Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Doesn't look like Uncle Ted is going to get home to campaign before the election Judge Emmet Sullivan replaced Juror No.4 with an alternate after her father passed away. Deliberations go back to square one tomorrow morning with the alternate in place.

Where is the public apology and firing for this? Before the facts were known, McCain's communications director in Pennsylvania, Peter Feldman, was pushing an incendiary, race-baiting version of the attack-that-never-happened.

Pass the popcorn Sarah Palin made sure the clothes story will stay in the spotlight one more day by crumpling up the script and ad libbing when asked about the clothes. She blames the inept McCain campaign for making her and her family a national joke, and she is going to finish this thing her way, and the bushies who are trying to handle her can get bent.

One mans garbage is another mans power plant Household waste produces methane as it decomposes. Now it's possible to harness that energy it and turn it into electricity. Nationwide, the federal Environmental Protection Agency counts 455 landfills that use their methane to generate electricity and has targeted more than 500 others as potential candidates through its Landfill Methane Outreach Program.

Livni gives up on trying to form a coalition and is asking Israeli President Shimon Peres to schedule early general elections.

Taking it to 'em Obama has drawn crowds of tens of thousands, even topping a hundred thousand a couple of times, as he sprints to the finish through red states.

A major player has been captured: Mexican security forces have arrested drug cartel leader Eduardo Arellano Felix, one of the international traffickers most sought by the United States, after a shootout in the violent border city of Tijuana, the government said on Sunday. Arellano Felix, nicknamed "The Doctor," was a senior member of a family cartel embroiled in a violent struggle for control of the lucrative drug trade that has killed more than 3,700 people in Mexico this year, including 450 in Tijuana.

Sacred space and the fight to possess it: Two rival monks are posted at all times in a rooftop courtyard at the site where tradition holds Jesus was crucified: a bearded Copt in a black robe and an Ethiopian sunning himself on a wooden chair, studiously ignoring each other as they fight over the same sliver of sacred space. For decades, Coptic and Ethiopian Christians have been fighting over the Deir el-Sultan monastery, which sits atop a chapel at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The monastery is little more than a cluster of dilapidated rooms and a passageway divided into two incense-filled chapels, an architectural afterthought alongside the Holy Sepulcher's better-known features. And yet Deir el-Sultan has become the subject of a feud that has gone far beyond the walls of Jerusalem's Old City. The Ethiopians control the site, but the Egypt-based Copts say they own it and see the Ethiopians as illegal squatters.

Riots in Kashmir: Government troops in Indian Kashmir opened fire Sunday on hundreds of angry protesters demanding the release of several people arrested during a recent strike, killing one and wounding at least three others, a police official said. The Muslim protesters in Baramullah town, 35 miles north of Srinagar, the main city in India's Jammu-Kashmir state, threw stones and clashed with police and paramilitary soldiers, who responded first with bamboo truncheons and tear gas and then with live ammunition, said Abdul Gani Mir, the area's deputy inspector general.

Of course, none of these people are voting for McCain: With 12 days to go until Nov. 4, Americans are casting early ballots at a record pace. Whether encouraged by state officials to vote early and reduce the chaos and lines on Election Day, or pushed by campaigns to convert enthusiasm into tangible results, the shift to early balloting has made Election Day more of a final deadline than a one-day event. In 2004, one out of every five Americans voted early, and if reports so far this year are any indication, an even larger proportion will wake up on Nov. 4 with their ballots already cast. More than 30 states -including most of the key swing states that will decide the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain - allow their citizens to vote early, whether by mail or in person.

Easily one of the strangest cases ever: A federal judge has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the man accused in the 2002 abduction of Elizabeth Smart. U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba entered the plea Friday in federal court for Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell was indicted in March on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. A shackled Mitchell entered the courtroom dressed in bright red jail garb and was promptly removed after he started singing hymns. Mitchell then heard the rest of the proceedings via audio from a holding cell with two of his four court-appointed public defenders.

Changes in the Congo: Democratic Republic of Congo created new senior defence and reconstruction posts in a new government named on Sunday, but other key portfolios such as mines and finance were unchanged, state television said. A decree from President Joseph Kabila read out on TV named a new defence minister and created a new post of deputy prime minister for defence and security, bolstering the focus on security on a day eastern rebels launched a fresh offensive. Mutombo Bakafua Nsenda, previously justice minister, was named deputy prime minister for defence and security, while the former transport minister, Charles Mwando Simba, was appointed defence minister. The reshuffle was triggered by the resignation last month of Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga.

He's getting closer and closer to telling us damned kids to get off his lawn Now McCain is mocking Obama for insisting nuclear power be safe and environmentally responsible. "You know, the other night in a debate I said his eloquence is admirable but pay attention to his words," McCain said. "We talked about offshore drilling and he said he would, quote, 'consider' offshore drilling. We talked about nuclear power. Well, it has to be safe, environment, blah blah blah."