BC-AP News Digest 7 am

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Associated Press

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The world at 7 a.m. Times EDT.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Barbara Whitaker and Amir Bibawy can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Swayne Hall (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos

NEW & DEVELOPING

— PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN — Obama and Romney have no public events scheduled. Ryan speaks at a rally in Derry, N.H., at 9:30 a.m., addresses National U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance's banquet in Columbus, Ohio, at 6 p.m. Biden speaks at a campaign event in Fort Myers, Fla., at 11:40.

— EUROPE-AUSTERITY PROTESTS — Spain, Portugal brace for more austerity protests. Protests start at 12 p.m.

— SYRIA — Activists: Deadly fighting in Aleppo's historic Old City sets fire in medieval souks.

— PAKISTAN — Thousands protest against anti-Islam film in southern Pakistan.

— IRAQ — Iraq: Jailbreak in Saddam's hometown was inside job, 20 killed.

— CARMAGEDDON II — 'Carmageddon' the sequel begins drivers told to stay off LA freeways amid 405 shutdown.

— MINNEAPOLIS SHOOTING VIGNETTES — Victims of shooting at Minneapolis sign business remembered, mourned by family and colleagues.

— JAPAN EXPLOSION — Explosion at Japan chemical plant kills 1, dozens injured.

TOP STORIES

UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY

UNITED NATIONS — Efforts to draw together the fragmented foes of Syrian President Bashar Assad could lead to direct talks between the leader's regime and his opponents, a key official said after talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. By David Stringer and Diaa Hadid.

AP photos.

SOME VOTES COUNT MORE

WASHINGTON — When it comes to electing the president, not all votes are created equal. And chances are yours will count less than those of a select few. For example, the vote of Dave Smith in Sheridan, Wyo., counts almost three-and-a-half times as much mathematically as those of his wife's aunts in northeastern Ohio.Why? Electoral College math. By Seth Borenstein.

AP photos.

— SOME VOTES COUNT MORE-GLANCE — Why there is an Electoral College and how it works.

— OBAMA, HFR — Obama, in weekly address, calls on Congress to approve refinance plan. For release at 6 a.m.

VATICAN-SCANDAL

VATICAN CITY — The pope's former butler goes on trial in one of the most sensational scandals in recent Vatican history, accused of leaking papal documents detailing allegations of corruption and political infighting in the highest echelons of the Catholic Church hierarchy. The trial, which will shed a very public light on the intricacies of the Vatican legal system, is unusual in that the pope is both the victim and the supreme judge in the case.

MASKED SON SHOT DEAD

NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Tyler Giuliano had no trouble with the law. The teenager loved flying small planes as a Civil Air Patrol cadet and seemed happy as he played an online game with friends. But hours later, authorities say his father, a popular fifth-grade teacher, shot and killed a knife-wielding prowler in a black ski mask, only to discover it was Tyler. By John Christoffersen.

SERBIA-SUICIDE WATCH

BELGRADE, Serbia — On a bright autumn day, Renato Grbic was out fishing on the Danube when he heard a big splash. At first, he thought somebody had thrown something off the bridge. Then he saw a man flailing in the water — and pulled him out. Since then, the bright-eyed, tattooed restaurant owner from a shabby industrial zone on the outskirts of Belgrade has rescued 25 people who tried to kill themselves by jumping off the tall bridge over the Danube. By Jovana Gec.

SCHWARZENEGGER BOOK

LOS ANGELES — Arnold Schwarzenegger says his wife, Maria Shriver, was told to "snap out of it" by her mother for her attempts to persuade him against running for California governor in 2003, a conversation that ultimately opened the door to his successful candidacy. By Juliet Williams and Michael R. Blood.

INTERNATIONAL

RUSSIA-TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin is turning back the clock on his predecessor's reforms — literally. Putin signaled this week that he was reversing one of the few high-profile reforms Dmitry Medvedev enacted while president: keeping Russia stuck in summer time all year after clocks sprang forward in March. It's perhaps an apt symbol Putin's relentless drive to roll back even the modest liberal legacy left behind by his protege.

CHINA-MAPPING TROUBLE

BEIJING — One of the hottest items in Chinese bookstores these days is a map for a place no one is allowed to go. The new map of the islands at the center of a maritime standoff between Japan and China is part of Beijing's bid to assert its claim to the craggy islets, as well as the fish, oil and gas in the surrounding waters and seabed. By Louise Watt.

NATIONAL

JACKSON-LEAVE OF ABSENCE

CHICAGO — His home in Washington is for sale. His wife says he'll come back to work only when a doctor approves. A vow to return to the re-election campaign by Labor Day came and went. Voting is five weeks away, and there remains no sight of Rep. Jesse Jackson. By Sophia Tareen.

PASTOR-SLAIN WIVES

LEBANON, Pa. — Court documents say retired Pennsylvania pastor Arthur "A.B." Schirmer was a serial philanderer, preying on women in his church who were having trouble in their own marriages. Yet adultery might have been the least of his sins. Charged two years ago in the death of his second wife in the Poconos, Schirmer now stands accused of killing his first wife, too, after a grand jury concluded her fatal injuries weren't consistent with a fall down the stairs. By Michael Rubinkam.

AP photos.

STATE POLICE LAB SHUTDOWN

BOSTON — A Massachusetts chemist accused of lying about drug samples she tested at a state lab could face additional charges as prosecutors and defense attorneys sift through thousands of criminal cases that could be upended by the chemist's actions. By Denise Lavoie and Erika Niedowski.

GIANT FERRIS WHEEL

NEW YORK — The Ferris wheel may be a steam-age invention, but it is back in vogue in New York, which this week joined a long list of cities where urban planners or developers have bet that massive, modern versions of the old ride can serve as economic engines.

AP photos.

HISTORIC PET CEMETERY

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A pet cemetery in the New York City suburbs is the first burial ground for animals named to the National Register of Historic Places. The 116-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, final home to some 75,000 animals and a few hundred humans, is being designated for its "social history and landscape architecture." By Jim Fitzgerald.

AP photos.

PHOENIX-POLICE CHASE

PHOENIX — Authorities still haven't released the identity of a man who fatally shot himself in the head on live national television at the end of a high-speed carjacking chase that began in Phoenix and ended close to the California border. By Bob Christie and David Bauder.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— BAHRAIN — A Bahrain opposition party and authorities say a 17-year-old has been killed in clashes with security forces.

— VENEZUELA-CHINA-SATELLITE — China has launched a second satellite built for Venezuela's government.

— AFGHANISTAN — Bomb kills 2 policemen just hours before a ceremony to hand over police academy from NATO to Afghan control.

— CHINA POLITICS — Proposal made to remove China's Bo Xilai from legislature, clearing way for prosecution.

— BORDER PATROL SHOOTING — A Border Patrol agent fatally shot a 32-year-old mother of five Friday in suburban San Diego as he rode on the hood of her car after she ran into him, authorities and family members said.

— PEOPLE-COTILLARD STALKER — NYC woman pleads guilty to stalking actress Marion Cotillard, says she's bipolar, in treatment.

— REDS-PIRATES — Homer Bailey throws 7th no-hitter in majors this season, pitching Reds to 1-0 win over Pirates.

— MUSIC-JAY-Z-BARCLAYS CENTER — Music mogul Jay-Z holds 1st show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center; rapper will perform 8 shows.

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