The Democrats' national fundraising organizations have become a silver lining for a beleaguered party that has its hands full with Republican-allied outside groups and well-financed GOP candidates. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Friday reported raising a record $27 million during the three months ending Sept. 30, and entered the crucial final weeks of the election campaign with $25.6 million in the bank, $6.4 million more than its Republican counterpart. The Democrats' House equivalent, looking to stave off a Republican takeover, reported $41.6 million in the bank, more than twice the cash on hand reported by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder says the federal government will enforce its marijuana laws in California even if voters next month make the state the first in the nation to legalize the drug. The Justice Department strongly opposes California's Proposition 19 and remains firmly committed to enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act in all states, Holder wrote in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, dated Wednesday.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — When word came down of a judge's ruling that gays could serve openly in the military, an Air Force officer received joyous congratulations from a comrade. Realizing there was someone in the room who didn't know his sexual orientation, the officer pretended it was a joke and laughed it off. He figured it was too soon — and too risky — to celebrate.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Grasping to keep control of Congress, Democratic leaders are turning their backs on some of their staunchest supporters in the House and propping up stronger candidates who have routinely defied them on health care, climate change and other major issues. Raw politics — the drive to win a House-majority 218 seats, no matter how — is increasingly trumping policy and loyalty in these decisions, as Democrats shift money and attention in the closing days of the campaign toward races they can win and pull back from those seemingly lost.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A soldier who recorded the terror of last year's deadly shooting rampage in Fort Hood using his cell phone was ordered by an officer to delete both videos, a military court heard Friday. Under cross examination, Pfc. Lance Aviles told an Article 32 hearing that his noncommissioned officer ordered him to destroy the two videos on Nov. 5, the same day a gunman unleashed a volley of bullets inside a processing center at the Texas Army post.
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Production restarted Friday at the metals plant whose broken reservoir unleashed a massive flood of caustic red sludge, even as villagers began returning to one of the affected towns in western Hungary despite warnings from environmentalists that it was too early and too dangerous to return. Some 800 Kolontar residents were evacuated last Saturday after authorities said a wall of the factory reservoir could collapse further, releasing a second wave of red sludge after a calamitous break Oct. 4 created a deadly torrent.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — President Barack Obama's polygamist half brother in Kenya has married a 19-year-old woman more than 30 years his junior. Malik Obama, 52, told a Kenya news station that the teen quit school and wanted to get married. He appeared on video taken by a hidden camera, although he knew he was talking to journalists. "She decided she doesn't want to go back to school. She wants to get married now. She came here, and what am I supposed to do? So we are married," Malik Obama said on the video broadcast by NTV.
SEDRUN, Switzerland (AP) — Workers hugged, cheered and set off fireworks as the huge drill broke through the last stretch of rock deep in the Swiss Alps. There was delight at the end of the tunnel — the world's longest — when it was completed Friday. The $10 billion, 35.4-mile (57-kilometer) tube will connect Europe's high-speed rail network and is part of a larger effort to cut in half the number of trucks — now at 1.2 million — that thunder through the Alps each year.
NEW YORK (AP) — It's a boy Alicia Keys and her husband, music producer/rapper Swizz Beatz (Swiss Beats). Keys gave birth Thursday night in New York and the couple have named their son Egypt Dean. It's the first child for the superstar singer and the fourth child for Beatz, whose real name is Kaseem (KAH-seem) Dean. The couple was married July 31.
HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — Deputies investigating a possible break-in at a rock museum near Portland, Ore., were surprised when they stumbled upon a man concealed on the ground by a moss-like camouflage outfit. Sgt. David Thompson of the Washington County Sheriff's Office says the hidden suspect cried out when a search dog bit him before daylight hours Thursday outside the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro. Police say the man was wearing a "ghillie" suit, a camouflage outfit designed to resemble heavy foliage.