aventis to put forward its offer directly to shareholders,” Sanofi said in a statement.

The company said its bid, at 69 dollars per share, would remain open until December 10.

6 Europe triumph in thrilling Ryder Cup finale

by Rob Woollard, AFP

1 hr 30 mins ago

NEWPORT, Wales (AFP) – Europe defeated the United States to win the Ryder Cup here on Monday, prevailing in a thrilling contest to finally overcome a gutsy American fightback.

US Open champion Graeme McDowell was the hero for the Europeans, holding his nerve to close out a three and one victory over world number 16 Hunter Mahan amid joyous scenes at Celtic Manor.

The victory avenged Europe’s defeat to the Americans at Valhalla two years ago and was witnessed by an estimated 35,000 fans, who turned out in droves to see the first Monday finish in the history of the competition.

7 Sparse crowds as Australia dominate Games

by Martin Parry, AFP

Mon Oct 4, 10:37 am ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) – The Commonwealth Games got underway on Monday with Australia dominating the first day of action, but sparse crowds caused another headache for under-pressure organisers.

As the focus switched to sport after a nightmarish run-up damaged India’s reputation, the Aussies clinched four gold medals, including the men’s team gymnastics title ahead of England and Canada.

In the pool, they added three more with Kylie Palmer powering her way to victory in the 200m freestyle, Alicia Coutts taking the 200m individual medley crown and their men edging England in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

8 Three dead as 20 NATO tankers set ablaze in Pakistan

AFP

Sun Oct 3, 7:10 pm ET

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Three people were killed on Monday and up to eight others wounded when about 20 NATO oil tankers were attacked and set ablaze near the Pakistani capital, in the second mass torching in days.

Television pictures showed towering flames springing from the trucks that were filling up just outside Islamabad en route to Afghanistan early in the morning when gunmen attacked the convoy with molotov cocktails.

It follows a similar incident on Friday in the south, when heavily armed gunmen set ablaze more than two dozen trucks and tankers carrying fuel for the 152,000-strong foreign forces fighting the Taliban-led insurgency.

9 Summer comes to Paris with Ungaro garden party

by Emma Charlton, AFP

Mon Oct 4, 10:26 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – Summer came to town on Monday as Emanuel Ungaro’s new British designer threw a garden party in Paris, showcasing a high-society look that was all flowers, glitter and delicate lacework.

Giles Deacon skipped the catwalk in favour of a live display, with models sipping champagne around a montage of flower-covered old cars — Beetles and a yellow camper van — with giant butterflies poking out the top.

A whiff of the 1920s filled the vast glass venue, as models showed off black cocktail dresses of see-thru lace embroidery, with dangling crystal earrings and hair in a single rolled plait over the forehead.

10 U.S. sues Amex; Visa and MasterCard settle

By Diane Bartz and Maria Aspan, Reuters

34 mins ago

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Justice Department sued American Express Co on Monday, saying its rules preventing merchants from encouraging consumers to use cheaper, rival credit cards violate antitrust law.

Simultaneously, the Justice Department settled with Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc, which agreed to allow merchants to offer discounts to consumers who use less expensive types of credit or debit cards.

The lawsuit has the potential to cut into a significant source of profits at American Express and threatens to reshape the competitive landscape of the card processing business.

11 NATO chief apologizes, Pakistani Taliban vow revenge

By Kamran Haider and David Brunnstrom, Reuters

Mon Oct 4, 11:03 am ET

ISLAMABAD/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s chief expressed regret on Monday for the deaths of Pakistani soldiers last week and said he hoped Pakistan’s border would reopen for NATO supplies to Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Angered by repeated attacks by NATO helicopters on militant targets within its borders, Pakistan blocked one of the supply routes for NATO troops in Afghanistan after a strike killed three Pakistani soldiers in the western Kurram region.

Analysts and Western officials said Pakistan’s closure of the border for a few days would not seriously impact the war effort in Afghanistan, but it would create political tension that Pakistan could exploit.

12 IVF pioneer wins medicine Nobel prize

By Mia Shanley, Reuters

Mon Oct 4, 12:38 pm ET

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – British physiologist Robert Edwards, whose work led to the first “test-tube baby”, won the 2010 Nobel prize for medicine or physiology, the prize-awarding institute said on Monday.

Sweden’s Karolinska Institute lauded Edwards, 85, for bringing joy and hope to the more than 10 percent of couples worldwide who suffer from infertility.

Known as the father of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Edwards picked up the prize of 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.5 million) for what the institute called a “milestone in the development of modern medicine”

13 Brazil’s Serra takes underdog candidacy to runoff

By Terry Wade and Todd Benson, Reuters

Mon Oct 4, 6:21 am ET

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Emboldened Brazilian opposition leader Jose Serra must lure environmentalists and others who backed a third-party candidate in Sunday’s election if he is to derail frontrunner Dilma Rousseff’s march to the presidency.

Serra’s underdog candidacy remained alive after Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla handpicked by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to succeed him at the helm of Latin America’s largest economy, fell short of the 50 percent of votes needed for outright victory.

With nearly all the ballots counted, Rousseff had won 46.9 percent to Serra’s 32.6 percent. They will face each other in an October 31 run-off.

14 Sanofi launches hostile $18.5 billion bid for Genzyme

By Nina Sovich and Leila Abboud, Reuters

1 hr 30 mins ago

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s Sanofi-Aventis launched an $18.5 billion hostile bid for Genzyme, offering $69 per share directly to investors and raising pressure on the U.S. biotech to start negotiations.

Sanofi will eventually have to raise its offer, already rejected by Genzyme a month ago, investors and analysts said after the tender offer was announced on Monday.

Sanofi Chief Executive Chris Viehbacher said he would prefer to hold friendly talks, but was repeatedly rebuffed by Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer over several months of trying to discuss a deal. The all-cash offer expires on December 10.

15 Iraq raises proven oil reserves figure by 25 percent

By Ahmed Rasheed, Reuters

Mon Oct 4, 8:20 am ET

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq raised its proven oil reserves figure by a quarter on Monday in a bid to match the clout of leading producer Saudi Arabia and strengthen its case for OPEC to grant it a higher output quota.

New estimates at the giant West Qurna and Zubair fields helped push the total figure to 143 billion barrels, but some analysts said they were skeptical about the massive revision and were not expecting OPEC to deal with the Iraqi quota until Baghdad manages to raise production and exports.

“The oil reserve is for 66 discovered oilfields in Iraq, and there are many others that have not been discovered yet,” Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani. “It is expected this figure will be increased when these oilfields are discovered.

16 India restores pride with Games opening show

By Amlan Chakraborty, Reuters

Mon Oct 4, 2:14 am ET

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India reclaimed some of its lost pride with a vibrant opening ceremony to the 19th Commonwealth Games on Sunday after weeks of negative publicity about problems with the preparations.

Anger over the chaotic build-up spilled over into the ceremony, however, when chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi, widely held responsible for the mess, was booed as he rose to address some 60,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Britain’s Prince Charles opened the Games after delivering a message from his mother Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, but India’s President Pratibha Patel was also given a prominent role in a diplomatic compromise.

17 Mets fire manager Manuel, GM Minaya in shake-up

By HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer

1 hr 35 mins ago

NEW YORK – The New York Mets fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya on Monday, an expected shake-up of the big-spending ballclub after its second straight losing season. The Mets said a search is under way for a new GM, who will work with the team to hire a new manager.

“We are extremely disappointed in this year’s results and the failures of the past four seasons,” said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, the son of owner Fred Wilpon. “We need to hire a new general manager with a fresh perspective who will transform this club into a winner that we want and our fans deserve.”

Manuel is the seventh manager this season to lose his job. The final guaranteed year of Manuel’s contract expired, and the Mets declined to exercise the club’s option on the deal.

18 Census shows connectedness of world’s marine life

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

1 hr 34 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The world’s oceans may be vast and deep, but a decade-long count of marine animals finds sea life so interconnected that it seems to shrink the watery world. An international effort to create a Census of Marine Life was completed Monday with maps and three books, increasing the number of counted and validated species to 201,206.

A decade ago the question of how many species are out there couldn’t be answered. It also could have led to a lot of arguments among scientists. Some species were counted several or even dozens of times, said Jesse Ausubel of the Alfred Sloan Foundation, the co-founder of the effort that involved 2,700 scientists.

The $650 million project got money and help from more than 600 groups, including various governments, private foundations, corporations, non-profits, universities, and even five high schools. The Sloan foundation is the founding sponsor, contributing $75 million.

19 Emanuel hits Chicago streets, makes case for mayor

By LINDSEY TANNER, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 20 mins ago

CHICAGO – Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel began campaigning for Chicago mayor on Monday with the standard fare – greeting surprised commuters at a downtown train station, listening to voters’ ideas for improving the city and posing for cell phone photos.

But in announcing his candidacy on YouTube and launching a campaign Facebook page, Emanuel signaled he’d also be using a strategy he helped craft to such great effect for his former boss, President Barack Obama, by galvanizing support among young voters through near constant contact via online postings, text messages and e-mails.

With a small army of television news crews in tow, Emanuel engaged commuters at a downtown elevated train station, spoke to diners at a South Side restaurant and shook hands with pedestrians in the bustling Pilsen neighborhood. He leaned in close when voters spoke and appeared to concentrate on what they were telling him.

20 Nigerian media mogul arrested after bombings

By JON GAMBRELL and BASHIR ADIGUN, Associated Press Writershttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101004/ap_on_re_af/af_nigeria_media_mogul_arrested

23 mins ago

LAGOS, Nigeria – Authorities arrested the chairman of a former military dictator’s presidential campaign Monday in connection with a set of dual car bombings in Nigeria’s capital that killed a dozen people, senior government officials told The Associated Press.

Raymond Dokpesi is the owner of the Africa Independent Television network, which is one of the largest in Africa’s most populous nation. He also chairs the presidential campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan’s greatest political threat in the upcoming primary for Nigeria’s ruling party, Ibrahim Babangida.

The allegations against Dokpesi will test whatever political power Jonathan has managed to amass in his five months in office since the death of his predecessor. Dokpesi has previously accused Jonathan’s supporters of being behind threats to kidnap his family, a charge Jonathan’s office denied.

21 In vitro UK pioneer Edwards wins medicine Nobel

By KARL RITTER and MALIN RISING, Associated Press Writers

26 mins ago

STOCKHOLM – Robert Edwards of Britain won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for developing in vitro fertilization, a breakthrough that has helped millions of infertile couples have children but also ignited an enduring controversy with religious groups.

Edwards, an 85-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, started working on IVF as early as the 1950s. He developed the technique – in which eggs are removed from a woman, fertilized outside her body and then implanted into the womb – together with British gynecologist surgeon Patrick Steptoe, who died in 1988.

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown in Britain became the first baby born through the groundbreaking procedure, marking a revolution in fertility treatment.

22 Japan warns about Europe terror; tourists are calm

By JAMEY KEATEN and ASIF SHAHZAD, Associated Press

28 mins ago

PARIS – Japan and Sweden joined the U.S. and Britain on Monday in warning citizens about traveling in Europe because of concerns about a terror attack. Pakistani intelligence officials said five German militants were believed killed in an American missile strike close to the Afghan border.

Two officials said the victims were believed to be German citizens in the region for terrorist training. A third said they were believed to be foreigners, but gave no details.

The officials spoke anonymously because their agency does not permit operatives to be named in the media.

23 New high court era: Kagan makes 3 women on bench

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

7 mins ago

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court began a new era Monday with three women serving together for the first time, Elena Kagan taking her place at the end of the bench and quickly joining in the give-and-take.

In a scene that will repeat itself over the next few months, Kagan left the courtroom while the other justices remained to hear a case in which she will take no part. She has taken herself out of 24 pending cases, including the second of the two argued Monday, because of her work as the Obama administration’s solicitor general prior to joining the court in August.

Opening its new term on the traditional first Monday in October, the court turned down hundreds of appeals, including one from the relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. They are seeking a proper burial for material taken from the World Trade Center site because it could contain the ashes of victims.

24 Nigerian media mogul arrested after bombings

By JON GAMBRELL and BASHIR ADIGUN, Associated Press Writers

31 mins ago

LAGOS, Nigeria – Authorities arrested the chairman of a former military dictator’s presidential campaign Monday in connection with a set of dual car bombings in Nigeria’s capital that killed a dozen people, senior government officials told The Associated Press.

Raymond Dokpesi is the owner of the Africa Independent Television network, which is one of the largest in Africa’s most populous nation. He also chairs the presidential campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan’s greatest political threat in the upcoming primary for Nigeria’s ruling party, Ibrahim Babangida.

The allegations against Dokpesi will test whatever political power Jonathan has managed to amass in his five months in office since the death of his predecessor. Dokpesi has previously accused Jonathan’s supporters of being behind threats to kidnap his family, a charge Jonathan’s office denied.

25 Vatican: Nobel to IVF pioneer raises questions

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 35 mins ago

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s top bioethics official said Robert Edwards, who received the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for developing in vitro fertilization, opened “a new and important chapter in the field of human reproduction” but is also responsible for the destruction of embryos and the creation of a “market” in donor eggs.

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the newly appointed head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said awarding the Nobel to Edwards is “not completely out of place.” But he said it raised a great number of questions, not least because his research didn’t treat the underlying problem of infertility but rather skirted it.

Edwards, an 85-year-old Briton who is professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, won the prestigious award on Monday. The Nobel medicine prize committee said some 4 million people have been born through IVF.

26 Pakistan, US tensions spike after border closure

By KIMBERLY DOZIER and CHRIS BRUMMITT, Associated Press Writers

1 min ago

ISLAMABAD – Hundreds of U.S. and NATO trucks carrying fuel and other supplies for troops in Afghanistan lie idle. Dramatic images of Taliban attacks on these convoys are splashed across front pages in this anti-American country with a U.S.-allied government.

Pakistan’s shutting of a key supply line for coalition troops in Afghanistan and the apparent ease with which militants are attacking the stranded convoys are shaking an already uncomfortable relationship between Washington and Islamabad.

The tension comes just as Washington is stepping up its shadow war on militants harbored in Pakistan’s border regions. CIA missile attacks, which have killed dozens of insurgents including some high-ranking al-Qaida operatives, are running at record levels – a sign of America’s impatience with Pakistan’s inaction in some parts of the frontier.

27 New survey on sex in US, biggest since 1994

By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer

Mon Oct 4, 6:39 am ET

NEW YORK – The male-female orgasm gap. The sex lives of 14-year-olds. An intriguing breakdown of condom usage rates, by age and ethnicity, with teens emerging as more safe-sex-conscious than boomers.

That’s just a tiny sampling of the data being unveiled Monday in what the researchers say is the largest, most comprehensive national survey of Americans’ sexual behavior since 1994.

Filling 130 pages of a special issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the study offers detailed findings on how often Americans have sex, with whom, and how they respond. In all, 5,865 people, ranging in age from 14 to 94, participated in the survey.

28 Europe holds on to win thrilling Ryder Cup

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer

1 hr 35 mins ago

NEWPORT, Wales – Graeme McDowell capped off an unforgettable year for himself – and for Europe.

In a Ryder Cup that came down to the very last match Monday, McDowell rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, then closed out Hunter Mahan to give Europe the 14 1/2 points it needed to reclaim the precious gold trophy.

It was the first time since 1991 that the Ryder Cup was decided by the final singles match, a thriller made possible by the Americans getting big wins from their best players and a stunning comeback by 21-year-old rookie Rickie Fowler.

29 Playoffs set: Giants drop Padres, Braves go wild

By BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer

Mon Oct 4, 6:39 am ET

A flurry of tiebreakers, that might’ve been fun for fans. For the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves, a guaranteed spot in the playoffs was just fine.

What could’ve turned into a real tangle of a postseason picture suddenly became clear Sunday: Manager Bobby Cox and his wild-card Braves will face the Giants, while the San Diego Padres are finished.

“We try hard,” Cox said after beating the Philadelphia Phillies. “This team is the hardest-working, hardest-trying team we’ve ever had here.”

30 SPIN METER: Business group turns on past allies

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 4, 11:59 am ET

WASHINGTON – During the worst of the economic crisis, the nation’s most powerful business lobby pleaded with Congress to prop up financial institutions and stimulate the economy with hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money.

“Make no mistake: When the aftermath of congressional inaction becomes clear, Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen,” wrote Bruce Josten, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vice president in September 2008, who at the time pressed lawmakers before their vote on a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street.

A few months later, Congress faced a similar reckoning – whether to pass an $814 billion economic stimulus package consisting of about one-third tax breaks and two-thirds additional government spending. Again, Josten wrote to lawmakers: “The global economy is in uncharted and dangerous waters and inaction from Washington is not an option.”

31 Brazil goes to runoff after Rousseff falls short

By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 4, 6:46 am ET

SAO PAULO – Ruling-party candidate Dilma Rousseff, who is trying to become Brazil’s first female leader, fell short of getting a majority of votes in presidential elections and now faces a runoff in four weeks against an experienced, centrist rival.

Rousseff – popular President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s hand-chosen successor – outpaced rival Jose Serra 46.9 percent to 32.6 percent in Sunday’s vote, but didn’t get the 50 percent she needed to win outright. Analysts were split on whether there was enough campaign time left for the underdog opposition candidate to close the gap.

Much depends on the other female candidate, the Green Party’s Marina Silva, who won a surprising 19.4 percent of the vote. She said her party’s leadership would decide whether to throw their support behind Rousseff or Serra, though she emphasized it was up to individual voters to make their own choices.

32 Contractor: BP interfered with critical efforts

By HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 34 mins ago

METAIRIE, La. – BP interfered with critical efforts to lower an undersea robot to try to close the device that failed to stop the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill because of concerns over heat buildup from the burning rig, a salvage firm executive said Monday.

The testimony came from Doug Martin, president of Smit Salvage Americas, which was hired to help try to save the Deepwater Horizon after it exploded. He told a federal investigative panel that in the hours after the April 20 disaster, he thought it was important to quickly get the robot into the water so engineers could choke off the oil.

But, Martin said, BP officials discussed calculating how the heat from the fire would impact the boat that was to launch the robot. He said he believed that it was a waste of time and that BP was interfering.

33 In a TV comedy, Egyptian women gain a voice

By HADEEL AL-SHALCHI, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 4, 6:40 am ET

CAIRO – It’s rare in Egypt’s pop culture to get a direct and frank look inside the minds of Egyptian women and what they really think of marriage and love. So a TV comedy became a startling voice in this conservative society’s debate over the changing role of women.

The show, “I Want to Get Married,” makes a simple point, but one that resounded strongly: Women want to be an active part of the process of finding a life partner, not passive objects whose fate is to be decided by their mothers, fathers or suitors.

The message made it a hit among Egyptians – that and the humor it mined from the quirks of Egyptian middle-class matchmaking, where suitors file through the family salons of potential brides to check them out, confident with the expectation that every woman – particularly those above 30 – will be eager to snap them up.

34 City scandal makes officials outcasts in hometown

By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 4, 4:51 am ET

BELL, Calif. – There was a time in this modest blue-collar community when Mayor Oscar Hernandez was all but hailed as a superhero, the big friendly guy who said hello to everybody when he wasn’t busy greeting them at his venerable corner grocery store.

Those days ended abruptly last July after it was disclosed that Hernandez was presiding over a City Council with four of five members who were paying themselves and other leaders exorbitant salaries while one in six residents live in poverty.

Now all that has changed as the ousted city manager, the mayor and the three other council members face criminal charges in a scandal the district attorney called “corruption on steroids.”

35 Delegates told to ID achievable goals on climate

By TINI TRAN, Associated Press Writer

Mon Oct 4, 12:30 pm ET

TIANJIN, China – The U.N. climate chief urged countries Monday to search faster for common ground on battling climate change so that a year-end meeting in Mexico can produce results in that fight.

Christiana Figueres told 3,000 delegates in China – the last negotiations before Cancun – that countries must identify achievable goals ahead of December’s conference so progress can be made toward a global climate treaty.

“As governments, you can continue to stand still or move forward. Now is the time to make that choice,” she told delegates in the northern port of Tianjin.

36 Casino owners, senators charged in Ala bingo probe

By PHILLIP RAWLS, Associated Press Writer

27 mins ago

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – After the governor began raiding the state’s electronic bingo halls, casino owners sent lobbyists to the Capitol with orders to make their Vegas-style parlors legal. Part of the plan, federal authorities said Monday, was to offer lawmakers millions of dollars in bribes.

The Justice Department unveiled an indictment accusing the owner of Alabama’s largest casino, four state senators and several lobbyists of a scheme to buy and sell votes in the Legislature. One defendant has pleaded guilty to offering a senator $2 million to vote for a bill to keep the bingo machines operating.

Since Republican Gov. Bob Riley began his raids nearly two years ago, the issue has set off angry statehouse rallies and complaints by local officials that casino closures cost poor counties much-needed jobs. Against this backdrop and with the pro-gambling bill on the verge of passage, the Justice Department announced last spring that it was looking into corruption at the statehouse.

37 Wis. prosecutor quits after ‘sexting’ abuse victim

By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press Writer

49 mins ago

MADISON, Wis. – An embattled Wisconsin prosecutor who tried to spark an affair with a domestic violence victim by sending racy text messages resigned in disgrace Monday.

Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz said in a statement to the media that he has lost the confidence of the people he represents, “primarily due to personal issues which have now affected my professional career.”

His resignation comes less than three weeks after The Associated Press reported that he sent 30 text messages to a 26-year-old domestic abuse victim while he prosecuted her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge. Kratz, 50, called the woman a “hot nymph” and asked if she would enjoy secret contact with a married district attorney.

38 Plains mood: Times good, but incumbents in danger

By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer

53 mins ago

HOPE, N.D. – The recession that has brought misery to so much of America hasn’t touched Walter Grotte. His business moving silos and grain bins is prospering, and, like many in North Dakota, he has no financial worries. Life, he says, is “better than we deserve.”

But bring up the state’s Democratic congressman – a man Grotte voted for in 2008 and in seven elections before that – and the smile disappears.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ve thought about buying a billboard on the freeway between Fargo and Grand Forks with a big picture of Earl Pomeroy and Nancy Pelosi arm in arm,” Grotte said, sitting in the kitchen of his farmhouse near Hope, a town of 300 about 70 miles northwest of Fargo. “Earl seemed like a nice fella, but I think Harry Reid and Pelosi got leverage on him some way.”

39 Western lawmakers turn sights on endangered wolves

By MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writer

Sun Oct 3, 9:19 pm ET

BILLINGS, Mont. – Two decades after the federal government spent a half-million dollars to study the reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies, lawmakers say it’s time for Congress to step in again – this time to clamp down on the endangered animals.

To do so they are proposing to bypass the Endangered Species Act and lift protections, first enacted in 1974, for today’s booming wolf population.

Critics say the move would undercut one of the nation’s premiere environmental laws and allow for the unchecked killing of wolves across the West.

40 After 2 NY jumps, aiming to prevent public suicide

By CRISTIAN SALAZAR, Associated Press Writer

Sun Oct 3, 3:29 pm ET

NEW YORK – Eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi typed his intention to millions on the Internet: “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” His body was found days later floating in the Hudson River beneath the George Washington Bridge.

Chef Joseph Cerniglia, a contestant on the reality cooking show “Kitchen Nightmares,” also jumped from the iconic bridge in the past two weeks. His restaurant was mired in debt, though beginning to make a comeback.

In March, Yale University student Cameron Dabaghi jumped from the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observation deck. He had written a note beforehand saying he was sorry and would be jumping from either the George Washington Bridge or the totemic skyscraper.

41 Supreme Court to hear NASA privacy case

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

Sun Oct 3, 12:30 pm ET

PASADENA, Calif. – For the past three years, Robert Nelson has been juggling two lives.

He’s a senior research scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory by day, attempting to determine whether Saturn’s giant moon Titan is volcanically active. When he’s not exploring the cosmos, he’s leading a legal fight to prevent his employer from asking private details about his life.

“It’s almost like having a second job,” Nelson said. “It takes you away from something you’d rather be doing.”

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