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Tuesday: Republicans Poised for Gains; Bombers May Have Planned Test-Runs

House Minority Leader John Boehner
House Minority Leader John Boehner. Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Updated 10:45 a.m. ET

As voters cast their ballots Tuesday, Republicans appear poised to take control of the House of Representatives, riding a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment and frustration over the economy.

All 435 House seats, 37 of the 100 Senate seats and 37 of the 50 state governorships are at stake.

The historically expensive midterm campaign was marked by aggressive attack ads and the rise of the Tea Party movement that supports smaller government and lower taxes.

President Obama plans to hold a post-election press conference at the White House on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET.

For more election news, visit The Morning Line. Watch NewsHour Political Editor David Chalian and USA Today’s Susan Page sum up the stakes here.

Earlier Packages from Yemen May Have Been Test Run

Intercepted shipments of household items sent from Yemen to Chicago in September may have been a test run for a terrorist attack with explosives, American intelligence officials said Monday, according to the New York Times.

Boxes containing books, papers, CDs and other harmless items were shipped to addresses in Chicago and could have been tracked hour-by-hour by the sender on the shipping companies’ Web sites.

The information may have been used for planning the detonation of the two printer cartridges packed with explosives that were intercepted en route from Yemen in Britain and Dubai on Friday.

More Bombs Sent to Embassies in Greece

Bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies in the Greek capital of Athens on Tuesday. No one was injured. Parcel bombs were also detonated outside parliament, the Bulgarian embassy and a courier company in the city, according to the Associated Press.

“The number of these parcel bombs is beginning to be startling. But it’s still not a million miles away from what we’ve been used to in Greece for the last 10 years or so. The prime suspects would have to be the anarchists or far left as usual,” David Lea, a Western Europe analyst, told Reuters.

On Monday, Greek police said it had intercepted a booby-trapped parcel addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, after another package exploded at a courier company in Athens.

American-Born Cleric on Trial in Absentia in Yemen

A New Mexico native Islamic cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki is on trial in Yemen in absentia, accused of plotting to kill Westerners and of being a member of al-Qaida.

Al-Awlaki, who is believed to be living in a mountainous region of Yemen, was in the news last year when e-mails linked him to the Army psychiatrist accused of a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas. He has been described as a radical cleric and recruiter for al-Qaida.

The charges were announced as part of a trial against another man, Hisham Assem, who is accused of killing a Frenchman in an October attack on an oil firm compound.

Supreme Court Takes Up Violent Video Games

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on a federal court’s decision to throw out a California ban on the sale of violent video games to minors.

California’s 2005 measure would have banned the sale or rental of games depicting “killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” to those under 18.

The federal judge who struck down the measure and video game makers say the law is a violation of free speech rights.

Giants Win First World Series in San Francisco

The San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since 1954 on Monday, beating the Texas Rangers 3-1 in Game 5 to clinch the series 4-1.

It was the team’s first World Series victory since the franchise moved from New York to the west coast in 1958.

Series MVP Edgar Renteria hit a three-run home run in the seventh-inning to give the team the edge it needed over the Rangers, playing at their home field in Arlington, Texas. Back in San Francisco, Giant’s fans erupted in “joyful mayhem,” honking their horns and dancing in the streets.

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