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Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Akin launches ad asking for forgiveness

U.S. Representative Todd Akin launched an ad this morning apologizing for his statement that "legitimate rape" does not cause pregnancy.

The Republican made those statements in a television interview on Sunday. They ignited a firestorm of criticism from both sides of the aisle, and calls from his own party to drop out.

In the ad, Akin speaks straight into the camera and calls rape an "evil act" and acknowledges that it can lead to pregnancy.

"The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold," said Akin. I ask for your forgiveness."

Akin as until 5 p.m. today to drop out of the race against incumbent Claire McCaskill without a court order. He has said he will not withdraw.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is threatening to yank $5 million in TV advertising.

Spence contributes to campaign

Missouri's Republican nominee for governor has contributed an additional $750,000 to his campaign to oust Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
Campaign finance records show Dave Spence made the contribution Friday.
Spence is the former president and CEO of St. Louis-based Alpha Packaging, which makes plastic bottles for pharmaceuticals and other personal health care products. He has contributed several million dollars to his campaign.
Missouri law gives candidates 48 hours to report campaign contributions of more than $5,000 to the state Ethics Commission.

Tainted cantaloupe linked to salmonella cases

Tainted cantaloupe from Indiana is the suspected cause of salmonella cases around the country, including Illinois.

Sabrina Miller with the Illinois Department of Public Health says 17 people in Illinois have been identified with salmonella. Eight have been hospitalized.

Miller says the investigation is still ongoing and the fruit is to be avoided.

"If you do have some of this cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana and you haven't eaten it yet, toss it," Miller said.

Most cantaloupes come with stickers showing where they were grown. Health authorities are advising to also toss those without a sticker.

There are so far over 140 people around the U.S. who are ill with salmonella believed to be related to the fruit.

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