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Morning headlines: Monday, August 20, 2012

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(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Romney distancing himself from Akin

Republican presidential Mitt Romney is distancing himself from Congressman Todd Akin after comments Akin made during an interview with a St. Louis television station.

During the interview on Fox 2's Jaco Report, Akin was asked if he would support abortion in cases when a woman was raped.

"From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin told Jaco. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin said he felt the punishment for rape should be focused on the rapist and not "attacking the child."

Akin's opponent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, said she was "outraged" and called Akin's comments "ignorant" and "insensitive."

Romney's campaign on Sunday said Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, disagree with Todd Akin's comments. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul says Romney's administration would not oppose abortion in cases of rape.

Ill. Gov expected to start campaign to boost support for pension changes

Governor Quinn has been in campaign mode for months, repeatedly bringing up to the media and legislators the importance of tackling Illinois's massively underfunded pension system.

But legislators didn't pass any pension changes back in the Spring session. And when Quinn called them back last week for a special, one-day session to pass something, they didn't.

Without a vote, many worry about downgrades to the state's bond ratings. Now, Quinn says he's taking his pensions campaign in a new direction.

"We've got to, I think, activate the taxpayers," said Quinn.

Quinn said he's starting a grassroots campaign, which will put pressure on lawmakers in a way that hasn't been used yet.

"If they do it on their own, we're going to help them do it with the people of Illinois," added Quinn.

Quinn said the pensions campaign will last as long as it takes.

Three people injured at Missouri State Fair

Three people are hospitalized and two others suffered minor injuries after an accident during a charity race at the Missouri State Fair.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the accident happened Sunday night during the Battle of the Badges race, which involved old police cars.  Patrol spokesman Sgt. Collin Stosberg says one of the cars came around a curve, drove through a fence and into a pit. He says a man from Columbia, and two women from California, Mo., were flown to area hospitals with serious injuries. Two men from Columbia were treated and released.

The Sedalia Democrat reports a crash during an earlier race Sunday seriously injured a 15-year-old Carrollton driver. He lost control of his vehicle, which overturned several times. He was hospitalized with serious injuries.

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