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October 2007

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Oct 31,2007
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- A wildfire that burned 38,000 acres and wiped out 21 homes in the Santa Clarita, Calif., area is being blamed on a boy playing with matches."We have identified a juvenile boy as the person who started the fire," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Tuesday. "Arson investigators interviewed the young man and he acknowledged he had been playing with matches and accidentally started a fire."Meanwhile, firefighters were finding ... [full story]
1352 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A U.S. Navy ship was treating three wounded North Korean sailors injured in a deadly fight with pirates off the coast of Somalia.In a statement, the Navy said the attempted hijacking took place Tuesday about 70 miles northeast of Mogadishu, CNN reported.The North Korean freighter Dai Hong Dan was overrun with pirates who seized the ship's bridge. However, the crew retained control of the engines and steering gear and opened fire.Two of ... [full story]
823 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
PHILADELPHIA -- Democratic presidential candidates discussed Iran, illegal immigrants and other issues in Philadelphia putting Sen. Hilary Clinton, D-N.Y., on the defensive.The debate Tuesday at Drexler University, moderated by NBC’s Tim Russert and Brian Williams, was the fourth of six official debates among the Democratic presidential contenders.Speaking against Clinton’s posture on Social Security, Iran, and Iraq, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., said “The American people … deserve a president of the United States that they ... [full story]
1038 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
SAN FRANCISCO -- Geologists were carefully watching the San Francisco Bay area Wednesday after a jolting 5.6 earthquake shook the area Tuesday night.There were no immediate reports of damage but geologists were concerned it had created new "stress changes" along the fault-riddled area, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.It was the strongest quake to hit the area since 1989 when one measuring 6.9 killed 63 people.Near the epicenter, residents felt shaking for as long as 15 ... [full story]
1038 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
NEW YORK -- A former chief medical examiner of New York City pleaded guilty to embezzling government aid to help identify remains from the Sept. 11 attacks.Natarajan R. Venkataram and another employee, Rosa Abreu, pleaded guilty Tuesday to channeling millions of dollars of government aid to fraudulent companies, CNN reported.The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave the New York City medical examiner’s office more than $46 million for forensic tests to identify human remains at Ground ... [full story]
1058 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
LANSING, Mich. -- The state of Michigan avoided another pending government shutdown when it passed the new state budget early Wednesday morning.After 18 hours of legislative maneuvering, at 4:20 a.m. the state House and Senate finalized the 17 bills that compromise the $9.7 billion general spending plan, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.The 2007-08 budget is $760 million larger than the previous fiscal year even with more than $430 million in budget cuts and savings ... [full story]
1180 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is expected to make his first visit to Japan since taking office to discuss defense support issues.Gates is to travel to Tokyo to discuss Japan’s continued support of its Maritime Self Defense Force’s refueling operations supporting U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Asia, including Afghanistan, the Kyodo news agency said Wednesday.The Japanese law detailing MSDF operations in the Indian Ocean expires Thursday, causing U.S. officials to express their frustrations.The ... [full story]
1176 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
TEHRAN -- Iran's leadership wants closer and better ties with Russia and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, reports from Tehran said Wednesday.During a brief visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday night, a spokesman quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has serious plans to develop cooperation with Russia," the RIA Novosti news agency reported Wednesday.Ahmadinejad reportedly vowed Iran's nuclear program was fully transparent to the monitoring of the ... [full story]
922 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
MIAMI -- Slow-moving Tropical Storm Noel soaked Cuba and gathered strength Wednesday as it headed toward the Bahamas.Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 11 a.m., Noel's sustained winds had risen to 50 mph with higher gusts as the storm moved off mainland Cuba. Strengthening over the next 24 hours was likely, the report said.Noel's center was about 175 miles south-southwest of Nassau moving to the north-northwest at 8 mph.The storm ... [full story]
1080 times read - No comment posted

Oct 31,2007
MOSCOW -- Rallies for Russian President Vladimir Putin to run for a third term were ordered by regional authorities, the British newspaper The Guardian reported.Documents seen by the newspaper in Moscow showed state railway workers and students in numerous regions were ordered to attend boisterous rallies for Putin, who will step down next March because of constitutional term limits.The report said it wasn't immediately clear whether the compulsory orders originated in the Kremlin, or from ... [full story]
865 times read - No comment posted

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