First lady casts vote
First lady Michelle Obama cast an absentee ballot on Monday, twinning a campaign push for early voting with an affectionate morale boost for her husband, who was hunkered down at debate camp. “Hey, @BarackObama, I just dropped my absentee ballot in the mail — I couldn’t wait for Election Day! Love you! — mo,” the first lady wrote on Twitter. The president, locked away in a Virginia resort ahead of his debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney yesterday, quickly tweeted back, in an apparently orchestrated move, saying he would go home to vote later this month. “I’m following @MichelleObama’s example and voting early, on Oct. 25. If your state has early voting, join me — bo,” Obama tweeted.
Early elections called
The parliament voted yesterday to dissolve itself and hold early elections on Jan. 22 next year, a move championed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose coalition is leading in the opinion polls. The dissolution of the Knesset was approved by 100 votes to none in a third reading after a lengthy session in the 120-seat chamber. Last week, Netanyahu announced he wanted to bring forward the election — originally scheduled for October next year — because of the current deadlock among coalition partners over the passage of a budget packed with austerity measures. Opinion polls suggest that Likud party leader Netanyahu and his coalition of right-wing and religious parties will win comfortably given the fragmented opposition, regional tensions and the world economic crisis.
Drug lord’s daughter seized
The daughter of one of the world’s most sought-after drug lords has been charged with trying to enter the country on someone else’s passport, officials said on Monday. Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, 31, was arrested on Friday at San Diego’s San Ysidro port of entry and charged with fraud and misuse of visas and other documents. Two officials said on Monday she told authorities her father was Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the arrest publicly.
Big crime worth billions: UN
International organized crime is worth US$870 billion, the head of the UN’s office on drugs and crime (UNODC) said on Monday, urging greater coordination in fighting it. “We are able to quantify the cost of transnational organized crime, it is US$870 billion,” UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov told a crime conference in Vienna. “But we cannot calculate the misery and suffering caused to millions of people by these illicit activities,” he added.
Hulk Hogan sues DJ
Former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan sued a disc jockey, the DJ’s ex-wife and a gossip Web site on Monday, after a sex tape involving Hogan and the woman was posted online. Hogan said in two lawsuits that he had consensual sex with his best friend’s wife, Heather Clem, about six years ago in the Clemses’ home, but he did not know he was being secretly recorded. “Mr Hogan had a reasonable expectation of his privacy, just as all Americans have a reasonable expectation of their privacy in their bedrooms,” attorney Charles Harder said. The video was posted on the online gossip site Gawker. Hogan is seeking US$100 million in damages.