Posted: Oct 6, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: Oct 7, 2012 4:01 AM
Romney shows compassionate side in Florida while Obama raises more campaign cash in California
APOPKA, Fla. (AP) Mitt Romney is showing his softer side, while President Barack Obama works to extend his cash advantage as both men begin a final month sprint to Election Day.
The Republican presidential nominee was spending a second consecutive day campaigning in Florida on Sunday, where he is drawing on the success of his recent debate performance and pressing a populist message.
"These are tough years for the middle class and the poor in America," he told more than 6,000 supporters Saturday night at an amphitheater in Apopka, Fla., near Orlando.
He later shared his personal connection to three people who have died, including a former classmate who attended one of his rallies despite being wheelchair bound.
Romney said he whispered in his friend's ear, "I love ya and God bless ya."
Chavez or Capriles? Venezuelans vote Sunday in pivotal election for bitterly divided nation
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) President Hugo Chavez's long run in power and his attempts to transform Venezuela into a socialist state are on the line Sunday in a closely fought presidential election for this bitterly divided nation.
The vote pitting Chavez against challenger Henrique Capriles is an all-or-nothing contest between two camps that deeply distrust each other and question whether the other side will respect the results of the election.
The stakes couldn't be higher.
If Chavez wins, he will have a free hand to dominate Venezuela for six more years on top of the 14 years he has already been in office, letting him push for an even bigger state role in the economy and cement his legacy.
If Capriles wins, it will likely mean an abrupt shift in foreign policy, an eventual loosening of state economic controls and an increase in private investment though a tense transition would likely follow until the inauguration in January.
Philippines, Muslim rebels announce preliminary peace pact after marathon talks
MANILA, Philippines (AP) Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said Sunday that his government has reached a preliminary peace agreement with the country's largest Muslim rebel group in a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long insurgency.
Aquino described the deal in a nationally televised announcement as a "framework agreement" a roadmap for establishing a new autonomous region to be administered by minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation's south. It follows marathon negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Malaysia, which is brokering the talks.
The agreement, which is to be signed on Oct. 15 in Manila, spells out the general principles on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory of the Muslim region. If all goes well, a final peace deal could be reached by 2016, when Aquino's six-year term ends, officials said.
"This framework agreement paves the way for final and enduring peace in Mindanao," Aquino said, referring to the Philippines' main southern region and homeland of the country's Muslims. "This means that the hands that once held rifles will be put to use tilling land, selling produce, manning work stations and opening doorways of opportunity."
He cautioned, however, that "the work does not end here," and that the two sides need to thresh out the accord's details.
AP PHOTOS: Preserving a revolution's graffiti
CAIRO (AP) A group of artists, photographers and a publisher have joined hands to preserve Egypt's graffiti. "Wall Talk" their newly released 680-page book collected hundreds of photos of the wall art since the beginning of the revolt against then-President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 until today. The result is a street history that chronicles image by image the evolution of Egypt's upheaval, which is still unsettled.
"Every art form has its rules. When I paint on wall, I commit my art to the street. The street owns it. The street and whoever in it can do what they want with it," says Sad Panda, a prominent graffiti artist who won't give his real name for fear of retribution. "To me, politics is absurd, stupid and sad. It is all about winning power."
"But I did take part in the revolution. I cannot be living in a nation that has a revolution and not participate."
Here is what some of the collection looks like:
Sandusky jurors plan to attend sentencing; some hoping former Penn State assistant gets life
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) Jerry Sandusky should be sent to prison for life when a judge sentences him Tuesday, according to several of the jurors who convicted the former Penn State assistant coach of molesting several boys over a period of years.
None of the jurors interviewed by The Associated Press said they have had second thoughts about their June verdict, and several plan to attend the sentencing.
"There isn't a sentence that I believe is harsh enough for what he has done and how it has affected the university," said Joan Andrews, a juror who has worked for Penn State for 41 years and held football season tickets since 1969. "I don't think there's been one individual in this entire campus that has not been affected by this."
Four jurors said they plan to be in the courtroom when Sandusky, 68, learns the penalty for sexually abusing boys he met through a charity for at-risk children. Sandusky's own attorney expects his client to be handed a long sentence from Judge John Cleland after conviction on 45 counts.
Although a list of jurors has not been released by Cleland, the AP was able to contact five of them. They said they recently received a letter from the court informing them about the sentencing and offering to have a court official meet them outside the courthouse.
Calif. gas prices hit all-time high; prices might still rise before falling next week
LOS ANGELES (AP) The price of gasoline rose to an all-time high in California and is expected to continue climbing before leveling off later this week.
The record of $4.6140 for a gallon of regular unleaded was set on Saturday, just by a fraction of a penny over the previous high of $4.6096 on June 19, 2008, according to AAA spokesman Michael Green.
Saturday's price was the highest in the nation, with the Golden State leapfrogging Hawaii this week as the state with the most expensive fuel due to a temporary reduction in supply. In some locations, fuming motorists paid $5 or more per gallon while station owners had to shut down pumps in others.
"I seriously thought it was a mistake on the sign when we pulled in," said Nancy Garcia, 34, while filling her Honda Accord at a Chevron station in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park. She paid $4.65 a gallon for regular grade and said she couldn't afford to fill her tank all the way.
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report said the national average Saturday was about $3.81 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. However, gas prices in many other states have started decreasing, which is typical for October.
5 terror suspects, including preacher al-Masri, appear in US courts after extradition from UK
NEW YORK (AP) An extremist Egyptian-born preacher entered a U.S. courtroom Saturday for the first time to face multiple terrorism charges, complaining that his prosthetic hooks, medication and special shoes were taken away from him. The preacher was one of five terror defendants rounded up in Britain and extradited overnight to the U.S.
Abu Hamza al-Masri was surrounded by several marshals in a Manhattan courtroom as he faced charges he conspired with Seattle men to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon and helped abduct 16 hostages, two of them American tourists, in Yemen in 1998.
The 54-year-old, white-haired Al-Masri exposed both of his arms through his short-sleeved prison shirt. His court-appointed lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, asked that al-Masri, indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, have his prosthetics immediately returned "so he can use his arms."
In the 1990s, al-Masri turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists, attracting men including Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.
Al-Masri jailed since 2004 in Britain on separate charges was flown overnight to New York from London along with four others accused of U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and with helping terror operations in Afghanistan and Chechnya. The men, who could all face life in prison, have been battling extradition for between eight to 14 years.
O'Reilly, Stewart tangle over election, Bush and birth control in rowdy mock debate
WASHINGTON (AP) This high-stakes debate had some props that even the presidential candidates might want at their own events.
Jon Stewart came prepared with a mechanical pedestal he used to elevate himself, making the height-challenged comedian appear taller than the lanky Bill O'Reilly when he wanted to drive a point home.
"I like you much better that way," O'Reilly quipped at one point as he gazed up at his ideological foe.
The two celebrity gabbers have claimed their stakes to polar opposite ends of the political spectrum and on Saturday night they tangled in an event dubbed "The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium."
The 90-minute exchange between the Fox News anchor and the star of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," saw them banter aggressively but good-naturedly over birth control, President George W. Bush and the so-called "War on Christmas."
Reds capture first playoff victory in 17 years despite losing ace Johnny Cueto to back injury
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Brandon Phillips still sees the highlights of his weak grounder for the final out in Roy Halladay's no-hitter of the Cincinnati Reds in an embarrassing playoff opener two years ago.
Now, Phillips and the Reds have their own memorable winning playoff moment. After losing their ace, no less.
Sam LeCure, Mat Latos and three other pitchers shut down San Francisco after Johnny Cueto went out in the first inning with a back injury, and Cincinnati was powered by home runs from Phillips and Jay Bruce to beat the Giants 5-2 in Game 1 of the NL division series Saturday night.
Phillips hit a two-run homer in the third, and Bruce added a solo drive leading off the fourth as the Reds overcame the departure of their 19-game winner after just eight pitches.
Phillips added an RBI single in the ninth for his third hit and the Reds scored another on a passed ball. This one takes some of the sting out of that short-lived 2010 run.
Smith's 4 TD passes spark another WVU shootout win over Texas, 48-45
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Geno Smith and No. 8 West Virginia turned their first trip to Texas into a rollicking Wild West drama.
And now, two games into playing in a new conference, the Mountaineers look every bit like one of the teams to beat in the Big 12.
Smith passed for four touchdowns, Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns and West Virginia came away with another wild victory, this time taking down the 11th-ranked Longhorns 48-45 on Saturday night.
A week after West Virginia ran up 70 points on Baylor at home, the Mountaineers turned their first road game in their new league into another high-scoring, heart-pounding affair.
"Every week, we're going to go out and have fun," Smith said after he and his teammates celebrated the win with several thousand West Virginia fans tucked into a corner of Royal-Memorial Stadium.