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Three women killed in Madrid Halloween stampede

Three young women were crushed to death in a stampede at a Halloween celebration in Madrid apparently sparked when a partygoer threw a firework, police said Thursday. “Three victims were trampled to death and two others were injured,” a police spokesman told AFP. The disaster struck some time before 4…

Hurricane Sandy freeze on politics impacts key races for Congress

Hurricane Sandy: Freeze on politics affects key races for Congress, too The presidential campaigns aren’t the only political operations trying to decide what to do after hurricane Sandy swept aside the final-week playbook of this election. The superstorm has upended some tight congressional races as well – putting a weather-related…

Four wounded in USC campus shooting: police

At least four people were wounded overnight in a shooting on the campus of the University of Southern California, police said early Thursday. An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed there had been a shooting on campus and said four people had been taken to hospital, but could…

Were it not for his own drug-induced hallucinations, Oliver Sacks might not have taken patients seriously

It is fitting for the author of a new book about hallucinations to have had so many himself. “A spider on the wall said hello to me,” recalls neurologist Oliver Sacks. “And for some reason it didn’t seem too surprising that a spider should say hello. We had a conversation…

12 battleground states to watch on election day

There are 12 battleground states that deserve close attention as Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney go head to head in Tuesday’s historic election: Of note: this year’s major battlegrounds were swept by Obama in 2008. – THE BIG THREE – OHIO (18 electoral votes) Perhaps the crucial…

New Yorkers brace for post-Hurricane Sandy ‘ratpocalypse’

As Hurricane Sandy pushed floodwater through New York’s streets and into its subways, many wondered how the city’s infamous rat population would fare — sink or swim? For some, the deluge that accompanied Sandy raised fears of a “ratpocalypse,” with the city’s least glamorous residents crawling in their thousands up…

Cash earmarked for Japan’s tsunami reconstruction ‘misspent’ according to government audit

Cash earmarked for tsunami reconstruction work was diverted to unrelated projects, a Japanese government audit showed as residents of the devastated northeast voiced frustration over the slow pace of rebuilding. Parts of the 14.9 trillion yen ($187 billion) were used to fund an array of unconnected works, including road-building on…

China’s Communist Party prepares for power handover

China’s political elite are expected to oust disgraced figure Bo Xilai and jostle for leadership roles in their last formal meeting which opened Thursday ahead of next week’s landmark power handover. The Communist Party’s Central Committee convened behind closed doors, state media said, with 500 senior members to debate key…

U.S. military forces train for zombie apocalypse

No prank: On Halloween, US military forces train for zombie apocalypse Why is the US military preparing for a zombie apocalypse? That’s the latest training exercise that US Marines and Navy special-operations forces will be taking part in on an island off the coast of San Diego – starting on…

Stewart: Gov. Christie realized Obama not an empty chair

On his show Wednesday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart praised New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for finally finding the real President Barack Obama thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Stewart noted that Christie had been a vocal ally of Romney, playing a clip of the New Jersey governor mocking Obama’s…

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