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News briefs for Oct. 3

House leaders win converts on bailout

WASHINGTON — Desperate to avoid another market-crushing defeat, House leaders won key converts Thursday to the $700 billion financial industry bailout on the eve of a make-or-break second vote.

President Bush and congressional leaders lobbied furiously for the dozen or so supporters they’d need to reverse Monday’s stunning setback and approve a massive rescue plan designed to stave off national economic disaster.

McCain decides to abandon Michigan

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate John McCain conceded battleground Michigan to the Democrats on Thursday, GOP officials said, a major retreat as he struggles to regain his footing in a campaign increasingly dominated by economic issues.

These officials said McCain was pulling staff and advertising out of the economically distressed Midwestern state. He also canceled a visit slated for next week. Michigan, with 17 electoral votes, voted for Democrat John Kerry in 2004, but Republicans had poured money into an effort to try to place it in their column this year.

Searchers find plane but no body

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. — More than a year after millionaire adventure Steve Fossett vanished on a solo flight over California’s rugged Sierra Nevada, searchers found the wreckage of his plane but no body inside, and said his remains were probably devoured by wild animals.

Search crews and cadaver dogs scoured the steep terrain around the spot Thursday in hopes of finding at least some trace of his body and solving the mystery of his disappearance once and for all.

Obama hammers McCain on economic record

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that his rival John McCain is out of touch with the economic struggles of Americans and doesn’t understand that there’s nothing more fundamental than a job.

Obama hammered McCain’s economic record during two rallies in Michigan, a state struggling with the country’s highest unemployment rate. The Illinois senator’s second appearance, at Michigan State University, came just as knowledgeable Republican officials said McCain’s campaign has given up trying to win Michigan and is shifting resources from there to other states.

Intrepid churns back to Manhattan pier

NEW YORK — The World War II aircraft carrier Intrepid, powered by tugs and accompanied by a festive Hudson River traffic jam, was returned Thursday to the Manhattan pier where it has served for 24 years as a military and space museum.

Onlookers gathered along the riverbanks and in passing pleasure craft as the huge vessel was ceremoniously escorted Thursday on its 5-mile journey from Staten Island.

Doctors want cold medicines recalled

WASHINGTON — A top government health official Thursday rejected pediatricians’ calls for an immediate ban on over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for young children, saying it might cause unintended harm.

But Food and Drug Administration officials at a public hearing also said they were uncomfortable with the lack of solid scientific data to support continued use of OTC remedies with youngsters, particularly from ages 2-6.