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November 11, 2008

Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Line Under Consideration

A possible high-speed train line between Duluth and Minneapolis is considering whether to add another 30-mile section in order to boost train speeds.

The section, which would be added north of Sandstone, is one of 10 different options being considered in the development, the Star Tribune reported.

Such an addition would add another $60 million to $90 million to the project, which is already projected to cost $400 million. Approximately 80 percent of the project will be covered by the federal government, with the remaining costs covered by state funding, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Obamas Meet Bushes at White House

Top aides were not allowed in the meeting between current President George W. Bush and President-Elect Barack Obama, as the two met for the first time at the White House on Monday.

The hour-long meeting, held in the Oval Office, focused on the recent $700 billion economic bailout and other economic issues, ABC News reported.

Although Obama's two-year campaign called for changes from the Bush Administration, both he and Bush called the meeting a success and spoke kindly of one another.

While the two spoke in private, First Lady Laura Bush and First Lady-in-waiting Michelle Obama toured the living quarters of the White House before Obama left to tour schools for the couple's two daughters, the L.A. Times reported.

Death Toll in Haiti School Collapse Rises

Rescue workers have continued searching the wreckage of a school in Haiti, which collapsed Friday, killing 94 students and teachers and leaving more than 150 injured.

CBS News reported that the school's owner has turned himself over to police and is facing charges of manslaughter.

Poor construction is being blamed for the collapse of the school. Haitian President Rene Preval has called for a review of safety codes, CNN reported.

November 8, 2008

Coleman, Franken Senate Race Faces Recount

The Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken faces a recount, Minnesota officials announced, as more issues have started to surface in the closest Senate race in history.

One issue is the emergence of 100 votes for Franken in the Iron Range, which were filed between election night and the following Thursday, when the votes were recounted, the Star Tribune reported. A time stamp for several Coleman votes is Nov. 2, which was two days before the election.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has started working with both candidates on a timeline for resolving the recount quickly, though it may take up to six weeks, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Police arrest 8-year-old in double murder

Arizona police arrested an 8-year-old boy in connection with the murder of his father and another man at their home on Wednesday.

Authorities said the child had confessed to the murders, saying he used a .22-caliber rifle, the BBC reported.

The judge in the case has agreed that there was probable cause to charge the boy with two counts of premeditated murder, though he has ordered a psychological evaluation of the boy, CNN reported.

Community members in the small town of St. Johns, where the boy lived, have expressed shock over the murders.

"Who would think an 8-year-old kid could kill two adults?" said St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnic.

Indonesia Executes Militants

Lawyers for three men arrested in the 2002 Bali bombings have said the men were executed by the Indonesian government Saturday, the BBC reported.

The three men did not express remorse for the bombings that occurred at two nightclubs, popular with foreign tourists. The men said the attacks were aimed at the US, condemning the country for the situation in Afghanistan, according to NPR.

The bombings killed 202 people, nearly half of them from Australia and Britain.