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Thursday, November 04, 2021 10:15 PM

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OLYMPIA, Wash., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray declared victory and her Republican challenger Dino Rossi conceded the election Thursday in Washington state.

Rossi acknowledged in a statement that even with many uncounted votes he has no chance of overcoming Murray's 50,000-vote margin, The Olympian reported.

"I ran for the Senate because I believe we need a basic course correction from where Washington, D.C. has been taking us and to make sure this country is as free, as strong and as prosperous in the future as it has been in the past to preserve the best of America for future generations," he said. "That was a message that found a very receptive audience all across this state, though not quite receptive enough."

Murray, first elected in 1992, was seeking a fourth term. As Majority Conference secretary, she is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Rossi, a real estate executive and former state senator, ran twice for governor of Washington. In 2004, he had been certified as the winner before Christine Gregoire edged him out.

The Seattle Times said almost 600,000 votes had not been counted. But the newspaper said most were from King County, the Seattle area where Murray appears to have a strong edge.

Benedict: Church needs 'purification'

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI called Thursday for "purification" of the Roman Catholic Church in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy.

The message was one of the pope's strongest statements so far on the impact of the scandal. It was expressed in a letter to Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan honoring the 400th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Borromeo, archbishop of Milan in the 16th century, was one of the great leaders of the counter-reformation, instituting reforms including seminary training for priests.

In the letter, Benedict said the church is enduring "trials and suffering." He said individual and institutional conversion is needed for "purification" and reform must come from "penance and suffering."

The sexual abuse scandal spread from the United States to Ireland and then elsewhere in Europe. There have recently been allegations that Benedict, as Cardinal Josef Ratzinger before his elevation to pope, encouraged bishops to shield abusive priests.

Joint forces kill 4 Taliban in Afghanistan

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Afghan and international forces Thursday killed four insurgents while trying to detain a Taliban operative, military officials said.

The Taliban leader has plotted, coordinated and carried out roadside bomb attacks against the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan forces, and eased the way for financial support to a number of Taliban groups in the Kajaki district of Helmand province, the American Forces Press reported from ISAF Joint Command News sources.

The Taliban leader is directly connected to senior Pakistan Taliban leaders who provide financial assistance and directions, the military press said.

Tips from local residents and intelligence sources led the joint security force to a series of compounds. While the security force was clearing it out, four armed insurgents were killed when they attempted to fight the security force, the military press reported.

The compounds were searched and several automatic weapons and more than 40 pounds of heroin were discovered, the military sources reported.

A number of suspected insurgents were held during the clearance operation, the military press said.

Tomas threatens Haiti, Jamaica

MIAMI, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- At least one person was killed Thursday in Haiti while Tropical Storm Tomas was still miles away, an official said.

Interior Minister Paul-Antoine Bien-Aime said the victim, a man, was swept away as he tried to drive through a river in flood, Haiti-Libre reported. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive urged Haitians to evacuate dangerous areas, and health officials warned flooding could worsen the cholera epidemic.

At 8 p.m. EDT, the center of the storm was 90 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and 265 miles west-southwest of Port-au-Prince, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. The storm was moving north-northeast at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 60 mph.

Forecasters at the center said Tomas could be near or at hurricane strength as its center passes Haiti late Thursday and moves on to eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas. Hurricane warnings were posted for all three countries and tropical storm watches and warnings for other islands.

Tropical storm winds extended outward up to 120 miles, mainly to the east of the storm center, the National Hurricane Center said.

Thunderstorms were hitting Haiti during the day Thursday. The NHC predicted 5 to 10 inches of rain over much of Haiti and the Dominican Republic with as much as 15 inches in some places, enough to cause devastating flooding and mud slides.

Another 1 to 3 inches were possible over Jamaica, and 3 to 5 inches over eastern Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The track of the storm puts Haiti in the path of most of the storm's torrential rain and strongest winds, forecasters said. But Tomas' strongest winds should spare Port-au-Prince as they move farther west over Haiti's peninsulas into Friday morning, forecasters said.

(Source: UPI )
(Source: Quotemedia)
 

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