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US, Washington: House Panel May Subpoena White House Documents

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© unknown
Officials say the House Energy and Commerce Committee could meet as early as next week to vote on a subpoena demanding White House records relating to a federal loan guarantee that went to a now-defunct California solar company.

The Republican-controlled panel asked last month for documents that might shed light on actions by White House officials in connection with the original loan guarantee to Solyndra as well as a restructuring of the deal that took place last year.

So far, the White House has not turned over the requested documents.

Any subpoena could trigger a claim of executive privilege by the White House and elevate the political stakes, although the issue could also be resolved through negotiations.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private matters.

Source: The Associated Press

Attention

US: Not a Halloween Costume: Washington Man Cuts Off Arm With Guillotine

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© Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Police said a man cut off his own arm with an elaborate guillotine similar to this one.
A Washington man loses his arm from a homemade guillotine.

The guillotine unexpectedly dropped on his shoulder Thursday morning at a camp he was living at, severing his arm.

He left the arm behind after the accident and rushed to Bellingham Urology Specialists.

Evelyn Leuther, who works at the clinic, told CBS Seattle a woman passing by said, "I hope that's a Halloween costume," referring to the man missing his arm at the shoulder.

But the gore was real. Seconds later, another woman ran by screaming for someone to call 9-1-1.

Eye 2

US, Florida: 16-Foot Python Found in Everglades Had Eaten Deer

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© unknown
Officials in the Florida Everglades have captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python that had just eaten an adult deer.

Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, says workers found the snake on Thursday. The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida.

Hardin says the python had recently consumed a 76-pound female deer that had died. He says it was an important capture to help stop the spread of pythons further north.

Info

US: Michael Jackson Likely Caused His Own Death, Witness Testifies

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© The Associated Press
Paul White
A leading anesthesiologist on Friday told jurors in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician that the singer probably caused his own death by injecting himself with a dose of the drug while his doctor wasn't looking.

In his testimony, defense expert Paul White directly challenged the theory put forth by the government's main medical witness, Dr. Steven Shafer. The prosecution expert testified that the only plausible scenario was that Dr. Conrad Murray had left a large intravenous drip of the anesthetic propofol running into the singer's bloodstreams for three hours, even after he stopped breathing.

On Friday, White said Shafer's theory was ruled out by the level of the drug found in Jackson's urine at autopsy. Given the urine levels and evidence at the scene, the more likely explanation was that the singer gave himself the drug, said White, one of the first U.S. researchers to study the drug.

Phoenix

US, Florida: Woman Guilty of Trying to Burn Husband to Death During Nap

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© unknown
Kimberly Boone was found guilty on all counts Friday.
A Florida woman was convicted of trying to murder her husband by setting the couple's bedroom on fire while he napped, in one of two suspected attempts to kill him, authorities said on Saturday.

Kimberly Boone, 46, who investigators believe tried twice over four months to kill Robert Boone for his life insurance money, was convicted of attempted murder and arson, a spokesman for the Seminole County Jail booking center said. She is scheduled to be sentenced on December 5. A jury deliberated four hours on Friday before issuing the verdict.

Prosecutors said Kimberly Boone, a college financial aid manager from Winter Springs, Florida, set the couple's bedroom on fire in December 2008 while Robert Boone slept. She drugged her husband with the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, making it harder for him to escape the fire, they said.

Investigators found search records on her laptop for information on making someone violently ill, poisoning, making a house explode, overdosing on Xanax, and how fire marshals determine the cause of a fire, according to the arrest affidavit.

Wall Street

Libya to Ban Interest on Loans

Mustafa Abdul Jalil
© AP
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source".

But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways - it was also the basis of Egypt's largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.

Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi's era that he said was in conflict with Sharia - that banning polygamy.

Bizarro Earth

Syria Has One of Bloodiest Days of Uprising

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© Reuters
Demonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets after Friday prayers in Hula, near Homs October 28, 2011. Picture taken October 28, 2011.
Syrian tanks pounded an old district in the city of Homs on Saturday and three people were killed, activists said, after one of the bloodiest days of the seven-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists and residents said Syrian forces shot dead 40 civilians on Friday when they fired on demonstrators calling for international protection from Assad's crackdown.

The Arab League and United Nations condemned the violence.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Assad must respond to demands for change with serious reform, "not repression and violence," and called for an immediate halt to military operations, his spokesman said.

One activist group said fierce fighting broke out in Homs on Friday night between dozens of army deserters and forces loyal to Assad. Seventeen soldiers were killed when the defectors attacked two security posts in the city, it said.

The report by the British-based Syrian Organization for Human Rights highlights the emerging element of armed insurgency alongside mainly peaceful street protests demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule.

The United Nations says 3,000 people, including nearly 200 children, have been killed in the unrest. Since the start of protests in March, Syrian authorities have blamed the violence on gunmen they say have killed 1,100 soldiers and police.

People

US: Incentives And Cultural Bias Fuel Foster System

The dirt roads on the Crow Creek Indian reservation in South Dakota blow dust on the window frames of simple houses.

The people who live here are poor - in a way few Americans are poor. There are no grocery stores or restaurants. There's only electricity when it's possible to pay the bill.

This is where Janice Howe grew up, on a barren stretch of land that has belonged to the Dakota people for more than 100 years.

"I'm the eldest of nine kids," she explains, settling into a chair in the kitchen. "I went to college and I got my bachelor's degree in nursing."

Her sister lives across the street. Her parents live across the road. Her daughter lives two doors down with her four grandchildren - two young granddaughters and two twin babies.

And then one evening two years ago, Howe's phone rang.

It was a social worker from the Department of Social Services. She said her daughter Erin Yellow Robe was going to be arrested for drugs.

Red Flag

"Suicide Bomber" Kills Three in South East Turkey


A female suicide bomber in southeast Turkey killed three people and wounded around 20 in Bingol, a town in the mainly Kurdish region on Saturday, police said.

The blast occurred at a tea house close to the office of the ruling AK Party in the town's main street at around 6.20 a.m. EDT, Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said.

Police said the woman had detonated explosives strapped to her body. They also said they were hunting for another suspected bomber, and a cordon had been thrown round the town, 110 km north of Diyarbakir, the region's main city.

"It was a very quiet. There was nothing extraordinary. There were no policeman, no (paramilitary) gendarme in the street," one bystander told Reuters.

"Suddenly we heard an explosion and screaming. People ran toward there to help people injured. Then we saw paramedics coming."

Bomb

"Suicide Bomber" Kills 13 Americans in Afghanistan

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© Muhammed Muheisen
US soldiers walk at the site of a suicide car bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.
A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a van into an armored NATO bus Saturday, killing 13 American troops and four Afghans in the deadliest attack on coalition forces in Kabul since the war began - a major setback for the U.S.-led coalition as it begins to draw down combat troops.

The explosion sparked a fireball and littered the street with shrapnel and twisted metal hulks. Heavy black smoke poured from burning wreckage at the site along the four-lane highway frequently used by foreign military trainers in the southwestern section of the city.

Underscoring the difficulties ahead, the brazen assault occurred on the same day that top NATO and Afghan officials were meeting elsewhere in Kabul to discuss the second phase of shifting security responsibilities to Afghan forces in all or part of 17 of the country's 34 provinces.

It also was a blow to efforts by the U.S. and President Hamid Karzai to forge peace with the fundamentalist Taliban movement as NATO plans to withdraw all its combat troops from the country by the end of 2014, with support for the costly war reaching new lows in the West.