- In final stretch, Romney seeks to turn momentum into votes
- Powerful quake strikes Costa Rica, no initial reports of damage
- Teen brothers charged with death of 12-year-old New Jersey girl
Posted: 23 Oct 2012 07:33 PM PDT
MORRISON, Colo. (Reuters) - Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney kicked off his sprint to the election finish line on Tuesday, seeking to harness momentum from his three televised debates with President Barack Obama to energize supporters in an extremely tight race.
While Obama was judged by polls as the winner of Monday's debate over foreign policy, Romney was reckoned to have performed well enough to pass the "commander-in-chief" test.
He has rebounded in polls since trouncing Obama in the first debate on October 3 and was only 1 point behind in a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday that had Obama ahead by 47-46 percent. A Washington Post/ABC poll gave Romney the lead by 49-48 percent.
"These debates have super charged our campaign, there's no question about it," Romney told a rally in Nevada.
"We're seeing more and more enthusiasm, more and more support. We're going to make sure that these campaigns and the message of these debates, rather, these messages, keep going across the country," he told a crowd, estimated by his campaign at 6,000 people, in Henderson, Nevada.
In what was easily the biggest rally of his campaign, a capacity crowd of as many as 10,000 people showed up - and thousands more were turned away - to listen to Romney and musician Kid Rock at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, another state that could be critical to Republican hopes.
Romney was joined by his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan.
"We're in the homestretch now, and I think the people of Colorado are going to get us all the way there," Romney said.
He is expected to spend much of the last days before the November 6 election in the key state of Ohio. No Republican has ever won the White House without it.
Romney needs to "do better than (2008 Republican presidential candidate John) McCain did among working-class whites in Ohio," said University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala.
Polls show Obama slightly ahead in Ohio, but Scala said Romney can swing the state - and perhaps the presidential race - if he manages to rally Republicans in counties won by conservative rival Rick Santorum in the primary vote earlier this year.
Now that the debates are over, Romney has turned his full attention to voter contact and has no more fundraisers scheduled, although his wife Ann and Ryan will still do fundraising events.
As part of his message to voters, Romney and his campaign have made central to their argument in recent days that Obama has not offered an agenda for his second term.
"And that's why his campaign is taking on water, and our campaign is full speed ahead," Romney said.
Senior adviser Kevin Madden said Romney will spend most of his time down the stretch in Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia.
"We're going to be in multiple states in single days," Madden said.
(Editing by Alistair Bell and Christopher Wilson)
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 23 Oct 2012 07:11 PM PDT
SAN JOSE (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck western Costa Rica on Tuesday, shaking buildings in the capital and sending residents running onto the streets, but there were no initial reports of damage or injuries.
Inhabitants of San Jose ran out of buildings after the 6.6 magnitude quake hit, following another big quake last month. Many went back indoors soon afterward, a Reuters witness said.
The quake was centred about 38 miles (61 km) south of Liberia, in Guanacaste province, at a depth of 24.5 miles (39.5 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said. The USGS had initially measured the quake at a significantly shallower depth.
National television station Telenoticias reported that goods fell off shelves in supermarkets in Cabano, a town in Costa Rica's Nicoya peninsula inside Guanacaste.
Both the Red Cross and the National Emergency Commission said no injuries had been registered so far.
The quake struck in a tourist area close to where the Central American nation was rocked by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake on September 5, which damaged buildings but caused no deaths.
Guanacaste's head of police, Rafael Angel Araya, said there had been no reports of damage to buildings or injuries, and that police were heading out to inspect the province.
"They're starting out with any buildings slightly damaged in the previous tremors as a precautionary measure because these are the structures that could potentially fall," he said.
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
Posted: 23 Oct 2012 07:04 PM PDT
(Reuters) - Two teenage brothers face murder charges for strangling a 12-year-old New Jersey girl after luring her to their house with an offer of parts for her bicycle, authorities said on Tuesday, a day after her body was found in a recycling bin near her home.
The girl, Autumn Pasquale, was last seen alive on Saturday riding her bicycle in Clayton, the town of 8,100 where she lived. Her body was discovered on Monday in a curbside bin about four blocks from her home, a spokesman for Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said.
The teens, ages 17 and 15, whose names were not publicly disclosed, lived on the same block where the body was found, according to the spokesman, Bernie Weisenfeld.
The boys were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. It has not yet been decided whether they will be charged as adults, according to Weisenfeld.
The county medical examiner determined that 12-year-old Pasquale died of blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation, and there was no sign of sexual assault, according to the prosecutor's office.
The boys' mother contacted authorities regarding postings by one of the boys on Facebook, and a search of the boys' home turned up the girl's bicycle and other personal belongings, Dalton said.
"Today we mourn the loss of a young girl named Autumn Pasquale, whose life was tragically cut short before it really began," Dalton told a news conference.
"It's my hope that the arrests today provide a measure of closure that the individuals responsible for their daughter's death will be held accountable," he added.
Copyright © 2012 Reuters
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