AP Top News at 7:55 p.m. EDT

Associated Press
U.S. House Republican Leader John Boehner speaks during a rally at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, in Zanesville, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
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A takeover of the House in sight, Republicans brimmed with confidence while Democrats braced for losses on the eve of recession-era elections for control of Congress and dozens of statehouses. "The American people are in charge," declared GOP leader John Boehner, vowing to shrink the size and cost of government if his party wins power on Tuesday. Favorites and underdogs alike went through their final campaign paces on Monday, beckoning voters to turn out in the small towns of swing House districts and the large urban centers where statewide races are won and lost.

WASHINGTON (AP) — How early will America know if it's a Republican romp or if Democrats somehow minimized their damage? There should be plenty of clues Tuesday evening — and long before bedtime. Final results in some states might not be known for days. But trends could be evident from the Midwest and South — especially from Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia — even before most of the nation has finished dinner. Six states have polls that close at 7 p.m. EDT, and 16 more close by 8 p.m., featuring plenty of telling races in the East and Midwest. First up: Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Vermont, offering the first hard evidence of just how big a night it's going to be for Republicans.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Arizona's immigration law faced tough scrutiny from a federal appeals panel Monday as the state's governor appeared in person to support the controversial provision on the day before the election in which she's seeking her first full term. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals signaled it was ready to toss out the provision of Arizona's law that criminalizes the failure to carry immigration papers showing lawful residency in the United States.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Al-Qaida's top bombmaker raised his game, officials believe, by following his miss on a crowded U.S.-bound passenger jet last Christmas with four times more explosives packed into bombs hidden last week on flights from Yemen. The two bombs contained 300 and 400 grams of the industrial explosive PETN, according to a German security official, who briefed reporters Monday in Berlin on condition of anonymity in line with department guidelines. By comparison, the bomb stuffed into a terrorist suspect's underwear on the Detroit-bound plane contained about 80 grams.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A day before the pivotal midterm elections, President Barack Obama pulled back from remarks he made last month when he called on Latino voters to punish their "enemies" on Election Day. In an interview Monday with radio host Michael Baisden, Obama said he should have used the word "opponents" instead of enemies. Republicans were quick to criticize the president's remarks. House Minority Leader John Boehner was expected to use Obama's words in an election eve speech in Ohio to paint the president as a staunch partisan.

MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia (AP) — Deafening explosions of hot gas rattled evacuees miles (kilometers) from an Indonesian volcano Monday, the latest eruption in a deadly week. The country reported increased rumblings at 21 other active volcanoes, raising questions about what's causing the uptick along some of the world's most volatile fault lines. No casualties were reported in Mount Merapi's new blast, which came as Indonesia struggles to respond to an earthquake-generated tsunami that devastated a remote chain of islands. The two disasters unfolding on opposite ends of the country have killed nearly 500 people and strained the government's emergency response network. In both events, the military has been called in to help.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Nearly every Utah juror questioned on the first day of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial said they knew about the case and believed the man charged was likely responsible. Jury selection began Monday in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City for the trial of Brian David Mitchell on charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former California Rep. Gary Condit told jurors Monday that he didn't murder Chandra Levy and insisted he cooperated fully with police when they investigated the Washington intern's disappearance nearly a decade ago. But he continued to evade direct questions on cross-examination about whether he had an intimate relationship with Levy, saying "we're all entitled to some level of privacy."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charlie Sheen filed to end his marriage to his third wife Monday and stated in documents that the couple separated the same day as a Christmas 2009 altercation that led to assault charges against the veteran actor. The divorce came less than a week after the "Two and a Half Men" star was briefly hospitalized in New York City after security at a luxury hotel reported he was being disorderly.

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — Maryland State Police said a drunken 47-year-old Florida man wearing a diaper was arrested for shouting profanities while trick-or-treating. Police said Joseph David DiVanna of Sarasota, Fla., was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct. Police said witnesses reported DiVanna cursed at adults and children in the Fox Chapel neighborhood of West Ocean City as he tried to get them to give him candy.

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