Oct 07 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Hungary toxic sludge spill reaches Danube

by Geza Molnar, AFP

Thu Oct 7, 11:38 am ET

BUDAPEST (AFP) – Hungary’s toxic sludge spill reached the Danube river Thursday with the first sightings of dead fish in Europe’s second longest river, officials said.

“I can confirm that we have seen sporadic losses of fish in the main branch of the Danube,” regional chief for the disaster relief services Tibor Dobson told AFP.

“The fish have been sighted at the confluence of the Raba with the Danube,” where water samples had shown a pH value of 9.1, he said.

2 Eight killed in Pakistan shrine bombing: police


1 hr 26 mins ago

KARACHI (AFP) – Eight worshippers including two children were killed in twin bomb blasts Thursday at a packed Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, officials told AFP.

Senior police official Hamid Parhial gave the toll, adding that 65 people were also injured, and said it was a suspected suicide attack.

The bombs exploded at the entrance of the shrine to Sufi saint Abdullah Shah Ghazi as devotees packed it for a weekly gathering in Karachi’s seaside Clifton district.

3 Karzai inaugurates Afghan peace council

by Sardar Ahmad, AFP

2 hrs 54 mins ago

KABUL (AFP) – President Hamid Karzai on Thursday inaugurated a peace council charged with brokering an end to the war in Afghanistan, amid mounting reports of secret peace talks as the conflict entered a 10th year.

The High Peace Council is Karzai’s brainchild for opening a dialogue with the Taliban and other insurgents who have been trying to bring down his government since the US-led invasion overthrew their regime in late 2001.

The Taliban has said publicly it will not enter into dialogue with the government until all 152,000 US-led foreign troops based in the country leave and on Thursday issued a statement saying its jihad was as strong as ever.

4 Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa wins Nobel Literature Prize

by Nina Larson, AFP

28 mins ago

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Mario Vargas Llosa, a giant of Latin American literature whose political ambitions saw him run for president of his native Peru, finally won the 2010 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday at the age of 74.

Vargas Llosa, long tipped to win the award, is best known for works such as “Conversation in the Cathedral” and “The Feast of the Goat” but is also a prolific journalist, still writing for Spain’s El Pais daily.

“I hope to survive the Nobel,” he joked at his first press conference since winning the prestigious prize held in New York.

5 ECB holds rates steady, sticks by weak eurozone states

by William Ickes, AFP

Thu Oct 7, 11:45 am ET

FRANKFURT (AFP) – The European Central Bank held its main interest rate at a record low 1.0 percent on Thursday and stuck firmly by exceptional measures that underpin the finances of weaker eurozone members.

“We didn’t change at all our assessment of the non-standard measures, the allotment mode, the provision of liquidity and we are exactly, exactly in the same mood as we were a month ago,” ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet said after the rate decision.

As Trichet made his comments, the euro spiked briefly to an eight-month high above 1.40 dollars, adding to concerns the strengthening currency could undermine European exports by making them more expensive.

6 Eurozone interest rate stays at 1%

by William Ickes, AFP

Thu Oct 7, 9:17 am ET

FRANKFURT (AFP) – The European Central Bank held its main interest rate at a record low 1.0 percent on Thursday, but economists were divided over whether it would voice more support for debt-laden countries as the economic outlook improves.

The ECB policy board met as the Bank of England kept its key lending rate at a record low level of 0.50 percent and two days after Japan launched a fresh stimulus package to keep the world’s third-biggest economy on track.

In the eurozone, “banks in the most troubled areas, most notably Ireland and Portugal, are still heavily reliant on the ECB?s three-month lending” of central bank cash, Capital Economics senior economist Jennifer McKeown noted following the rate decision.

7 Liverpool buyers have winning legacy with Red Sox

2 hrs 52 mins ago

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AFP) – To paraphrase Liverpudlian legend John Lennon, all the Boston Red Sox owners are saying to sceptical Liverpool FC fans is give them a chance.

A deal by New England Sports Ventures to purchase debt-saddled Liverpool for 477 million dollars was not made lightly by 61-year-old hedge-fund billionaire John Henry and partner Tom Werner, a television producer.

“Our objective is to stabilize the club and ultimately return Liverpool FC to its rightful place in English and European football, successfully competing for and winning trophies,” they said in a statement.

8 All saddle-up as Gaultier takes bow at Hermes

by Emma Charlton, AFP

Wed Oct 6, 2:53 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) – Eight proud horsemen cantered round a sandy ring to the clap of flamenco, under crystal chandeliers, as Jean Paul Gaultier took Paris to the pampa on Wednesday, and bowed out as the designer for Hermes.

Like a ringmaster, the first model walked out in chest-to-toe black leather, cravache in hand, with riding boots and flat-topped, round-brimmed gaucho hat, before a packed Fashion Week audience that included Janet Jackson.

Showcasing his last collection for the house on the final day of the ready-to-wear shows, Gaultier worked within Hermes’ historic codes — with leather at the core — but spirited them to a Latin land.

9 Clarke and Pearson crowned sprint king and queen

by Martin Parry, AFP

2 hrs 41 mins ago

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Jamaica’s Lerone Clarke made the most of Usain Bolt’s absence to claim the Commonwealth Games 100m gold on Thursday while Australia’s Sally Pearson controversially powered to the women’s crown.

Clarke, the only man in the final to have broken 10 seconds in the past two years, dipped over the line in 10.12 to capitalise on world record holder Bolt and fellow Jamaican, defending champion Asafa Powell, choosing not to compete.

It was a powerful run in hot and humid conditions but, ultimately, very slow and a long way off Ato Boldon’s Commonwealth record of 9.88 and even further behind Bolt’s 9.58 world record.

10 Delhi loses stomach for fight, Aussies in cycling best

by Dave James, AFP

Thu Oct 7, 9:41 am ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Delhi’s besieged Commonwealth Games confronted a new enemy on Thursday when over 50 swimmers fell ill while Australia’s track cyclists blitzed their way to an historic golden record.

Around 40 English and 12 Australian swimmers had complained of feeling unwell after competing at the S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex, with team officials insisting that the problem area was the warm-up pool.

“We must investigate this immediately. If the water is unsafe then clearly you can’t swim in it,” said Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell.

11 Pool quality probed as Delhi Games swimmers fall ill

by Phil Hazlewood, AFP

Thu Oct 7, 2:51 am ET

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Commonwealth Games organisers launched an investigation into the water quality at the troubled event’s pool on Thursday after reports that over 50 swimmers had fallen ill.

Around 40 English competitors and 12 Australians had complained of feeling unwell after competing at the S.P. Mukherjee Aquatics Complex, with team officials insisting that the problem area was the warm-up pool.

“We must investigate this immediately. If the water is unsafe then clearly you can’t swim in it,” said Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell.

12 French-German turf war erupts over Eurostar trains


Thu Oct 7, 11:53 am ET

PARIS (AFP) – France reacted angrily on safety grounds to a decision on Thursday by Channel tunnel rail service operator Eurostar to buy trains from Siemens of Germany, shunning Alstom of France.

Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and Junior Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau expressed “stupefaction” at the choice by Eurostar, in which French state-owned rail operator SNCF is the biggest shareholder with 55 percent.

Eurostar said earlier that it had ordered 10 high-speed trains from Siemens.

13 Toxic Hungarian sludge spill reaches River Danube

By Marton Dunai, Reuters

Thu Oct 7, 1:16 pm ET

GYOR, Hungary (Reuters) – Toxic red sludge from a Hungarian alumina plant reached the Danube on Thursday and crews struggled to dilute it to protect the river from what the prime minister called an “unprecedented ecological catastrophe.”

Experts said damage beyond the borders of Hungary was unlikely to be great but the threat had to be monitored closely.

Tibor Dobson, a spokesman for Hungarian disaster crews, told Reuters there were sporadic fish deaths in the Raba and the Mosoni-Danube rivers. He said all fish had died in the smaller Marcal River, which was hit by the spill first.

14 Obama kills foreclosure bill as fury mounts

By Caren Bohan and Scot J. Paltrow, Reuters

20 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama killed proposed legislation on Thursday that struck at the heart of growing political rage over how banks have moved to evict struggling borrowers from their homes.

The bill, which would have made it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosures, came under the spotlight this week as the furor grew over disclosures that some of the biggest U.S. mortgage processors filed false affidavits in thousands of foreclosure cases.

Obama sent the bill back to the House of Representatives for further discussion on how it would affect the foreclosure crisis, one of the most visible signs of the deep economic problems gripping the country.

15 Peruvian Vargas Llosa wins literature Nobel

By Simon Johnson and Adam Cox, Reuters

1 hr 55 mins ago

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Peruvian writer and one-time presidential candidate Mario Vargas Llosa, a chronicler of human struggles against authoritarian power in Latin America, won the 2010 Nobel prize for literature on Thursday.

An outstanding member of the a generation of writers that led a resurgence in Latin American literature in the 1960s, Vargas Llosa was a champion of the left in his youth and later evolved into an outspoken conservative, a shift that infuriated much of Latin America’s leftist intelligentsia.

“I hope they gave it to me more for my literary work and not my political opinions,” the 74-year-old author said at a news conference in New York.

16 NATO eyes Pakistan supply resumption after apology

By Emma Graham-Harrison, Reuters

Thu Oct 7, 6:58 am ET

KABUL (Reuters) – A U.S. apology for a helicopter strike inside Pakistan has raised hopes of an end to a week-long blockade of a vital NATO supply line, although the alliance said on Thursday it was not hindering the war in Afghanistan.

The U.S. ambassador to Islamabad said late on Wednesday that the cross-border raid, which killed two Pakistani soldiers and triggered the supply shut-down, was a “terrible accident”.

A joint NATO-Pakistani report released the same day said gunmen aboard the Apaches had likely mistaken warning shots from the border guards for an insurgent attack when they opened fire.

17 IMF, World Bank try to ease currency tensions

By Leika Kihara and Lesley Wroughton, Reuters

Thu Oct 7, 12:45 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – World leaders must defuse currency tensions before they worsen to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Great Depression, the head of the World Bank said on Thursday.

The spirit of global economic cooperation, first forged in 2008 during the darkest days of the financial crisis, was weakening as the recession gives way to an uneven and shaky recovery, the head of the International Monetary Fund said.

Fears of global currency and trade wars, which were key factors in the Great Depression, have jumped to the top of the agenda at IMF and World Bank meetings this weekend, and are also expected to be a primary topic of discussion when Group of Seven finance leaders gather on Friday.

18 World Bank and IMF at odds over hot money flows

By Stanley White and Leika Kihara, Reuters

Thu Oct 7, 2:47 am ET

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Emerging economies should consider steps to contain fund flows that could cause currency rallies and asset bubbles, the World Bank chief was quoted as saying, but the International Monetary Fund called such actions “undesirable.”

The contrasting views over capital controls come amid rising tension between emerging and developed economies over exchange rates, which is expected to be a hot topic at Group of Seven and International Monetary Fund meeting starting on Friday.

Western leaders are worried efforts by emerging economies to weaken their currencies could derail the fragile economic recovery. Officials from developing markets say ultra-low interest rates in rich countries are fuelling massive fund flows into their markets, pushing up their currencies and inflating prices of stocks, property and other assets.

19 Job losses in 2009 likely bigger than thought

By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

Thu Oct 7, 4:21 am ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy likely shed more jobs last year than previously thought, but analysts say the undercount by the government should prove less severe than it did during depths of the recession.

The Labor Department on Friday will give an initial estimate of how far off its count of employment may have been in the 12 months through March. The government admitted earlier this year that its count through March 2009 had overstated employment by 902,000 jobs.

Analysts expect a much smaller miscount this time, given the economy’s growth spurt in the second half of last year.

20 How Republicans could block healthcare reform

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

Wed Oct 6, 5:30 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans could keep their promises to stop healthcare reform even if they cannot repeal it, simply by blocking legislation needed to pay for it, one expert argued on Wednesday.

Control of one house of Congress could give the Republicans power to cripple the law, creating “zombie legislation,” healthcare expert Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution wrote in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Healthcare reform is President Barack Obama’s signature policy.

21 Hungary: Toxic red sludge has reached the Danube

By PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press Writer

34 mins ago

KOLONTAR, Hungary – The toxic red sludge that burst out of a Hungarian factory’s reservoir reached the mighty Danube on Thursday after wreaking havoc on smaller rivers and creeks, and downstream nations rushed to test their waters.

The European Union and environmental officials fear an environmental catastrophe affecting half a dozen nations if the red sludge, a waste product of making aluminum, contaminates the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river.

Officials from Croatia, Serbia and Romania were taking river samples every few hours Thursday but hoping that the Danube’s huge water volume would blunt the impact of the spill.

22 Alleged suicide bombs kill 8 at Pakistan Sufi site

By ASHRAF KHAN, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 16 mins ago

KARACHI, Pakistan – Two suspected suicide bombers attacked the most beloved Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s largest city Thursday, killing at least eight people, wounding 65 others, and sending a stark reminder of the threat posed by Islamist militants to this U.S.-allied nation.

Angry mobs burned tires and torched buses in the aftermath of the bombings in Karachi.

The attack came amid tensions between Washington and Islamabad over NATO helicopter incursions that have led Pakistan to close a key border crossing used to ferry supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan. Despite U.S. apologies over the incursions, one of which left two Pakistani soldiers dead, Islamabad said Thursday it had yet to decide when to reopen the crossing.

23 Insult time, face to face, in campaign’s debates

By LIZ “Sprinkles” SIDOTI, AP National Political Writer

1 hr 17 mins ago

WASHINGTON – “That’s a lie. You know that’s a lie. I never said it.” That was Republican Linda McMahon going after Democrat Richard Blumenthal this week as the Connecticut Senate rivals shared a debate stage. Afterward, he insisted she was the one playing “fast and loose with the facts.”

Across the country, in California, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman pointedly blamed Democrat Jerry Brown for the disclosure that she had employed an illegal immigrant housekeeper.

“You put it out there and you should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions,” Whitman told Brown, who was standing a few feet away. He shot back: “You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don’t take accountability.”

24 Obama sends foreclosure docs bill back to Congress

By ALAN ZIBEL and BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writers

25 mins ago

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has rejected a bill that the White House fears could worsen the mounting problems caused by flawed or misleading documents used by banks in home foreclosures.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that Obama is sending a newly passed bill back to Congress to be fixed because the current version has “unintended consequences on consumer protections.” The bill would loosen the process for providing a notary’s seal to documents and allow them to be done electronically.

Obama will not sign a bill that would allow foreclosure and other documents to be accepted among multiple states. Consumer advocates and state officials had argued the legislation would make it difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure documents prepared in other states.

25 ‘Good neighbor’ corn fights borers at home, nearby

By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 5 mins ago

MINNEAPOLIS – This corn turns out to be a very good neighbor. Corn that’s been genetically engineered to resist attacking borers produces a “halo effect” that provides huge benefits to other corn planted nearby, a new study finds. Since the borers that attack the genetically modified crops die, there are fewer of them to go after the non-modified version.

Given that the corn borer has cost U.S. farmers $1 billion a year, the economic benefits are dramatic, according to the report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

The genetically modified plants, called Bt corn, have had an economic benefit of $6.9 billion during the past 14 years in the five Upper Midwest corn-producing states studied, concluded the researchers. They were led by William Hutchison, head of the entomology department at the University of Minnesota, and Paul Mitchell, an agricultural economist at the University of Wisconsin.

26 Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity

By DYLAN LOVAN, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 21 mins ago

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Southern Baptist leader who is calling for Christians to avoid yoga and its spiritual attachments is getting plenty of pushback from enthusiasts who defend the ancient practice.

Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler says the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God.

Mohler said he objects to “the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.”

27 Mario Vargas Llosa wins Nobel literature prize

By KARL RITTER and MALIN RISING, Associated Press Writers

1 hr 41 mins ago

STOCKHOLM – Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday as the academy honored one of the Spanish-speaking world’s most acclaimed authors and an outspoken political activist who once ran for president in his tumultuous homeland.

Vargas Llosa, 74, has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including “Conversation in the Cathedral” and “The Green House.” In 1995, he won the Cervantes Prize, the most distinguished literary honor in Spanish.

He is the first South American winner of the prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) Nobel literature prize since Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez won in 1982 and the first Spanish-language writer to win since Mexico’s Octavio Paz in 1990.

28 AP-mtvU Poll: Technology brings connection, stress

By ALAN FRAM and TREVOR TOMPSON, Associated Press Writers

Thu Oct 7, 11:23 am ET

WASHINGTON – Technology has become so entwined with college students’ often frantic lives that most in a new survey say they’d be more frazzled without it.

Yet The Associated Press-mtvU Poll, released Thursday, also found that being perpetually connected comes at a cost. While 57 percent of students said life without computers and cell phones would make them more stressed, a significant number – 25 percent – said it would be a relief. A big majority feel pressured to instantly answer texts or voice mails, most get nervous if someone doesn’t immediately reply to a message, and nearly half worry whether messages they get are jokes.

“If you’re without it, you’re disconnected,” Megan Earley, 20, a junior at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., said of technology. “You feel like it’s a lifeline.”

29 Miss. judge jails attorney for not reciting pledge

By HOLBROOK MOHR and ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press Writer

7 mins ago

TUPELO, Miss. – When a Mississippi judge entered a courtroom and asked everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, an attorney with a reputation for fighting free speech battles stayed silent as everyone else recited the patriotic oath. The lawyer was jailed.

Attorney Danny Lampley spent about five hours behind bars Wednesday before Judge Talmadge Littlejohn set him free so that the lawyer could work on another case. Lampley told The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal he respected the judge but wasn’t going to back down.

“I don’t have to say it because I’m an American,” Lampley told the newspaper.

30 Larsen has some company after Halladay’s no-hitter

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer

Thu Oct 7, 7:02 am ET

PHILADELPHIA – Roy Halladay finished his warmup tosses and stood on the mound, waiting for a commercial to finish so he could resume working on his masterpiece.

Nothing could deter Halladay in his postseason debut. Not the long television breaks. Not the rain in the early innings. Not the best-hitting team in the NL.

Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in Game 1 of the NL division series on Wednesday.

31 Bill Clinton lobbies for earthquake aid to Haiti

By JONATHAN M. KATZ, Associated Press Writer

Thu Oct 7, 7:02 am ET

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Former President Bill Clinton said desperately needed U.S. aid is coming to Haiti despite delays after listening on Wednesday to refugees in a sprawling homeless camp complain of a lack of food, jobs and housing nine months after a devastating earthquake.

Clinton, the co-chair of the commission overseeing Haiti’s reconstruction, expressed frustration with the slow delivery of promised funds by donors who have delivered about $732 million of a promised $5.3 billion in funds for 2010-11, along with debt relief. Most notably absent is the United States, which has yet to deliver any of its promised $1.15 billion.

“First of all, in the next day or so it will become obvious that the United States is making a huge down payment on that,” the former U.S. president and husband of the current secretary of state told reporters without providing details. “Secondly I’m not too concerned – although I’m frustrated – because the Congress have approved the money that the Secretary of State and the White House asked for.”

32 NY seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys

By SARA KUGLER FRAZIER, Associated Press Writer

1 hr 44 mins ago

NEW YORK – Using food stamps to buy sodas, teas, sports drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages would not be allowed in New York City under a new government effort to battle obesity.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson announced Thursday that they are seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the nation’s food stamp program, to add sugary drinks to the list of prohibited goods for city residents receiving assistance.

If approved, it would be the first time an item would be banned from the federal program based solely on nutritional value.

33 Panel: Gov’t blocked scientists on spill estimate

By DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press Writer

Thu Oct 7, 1:41 am ET

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration blocked efforts by government scientists to tell the public just how bad the Gulf oil spill could become and committed other missteps that raised questions about its competence and candor during the crisis, according to a commission appointed by the president to investigate the disaster.

In documents released Wednesday, the national oil spill commission’s staff describes “not an incidental public relations problem” by the White House in the wake of the April 20 accident.

Among other things, the report says, the administration made erroneous early estimates of the spill’s size, and President Barack Obama’s senior energy adviser went on national TV and mischaracterized a government analysis by saying it showed most of the oil was “gone.” The analysis actually said it could still be there.

34 Pa. rep wants anti-abortion radio attack ad pulled

By JOE MANDAK, Associated Press Writer

17 mins ago

PITTSBURGH – Attorneys for Democrat U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper’s campaign want four Erie radio stations to pull an ad by an anti-abortion group that contends her vote for health care reform resulted in “the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortions ever.”

Americans United for Life stands by the ad, saying the freshman lawmaker voted to pass a final version of the bill that omitted key safeguards to prevent federal funding of abortions.

But the campaign’s lawyers said in a letter to the stations on Wednesday that the ad is “slanderous, inaccurate and falsifies … Dahlkemper’s stance on abortion.”

35 GOP allies make Colo. a top target

By KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press Writer

2 hrs 44 mins ago

DENVER – Watching an “Oprah” show about holiday craft tips? The commercial break includes a piece starring a sickly man in a hospital bed with dire warnings about the health care overhaul supported by Sen. Michael Bennet.

Relaxing to a cable rerun of “Seinfeld”? The break includes a message from seniors who fret about their Social Security benefits if Republican Ken Buck is elected.

It’s not just commercials. Coloradoans drive by one billboard after another carrying political messages before arriving home to a mailbox full of pleas from politicians.

36 Pa. teen testifies on fatal assault of immigrant

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer

Thu Oct 7, 2:05 pm ET

SCRANTON, Pa. – Two former high school football players who witnessed the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant in Pennsylvania testified Thursday that a third member of their group kicked the victim in the head as he lay unconscious in the street.

Brandon Piekarsky, now 18, and Derrick Donchak, now 20, are charged with a federal hate crime in the July 2008 attack on 25-year-old Luis Ramirez, who died after brawling with a tight-knit bunch of white athletes in Shenandoah, an old mining town riven by ethnic tensions between whites and a burgeoning Hispanic population. Donchak is also charged in a plot with Shenandoah police to cover up the crime.

Prosecutors allege that Piekarsky kicked Ramirez in the head, a theory bolstered Thursday by testimony from two of the defendant’s childhood friends.

37 5 years after triple crown, Rufus in high demand

By SUE MANNING, Associated Press Writer

Thu Oct 7, 1:47 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Rufus is the most decorated bull terrier in the history of the breed, a celebrity ambassador and one of the busiest therapy dogs in the country.

With his enduring popularity and hectic schedule of public appearances at age 10 (that’s 70 in dog years), he’s like the Betty White of the dog world, although at 88, she still has a few years on Rufus.

Rufus is a colored bull terrier with a head like an egg and a body like a torpedo, explained David Frei, director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club.

38 NJ senator calls for anti-bully law after suicide

By BRUCE SHIPKOWSKI and BILL NEWILL, Associated Press Writers

Thu Oct 7, 10:45 am ET

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Colleges should adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment in the wake of the suicide of a Rutgers University student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was streamed online, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said at a town meeting on campus.

Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the crowd gathered Wednesday night in memory of 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi that he would introduce such legislation. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on Sept. 22 after the intimate images of him with another man were broadcast. His body was identified days later.

Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another Rutgers freshman, Molly Wei, both 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy, and authorities are weighing whether bias crime charges should be added.

39 Even in Chicago, residents wanted more from Obama

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press Writer

Wed Oct 6, 11:12 pm ET

CHICAGO – Even in President Barack Obama’s hometown, they had hoped for more.

Obama will be stumping for Senate candidate and basketball buddy Alexi Giannoulias on Thursday in Chicago, a city where every other person crossing the street seems to have a story about descending on Grant Park that historic night of the 2008 election or proudly watching the president take the oath on television.

But nearly two years after Obama took office, while the president remains widely popular in the city, his image has slipped a bit as many people wonder where the promised change and jobs are, even if they believe such talk is probably a bit unfair.

40 Environmentalists get rare look at island off NY

By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer

Wed Oct 6, 6:10 pm ET

PLUM ISLAND, N.Y. – The classified ad might read: “Island for sale. Gem of a property, teeming with fish and wildlife, only a two-hour drive from nation’s largest metro area. Features power plant, sewage treatment. Ripe for development.”

What it might not say: “Site of animal disease research and germ warfare testing; old Army coastal defense post.”

Plum Island held an open house of sorts for environmental leaders Wednesday as the federal government proceeds with plans to relocate its 50-year-old animal disease research laboratory to Kansas and sell the 840-acre pork chop-shaped island off the eastern tip of New York’s Long Island.

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