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News briefs for Oct. 28

Federal agents disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama

WASHINGTON – Law enforcement agents have broken up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 88 black people, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn., federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school in a murder spree that was to begin in Tennessee. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Alaska Sen. Stevens found guilty of lying about gifts

WASHINGTON – Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that threatened to end the 40-year career of Alaska’s political patriarch in disgrace.

The verdict, coming barely a week before Election Day, increased Stevens’ difficulty in winning what already was a difficult race against Democratic challenger Mark Begich. Democrats hope to seize the once reliably Republican seat as part of their bid for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Stocks end day down on worries about credit

NEW YORK – Wall Street has ended another highly volatile session with a big last-minute loss as the market’s stubborn worries about a protracted economic downturn and tight credit erased budding optimism about a housing sector recovery. The Dow Jones industrial average skidded 203 points to its lowest close in 5 1/2Ω years, with almost all the decline coming in the last 10 minutes of the session.

The Street’s back-and-forth moves were typical for a turbulent market that has seen many recent rallies evaporate – particularly as hedge and mutual funds sell off even strong assets so they can meet investors’ demands for their money back. These forced sell-offs tend to happen late in the day, when the funds figure out how much cash they’ll need to meet redemptions.

Police: Child’s body found in SUV is Hudson’s nephew

CHICAGO – Chicago police say singer and actress Jennifer Hudson has identified the body of her 7-year-old nephew, who was found dead Monday morning in an SUV.

Julian King had been missing since Hudson’s mother and brother were found shot to death in the home they shared Friday.

Julian had been the subject of a frantic search since the killings, which Chicago police have characterized as “domestic related.”

McCain fights for comeback in Ohio

CANTON, Ohio – Fading in the polls, John McCain fought Barack Obama for support in economically hard-hit Ohio on Monday, each man pledging to right the economy and turn the page on the Bush era in a state with an impressive record for picking presidents.

Eight days from the election, however, Republicans looked and sounded increasingly like a party anticipating defeat, and possibly a substantial one.