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Nationwide polls spell trouble for Republicans.  But control of the House and the Senate will depend on local voting. We look at some close races around the country. How important is the war in Iraq? Are candidates addressing the issues voters want to hear about most?  Can President Bush still make a difference?  Plus, a Virginia sheriff and 18 deputies are indicted for selling confiscated guns and drugs, and Starbucks is accused of blocking Ethiopia’s bid to trademark coffee.

Making News VA Sheriff, Deputies Indicted for Selling Confiscated Drugs and Guns 6 MIN, 15 SEC

Fifteen people--including the Sheriff of Henry County and 12 deputies--have been arrested in western Virginia for selling drugs and guns confiscated from criminal suspects.  The US Drug Enforcement Agency says the indictments are the result of a five-year investigation.

Joe Zupan, Reporter for WVTF

Main Topic National Issues and Local Elections 36 MIN, 35 SEC

Absentee ballots already are being cast, but most voting won't happen until Tuesday.  With less than a week before the mid-term elections, the war in Iraq means big trouble for Republicans, according to nationwide polls. But control of the next Congress will depend on local voting for Senate seats in 33 states and for House seats in 435 different districts. Many races are so close that control of the Congress and Senate could depend on some last-minute development nobody's thought of before. Despite dwindling support nationwide, can President Bush still make a difference? Are the candidates addressing the issues their constituents want to hear about most?  What are prospective voters seeing on TV? We take a look at some cliff-hangers around the country to see how local issues and circumstances might impact the outcome.

Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center (@pewresearch)
Ken Warren, St. Louis University
Stuart Elway, Head of Elway Research
Tom Baxter, Chief Political Correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jonathan Riskind, Washington Bureau Chief, Columbus Dispatch
Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News (@toddgillman)

Reporter's Notebook Is Starbucks Blocking Ethiopia's Bid to Trademark Coffee? 6 MIN, 27 SEC

Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, applied to trademark three of its most famous varieties.  After a protest by the National Coffee Association, the US Trademark and Patent Office denied the request. Starbucks, an Association member, advertises its good relationship with suppliers. With estimated revenues of $80 billion a year, coffee is the world's most valuable trading commodity after oil, according to Oxfam, which says that multinational companies are ripping off farmers in poor countries. The British charity claims Starbucks was behind the trademark denial.

Seth Petchers, Leader of Oxfam's Coffee Program

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