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One day to win or lose America

Written By Unknown on Senin, 05 November 2012 | 23.45

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remained in a tie in the polls released just days before the election.

ONE day left in their stubbornly deadlocked race, President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are storming through a final exhaustive campaign push that won't end until the wee hours of Election Day in pursuit of every possible vote.

Both candidates say the winner will be determined by which of their operations can get the most supporters to the polls. "This is going to be a turnout election," the president declared in an interview airing on Monday morning as he pleaded with urban radio listeners to get to the polls.

"We have one job left," and that's getting people out to vote, Mr Romney told more than a thousand people just off the tarmac at the airport in Sanford, Florida. The crowd chanted "One more day!"

With national polls showing a neck-and-neck race, the final day's schedule showed where the two campaigns believe the race will be decided. Mr Romney was in Florida, Virginia, and New Hampshire, while Mr Obama was trying to protect Wisconsin from an eleventh-hour challenge from the GOP before heading to Iowa.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds a baby as he greets supporters during a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida.

And in an indication of just how all-important Ohio was once again to the future occupancy of the White House, both candidates planned to be on the ground in Columbus on Monday evening for dueling rallies seven miles apart.

Whoever wins Ohio has a simpler path to amass the 270 electoral votes needed to claim the presidency. With Mr Obama showing a lead in most polls of the state's likely voters, Mr Romney voiced guarded optimism on Sunday in Cleveland, saying Mr Obama's re-election is "possible, but not likely."

Mr Obama also raised the possibility of defeat as he pleaded with listeners of The Rickey Smiley Morning Show to get to the polls. "If we don't turn out the vote, we could lose a lot of the gains we've already made," Mr Obama said.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally in Aurora, Colorado. Mr Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are both showing signs of exhaustion as they dart from swing state to swing state in a last-ditch effort to fire up enthusiasm.

It was one of two of the president's radio interviews airing on Monday aimed at turning out minority voters, the other with a Spanish-language station in Ohio. The president is relying on black and Hispanic voters to help offset Mr Romney's lead with white men in particular, but the risk for him is that some of those key supporters aren't as motivated to vote as they were in 2008.

"Four years ago, we had incredible turnout and I know people were excited and energized about the prospect of making history," Mr Obama said. "We have to preserve the gains we've made and keep moving forward."

Both candidates will also benefit from some star power. Rock legend Bruce Springsteen is joining Mr Obama at all three campaign rallies, and rapper Jay-Z will join him in Columbus. Mr Romney planned a final rally in the last hour of election eve in New Hampshire with Kid Rock while country rock performers The Marshall Tucker Band was joining him in Columbus.

With one day to go until election day, Mitt Romney is making one final push throughout swing states.

A final national NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll showed Mr Obama getting the support of 48 per cent of likely voters, with Mr Romney receiving 47 per cent. A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll had Mr Obama at 49 and Mr Romney at 48. A Pew Research Centre poll released on Sunday showed Mr Obama with a 3-point-point edge over Mr Romney, 48 per cent to 45 per cent among likely voters.

Defying the odds, Mr Romney drew one of his largest crowds on Sunday in Pennsylvania, a state where Mr Obama was holding onto a lead but where Mr Romney aides said they detected soft support for the president. Despite a delayed arrival, Mr Romney rallied thousands on a farm in a Philadelphia suburb on a cold night, taking the podium as loudspeakers blared the theme from "Rocky." The sign of energy in a key swing area of the state was only tempered by some early exits by supporters seeking to escape the cold.

Mr Obama dispatched former President Bill Clinton to Pennsylvania on Monday for an eleventh-hour bid to keep the state in his column.

Mr Obama greets supporters at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he told voters he needed their support to win a tight election.

Meanwhile, about 30 million people have already voted in 34 states and the District of Columbia, either by mail or in person, although none will be counted until Election Day on Tuesday. More than 4 million of the ballots were cast in Florida, where Democrats filed a lawsuit demanding an extension of available time. A judge granted their request in one county where an early voting site was shut down for several hours on Saturday because of a bomb scare.

Both men were spending the final days of the campaign presenting themselves as can-do leaders willing to break partisan logjams in Washington.

The former Massachusetts governor warned that a second Obama term would threaten the American economy because of the president's inability to work with Congress. "He's ignored them, he's attacked them, he's blamed them," Mr Romney said.

 Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally in Newport News, Virginia.

Mr Obama cited bipartisan work on middle-class tax cuts and on ending the Pentagon's don't-ask-don't-tell policy, but warned that he would not compromise away his priorities, such as health care. "I'm not willing to pay that price," he said.

As aides for both candidates looked for early marks of success, there were signs for the superstitious. Since 1936, with only one exception, whenever the Washington Redskins won on the Sunday before the election, the incumbent party would retain the White House. On Sunday, the Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers, giving hope to Republicans.

But the Obama camp often compares this election to 2004, when President George W. Bush held the White House in his race against Democrat John Kerry. That year was the exception to the rule; the Redskins lost, and so did Kerry.

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Great Wall blizzard kills three tourists

A Chinese man walks in the snow in Yanqing county near Beijing. A blizzard that hit the Great Wall has killed three tourists. Picture: AP Source: AP

THREE elderly Japanese tourists died after being trapped in sudden heavy snowstorms during a visit to the Great Wall of China, officials in Beijing and Tokyo said on Monday.

The bodies of two women, aged 62 and 68, were found on Sunday evening while the body of a 76-year-old man was retrieved on Monday afternoon.

The Japanese man, named by Chinese state media as Shunichiro Yanai, was found by rescuers searching a snow-covered mountain near the wall in the northern province of Hebei.

Another Japanese tourist and a Chinese guide who works for a Japanese tour agency were receiving medical treatment at a local clinic.

The Japanese foreign ministry confirmed the deaths but said it could not give names of the victims until families had been notified.

The group started to climb the mountain from the Beijing side as part of a tour of the Great Wall on Saturday morning, state news agency Xinhua said.

They were trapped overnight after reaching a mountainous region in Huailai county in Hebei.

Tour guide Ming Pingming said he stayed with Yanai until the Japanese tourist lost his pulse at 10 am Sunday, Xinhua reported.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said authorities would continue to follow the case closely, treat the injured and handle follow-up work related to the victims.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Japan was working with China and would provide all necessary assistance for Japanese nationals.

"We are grateful for the Chinese cooperation," he told reporters.

Heavy snowstorms swept across northern China over the weekend, with the most extreme weather hitting Beijing, Hebei and the Inner Mongolia region on Saturday night.

Beijing was forced to issue its second-highest blizzard alert on Sunday after the Chinese capital was hit by an unusually early snowstorm.

In the 24 hours until Sunday morning the city saw 5.8cm of precipitation - rain and snow combined - Xinhua said.

Hundreds of cars were stuck in the snow across China's capital over the weekend.

Authorities activated Beijing's public heating ahead of the planned November 15 date, the China Daily said.

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Fake diamond swallower fined after flush

A Sri Lankan security official and uniformed police escort a Chinese man who swallowed a diamond - later found to be fake - from a gem and jewellery show in Sri Lanka. Source: AFP

A CHINESE man who swallowed a fake stone in a daring bluff that allowed an accomplice to get away with a real diamond has pleaded guilty to aiding theft.

He was given a fine and a two-year suspended jail term.

Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappuli ordered the 32-year-old man to pay 100,000 rupees ($741) over the incident in September when he swallowed the fake stone at an annual gem exhibition.

After the stallholder alerted the police, the Chinese man was arrested but when he passed the stone three days later it was revealed to be fake and investigations found the real thief had got away with a diamond worth $US13,600 ($13,136).

Police said the accomplice has yet to be found.

Photographs showed the captured man, dressed in a black shirt and jeans with his head bowed, being escorted from the exhibition centre by uniformed policemen.

He was taken to hospital for X-rays and given laxatives before being held in custody until his trial.

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Drummers hope to beat public peeing

Indian men use a roadside urinal in New Delhi. The western state of Rajasthan is using unconventional methods to encourage people to use public toilets. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

VOLUNTEERS in India armed with drums and whistles are to lead a crackdown on going to the toilet in public under a new scheme in the western state of Rajasthan, a report said on Monday.

"We are constructing public toilets... and people will be encouraged to use them," Ramniwas Jat, head of the state's Jhunjhunu district council, told the Times of India.

"We want to raise awareness against the practice of urinating in public, which gave birth to the idea of beating drums and blowing whistles."

The Times said that volunteers, who will be paid a small wage, would embarrass people caught urinating or defecating by standing behind them and letting loose a barrage of noise.

Guilty parties would also have their names read out on public address systems.

Defecating in the open is a serious social issue in India, touching on health, hygiene, women's rights and the clash between traditional and modern lifestyles.

Women often refuse to go to the toilet outdoors during daylight hours to preserve their modesty, so they must go before dawn or wait many hours before it is dark again.

Walking barefoot where villagers defecate every day also spreads diseases such as tapeworm, and many children play close to outdoor latrine areas.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh recently encouraged future brides to check their new family's home to ensure it had an indoor toilet before accepting any marriage proposal.

Earlier this year he said India should be ashamed that nearly 60 per cent of all people in the world who defecate in the open were in India.

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The Queen's wardrobe secrets revealed

A Royal dressmaker creates an outfit for Queen Elizabeth II. A new book titled Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe reveals the work involved in upholding the 86-year-old monarch's immaculate style. Source: AFP

THE Queen's aides take care to avoid her dresses being blown up by an errant gust of wind by sewing weights into them, it has been revealed.

"The queen undertakes a wide range of engagements, many of which take place in the open air, where a sudden breeze could cause embarrassment," writes Angela Kelly, the queen's personal assistant, adviser and curator, in a new book.

"If we think this is a possibility, we will very occasionally use weights, discreetly sewn into the seams of day dresses."

The glossy hardback opens the door on the work involved in creating the 86-year-old monarch's famously immaculate style, which saw her voted one of the world's most glamorous women by British Vogue magazine in 2007.

Wearing the dress: The Queen during her Diamond Jubilee tour this year.

It reveals the two years of preparations for the Diamond Jubilee in June, including how the queen's white outfit worn to the river pageant was inspired by Elizabeth I and designed to stand out against the deep reds of the royal barge.

Kelly also describes how palace dressmakers were asked to make two identical versions of the crystal and lace peach cocktail dress the queen wore to the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in July, without knowing why.

One was worn by the monarch and the other by the stunt double who jumped out of a plane alongside James Bond, in one of the highlights of the night.

Palace dressmakers were asked to make two identical versions of the crystal and lace peach cocktail dress the queen wore to the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games, without knowing why. (One was worn by a stunt double.)

Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe, which features lavish photographs and design sketches, also reveals how the queen uses her clothes to make a diplomatic point.

This included wearing Irish green on her historic visit to the republic in May 2011, and having one of her outfits on a tour to Canada in 2010 embellished with beads by women from the Mi'kmaq indigenous community.

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Suicide bomber kills 50 troops

A rebel fighter during heavy clashes in the Jedida district of Aleppo, Syria, on Sunday. Picture: AP Source: AP

A SUICIDE car bomber has killed more than 50 Syrian soldiers and pro-government gunmen, a Syrian activist group says.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the attack in the village of Ziyara in the central province of Hama was carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militant group.

The death toll could not be independently verified.

State-run news agency SANA said the blast occurred outside a state-run development agency.

It said the blast caused deaths but gave no figure.

The Observatory also reported that an air raid on the northern town of Harem killed at least 20 rebels.

It said a rebel commander was seriously wounded in the raid.

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Sold: 3 million iPads in three days

Apple employees in London use demonstration models of the new iPad mini on the morning of the tablet's launch in Covent Garden. Source: Getty Images

APPLE sold three million iPads in the first three days of launching the iPad mini and fourth-generation model of its original format iPad, it says.

The tech giant said demand for the iPad mini "exceeded the initial supply", meaning some orders will be delayed until later this month.

Apple did not break down precise sales of the mini - the 7.9-inch (20 centimetre) tablet which joins several other small-format tablets - and the new iPad, which has a 10-inch (25 centimetre) screen.

"Customers around the world love the new iPad mini and fourth-generation iPad," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, in a statement.

"We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis. We're working hard to build more quickly to meet the incredible demand."

Both iPad mini and the new fourth generation iPad were launched on Friday in 34 countries.

The iPad mini weighs 0.68 pounds which is 53 per cent lighter than Apple's third generation iPad. It is 7.2 millimetres (0.28 inches) thick, 23 per cent thinner than the original iPad and thinner than a pencil.

The iPad mini with Wi-Fi connectivity and 16 gigabytes of memory costs $US329, the 32GB model sells for $US429 and the 64GB version for $US529. It is more expensive than rivals from Google, Amazon and other makers.

Apple's senior vice president for marketing Phil Schiller helped unveil the iPad mini, insisting that it was an entirely new design and not "just a shrunken down iPad".

Like later versions of the original iPad, the new Apple tablet features rear- and front-facing cameras, and also has stereo speakers.

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'Obama will win': Kenyan witch doctor

Kenyan witch-doctor John Dimo, who claims to be 105 years old, tossed shells, bones and other magic items before predicting President Barack Obama would win the election. Source: AP

AT Barack Obama's ancestral village in Kenya, witch doctor John Dimo has tossed some shells, bones and other items to determine who will win the US election.

After throwing the objects like so many dice outside his hut in Kogelo village, Mr Dimo, who says he is 105 years old, points to a white shell and declares: "Obama is very far ahead and is definitely going to win."

It's not a surprising result in Kogelo, Mr Obama's late father's hometown in western Kenya, where expectations of an Obama election victory over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were high on Monday.

While pollsters in the US are using interviews, statistical analysis and the technology to predict the outcome of the election in America - one that is expected to be close - Mr Dimo uses techniques he learned from his father, and is confident of his predictions.

Mr Obama is the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya and has five Kenyan half-brothers and a half-sister.

Half-brother Malik Obama said on Sunday the family sees no reason why Mr Obama shouldn't be elected for a second term.

He was speaking during a sports tournament he organises every year in honour of their late father, Barack Obama Sr.

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