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Obama Moves To Ease Fuel Shortages

People wait for gas at a Hess fueling station in Brooklyn on November 2.
U.S. President Barack Obama has moved to ease fuel shortages in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Obama ordered the Defense Department to deliver 38 million gallons of diesel fuel and 45 million gallons of gasoline to areas where fuel has run out or there was no electricity to run pumps.

Long lines for gasoline have been reported in and around New York City and parts of New Jersey.

Weather forecasters are predicting another storm could hit the region early next week, possibly bringing freezing temperatures, rain, and snow.

The news added a note of urgency to providing generators, fuel, water, food, and shelter to the hard-hit and densely populated region.

Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has announced that the city's annual marathon -- scheduled for November 4 -- would be canceled.

Tens of thousands were due to take part.

Bloomberg had said holding the marathon could help the city rebound from Hurricane Sandy. But with many still without power in the city and the death toll there at more than 40, many New Yorkers felt it was too soon to hold the race.

Bloomberg said the race was being canceled because it had become a "source of controversy and division."

"You can start an argument in New York over anything and you'll get three views for every two people on any subject, except, in my experience, the marathon," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson. "I don't know anybody who doesn't love the marathon, who doesn't love what the marathon means to New York. And this year, obviously, that changed, and there were people who found the marathon -- the very idea of it -- to be painful.

"And, as I said, that's not what the marathon is; that's not what it's about. This is a unifying event. It's not a divisive event. If it's a divisive event, it's not the marathon and it's better to do it next year when it's back to being the marathon again."

The death toll from the storm has now topped 100 in 10 states in the United States. It left at least 69 dead when it swept through the Caribbean earlier.

With reporting by dpa, AFP, and AP
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