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Obama  Leads McCain in Final Push for White House



US POLITICS: With just two days left before U.S. elections, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his Republican rival, John McCain, hold rallies in key states.
Senator Obama will be in Ohio for a series of events. He will appear with rock star Bruce Springsteen in Cleveland.
Senator McCain will start the day in Pennsylvania with a rally near Philadelphia.
Ohio and Pennsylvania (combined) have 15 percent of the (270) electoral votes needed to win the presidency. National polls indicate Obama continues to hold a lead, although several key states are tight.

WORLD ECONOMY: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is calling on China and the oil-rich nations of the Middle East to help in resolving the international economic crisis. In Riyadh today (Sunday), Mr. Brown said China, along with wealthy Gulf states, could play a key role in stabilizing the world economy by contributing money to the International Monetary Fund to lend to countries at risk of financial collapse. Mr. Brown also said volatile oil prices are in no one's interest, and contribute to the destabilization of the world economy. In Turkey Saturday, the World Economic Forum concluded a three-day conference on the financial downturn. Participants at the gathering in Istanbul came to a general consensus that the slowdown will last between 18 months and three years.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a paramilitary checkpoint in a tribal area near the Afghan border today (Sunday), killing eight troops. Authorities say the attacker detonated the explosives-laden truck at a Frontier Corps checkpoint in South Waziristan, roughly 20 kilometers outside the main town of Wana. Pakistan's tribal areas, in the northwest of the country. Today's attack comes two days after suspected U.S. missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan. Intelligence officials say more than 20 people, including a mid-level al-Qaida leader, were killed in those strikes.

INDIA-BLASTS: They say those arrested include a man whose cell phone was allegedly used by a little-known group called "Islamic Security -Force - Indian Mujahedeen" (ISF-ISM) to send a text message claiming responsibility for the blasts. A senior police official (Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta) says two other people were taken into custody because their car and motorcycle were believed used in the bombings.

NOKOR-KIM: North Korea's official media reported Sunday that leader Kim Jong Il attended a soccer match. The report coincides with rising speculation about the state of his health. The KCNA news agency released a photo of Mr. Kim, but it did not say when or where the photo was taken. The report said the North Korean leader congratulated the players after the match. Last week, South Korean officials said Mr. Kim did not attend the funeral of an important political figure.

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