The Brattleboro Reformer has many colleagues around the country producing news for our "sister" papers. The Daily DFM is a "top picks" of today's national news. Consider it a collection of "things you should know, today."

2. Putin lights Olympic flame for Sochi on Red Square

By Lynn Berry, Associated Press

In this frame grab provided by APTN, a security officer lights an Olympic torch for former swimming champion Savarsh Karapetyan after the flame was blown out, in Moscow, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. Russian President Vladimir Putin ceremoniously lit the Olympic flame on Red Square on Sunday, but the four-month relay to Sochi for the Winter Games got off to a rocky start when one of the torches went out. (AP Photo/APTN) (AP)

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin ceremoniously lit the Olympic flame on Red Square on Sunday, but the four-month relay to Sochi for the Winter Games got off to a rocky start when one of the torches went out.

The Olympic flame, which was lit a week ago in Greece and flown to Moscow earlier Sunday, kept burning in a cauldron on Red Square.

The glitch occurred when a torch bearer ran through a long passageway leading into the Kremlin, which apparently created a wind tunnel, extinguishing the flame. A man standing along the route, most likely part of the presidential security service, pulled out a lighter and the flame leaped back to life.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi organizing committee, said on Twitter that the problem was that the valve on the torch had not been opened fully.

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles while ceremonially lighting the Olympic flame with a torch at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, prior to the 123-day torch relay to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

The torch bearer, Shavarsh Karapetyan, 60, was a champion swimmer for the Soviet Union who once saved 20 passengers from a trolleybus that had fallen into a reservoir. He used his legs to break the back window of the trolleybus as it lay in 10 meters (30 feet) of water, and pulled out 20 of the 92 passengers.

show more

3. US Navy SEALs face a stiff fight in Somalia

By Tristan McConnell, GlobalPost

Al-Shabab militants rally in Somalia. (AP Photo, File)

AIROBI, Kenya - In the pre-dawn witching hours of Saturday morning, a team of Navy SEALs swam ashore at Barawe, a seaside town 110 miles south of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Their mission was to snatch an Islamic militant called Ikrima from a two-story villa overlooking the sea.

But the mission failed. A watchman sounded the alarm and the ensuing gunfight forced the SEALs to retreat as US helicopter gunships circled overhead.

For SEAL Team 6, a special forces unit that entered the pantheon of US heroes with the killing of Osama Bin Laden in 2011, it was an unusual and embarrassing misstep showing that Somalia's Al Shabaab militants are a stronger fighting force than some had assumed.

"Westerners in boats attacked our base at Barawe beach," Al Shabaab military spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters.

He said the militants fought the attackers back with guns and grenades. After the attack, Al Shabaab posted photographs online of what it said was abandoned US military equipment. On Monday, hundreds of masked fighters arrived in Barawe to reinforce the town against any further attacks, according to Al Shabaab.

Pentagon officials said the raid was planned in the wake of the Sept. 21 terrorist attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall. Al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane has claimed responsibility for the attack in which at least 61 civilians were killed by an unknown number of gunmen. Kenyan officials initially said 10 to 15 attackers were involved, but closed-circuit television security footage now suggests there may have been as few as four to six gunmen.

show more

4. Procedural lapses blamed for contaminated medicine reaching consumers

By Kimberly Kindy, The Washington Post

Jennifer Travis and Michael Travis, seen in this Sept. 26, 2013 photo in Loveland, Colo., own Front Range Laboratories, which was the subject of a critical report from the Food and Drug Administration. When FDA inspectors showed up in August, many of the problems subsequently cited by the agency were already being corrected, Jennifer Travis said. (Matthew Staver/for The Washington Post)

housands of contaminated or potentially tainted medications have made it to market over the past year after laboratories responsible for testing custom-made pharmaceutical products failed to follow proper procedures, FDA records show.

The Food and Drug Administration uncovered the problems during a series of surprise inspections at dozens of specialty pharmacies over the past year, prompted by last fall's deadly meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections made by one of the pharmacies, New England Compounding Center (NECC).

The FDA found unsanitary conditions and sloppy procedures at 60 specialty pharmacies. Behind each one of these pharmacies, known as compounders, independent testing laboratories were affirming that the drugs were safe, sterile and mixed at the proper strength, FDA records show.

The FDA cited five labs for more than 70 safety problems, including one case in which the repeated appearance of bacteria in a so-called clean room where sterile drugs were being tested called into question the integrity of the testing procedures.

The five laboratories conduct testing for about 90 percent of the nation's large-scale specialty pharmacies, which mass-produce custom-mixed drugs and other medical solutions for doctors, clinics and hospitals.

Dozens of types of medications, packaged in thousands of IV bags, syringes and vials, have been recalled as a result of FDA inspections at the compounding pharmacies and the laboratories they use.

show more

5. Vt. launches emergency notification system

AP

MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont residents can now sign up to receive emergency alerts through text messages, e-mail, phone calls or even their game consoles.

The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security on Monday launched Vermont Alert, a website where the public can sign up to receive notifications ranging from weather advisories to alerts from fire, police and other emergency responders.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says the new system will give Vermonters a head start in preparing for storms or other hazardous conditions.

The system is modeled after New York Alert, which was designed by the state of New York and has been running since 2006. Vermont paid $58,000 for the system.