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THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, CNN (U.S.)

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With less than a week until election day, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remain in a virtual dead heat, according to latest poll figures.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll tips Romney with 49% and Obama at 48%. There has not been one single point difference over the past five days of tracking.

One can look for clues in responses to the more specific questions, particularly about the economy, which all agree is central in the electorate's collective mind. Here's something to chew on: when asked which candidate would handle the economy better, 49% said Mitt Romney, with 46% favoring Obama. When asked which candidate better understands the economic problems in the country, 49% responded with Obama, compared to 45% for Romney.

The latest poll published Wednesday by the New York Times and CBS News gives Obama a narrow advantage with 48% compared to Romney's 47%. The President is also maintaining a slim margin in the crucial battleground state of Ohio.

Both polls are well within the statistical margin for error.

Across polling data, Obama is faring better with women, as well as black and Latino voters, while Romney is ahead with male and independents.

Source: @ButterPcanRican via Twitter

With only six days to go, Superstorm Sandy has thrown a curveball at the two candidates. President Obama has chosen to stay off the campaign trail Wednesday and instead will tour the damaged areas of New Jersey along with Republican Governor Chris Christie.

Interviewed on Tuesday by CNN, Christie, a frequent critic of the President, described Obama's response to the catastrophe as "outstanding," and "incredibly supportive and helpful to our state."

Mr. Romney will reportedly continue his schedule and visit Florida on Wednesday after holding a storm relief event in Ohio on Tuesday.

"Storm relief event" in Dayton begins with the Romney bio campaign video touting his record as a leader & a problem-solver.

— Ari Shapiro (@Ari_Shapiro) October 30, 2012

The storm, which has raised questions about climate change that have otherwise been absent in the election campaign, has also prompted the nation to question the two candidates' policies on the role of federal government.

The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Romney repeatedly ignored questions about his position on federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Republican candidate has previously made clear that disaster management should be the responsibility of the states and not the federal government.

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

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In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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