10 Things To Know For Friday

Posted Friday, October 5, 2012 --- 6:35 a.m.

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

1. BRITAIN-TERROR SUSPECTS

NEW: Radical cleric to learn about extradition from UK

LONDON (AP) -- A British court is expected to rule on whether extremist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is too ill to be extradited to the United States to face terror charges.

London's High Court is set to decide today whether al-Masri and other terror suspects can be sent to the U.S. to face charges that include helping set up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon.

Al-Masri's British lawyer has argued that the cleric is suffering from clinical depression, an inability to concentrate and short-term memory loss.

The cleric turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for radical Islamists. He has one eye and a steel hook in place of his right hand, results of what he has said are injuries from fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.

2. MENINGITIS OUTBREAK

Clinics rush to warn patients of tainted steroid

NEW YORK (AP) -- Health providers are scrambling to notify patients in nearly two dozen states that the routine steroid injections they received for back pain in recent months may have been contaminated with a deadly fungal meningitis.

It became apparent Thursday that hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people who got the shots between July and September could be at risk after officials revealed that a tainted steroid suspected to have caused a meningitis outbreak in the South had made its way to clinics in 23 states.

The Food and Drug Administration urged physicians not to use any products from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the steroid.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that so far, 35 people in six states have contracted fungal meningitis and five of them have died.

3. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Candidates look to Sept. employment numbers

FISHERSVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are getting ready to react today after the government releases employment statistics from September.

An increase in the unemployment rate could add momentum to Mitt Romney's campaign to unseat President Barack Obama. Obama says their televised debate shows areas where his Republican rival was not being candid with voters.

4. ECONOMY

US unemployment rate likely rose on weak hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Experts doing some forecasting ahead of today's September employment figures from the government are expecting improved job creation but a slight worsening of the unemployment rate.

A survey of economists by FactSet finds that with a month to go until the presidential election, they're predicting 111,000 jobs added and an 8.2 percent unemployment rate compared to 8.1 percent in August.

The job market has been improving, sluggishly but steadily. Jobs have been added for 23 straight months.

5. AMERICAN AIRLINES-SEATS

UPDATE: Seat fix causes canceled flights

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- American Airlines says a combination of wear, poor design and even soda spilled into the tracks can cause seats on its Boeing 757s to pop loose during flight.

The airline has had to cancel 44 flights today, while it fixes the problem.

Some 50 flights were canceled yesterday.

6. PARASAILING-ACCIDENTS

Fatal parasail accidents renew calls for rules

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Parasailing is an increasingly popular activity in waterways in Florida and beyond. But safety advocates say there are frequently accidents and deaths that call out for increased regulation.

The Parasail Safety Council reports more than 70 people have been killed and at least 1,600 injured between 1982 and 2012. That's out of an estimated 150 million parasail rides.

A Connecticut woman's death in August off Pompano Beach prompted a new round of investigations. Lawmakers, safety advocates and the mother of a girl who died five years ago say it's time for more rules for operators.

Proposed Florida regulations would include inspections of parasailing equipment, restrictions on rides during rougher weather and required operator insurance.

Opposition by parasail operators and a general anti-regulation attitude among many lawmakers has scuttled past efforts.

7. GREECE-FINANCIAL CRISIS

Greek PM says country's till will empty by end-Nov

BERLIN (AP) -- Greece's prime minister says his country can survive until the end of November without receiving the next planned installment of its bailout loans.

Officials from the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank are currently in Greece assessing the country's progress in fulfilling the terms for receiving the aid.

If their report doesn't clear the way for the payment of the next (euro) 31 billion ($40 billion) tranche of the country's bailout, Greece could be forced to default on its debts and perhaps leave the euro. It's unclear when a decision will come.

Asked how long Greece can hold out, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was quoted Friday as telling German daily Handelsblatt that "the till will be empty" by the end of November.

8. ISRAEL-SHOOTING

UPDATE: American man shoots, kills 1 at Israel hotel

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A young American opened fire at a hotel in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat today, killing one person before police shot him dead. The incident appeared to be based on a personal dispute.

Police say the attacker stole a gun from a hotel security guard and fired a number of shots at the Leonardo Club hotel in the Red Sea resort city, killing one person.

Police say anti-terror units stormed the hotel, and the gunman fired back from the hotel kitchen. Police returned fire, killing the attacker.

Dana Zinati, a spokeswoman for the Eilat municipality, tells Israel's Channel 2 that the man was in his 20s and was in a program that brings American Jews to Israel.

Israeli media reports the man had once worked at the hotel, and that he shot a hotel employee who had argued with him.

9. TEXAS-TESTING SCANDAL

Ex-superintendent to be sentenced for test scandal

EL PASO, Texas (AP) -- A former El Paso School District superintendent is scheduled for sentencing at a federal court for his participation in a scheme to fraudulently improve high-stakes testing scores by getting rid of students who would likely fail those tests.

Lorenzo Garcia pleaded guilty in June to two counts of fraud and faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison at sentencing today. Garcia admitted to devising a scheme to keep low performing students from taking the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Some of the students would be held back in the ninth grade while others would be told to drop out so they would not be among the 10th graders tested. Six other co-conspirators helped Garcia. The investigation continues.

The Texas education agency has placed the district on probation.

10. BURGLARY CALL-DOG

Police: Call from `burglar' actually came from dog

OREM, Utah (AP) -- Police in Orem, Utah, say a man who thought he was getting a call from a burglar had actually gotten a call from his dog.

Authorities in the community south of Salt Lake City say the man alerted police Wednesday after he received a phone call from his home phone on his cellphone. Officials say the man heard banging and scratching noises on the line and figured it was an intruder.

Police went to the man's home but didn't find anything missing or broken.

The man later called officers and told them he figured out the mystery. He said his dog had grabbed the home phone's receiver and apparently hit the redial button while burying it in the backyard.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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