Five things to watch for in the final week of the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney:
1. SANDY: The Superstorm barreling up the East Coast is threatening several important battleground states - Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio and New Hampshire. Already it's caused both candidates and their running mates to shuffle campaign travel schedules. Widespread power outages are likely, meaning weary voters in the storm's path may get a reprieve from the TV ads and automated calls flooding their homes. Beyond that, it's unclear just how much impact the storm will have on the race.
A transgender woman is dead in Brazil after being stoned by attackers on Oct. 19.
The Advocate reports that the victim, known as Madona, was attacked in Aracuju, Sergipe, by a group that pelted her with cobblestones.
Doctors have removed a gay New Yorker from life support after he suffered a brutal beating on the streets of New York’s Queens borough.
A Greenwich Village music school administrator, Lou Rispoli is in hospice care at Elmhurst Hospital following an attack at on Oct. 20 near his Sunnyside home. Rispoli worked at the Greenwich House Music School.
Public Policy Polling reports today that Barack Obama expanded his lead in Wisconsin and Iowa after the third debate on Oct. 22.
In Wisconsin, Obama leads 51-45 percent, up from 49-47 percent three weeks ago.
The federal hate crimes trial of two men in Kentucky accused of beating another man because he was gay quickly grew murky, with tales of substance abuse, drug deals gone bad and same-sex trysts.
The result was an acquittal – an embarrassing blow for prosecutors trying their first case under a hate crimes law expanded in 2009 to apply to crimes motivated by, among other things, a victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. The two men, 20-year-old Anthony Ray Jenkins and his cousin, 37-year-old David Jason Jenkins, were convicted in federal court in London, Ky., of conspiracy and kidnapping, however.
A growth in early voting and tough economy for the media are forcing changes to the exit poll system that television networks and The Associated Press depend upon to deliver the story on Election Night, all with the pressure-filled backdrop of a tight presidential race.
The consortium formed by ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC and the AP is cutting back this year on in-person exit polls while upping the amount of telephone polling. This is to take into account more people voting before Nov. 6 and households that have abandoned land lines in favor of cell phones.
The first U.S. prosecution under a new federal law against anti-gay violence ended with a Kentucky jury acquitting two cousins of hate-crime charges while finding them guilty of kidnapping in a 2011 attack on a gay man.
Prosecutors had argued that Anthony Ray Jenkins and his cousin David Jason Jenkins attacked 29-year-old Kevin Pennington at a rural state park because of Pennington’s sexual orientation, violating a hate crime law that was expanded in 2009 to cover assaults motivated by bias against gays, lesbians and transgender people.
The Texas attorney general has threatened to arrest international voting monitors who come within 100 feet of polling places in his state on Nov. 6.
The global human rights watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observes elections around the world to report irregularities and voter suppression. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned that observers in his state are subject to Texas state law, not federal law or international agreements. In the past, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said he’d like for Texas to secede from the United States.
Green Bay Bishop David Ricken recently sent parishioners a letter warning that voting for candidates who support what he called “intrinsically evil” positions could “put your own soul in jeopardy.”
He was specifically targeting political candidates who support marriage equality and reproductive choice, which the Roman Catholic Church believes are the two most important issues facing the world.
The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida voters that raise questions about their eligibility to cast ballots.
Tampa FBI chief Steven E. Ibison said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida. State authorities have received reports of letters in at least 23 counties.
President Barack Obama on Oct. 25 encouraged voters to support the freedom to marry when they cast their ballots in Maine, Maryland and Washington. In all three states, voters will decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage.
In Minnesota, voters will decide whether to amend their state constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The president already has spoken against that proposal.
Top Republicans were slow to embrace tea party-backed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock after he ousted a longtime GOP senator from office. Though he eventually won their support – and money – Mourdock is seeing both fade after telling a live television audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended.”
Mourdock, who’s been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.