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PODCAST: Sarah Brightman in space and the Venezuelan presidential race

A U.S. astronaut, headed to the space station, has been bumped by the new age singer Sarah Brightman. ABC News is reporting Brightman bid $51 million for the seat.

Following the presidential debate, voters in the swing state of Ohio weigh in on what issues matter most for the middle class this election and who won the debate. In last night's debate Romney drew on his strengths with voters -- the economy, the deficit, and the role of the federal government. How will Romney's performance affect the trajectory of the race?

Presidential debates are designed to help voters decide who to support, but if you run a small business that does political work, more often than not, you’ve got to pick sides too.

We're so focused on our own presidential election next month, that you might not know Venezuela has one on Sunday. Unlike any election in recent memory there, it's looking close. Hugo Chavez has been in power since 1998, and since that time he has turned the country into what he calls a socialism for the 21st century. He has kicked out foreign firms and nationalized the oil industry in the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world.

Without a space shuttle, NASA had hoped to put one of its astronauts on an upcoming Russian Soyuz launch. Turns out astronauts -- just like the rest of us -- can get bumped. In this case, a U.S. astronaut, presumably headed to the space station to do science, has been bumped by the ethereal new age singer Sarah Brightman. ABC News says she bid $51 million for the seat.

And finally, in Boston, they have caught the "burl" stealer. Someone in Boston has been chainsawing off the knotted deformities from trees across the city's parks -- these are called "burls." Who knew? They're a prize for wood-carvers -- make cool bowls and stuff. But stealing burls in the dead of night from city parks? Not cool. According to the Boston Globe, the burl-gler is charged with willful and malicious destruction of property.

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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