CP World Report: Sandy Clean Up, Franklin Graham, Angela Merkel, Smoking Bans

The cleanup has begun after hurricane Sandy ripped across the east coast. Millions in densely populated areas are still without power; and roads, bridges and mass transit systems are flooded or damaged.

At least 40 people in the U.S. were killed in the storm across the U.S. and two in Canada. A veteran hydro worker in Sarnia, Ontario was killed yesterday after being electrocuted while repairing damage caused by Sandy, during cleanup efforts. Sandy's economic toll in the U.S. is estimated to be tens of billions. And…..U.S. stocks were mixed yesterday morning as the markets reopened following a two-day closure because of the monster storm. With many Wall Street professionals away from their desks, the number of shares changing hands was relatively low.

The Superstorm is being referred to by many as the "politics of Sandy". It forced a slowdown in the presidential campaigns. So while traditional campaigning had to take a backseat, analysts say both the Obama and Romney campaigns are looking to see how this storm might shift the election, as it is important for each candidate to look presidential during this time of crisis. So far, polls show the contenders virtually tied among voters.

The North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has sent an open letter to Reverend Franklin Graham over his views on President Obama. That chapter was concerned about the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association purchasing ads across North Carolina that insinuated that Republican challenger Mitt Romney was more Christian than Obama. The letter goes on to accuse Franklin Graham of being narrowly focused on conservative social positions rather than a broader biblical message of dealing with poverty and social injustice. Obama has been under criticism among many Church leaders—both black and white over his stance on abortion and gay marriage.

In Germany -- Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted the heads of some of the world's top financial institutions. The meeting in Berlin is focusing on the state of the global economy. The officials include the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary fund, and the world trade organization. The leaders also met in Paris earlier in the week with the French president.

Meanwhile…..Unemployment in the Eurozone rose in September to a record high of 11.6%. But those rates within the Eurozone vary dramatically from one country to the next. Spain has the highest unemployment at 25.8%, followed by Greece—21% and Portugal at 15.7.

A Virginia Congregation that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences has been granted an appeal by the State Supreme Court regarding issues of funds and property. The Falls Church Anglican is a large congregation in Fairfax County that left the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia years ago along with several other conservative churches in the Commonwealth. Originally all parish property was transferred over to the diocese and the appeal case will now allow that transfer to be reviewed.

While many were thinking about Halloween yesterday, one Missouri city was getting ready for Christmas. More than four million Christmas lights were already in place in historic Branson. It's part of the annual "Trail of Lights" that opens to the public today. Drivers are treated to more than a dozen lighted Christmas displays almost two months before the big day. The Trail of Lights is open through New Year's Eve.


Excess fat around a person's midsection is dangerous.
But you don't have to be obese to face health risks from it.

Smoking bans are saving lives . That's according to a new study in the journal "Circulation". The research looked at the number of hospitalizations and deaths for smoking related diseases. It compared the stats before smoke-free laws were put in place…. and after.

The results showed a quick turn around ... in a matter of two years after smoke-free legislation was enacted, hospital admissions dropped. Hospitalizations for heart attacks fell by an average of 15-percent while hospital stays for respiratory disease fell by 24-percent. The study concluded that the more comprehensive the law, the greater the change.