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Oct. 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM
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Romney takes lead in Gallup poll

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney leads President Barack Obama among likely voters, a Gallup poll released Tuesday showed.

The poll indicated Romney leads Obama 49 percent to 47 percent among likely voters.

The poll comes one day after the Pew poll showed Romney with a 49-45 edge over the president, while a United Press International poll had Obama ahead by 1 point.

Gallup showed Obama leading 49-46 among registered voters, while Pew had the two candidates tied at 46-46 and UPI had Obama up 49-46 among registered voters.

Although the Gallup poll showed Romney in the lead following last week's debate in Denver, it also showed 53 percent of those surveyed said they approve of Obama's performance in office, compared to 42 percent who said they disapprove.

The Gallup poll was conducted Oct. 2-8. The Princeton, N.J., pollster surveyed 3,214 registered voters and 2,721 likely voters by phone nationwide. The poll's margin of error is 2 percentage points.

Rise in violence against Afghan women

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Afghan Human Rights Commission officials expressed concern about the rise in honor killings and rape cases -- more than 100 in the first half of the year.

They added violence against women is increasing in Afghanistan and they are working on programs to reduce it, Khaama Press reported Tuesday.

"Honor killings are committed by family members, specifically the husbands of the women, and the majority of the rape victims are under 18. The Human Rights Commission has decided to work on a national program to investigate the reasons behind the growing violence," commission women's rights advocate Suraya Sobrang said.

The program will collect the opinions of citizens, as well as government and non-governmental agencies, and present it to international organizations, officials said.

Lack of proper justice, growing corruption and illiteracy are suspected to have roles in the growing violence against women in Afghanistan, the website said.

LAX passenger in body armor detained

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- A man who wore body armor and carried weapons on a flight from Japan to Los Angeles faces a federal charge of transporting hazardous materials, officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Anne Walsh said in an affidavit the man was wearing "body armor (including a bulletproof vest, flame-retardant legging covers, and knee pads), underneath a trench coat" when he arrived Friday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Walsh said Customs and Border Protection Officer Kenny Frick initially noticed the body armor when the passenger, identified as Yongda Harris, 28, was subjected to a baggage examination.

"Officer Frick and CBP Officer Brandon Parker conducted a baggage examination of HARRIS's checked baggage, where several weapons and suspicious items were found, to include a pyrotechnic smoke grenade, three sap weapons (lead-filled, leather-coated billy clubs that Officers Frick and Parker understood to be prohibited under California law), a collapsible baton (also understood by Officers Frick and Parker to be prohibited under California law), a full face respirator, various knives, a hatchet, body bags, a tyvex biohazard suit, various masks, duct tape, batteries, oven mitts, cooking tongs, hand cuffs, leg irons, plastic flexi-cuffs, and a device to repel dogs."

Harris, a U.S. citizen of Chinese descent, had been living and working recently in Japan, and had planned to fly to his home in Boston, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He was charged with one count of transporting hazardous materials.

Private school enrollment declining

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Census Bureau's statistical survey of students indicates enrollment in private elementary and high schools is trending downward.

Attendance in private schools dropped to 4.1 million in 2011, down from 4.8 million in 2005 and a high of 6.5 million in 1965, the survey noted.

It also indicated non-Hispanic white children now make up only a slight majority of elementary school students, 54 percent, down from 58 percent in 2005.

For the first time the Census Bureau has developed a series of charts, available on its website, illustrating trends in school enrollment from 1947 to the present, it said in a release Tuesday.

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