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South Korea suspends rocket launch

South Korea suspended its third attempt to send a satellite into orbit by at least three days on Friday, after a helium leak was detected in the rocket just hours before scheduled launch time. With only a five-day launch window that ends October 30, any further delay could result in…

Banned U.S. swim coach charged with child abuse

Richard Curl, banned for life last month by USA Swimming, surrendered to police after being charged with child abuse over allegations of a four-year sexual relationship with a teen swimmer. Curl, 63, was released on $50,000 bond and faces a November 16 preliminary hearing in Rockville, a Maryland suburb of…

In Defiance, singer Meat Loaf endorses Romney

Like a bat out of hell, aging hard rock legend Meat Loaf stormed the stage at a Mitt Romney campaign rally to declare his support for the Republican flag-bearer in the White House race. In a town chosen as much for its evocative name — Defiance — as for its…

Fish near Fukushima still contaminated: study

WASHINGTON — Elevated levels of cesium found in fish off Japan’s east coast 18 months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster suggest a “continuing source” of radiation in the ocean, a new study has revealed. Marine chemist Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reviewed official Japanese data on radiation…

Hurricane Sandy kills 21 in Caribbean, takes aim at U.S.

MIAMI — Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas after claiming 21 lives in the Caribbean, including 11 people killed in eastern Cuba. The hurricane — now a category two storm — has wreaked havoc in Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Haiti, downing power lines, damaging hundreds of homes and ruining crops.…

Panetta asks Congress to act on defense budget

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday demanded Congress take action after November elections to ensure stable funding for the US military and to break a partisan deadlock over the country’s budget deficit. “When Congress returns to town after the election, there is a great deal of critical work…

Batman star calls China dissident ‘giant among men’

NEW YORK — Actor Christian Bale hailed Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng as a “giant among men” during an emotional meeting nearly a year after the Batman star was forcefully prevented from visiting the activist. Chen, who made a daring escape in April from house arrest and was eventually able to…

Rap star ‘Diddy’ suffers multiple injuries in crash

LOS ANGELES — Hip-hop icon and fashion mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs suffered “multiple injuries” including to his neck and collarbone in a car crash in Beverly Hills, a spokeswoman for the star said Thursday. The 42-year-old was reported to have been left in pain after the accident on Wednesday involving…

Intelsat blocks Iranian channels in Europe

WASHINGTON — International satellite services provider Intelsat has blocked Iran’s official broadcast channels in Europe, a company spokesman said Thursday. But it would not confirm or deny an Iranian report that it did so at the order of the US government. “Intelsat confirms that we took IRIB (Islamic Republic of…

Battle for Ohio: Campaigns micro-target their message in state’s four corners

Campaign strategists in the vital battleground of Ohio are pioneering a radical new approach to the ground war in the final days of the presidential election, delivering targeted messaging to different parts of the state in an attempt drive up voter turnout on 6 November. Both Barack Obama’s re-election operation,…

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