In other news Wednesday, a proposition to legalize recreational use of marijuana in California failed with 54 percent voting against it.
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Supporters of legalizing marijuana fell short Tuesday in California. Fifty-four percent voted no to allowing possession of pot for recreational use. Opponents of the idea hailed the outcome.
ALEXANDRA DATIG, No on Prop 19 Campaign: We knew that the voters weren't going to buy into this. So, we're — we're glad that the California voters have made the right decision. They have made the responsible decision for California. And, you know, certainly the last thing we need in California is to be broke and stoned. So, you know, thank goodness that's not going to be the case.
California voters also refused to delay greenhouse gas regulations until unemployment comes down.
Elsewhere, voters in Oklahoma barred state courts from using the Islamic Sharia law in making rulings. And, in Iowa, three justices lost their seats on the state Supreme Court after they voted to legalize gay marriage.
Authorities in Greece have halted all outgoing airmail packages for 48 hours. They acted after a spate of mail bombs that targeted embassies in Athens and European leaders. One bomb reached the office of German Chancellor Angela
Merkel. Another one addressed to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi caught fire at an airport. Greek police said they believe domestic terrorists are involved, with no connection to al-Qaida.
The Indonesian volcano Mount Merapi exploded today with its most ferocious eruption yet. The blast threw ash clouds six miles out and forced evacuations of refugee camps. More than 70,000 villagers have already had to flee, and 38 people have died since the volcano became active. Aid groups warned funding for the refugees might run out in five days.
Former President George W. Bush considered dropping Vice President Cheney as his running mate in 2004. He writes about it in his new memoir, "Decision Points." According to The New York Times, the 43rd president says he considered a Cheney offer to step aside because it would show who was in charge.
He also says cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure in the war in Iraq. The book is being published next week.
The U.S. Supreme Court returned today to the issue of public support for religion. The case involved Arizona tax credits for taxpayers who contribute to scholarship groups. Many of the scholarships go to private religious schools. Opponents argued the tax credits violate the separation of church and state. The Obama administration joined the state in defending the program.
U.S. auto sales were up last month. Chrysler and Hyundai led the way with gains of more than 35 percent. Ford was up 19 percent.
And Wall Street advanced again today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 26 points to close at 11215. The Nasdaq rose six points to close at 2540.
Those are some of the day's major stories.