It’s Halloween, as if you and your wallet didn’t already know it. With all the candy, parties and fancy costuming for kids and adults alike - even cutting corners, rounding out the blue-tuxedo "Gangnam Style" outfit might have set you back a penny or two - Americans are expected to spend about $8 billion on the event.
Looking for a thrill, or some last-minute costume inspiration? We have you covered.
The Giants will be riding high in ticker tape today, when San Francisco welcomes home the 2012 World Series winners. The team's colors are orange and black, so it's fitting that it is Halloween.
Festivities kick off at 11 a.m. The parade will begin on Market Street and stretch to the Civic Center Plaza.
For the second time in three years, the Giants claimed Major League Baseball's top prize.
Completing their sweep of the Tigers took extra innings, but the Giants prevailed 4-3 Sunday night.
A little girl was fighting for her life early Monday after she was shot outside a Halloween party by a relative who mistook her costume for a skunk.
Police in western Pennsylvania's New Sewickley Township said the 9-year-old girl was dressed in black with a black hat for the Saturday evening party.
As the two to three dozen guests milled about, the girl went to hide on the edge of a hill.
What do hockey, pumpkin carving, and bone-fetching have in common?
Surprisingly, they can all be done underwater. Add a little liquid to these every day activities and see how different they become. Take a minute and dive into today's Gotta Watch videos.
Deep Diving Dog– Many dogs love water but this pooch is taking that love to a new depth. Check out this rescue pet's impressive spiral as he retrieves a toy from the bottom of the deep end.
More than 2.3 million people in at least five states were without power early Monday, a day after the storm moved offshore.
At least five deaths were blamed on the storm.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or MBTA, warned riders that the storm could affect Monday morning commute. And with the chilly temperatures and piles of snow, Halloween plans were touch and go for many cities.
Worchester, Massachussets, asked residents to postpone celebrations until Thursday when temperatures are expected to climb to 60 degrees.
"Safety doesn't take a holiday. Halloween tomorrow night will put families and our youth in harm's way as they negotiate piles of snow and downed limbs," the city said Sunday night.
Early Monday morning, the state's largest utility - Connecticut Light and Power - reported nearly 763,000 customers were still without electricity. A total of about 773,000 households were in the dark in Connecticut.
Elsewhere, about 250,000 customers were without power early Monday in Pennsylvania; 556,000 in Massachusetts' 477,000 in New Jersey; and 288,000 in New York, according to figures from power companies in those states. Thousands also lost power in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.FULL STORY
Three things you need to know today.
Texas fire: Firefighters in Bastrop County, Texas, continue to battle on Wednesday a blaze that sprang up Tuesday near where fire destroyed more than 1,500 homes in September.
About 1,000 acres were burning with multiple street evacuations, according to Sissy Jones, spokeswoman with the Bastrop County sheriff's office.
"We have had to evacuate 30 homes in the area," John Nichols, public information officer with the Texas Forest Service, told CNN. A highway in the area was closed because of the fire, he added.
The area that was burning is in the northeast portion of the county near the town of McDade, Texas. The cause of the fire was unknown, authorities said.
Wall Street protest: Labor unions were poised Wednesday to join the Occupy Wall Street protest as similar demonstrations were springing up outside New York City.
"These young people on Wall Street are giving voice to many of the problems that working people in America have been confronting over the last several years," Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which has 20,000 member in the New York area, told CNN.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 spokesman Jim Gannon said the Occupy Wall Street movement, which denounces social inequities in the financial system and draws inspiration from the Arab Spring revolutions in Africa and the Middle East, has advanced issues that unions typically support.
Meanwhile, a Twitter account called Occupy Boston mentions a city-wide college walkout there Wednesday. The Massachusetts Nurses Association says "hundreds" of the city's nurses will rally with the Occupy Boston protestors on Wednesday. The Nurses Association says the protest will be part of the opening day activities for a national nursing convention being held in Boston.
Halloween costumes: Charlie Sheen, the former star of TV's "Two and a Half Men" who was fired from the popular sitcom earlier this year, is the most popular Halloween costume for 2011, CNNMoney reports.
Top choices for women include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Snooki from the "Jersey Shore," the report says, citing figures from Spirit Halloween, the country's largest seasonal Halloween retailer.
As for kids' costumes, expect to be seeing a lot of Angry Birds on your doorstep on Halloween night, the report says.
The British heavy metal icon and former Black Sabbath frontman had a good reason for having his full genome sequenced and analyzed: He wanted to know why he was still alive.
“I was curious,” he wrote in a column this week for London’s The Sunday Times. "Given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years—not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills, cough syrup, LSD, Rohypnol … you name it - there's really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why."
The St. Louis, Missouri-based Cofactor Genomics sequenced his genome and Knome Inc. analyzed the data, putting the Prince of Darkness in the same company as DNA co-discoverer James Watson and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, who also have submitted to the process, Scientific American reported.
People are increasing using genome analysis “to uncover information about their ancestral histories, impending health risks and disorders of potential progeny,” the magazine reported in June.
“Despite the completion of the generalized human genome draft a decade ago, connections between diseases and genetic variations have proved to be evermore complex and elusive,” it said.
Knome co-founder Jorge Conde said Osbourne was interested in his ancestry and in recently being diagnosed with a Parkinson’s-like condition. The test revealed some Neanderthal lineage as well as “novel variants” in genes associated with addiction and metabolism.
The company didn’t divulge the full results of Osbourne’s test. The rocker and his wife, Sharon, are appearing at TEDMED 2010 in San Diego, California, on Friday to discuss the results. His speech is titled, “What will the unveiling of a full Osbourne genome reveal?”
A Halloween treat, no doubt.
School official mocks gays –A school board official in Arkansas is facing fierce criticism for allegedly writing hateful comments about gay people on his Facebook page, including that he wanted gay people to commit suicide, the Advocate reports.
According to the national newspaper, Midland School District Vice President Clint McCance wrote "queer" and "fag" repeatedly, promised to disown his own children if they were gay, and stated that he enjoys "the fact that [gay people] often give each other AIDS and die."
State officials have strongly condemned the comments, saying that the school district tries to foster an environment of tolerance and safety from bullies. Because McCance is elected he cannot be fired.
He's up for re-election Nov. 2 and is running unopposed, according to The Advocate.
Obama on The Daily Show - President Obama had a serious conversation with The Daily Show's Jon Stewart less than a week before Tuesday's midterm elections. Stewart called the president's legislative progress "timid," a contrast to Obama's more aggressive style of campaigning. In a gentle way, Stewart challenged Obama about whether the president has lived up to the big promises he made in 2008. Many who missed the show last night are watching this morning.
Halloween lanterns recalled –– The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Dollar Tree Stores are recalling 682,000 battery-operated lantern skulls, ghosts and pumpkins that can overheat. The bulb in the lanterns poses fire and burn hazards to consumers, according to the agency.