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Sept. 28, 2012 at 10:06 PM
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Obama has lead over Romney in swing states

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Polls indicate President Barack Obama has a 7-point lead over Mitt Romney in New Hampshire but the two are neck and neck in North Carolina and Nevada.

Polls of likely voters by NBC, The Wall Street Journal and the Marist Institute indicate Obama is leading the Republican nominee in 51 percent to 44 percent in New Hampshire but is only ahead by 2 points in both North Carolina and Nevada, USA Today reported.

Obama's lead in New Hampshire has been aided by improved perceptions about the direction of the country, said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

"There's been a reversal on the economy," Miringoff said. "In June, more voters saw Romney as better for the economy, but no longer."

In the crucial swing states -- Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado -- Obama has a lead, with an overall average of 49.5 percent to Romney's 44 percent, the NBC News blog reported.

Nigerian women turned back from Mecca

ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Nigeria suspended all hajj flights to Saudi Arabia after 170 women were deported for arriving for the pilgrimage without a male escort, authorities said.

About 1,000 Muslim women intending to make the pilgrimage were delayed in Nigeria and a government delegation is traveling to Saudi Arabia to register a complaint, the BBC reported Friday.

There has been an understanding between the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and Saudi authorities that visas would be issued to Nigerian women if they traveled with male hajj commission officials but it wasn't clear if the action was taken to prevent people from illegally entering Saudi Arabia to work, the BBC said.

A problem in Jeddah and Medina, Saudi Arabian cities where the women were detained, is that the women's' names don't correspond with those of the husband or male guardian on visa documentation because Nigerian Muslim women don't traditionally take their husband's name upon marriage, said Bilkisu Nasidi, one of the detainees.

"Honestly, both governments are to blame, ours and theirs. They're telling us our government has been aware of what the requirements are for the visa application and grating our visa," she said.

Heavy rain deluges Costa del Sol

MALAGA, Spain, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- At least one woman was killed and whole villages were flooded after heavy rain fell on Spain's Costa del Sol, authorities said Friday.

The Junta de Andalucia, the regional government, ordered all schools closed Friday, ThinkSpain reported. The flooding disrupted local train service and caused at least one flight from Barcelona to land in Seville instead of Malaga, but express train service was not affected, state rail company Renfe said.

Some villages were under several feet of water, and cars were seen floating.

The worst flooding was in inland villages, officials said. In addition to rescuing residents from their houses and one driver from a car that was at risk of floating away, firefighters had to evacuate animals from some farms.

The woman who drowned was trapped in her flooded home. Firefighters were able to rescue her husband.

In Villanueva del Rosario, where river waters were more than 12 feet above normal, electricity was cut off. The village is home to 3,600 people, and reporters said most of them appeared to be trying to help get rid of the water Friday morning.

TS Norman approaching western Mexico

MIAMI, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Tropical Storm Norman was expected to make landfall Friday, with warnings in effect for Mexico's Pacific coast from La Cruz to Huatabampo, forecasters said.

Norman was about 165 miles west-northwest of Mazatlan and about 130 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 2 p.m. PDT advisory.

Maximum sustained winds reached 40 mph with higher gusts as Norman was moving north at 16 mph. The storm was expected to track northward for the next day or two with little change in strength.

Tropical storm-force winds extended as far as 115 miles from the center of the storm. Total rainfall accumulations could reach 4 to 8 inches with as much as 12 inches of isolated maximum amounts, possibly producing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Nadine was stationary in the Atlantic Ocean 710 miles southwest of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect for Nadine.

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