World Bulletin / News Desk
President Barack Obama chided himself on Sunday for his weak debate performance against Republican Mitt Romney and reminded supporters at a California fundraiser that even his successful 2008 campaign had "bumps" in the road.
Speaking to a crowd of some 6,000 at a concert in Los Angeles, Obama complimented the slew of performers - including Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Hudson - who had performed earlier for the audience.
"They just perform flawlessly night after night. I can't always say the same," Obama said to laughter and then applause.
Romney's strong performance at the debate on Wednesday has helped close a gap in the polls with the president, who has been leading nationally and in several important swing states.
Obama, whose campaign has said it would make adjustments as a result of the debate, noted his White House win four years ago had its own share of hurdles, including mistakes he made.
"Back in 2008 - everybody always remembers the victory, but they don't always remember the bumps in the road," he said.
"Things always look good in retrospect. But in the middle of it ... we made all kinds of mistakes. We goofed up. I goofed up. But the American people carried us forward," he said.
At another, more intimate fundraiser later in the evening, Obama pledged to work harder than ever to gain re-election, in what could have been an effort to reassure his supporters after the lackluster debate performance.
"I'm a big believe in closing the deal," he said to applause. "You will see me working as hard as I've ever worked for the next ... 30 days," he said.
The president noted that the encounter with Romney had happened on his 20th wedding anniversary, a fact that he offered up as another potential reason for his poor performance.
"The actual anniversary date was not that romantic," he said to laughter from the crowd, which included actor George Clooney.
"There was some speculation as to whether this had an impact on my performance."
Obama is holding a series of fundraisers in California in an effort to boost his campaign coffers for the final stretch of the race against Romney. On Saturday, his campaign announced that it, along with Democratic Party allies, brought in a record $181 million in September.
Meanwhile, five Christian anti-balaka militiamen were killed Saturday in an attack on Kilometer 5, a predominantly Muslim district of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, eyewitnesses said.
An Egyptian court has ordered the release of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltag.
As recently as 2012, Hungary was found guilty of violating Article 5(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights by the European Court of Human Rights in regards to the detention of asylum seekers.
More than 300 Palestinian women participated in the protest, which was organized by a Qalandia women's association on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
Far-right Orthodox groups in Bulgaria have been calling on volunteers to fight in Ukraine for Russian forces.
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said he did not believe Russia switching off Europe's gas supply would be in their interests.
Armed men are marking the homes of Crimean Tatars as the peninsula heads towards a referendum to join Russia, a move the Crimean Tatars oppose.
121 children are believed to have died in the drought-hit Thar desert şn the last three months.
Hosni Mubarak, his interior minister Habib al-Adly and six other Interior Ministry officials are accused of inciting the killing of hundreds of protesters during the January 25 revolution, which ended Mubarak's autocracy.
The Polish foreign ministry advised all Polish nationals to leave Crimea.
Last week, the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) announced the suspension of talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N.
China will sell the Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines to its close regional ally in line with a contract that is already “in an advanced stage”.
Rebels who declared independence from the Tripoli government have started exporting oil.
In recent weeks, Egypt has repeatedly closed the Rafah crossing, which – due to an ongoing, eight-year Israeli siege – represents Gaza's only window to the outside world.
The Al-Nour clinic was raided and shut down by Mauritanian authorities on Friday and one of its workers was arrested.
Turkey close to finishing the long-awaited project that will supply water to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.