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The Daily Need

Monday morning roundup

Here’s what’s going on with our beats today:


Observers are debating the success of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan on Saturday. Nationwide turnout was about 40 percent, and the vote was marred by sporadic violence. Officials have been hesitant to judge the legitimacy of the result, with more than 4,000 outstanding complaints, including allegations of fraud, to be adjudicated. [Voice of America]


As world leaders convene in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, experts are suggesting that the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals remain far out of reach, especially in Africa. Several recent reports have found that donors have not kept their pledges, and African governments have failed to improve the delivery of services or increase spending on health care. [Los Angeles Times]


International researchers have uncovered a trove of new genetic markers tied to breast and ovarian cancer, dubbed “silent killers” in the medical community. The new data could potentially provide a vast array of new diagnostic services and tests to help women detect the development of cancer early on. [AFP]


The federal government has officially declared BP’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico “dead,” five months after the start of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Despite what President Obama called an important milestone, challenges remain: The economy along the Louisiana coastline is struggling, and the environmental toll from the spill remains unknown. [Voice of America]


Investors were waiting anxiously on Monday for news from the Federal Reserve on whether the central bank would take more aggressive action to respond to the sluggish economy. Analysts were waiting to parse the results of a Fed meeting on Tuesday for signs that the central bank might print more money in an effort to ease the monetary crunch. [Reuters]


“Boardwalk Empire,” perhaps the most hotly anticipated show of the new season, premiered Sunday night on HBO, and the reviews were decidedly mixed. Some critics found the focus on period details — the show is set during prohibition in gangster-run Atlantic City — to weigh down the plot. The show was created by Martin Scorsese, who also directed the first episode, and Terence Winter, a former writer for “The Sopranos.” [The New Republic]