USA

The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that some looting had taken place at an Iraqi weapons depot, where 400 tons of explosives are missing. But it said a large-scale operation to remove them almost certainly would have been detected by US forces. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has pointed to the missing ordnance as evidence of the Bush administration's "poor handling" of the war. Pentagon experts suggest the explosives could have been moved before the US-led invasion in March 2003, perhaps in a special mission by Russian troops.

Eleven percent of American voters already have voted and another 11 percent intend to beat the Election Day rush, results of a new Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed. Early voting, now offered in 32 states, is especially popular in the West, with half or more of all votes likely to be cast early in states such as Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington.

ABC News is holding a videotape obtained in Pakistan last weekend of an English-speaker who threatens a massive terrorist attack on the US, it said Wednesday. The network has not shown the video on grounds that doing so without first verifying its authenticity would be irresponsible.

In its last economic snapshot before the Nov. 2 election, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy continued to expand in September and early October. Among the positive signs: an increase in new- home sales and orders for big-ticket manufacturing goods.

The Boston Red Sox won the the World Series for the first time since 1918, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinal in four games, capped by a 3-0 shutout Wednesday night. The victory culminated an eight-game winning streak that began when the Sox, down 0-3 to the New York Yankees, roared from behind to win the American League Championship Series.

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