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Somali-American teen held in Portland Christmas bomb plot

Law enforcement officers in Portland Oregon derailed a plot to bomb the lighting of a community Christmas tree Friday night.

CNN reported that Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, was seized in connection with a plan to detonate a vehicle bomb.

But the bomb turned out to be a fake and none of the contents were actually explosive.

However, officials believe Mohamud thought the bomb was real and intended to detonate it at the lighting ceremony.

Seventh Harry Potter film earns $125 million opening weekend

The seventh film in the Harry Potter franchise "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" grossed over $125 million over opening weekend, according to a Wall Street Journal blog.

The film produced by Warner Bros. garnered the best opening weekend of all the previous films in the franchise. The previous record was held by 2005's "Goblet of Fire" which brought in $108 million.

Entertainment Weekly
reported that the film opened in more than 3,700 theaters late Thursday night and into Friday morning, with some screenings at 3:15 a.m.

The seventh installment is the first Harry Potter film without scenes from the wizarding school Hogwarts. The PG-13 movie is said to have more mature themes than the others in the series including warfare and death.

Jack Russell terrier traps mountain lion up a tree

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that a 17-pound Jack Russell terrier trapped a mountain lion in a tree on a Colman farm. Virtus and Chad Strenge were working in their shop when their dog Jack started barking like crazy. Virtus, Chad's father, went to investigate and couldn't believe what Jack had found---a mountain lion.

This quirky little story that came out of a farm in South Dakota is surprisingly, international news. It was picked up by the BBC.

Chad shot at the lion with a 12-gauge shotgun and it fell out of the tree. Jack then chased the lion into a neighbor's yard.

No charges were filed against the farmers for shooting at the animal. The lion was taken to South Dakota State University to be studied. Experts say the lion was between 3 to 5 years old and probably migrated from the Black Hills.

Russ Feingold of WI loses bid for fourth term in Senate

Note: Many of these stories could be considered obituaries for Feingold's Senate career.

Russ Feingold, the progressive Democrat from Wisconsin, lost his Senate seat Tuesday to Ron Johnson. He was a Senator for three terms. All joking aside... onto the news.

Many national news organizations covered Feingold's loss which I found surprising as I understood who he was and what he did because I was a Wisconsin resident. I did not realize he was a prominent figure nationwide.

NPR reported that Feingold was most well-known for his campaign finance reform legislation of 2002 which regulated fundraising in political campaigns. NPR painted Feingold as a Washington "outsider."

According to the New York Times, that legislation was eroded for years before being thrown out by the Supreme Court this year. The Times reported that the kind of spending Feingold worked to stop consumed the race in Wisconsin. Feingold raised more money than Johnson in what "appeared to be the most expensive Senate race in Wisconsin history, topping out at more than $35 million."

Feingold was the sole Senator to oppose the Patriot Act in 2001.

The Washington Post mourned the loss of "one of the last true progessives." During his concession speech, Feingold said it was "on to the next battle" in 2012 but was unclear what his plans might be.

Political satirists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert asked for the return of sanity to American politics during a rally Saturday in Washington, DC.

USA Today
reported that Comedy Central predicted the rally held on the national mall would draw about 60,000 people. An estimate commissioned by CBS News reported that 215,000 were in attendance.

Stewart and Colbert, comedians most famous for their mock-news programs on Comedy Central, said their rally was to "promote civility in political dialogue and ease the shrill tone that has dominated this fall's races."

The New York Times
reported that it was a "rally to shift blame" onto the media. Stewart called out 24-hour news coverage for holding "its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus

A Washington area radio station reported that the rally helped set a record for Metrorail transit passengers. 825,437 Metrorail trips were taken on Saturday. The record was previously set during the 1991 Desert Storm rally when 786,358 trips were taken.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre admitted to leaving inappropriate messages in the voicemail inbox of former Jets' employee Jenn Sterger, the Pioneer Press reported. Favre's reputation came into question when Deadspin.com published nude photos supposedly of Favre on Oct. 7 with two voicemails he left Sterger. The NFL is currently investigating the scandal, Favre admitted to the messages but said he did not send the pictures.

Sterger, who was an in-house sideline reporter for the Jets in 2008, has yet to speak out about the leaked photos and voicemails. A spokesperson for the NFL said they cannot investigate further without her cooperation.

The Star Tribune
reported that the investigation could be finished by the end of the week. Favre could face a fine or suspension from the league for workplace conduct violations.

This Halloween, Lady Gaga costumes projected to be most popular

According to an article in USA Today, many Halloween retailers are predicting that Lady Gaga costumes will be the biggest hit this year. Rubie's Costume Co. has the license to make Lady Gaga costumes, wigs and make-up. The executive vice president for Rubie's said it expects to sell 1 million Lady Gaga costume items this year before Halloween.

He also said "Lady Gaga is the single most popular costume we've sold for adults in our 59 years in business." Usually the best-sellers are aimed at kids.

The San Antonia Business-Journal
reported that classics like witches, pumpkins and vampires are still top-sellers for kids, adults and now, pets. The most popular costumes for pets this year include: witch, pumpkin and devil.

FOR SALE: Synagogue with ties to Bob Dylan

The Duluth News Tribune reported that Agudath Achim Synagogue in Hibbing, Minn. where Bobby Zimmerman had his bar mitzvah is for sale. Bobby Zimmerman grew up to be legendary folk rock musician, Bob Dylan. The synagogue is No. 8 on the Bob Dylan Walk Tour of his hometown, Hibbing.
The owners of the synagogue, which hasn't held services since the 1980's, are hoping the connection will help the building sell.

""People who like Dylan, love Dylan," Shafer-Pellinen said. "They have an unusual level of devotion to his music -- more so than other musical groups or artists.""

The Associated Press
reported the current asking price 119,000. The owners had intended to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast when they bought it in 2001.

According to an article in the Advocate, Andrew Shirvell, the assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan, has been targeting the University of Michigan student body president in his blog, "Chris Armstrong Watch."

Armstrong, who is openly gay, has campaigned against rising tuition and for gender-neutral housing on behalf of transgendered students. In his blog, Shirvell wrote that he was using his position to push a radical homosexual agenda.

AnnArbor.com
reported that Shirvell and Armstrong will face each other in court Monday. Armstrong has requested a restraining order to prevent Shirvell from showing up at his home, protesting at student assembly meetings and sending e-mail and Facebook messages to him.

The Detroit Free Press
reported that Shirvell has taken a leave of absence from his job as assistant attorney general. Attorney General Mike Cox said Shirvell will face a disciplinary hearing upon his return. Cox has defended Shirvell's First Amendment Rights but questioned some of his behavior (videotaping outside of Armstrong's home at 1:30 a.m.)
Shrivell defended his blog Tuesday on Anderson Copper 360.

Flat-screen LCD TV price to drop dramatically in time for holidays

A CNNmoney article announced that the price of flat-screen LCD televisions will drop 12 percent from 2009 levels.
The price drop could result in Black Friday deals as low as $199 for a 32-inch flat-screen LCD TV. They are currently priced between $349 and $399.
The reduction in price stems from a surplus of TVs built up over the last nine months. According to the article, prices for LCD TVs actually went up during July.
While the prices will be down in time for the season of giving, the Chicago-Sun Times reported that the cost of a flat-screen LCD television will be up next year.

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