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Supremes set to examine affirmative action in college admissions

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to hear arguments on whether colleges and universities can continue to favor minority candidates in admissions policies. Given that the court in 2003 approved such policies, its decision to take up the issue again suggests it may be looking to cut back on affirmative action. The case before the court was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white woman who says the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantee. The university says it must consider race as a factor in admissions,
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New Pew poll puts Romney ahead of Obama

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s strong performance in last week’s debate helped him pull ahead of President Barack Obama, a Pew Research Center poll showed on Monday. Likely voters favored Romney in the presidential race by 49 percent to Obama’s 45 percent, while Romney came up even at 46 percent with Obama among registered voters, Pew said. Romney had trailed Obama by nine points among likely voters in September. Other polls found that Romney got a bump from last week’s debate, the first of three presidential debates, but most showed Obama retaining the lead. A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Sunday, for
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Cash-strapped cities ask voters to approve more debt

Houston-area schools want to borrow $1.9 billion to modernize most of the high schools, while Seattle says it needs $290 million to upgrade a seawall protecting the downtown waterfront so it can withstand an earthquake. San Francisco wants to sell $195 million of debt to repair and improve worn-out parks and playgrounds that it says have been “loved to death” Voters in these and a number of other big U.S. cities — some with already-high debt loads — will decide on Election Day whether to borrow even more or face prospects for reduced services or higher taxes. The United States
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Voters in four states will decide legality of gay marriage

When Nathan Meyer calls voters who are undecided about same-sex marriage, he talks about his parents’ marriage and how he sees it as a model for what he hopes to have — before he mentions that he and his boyfriend plan to one day wed. Meyer, 30, a high school English teacher from the St. Paul suburb of Roseville, is part of a team of volunteers who aim to reach 1 million Minnesota voters before the state votes on November 6 on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. “All people get married for the same reasons. And my parents and
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Romney on the rebound in swing states

Mitt Romney appeared on Sunday to have halted his perilous slide in the polls and is back to running a close race with President Barack Obama as he prepares a new assault on the Democrat over foreign policy. A solid performance against Obama at Wednesday’s first presidential debate in Denver has helped the Republican challenger regain ground in several swing states after three weeks of campaign stumbles that had appeared to jeopardize his chances of winning the November 6 election. Romney is now sounding more confident and has put the normally sure-footed Obama campaign on the defensive with a vice
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Romney urges more assertive foreign policy

  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is proposing the U.S. take a more assertive role in Syria, put conditions on aid to Egypt and tighten sanctions on Iran as he looks to use a planned foreign policy address to paint President Barack Obama as a weak leader who has limited America’s influence on global affairs. Declaring that “it’s time to change course in the Middle East” and accusing Obama of “passivity,” Romney plans to call Monday for the U.S. to work with other countries to arm rebels in Syria with weapons that can defeat the “tanks, helicopters and fighter jets”
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With four weeks to go, candidates are ready to rumble

Rumbling into its final four weeks, the presidential campaign is playing out on both coasts and multiple fronts, with Republican Mitt Romney seeking stature on foreign affairs and President Barack Obama raising political cash by the millions. Negative ads, charges of dishonesty and dwindling time are all setting the tone. Joining celebrities for fundraising in Los Angeles on Sunday, Obama for the first time needled himself over a poor debate performance. But he declared he had the right focus and “I intend to win.” Romney was in Virginia, trying to bury the memories of his fumbled trip abroad this summer
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Can we handle a softer, gentler Mitt Romney?

Mitt Romney is showing his softer side, while President Barack Obama works to extend his cash advantage as both men begin a final month sprint to Election Day. The Republican presidential nominee was spending a second consecutive day campaigning in Florida on Sunday, where he is drawing on the success of his recent debate performance and pressing a populist message. “These are tough years for the middle class and the poor in America,” he told more than 6,000 supporters Saturday night at an amphitheater in Apopka, Fla., near Orlando. He later shared his personal connection to three people who have
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Obama’s fundraising rebounds, rakes in record amounts

President Barack Obama’s campaign and its Democratic allies raised $181 million in September for his re-election effort, the largest total that either side has announced yet in the 2012 campaign. The big September number and a good jobs report on Friday that showed unemployment dipping to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent shifted some attention from Obama’s lackluster debate performance on Wednesday against Republican Mitt Romney. Helping buoy Obama’s fundraising in September was his party’s convention and a modest lead in the polls over Romney, whose campaign was plagued by his remark that the 47 percent of the population who receive
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Obama trumpets unemployment drop as economic gain

President Barack Obama on Friday hailed a drop in the U.S. jobless rate to the lowest level since he took office, saying the country had “come too far to turn back now,” as he sought to recover from a lackluster debate performance against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. A decline in unemployment to 7.8 percent in September, announced just more than four weeks before Election Day, gave an unexpected shine to the most vulnerable part of Obama’s record – his economic stewardship – and offered him a chance to reset his re-election bid. The rate dropped from 8.1 percent in August.
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