Republicans gained a Senate seat in Indiana and powered to leads in 10 House districts currently held by Democrats in midterm elections Tuesday night, early fruits of a drive to break the Democrats' grip on power in Congress. Tea party favorites Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida coasted to easy Senate victories, overcoming months of withering Democratic attacks on their conservative views.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Christine O'Donnell has been defeated in her Senate bid from Delaware. But another tea party hopeful, Marco Rubio, is the winner in Florida. O'Donnell lost to Democrat Chris Coons in the battle for the seat that had been held by Vice President Joe Biden. She had been criticized for her lack of experience and spotty financial history, and was plagued by a videotape from years ago in which she said she "dabbled" in witchcraft. Rubio defeated independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Republican Marco Rubio defeated Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek to win Florida's open Senate seat, keeping it with the GOP. An Associated Press analysis of preliminary exit poll data Tuesday shows that the tea party favorite beat Democratic nominee Meek and Crist, who left the Republican Party earlier this year to run as an independent when polls showed him trailing in a GOP primary. Rubio will replace George LeMieux, who was appointed to the seat by Crist last year after Mel Martinez resigned.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California voters decided Tuesday whether to make their state the first to legalize recreational marijuana, drawing worldwide attention atop the 160 ballot measures in 37 states that also included divisive proposals to slash taxes and ban abortion. The California proposal — titled the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act — would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of pot, consume it in nonpublic places as long as no children were present and grow it in small private plots.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Rapid-fire bombings and mortar strikes killed 76 people and wounded more than 200 across Baghdad's myriad neighborhoods Tuesday, demonstrating the insurgents' ability to carry out coordinated strikes from one side of the capital to the other. The attack — blasts in at least 13 separate neighborhoods — was clearly designed to hit civilians at restaurants and cafes where many Iraqis were gathered to enjoy the warm evening. The sophistication and the targets — Shiites — suggested that al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants were responsible for the deadliest day in Iraq since May.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Even after a suspected test run in September, last week's attempted mail bombings from Yemen were a shot in the dark for al-Qaida, which could not have known exactly where its packages were when they were set to explode, U.S. officials said Tuesday. When investigators pulled the Chicago-bound packages off cargo planes in England and the United Arab Emirates Friday, they found the bombs wired to cell phones. The communication cards had been removed and the phones could not receive calls, officials said, making it likely the terrorists intended the alarm or timer functions to detonate the bombs.
RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel's easing of its Gaza blockade has accomplished something Israeli bombing raids and an underground steel wall could not: It has devastated the Hamas-ruled territory's once thriving smuggling industry. Now that most consumer goods can again reach Gaza through Israel — after three years of tight border closures — many of the hundreds of smuggling tunnels that once served as the Palestinian territory's lifeline have simply shut down.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The final launch of space shuttle Discovery has been delayed again, this time because of an electrical problem. NASA decided early Tuesday evening to bump the liftoff until at least Thursday. The decision came less than 24 hours before the scheduled launch on Wednesday.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — "Where are the Quaids?" It's been a familiar question for more than a year at the Santa Barbara courthouse where judges, prosecutors and even Randy and Evi Quaid's own attorney have worked overtime to try to get the couple to appear for two felony court cases. Last year, the search centered on Texas, but in recent weeks the focus on the Quaids' whereabouts has shifted to Canada, where they are seeking asylum from a mysterious syndicate they've dubbed "Hollywood star-whackers."
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ron Roenicke showed he can win as a fill-in manager. Now he gets a chance to do it every day. The Milwaukee Brewers hired the Los Angeles Angels' bench coach to be their new manager, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person requested anonymity because the team has not yet announced the move.