National news briefs: 11/11/12

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- President Barack Obama was declared the winner of Florida's 29 electoral votes Saturday, ending a four-day count with a razor-thin margin that narrowly avoided an automatic recount that would have brought back memories of 2000.

No matter the outcome, Mr. Obama had already clinched re-election and now has 332 electoral votes to Republican challenger Mitt Romney's 206.

The Florida Secretary of State's Office said that with almost 100 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Obama led Mr. Romney by 50 percent to 49.1 percent, a difference of about 74,000 votes. That was over the half-percent margin where a computer recount would have been automatically ordered unless Mr. Romney had waived it.

Quake in Kentucky

WHITESBURG, Ky. -- A 4.3-magnitude earthquake centered in southeastern Kentucky shook residents Saturday from northern Ohio to North Carolina and Alabama.

The earthquake, centered more than half a mile underground about eight miles west of Whitesburg, Ky., did not appear to cause any structural damage in the Ohio Valley. The epicenter was about 35 miles west of the southwestern Virginia border. It occurred at 12:08 p.m. local time, according to the federal agency that tracks earthquakes.

Ex-Citi execs reap bonuses

NEW YORK -- Citigroup has paid its former CEO, Vikram Pandit, who resigned abruptly last month, a bonus of $6.7 million for work he did for the bank this year.

The bank, which disclosed the payment in a regulatory filing Friday, also paid its former chief operating officer John Havens, who left the bank at the same time Mr. Pandit did, $6.8 million. Citi characterized the payments as "incentive awards" and said the two executives weren't entitled to any severance payments as a result of their departures.

Citi gave no explanation at the time of Mr. Pandit's departure, but it was widely reported that he had fallen out of favor with the company's board.

Parole violators' reprieve?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California corrections officials are poised to drop the arrest warrants of thousands of parole violators, releasing them from state supervision at a time when their detention would complicate efforts to ease crowding in state and county lockups.

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation intends to begin a massive review this week of more than 9,200 outstanding warrants, starting with individuals who were convicted of nonviolent crimes and absconded from supervision.

'Meatless Monday' pushed

LOS ANGELES -- From the city council that declared war on trans-fats and fast-food restaurants comes the latest way to make residents feel guilty about what they eat.

The Los Angeles council, in a 14-0 vote on Friday, adopted a resolution urging residents to adopt a personal pledge to have a "meatless Monday."

While it does not have the force of law, city officials said they hope it will start a trend, make residents healthier and reduce the impact on the environment.

Jet workers OK pact

WICHITA, Kan. -- Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers approved a five-year contract with Bombardier Learjet on Saturday, putting an end to the month-long walkout.

The workers could return to the Wichita plant as soon as Monday.

-- Compiled from news services

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