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Strikers Lift Blockade at France's Largest Refinery

Acute fuel shortages continued to plague France Monday even as striking dockworkers ended their blockade of the country's biggest oil port, Marseille.

A quarter of France's gas stations have run out of fuel as most of the country’s 12 refineries remain shut. But oil industry officials said blockades have been cleared at most of the port's fuel depots.

Workers across France are protesting government plans to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday the strikes are costing the nation's economy as much as $560 million per day.

Nick Popaditch for Congress

Nick Popaditch, a retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant wounded in action during the fighting in Fallujah in April, 2004, and the subject of the cover story in the November 2010 issue of Soldier of Fortune, is running for the House of Representatives in the 51st Congressional District of California.

His campaign website is at:

Ilario Pantano for Congress

Former Marine Second Lieutenant Ilario Pantano, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, is running for the House of Representatives in the 7th Congressional District of North Carolina.

His web site is at:

Frank Mirabile Needs Help

Frank Mirabile is running in Maryland's 7th district, home of 16 year incumbent Elijah Cummings. Cummings is a radical leftist member of the Congressional Black Caucus and a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (in other words, he is a Socialist).

Frank has run a come-from-behind race on a shoestring budget that can only be described as amazing. Read the accompanying article about the race here. Time is running out as we come down to the wire for the November elections. Cummings has a big war chest and Frank needs to saturate the district with TV ads to put him over the top.

Tango Mike Mike

Video tribute to Roy Benavidez, awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in the Vietnam War.

French Unions Announce More Strikes

French labor unions on Thursday called on workers to demonstrate in large numbers for two more national protests against the government's plan to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62, and the age for full retirement benefits from 65 to 67. Transpiration has been disrupted and there has been unrest across France for more than a week as workers and students protest proposed law.

The leaders of eight major unions announced plans for two new strike days - October 28 and November 6.

Reports: Russia Awards Spies Deported from US

Russian news reports say President Dmitry Medvedev has bestowed the country’s highest state honor on the Russian spies deported from the United States earlier this year.

Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova was quoted as saying that an awards ceremony took place Monday at the Kremlin, and included “the spies who were working in the United States and returned to Russia in July.”

In all, 11 Russians were charged by U.S. prosecutors in late June with spying activities. The last suspect was arrested in Cyprus and released on bail before disappearing.

Coast Guard tows 30-foot fishing vessel

Video by U.S. Coast Guard District 17

Germany, India, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal Win UN Security Council Seats

Germany, India, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal have been elected to non-permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council. Tuesday's vote in the U.N. General Assembly saw some drama as Canada withdrew in a third round of voting as Portugal appeared poised to defeat Ottawa’s bid.

The five new council members will start a two-year term on January first. They will participate in decisions ranging from deploying U.N. peacekeepers to imposing sanctions, as the council monitors international peace and security.