Nation, World Briefs: Pigs in Minnesota may have swine flu

MINNEAPOLIS — Preliminary tests show three pigs in Minnesota may have contracted the swine flu virus making them the first potential U.S. cases in swine, agricultural officials said Friday. They stressed the finding does not threaten food safety. The samples were taken from pigs shown at the Minnesota State Fair between Aug. 26 and Sept. 1 as part of a university research project. Officials expect results next week to confirm whether the pigs were infected with swine flu virus, also known as H1N1.

D.C.: No rules on nuke waste

Federal regulators told Congress on Friday that they have no power to stop Italy or any other country from dumping tons of radioactive waste in the United States. It’s up to Congress to stop other countries from shipping their radioactive waste to the United States, government officials who oversee the nuclear power industry told the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy subcommittee. Moreover, a federal judge has ruled that multistate compacts overseeing waste disposal in their region don’t have the authority either to bar foreign waste destined for private sites, witnesses said at a hearing.

New Jersey: Polling on votes

Six major media outlets who use Election Day polling to gauge the mood and attitudes of the nation asked a federal judge on Friday to stop enforcement of a state court ruling that bans exit polling near voting sites. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the National Election Pool, a consortium that includes The Associated Press, CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS. New Jersey is the only state to keep exit pollsters and journalists from approaching voters within 100 feet of a polling place.

Sex-toy entrepreneur to run

A lot of small-business owners run for the Legislature, but one New Jersey candidate can tout a unique entrepreneurial experience: hosting sex-toy parties. Stepfanie Velez-Gentry is the owner of Nookie Parties LLC. She makes a living organizing parties for women and couples where she sells sex toys, lotions, games, lingerie and other erotic items. “It’s kind of like a Tupperware party, but with adult novelties,” the 29-year-old mother of two explained.

California: Dead on balcony

A 75-year-old dead man sat decomposing on his balcony for days because neighbors thought the body was part of a Halloween display and didn’t call police. Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed apparently had been dead since Monday with a single gunshot wound to one eye. He was slumped over a chair on the third-floor balcony of his apartment in Marina del Rey, said a man who was on scene Thursday when authorities found the body.

Pennsylvania: Cannon glitch

A Civil War buff faces charges for accidentally firing a 2-pound cannonball through the wall of his neighbor’s home. Fifty-four-year-old William Maser had been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Maser has acknowledged firing a homemade cannon outside his house in Georges Township in early September. The cannonball, about 2 inches in diameter, ricocheted and hit the neighbor’s home, smashing through a window and a wall before landing in a closet.

Iraq: Suicide bomber attacks

A suicide bomber armed with an assault rifle opened fire on worshippers during Friday prayers at a mosque in northern Iraq until he ran out of ammunition and then blew himself up, killing 15 people, police and hospital officials said. The dead included the Sunni cleric who was leading the prayers at the mosque in Tal Afar, but it was unclear if he was the intended victim, local police said. Sunni clerics who have been speaking out against al-Qaida in Iraq and sectarian violence have increasingly become targets for attacks.

India: Fireworks kill 30

A blaze erupted in a fireworks warehouse in southern India, killing at least 30 people and injuring 10 others ahead of a major Hindu festival today. The victims in Friday night’s explosion were mainly traders buying fireworks in bulk as millions of Hindus prepared to celebrate Deepavali, the festival of lights, the Press Trust of India reported. Setting off fireworks is a major part of the celebration’s evening festivities. Police pulled 30 bodies from the warehouse in Pallipat.

From Herald news services

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