10 Things To Know For Monday

Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 --- 4:50 a.m.

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.


Campaign down to the wire

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) -- Today is the last day before Election Day.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney raced through battleground states, seeking a breakthrough in a close race. In New Hampshire, Obama told thousands of cheering supporters, "You have the power."

Romney told supporters in Cleveland that instead of Obama "bridging the divide, he's made it wider."


NEW: `5 Ohios' analyzed in swing state

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio could well decide the next president.

The state has chosen the winner in the last 12 presidential elections, and it's pivotal to the strategies of both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The Ohio winner has usually done particularly well in his party's traditionally strong areas, and better than expected in other regions.

The state's geography is often divided regionally as the "Five Ohios" -- the northeast, northwest, central, southeast and southwest parts of the state.

Obama needs to pile up votes in northeast Ohio, the state's Democratic stronghold, anchored by Cleveland and the industrial towns of Youngstown and Akron.

Romney seeks big numbers in southwest Ohio, where the conservative suburban crescent around Cincinnati is Republican turf.


NEW: Fla. remains tough sell to end for Obama, Romney

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Florida is proving to be an expensive and frustrating state for President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, right down to the campaign's final minutes.

Its voters resist arguments that play well in Ohio and other places. Both nominees are making stops in Florida in the campaign's final 40 hours.

Florida is a tough sell for Obama's national message of steady economic recovery. Its unemployment and foreclosure rates remain above the national average.

And auto industry ads airing in Ohio would make no sense in Florida. But a well-organized Democratic ground game and a population that's increasingly non-white have given the president hope of winning Florida narrowly.

Romney had hoped to lock up Florida long ago.


Post-Sandy, manic Monday looms for commuters

NEW YORK (AP) -- It could be a manic Monday for commuters starting the first work week since Superstorm Sandy hit the New York City region.

New York officials say the city subway system is on the mend. But they also warn a flood of students returning to reopened schools and motorists forced out of their cars by a fuel shortage could cause crowding and delays.

Philadelphia's transit authority loaned 31 buses that New Jersey Transit plans to use to support shuttle service for commuters traveling to New York City.

The coming week could bring other challenges. Election Day could see polling places without power. Some schools remain closed and students will be relocated. And a nor'easter threatens to hit the area by Wednesday.


Inland NJ town reeling from river flooding

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (AP) -- The streets of Little Ferry, a borough about 7 miles from Manhattan, are lined with black trash bags and once-prized possessions destroyed by a swell of water brought by Superstorm Sandy.

Likes the neighboring towns of Carlstadt and Moonachie, also located near the Hackensack River, Little Ferry was devastated Oct. 29 when six dirt berms broke from the pressure of a tidal surge. Officials say the water rose five feet in 45 minutes.

Lola Palmerini says she has lived in Little Ferry for nearly 40 years and has never before had water enter her house. But last week the 79-year-old and her husband had to be rescued by the National Guard.

She says, "It's a bad dream. I woke up this morning and cried and cried."


US soldier faces hearing in Afghanistan massacre

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is appearing in a military courtroom in Washington state for the first time on charges that he slaughtered 16 Afghan villagers during a predawn rampage last March.

Bales is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle that could last as long as two weeks. Military prosecutors are expected to show video from a surveillance blimp that depicts Bales returning to his remote outpost in Kandahar Province after the killings. Part of the hearing will be held at night to allow video testimony from witnesses in Afghanistan.

The hearing will help determine whether the 39-year-old father of two from Lake Tapps, Wash., faces a court martial. He could get the death penalty.

The massacre left 16 dead -- nine children.


Japan to host int'l talks on wider Syria sanctions

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan says it will host international working-level talks in late November on sanctions imposed against Syria.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura says participants would be seeking ways to isolate Syrian President Bashar Assad through wider sanctions.

A coalition of 60 countries, including the U.S., the European Union and Arab League, met in September seeking fresh ways to increase pressure on the Assad government. The group was established after the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a resolution condemning the Syrian regime, due to opposition from Russia and China.

Existing sanctions include freezing assets of the Syrian president and military leaders and an embargo on oil and arms trade with Syria.

The uprising last year has escalated to a civil war that activists say has killed 36,000 people.


New trial in Vatican scandal offers insider look

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The trial of a Vatican computer whiz suspected in a scandal of filched confidential documents offers the chance for an insider glimpse into the Holy See's security.

Among those expected to testify are the pope's top bodyguard, a commander of the Swiss Guards and a Vatican security official connected to an Italian company with expertise in detecting eavesdropping devices.

Claudio Sciarpelletti, a computer programming analyst in the Secretariat of State office, was supposed to be tried alongside Paolo Gabriele, the pope's former butler who was convicted last month of stealing private papal letters. But a separate trial was ordered for Sciarpelletti, who is accused of aiding Gabriele.

Sciarpelletti denies wrongdoing. The ex-butler also is expected to testify in the latest trial, which begins today in a Vatican City tribunal.

9. MEXICO-G-20

G-20 officials meet to discuss debt in Europe, US

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world's leading economies have growing fears over the global impact of Europe's debt crisis and the stalemate over a fiscal plan in the United States.

Their two-day meeting in Mexico City of G-20 financial officials comes just ahead of U.S. elections, but lacks key players such as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. G-20 officials are concerned about a package of spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect unless the U.S. Congress acts by Jan. 1.


Toyota quarterly profit triples, raises forecast

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota's quarterly profit tripled, driven by a recovery from natural disasters, and the company raised its full-year earnings forecast despite a sales slump in China.

Toyota Motor Corp. reports a July-September net profit of 257.9 billion yen ($3.2 billion) compared with an 80.4 billion profit a year earlier.

Japan's top automaker raised its profit forecast for the full fiscal year through March 2013 to 780 billion yen ($9.8 billion) from 760 billion yen ($9.5 billion).

It had a profit of 283.5 billion yen profit in the previous fiscal year, when Toyota production was hammered by the disasters in northeastern Japan and Thailand.

The company's optimism comes despite a sale plunge in China, where a territorial dispute has set off protests and a boycott of Japanese cars.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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