Romney & Obama: I'm the real candidate of change
DOSWELL, Va. (AP) — Five days before the election, Republican challenger Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama vied forcefully for the mantle of change Thursday in a country thirsting for it after a painful recession and uneven recovery, pressing intense closing arguments in their unpredictably close race for the White House. Early voting topped 20 million ballots. A three-day lull that followed Superstorm Sandy ended abruptly, the president campaigning briskly across three battleground states and Romney piling up three stops in a fourth. The Republican also attacked with a tough new Spanish-language television ad in Florida showing Venezuela’s leftist leader, Hugo Chavez, and Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela, saying they would vote for Obama.
Shore residents return home to damage, destruction
POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — Bill Goldberg’s first reaction upon entering his flood-damaged home in this popular Jersey Shore resort community was unprintable. His second was that life as he knew it had just been turned upside down — along with his refrigerator, freezer, and kitchen and dining room furniture.
Exasperation builds on Day 3 in storm-stricken NYC
NEW YORK (AP) — Frustration — and in some cases fear — mounted in New York City on Thursday, three days after Superstorm Sandy. Traffic backed up for miles at bridges, large crowds waited impatiently for buses into Manhattan, and tempers flared in gas lines. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would send bottled water and ready-to-eat meals into the hardest-hit neighborhoods through the weekend, but some New Yorkers grew dispirited after days without power, water and heat and decided to get out.
Ex-Penn St. president charged in Sandusky case
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The ‘‘conspiracy of silence’’ that protected Jerry Sandusky extended all the way to the top at Penn State, prosecutors said Thursday as they charged former university President Graham Spanier with hushing up child sexual abuse allegations against the former assistant football coach. Prosecutors also added counts against two of Spanier’s former underlings, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who were already charged with lying to a grand jury.
Consumers give US economy a lift before election
WASHINGTON (AP) — A flurry of data issued Thursday sketched a brightening view of the U.S. economy in the final days before a presidential election that will pivot on the strength of the recovery. Cheaper gas, rising home prices and lower unemployment have given consumers the confidence to spend more. And retailers, auto dealers and manufacturers are benefiting.
Syrians wary of US push to overhaul opposition
BEIRUT (AP) — Members of Syria’s opposition-in-exile bristled Thursday at the Obama administration’s suggestion that Washington will handpick more representative leaders at a crucial conference in Qatar next week. The new U.S. push appears aimed at creating a unified leadership that could work more closely with the West. But there are signs of resistance among deeply fractured opposition groups wary of attempts by foreign backers to dictate strategy in the civil war against President Bashar Assad.
Israel confirms killing Arafat deputy in 1988
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel acknowledged Thursday it killed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s deputy in a 1988 raid in Tunisia, lifting a nearly 25-year veil of secrecy and allowing a rare glimpse into the shadowy world of its secret operations. One of the commandos was disguised as a woman on a romantic vacation, and one of the weapons was hidden in a box of chocolates.
Prosecutor: Kids slain in Illinois begged to live
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman ordered her 7-year-old son and a kindergartner she was babysitting to kneel on a bedroom floor and pray, then stabbed them both dozens of times as they begged for their lives, striking again and again as she told her son he was going to heaven, authorities said Thursday. Officers who forced their way inside the locked apartment hours later found blood-spattered walls and the children’s bodies in a master bedroom where moments before the killings they had been happily jumping on a bed, prosecutors said.
Ford's Mark Fields promoted, could become CEO
DETROIT (AP) — Ford’s leaders have watched Mark Fields, a brash Harvard MBA, turn the company’s North American business into a profit machine. Now they’re eyeing him for CEO. Fields, 51, was named chief operating officer Thursday, a sign the board favors him for the top job when CEO Alan Mulally eventually retires. Mulally, 67, plans to stay at least through 2014, a decision that reassured Wall Street.Continued...