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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Geneticists are working with a “super potato” that could mean a future with blemish-free french fries.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is approving the commercial planting of a spud that’s genetically modified to resist bruising, and when cooking, produces less of a suspected human carcinogen that’s caused cancer in animals.

The potato is developed by the Boise, Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Company, which is a major supplier of french fries, hash browns, and other potato products for restaurant chains like McDonald’s.

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National Basketball Association(MIAMI) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is out indefinitely due to a severely sprained left ankle.

Rubio suffered the injury just before halftime of the team’s loss Friday to the Orlando Magic when he rolled his ankle while driving the lane toward the hoop.

Rubio had an MRI in Miami Saturday that revealed the sprain but showed no fracture.

Mo Williams will most likely start in Rubio’s place.

The 24-year-old Rubio has started five games this season averaging 9.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 10 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(AVONDALE, Ariz.) — Denny Hamlin ran a lap at 142.113 mph to take the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Hamlin and five of the other eight drivers still in contention for the title will start in the top seven Sunday.

Hamlin is currently tied for the points lead with Joey Logano and only needs to finish 11th or better Sunday to be one of the four drivers to make the championship race next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Even though Hamlin doesn’t need a win to get in, that doesn’t mean he won’t be trying his hardest.

“I think the competition level is just too close and tight to be able to think you are going to coast to an 11th-place finish,” Hamlin said. “You’ve got to go all-out on every single lap. We have to go out there and perform on a high level or else we aren’t going to make it. There are too many other cars for us to think that we are just going to ride around and take a spot.”

The seven other drivers that have a chance to win the championship qualified as follows: Brad Keselowski (2nd), Kevin Harvick (3rd), Logano (4th), Matt Kenseth (5th), Jeff Gordon (7th), Carl Edwards (13th), and Ryan Newman (20th).

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(AVONDALE, Ariz.) — Denny Hamlin ran a lap at 142.113 mph to take the pole for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Hamlin and five of the other eight drivers still in contention for the title will start in the top seven Sunday.

Hamlin is currently tied for the points lead with Joey Logano and only needs to finish 11th or better Sunday to be one of the four drivers to make the championship race next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Even though Hamlin doesn’t need a win to get in, that doesn’t mean he won’t be trying his hardest.

“I think the competition level is just too close and tight to be able to think you are going to coast to an 11th-place finish,” Hamlin said. “You’ve got to go all-out on every single lap. We have to go out there and perform on a high level or else we aren’t going to make it. There are too many other cars for us to think that we are just going to ride around and take a spot.”

The seven other drivers that have a chance to win the championship qualified as follows: Brad Keselowski (2nd), Kevin Harvick (3rd), Logano (4th), Matt Kenseth (5th), Jeff Gordon (7th), Carl Edwards (13th), and Ryan Newman (20th).

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iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — A rookie Michael Jordan basketball trading card was expected to earn more than $80,000 in an online auction, but it failed to sell.

Heritage Auctions in Dallas says the bidding for the 1986 card did not get to the mandated reserve of $60,000.

The card is one of only five Jordan rookie cards to get a grading services top grade of “Pristine 10.”

Heritage is now offering the card for $71,700 on its website.

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Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The Oakland Raiders are one of the NFL’s premier franchises, but they could be on the move as team officials have met with a delegation of officials from San Antonio about a potential move for the franchise.

Team owner Mark Davis met with former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and other city officials on Friday in the Bay area, four months after Davis met with them in San Antonio.

The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Oakland Coliseum but the team has been unable to reach a deal for a new stadium with local officials.

“We’re going to present San Antonio’s strengths and assets in the most persuasive way possible,” Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News prior to the meeting. “We have a very, very good opportunity to set it forth in a way the Raiders can digest.”

The Raiders are the only NFL team that shares its stadium with a baseball team, the Oakland Athletics.

The team moved to Los Angeles following the 1981 season, but was brought back to Oakland in 1995.

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US Dept of Justice(WASHINGTON) — As one of the longest-serving attorneys general in U.S. history prepares to leave office, President Obama made it clear Saturday that the woman he’s nominated to be Eric Holder’s successor will be expected to pick up right where he left off on civil rights.

“Throughout her 30-year career she has distinguished herself as tough, as fair, an independent lawyer who has twice headed one of the most prominent U.S. attorney’s offices in the country,” the president said at the nomination ceremony for Loretta Lynch, who is currently the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

“She has spent years in the trenches as a prosecutor aggressively fighting terrorism, financial fraud, cybercrime — all while vigorously defending civil rights,” Obama said.

Flanked by Holder and Lynch, the president repeated that civil rights theme throughout her introduction in the White House. Obama pointed out she was born in Greensboro, N.C., a year before the famous sit-in protest by four black students at a “whites-only” lunch counter in 1960.

As a child, Lynch would “ride on the shoulders” of her Baptist minister father as he helped organize desegregation activists, the president said Her grandfather, Obama said, was a sharecropper who had helped poor blacks find legal help in the Jim Crow south of the 1930s.

If confirmed by the Senate, Lynch would become the first black woman to hold the office — succeeding the first black man.

“Loretta has spent her entire life fighting for fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy,” Obama continued, ranking off achievements including the prosecution of suspected terrorists, mob and gang members, and a high-profile case of police brutality against a Haitian immigrant in 1997.

Saturday was also Lynch’s first public speaking appearance since news of her nomination broke on Friday.

“No one gets to this place, this room, this podium, this moment, by themselves,” she said, thanking her family, colleagues, and Holder himself for “pushing this department to live up to its name.”

“The Department of Justice is the only cabinet department named for an ideal,” she said. “Today I stand before you so thrilled, and frankly so humbled, to have the opportunity to lead this group of wonderful people who work all day and well into the night to make that ideal a manifest reality.”

As a federal prosecutor Lynch has survived two prior confirmations before Congress, once during the Clinton administration and again after President Obama took office. But her fate in the the Senate is less than certain: Eric Holder was a constant target of conservatives during his tenure, partially for what they viewed as overreach of civil rights activism.

But Lynch is not a member of Obama’s inner circle and that distance — combined with a low-profile history — could aid her in the process.

The White House has said it would defer to lawmakers on when those confirmation hearings would begin. With Republicans now having won back control of Senate during last Tuesday’s elections it may come before the New Year, when majority power is officially handed over from the Democrats.

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Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(ALAMEDA, Calif.) — The Oakland Raiders are one of the NFL’s premier franchises, but they could be on the move as team officials have met with a delegation of officials from San Antonio about a potential move for the franchise.

Team owner Mark Davis met with former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and other city officials on Friday in the Bay area, four months after Davis met with them in San Antonio.

The Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Oakland Coliseum but the team has been unable to reach a deal for a new stadium with local officials.

“We’re going to present San Antonio’s strengths and assets in the most persuasive way possible,” Cisneros told the San Antonio Express-News prior to the meeting. “We have a very, very good opportunity to set it forth in a way the Raiders can digest.”

The Raiders are the only NFL team that shares its stadium with a baseball team, the Oakland Athletics.

The team moved to Los Angeles following the 1981 season, but was brought back to Oakland in 1995.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The midterm elections took place Tuesday. Miss the coverage? No problem. We’ve turned to Shushannah Walshe, deputy political director for ABC News and co-author of Sarah From Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Candidate, to help explain what happened.

1. For those not paying attention to the midterm elections, they happened Tuesday and the Republicans, aka the GOP, did really well, right?

SW: Yes, really well. Call it a shellacking, thumping, a wave, whatever you want. It was a great night for Republicans and a devastating one for Democrats. The Republicans not only took control of the Senate, with an extra seat to spare (and one more that hasn’t been called yet so there could be another), they gained seats in the House of Representatives and had huge gubernatorial wins, even in blue states, like Massachusetts and Maryland.

2. Were there any bright spots for the Democrats?

SW: In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen held on to her seat against her GOP challenger former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who crossed the border to run in the Granite State. Also in that state, Gov. Maggie Hassan held on to her governorship against businessman Walt Havenstein who surged in the polls at the end. In Pennsylvania, Democratic challenger Tom Wolf beat incumbent GOP Gov. Tom Corbett, another bright spot in an otherwise painful night for Dems. In the House, two notable Democratic wins were Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham, who beat incumbent GOP Rep. Steve Southerland and in Nebraska, Brad Ashford knocked off incumbent GOP Rep. Lee Terry, the first Democrat Omaha has sent to the House in 20 years. Both are big wins for Democrats.

3. But some of the races are still going right on right? What are the important ones and when will they be resolved?

SW: Yes! We have a few races that are still unresolved. In Alaska, both the Senate and gubernatorial races are without outcomes, but this is a state where historically it can take longer to determine winners because of results coming in from remote locales. As in all states, absentee ballots can be mailed in from all over, but unlike other states in Alaska absentee and early ballots may come from voters in far-flung locales like commercial salmon fishermen or oil rig workers on the North Slope. Right now in the Senate race, GOP challenger Dan Sullivan is leading Democrat Sen. Mark Begich by about 8,000 votes and in the gubernatorial race independent challenger Bill Walker is leading GOP Gov. Sean Parnell by about 3,000 votes. But, there could be as many as 50,000 votes still to be counted and Alaskans have 15 days to get their absentee ballots in from Election Day, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 4.

4. How does the president feel about the results? I heard something about bourbon.

SW: The president admitted the day after that the “Republicans had a good night,” but said it “doesn’t make me mopey, it energizes me, because it means that this democracy’s working.” But, yes let’s get to bourbon. President Obama has only met one-on-one with the man who is set to be Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, once or twice in six years, but the president told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on Wednesday he would be willing to meet the Kentucky Senator for a cocktail.

“You know, actually, I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell,” Obama said during a news conference at the White House. “I don’t know what his preferred drink is, but, you know, my interactions with Mitch McConnell, he–you know, he has always been very straightforward with me.”

This is a light-hearted turnaround from the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner where he dismissed the idea, garnering huge laughs from the crowd.

“Some folks still don’t think I spend enough time with Congress. ‘Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?’ they ask,” Obama told the crowd, tongue firmly in cheek. “Really? Why don’t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell? I’m sorry. I get frustrated sometimes.”

Now, we can all look forward to a bourbon summit. When will it be? Well the folks over at Knob Creek Bourbon suggested hosting the event on December 5, the day Prohibition ended.

5. OK, so, the government was divided before the election and will still be divided in January. What does that actually mean in terms of governance?

SW: It’s hard to say right now. Americans made it very clear at the polls they do not want gridlock anymore and on Friday the president hosted congressional leaders for a long lunch to hammer some areas of agreement. There will, of course, continue to be areas of serious disagreement, but if both sides can agree on some policy including issues like trade and tax reform, that’s a step in the right direction.

“Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign. I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like. That’s natural. That’s how our democracy works,” Obama said at the same news conference Wednesday, acknowledging the obvious difficulties.

He will also have to brush off the veto stamp, something he has only used twice. And one more thing. He could still go through with an executive action on immigration, something he has said he will do, but will surely inflame the GOP.

6. Last, but not least, who are the rising stars everyone is talking about? Someone named Love?

SW: There are quite a few Republican rising stars that were big winners Tuesday, including Mia Love, who won a congressional seat in Utah and is the first Republican African-American woman in the House.

There’s also Elise Stefanik, who won a congressional seat in New York State. At 30, she will be the youngest woman in the House ever.

There’s Joni Ernst, the hog-castrating, motorcycle riding mom and state senator who was vaulted to GOP superstar in her successful bid for the Iowa Senate. Her seat clinched the GOP majority Tuesday night.

There’s also Tom Cotton, who after serving just one term in the House is now the Senator-elect from Arkansas, beating out Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. At only 37, he holds two Harvard degrees and will be the youngest lawmaker in the Senate next year. He’s also a veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s many more, but that’s a sampling. As you can see, the make-up of Congress next year already looks very different and much younger.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller have been released from North Korea and are on their way back to the United States.

Bae had been held for two years and Miller was in captivity for seven months.

According to U.S. officials, Bae and Miller are being accompanied by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The State Department said in a statement, “The safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad is the Department of State’s highest priority, and the United States has long called on DPRK authorities to release these individuals on humanitarian grounds. We join their families and friends in welcoming them home.”

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