Good morning. I'm Melissa Long here at the CNN center in Atlanta, with a look at some of the stories that are happening NOW IN THE NEWS.

CNN has learned a presidential runoff between Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah will be taking place on the 7th of November. The runoff was accepted today by Karzai at a news conference with Senator John Kerry and a ref from the United Nations.

 A lawyer for a Colorado father accused of carrying out a bizarre hoax involving his son in a huge balloon says official charges and the case could be filed next week. Authorities announced that Richard Heene and his wife Mayumi face several felony charges.

A major mix-up adds to a Louisiana family's grief. A woman says her mother's body went to the wrong funeral home. She was shocked to find a much older woman's body in the casket. To make matters worse, the other family mistakenly cremated her mom. The family says someone failed to look at the paperwork and plans to sue the morgue and the funeral homes.

Hawaii's budget crunch is giving school children some reason to smile. Public schools are gonna be closed most Fridays for the remainder of the academic year. Under a new union contract with teachers, it cuts 17 days from the calendar and gives Hawaii the nation's shortest school year. Educators are concerned there is just not enough time for kids to learn. Hawaii already ranks near the bottom nationally in academic achievement.

Signs that people may be getting tired of shopping on the cheap, there are some hints that Christmas shopping may not be quite so gloomy. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls recently said things may be a little better than they predicted, so did Intel which makes chips for many gadgets that are big sellers around the holidays.

And you are up to date. Those are the headlines for you this hour. Do stay with CNN and CNN.com for more on these stories or other news that develops today.

A situation in which a business or economy has very little money can be referred to as a crunch. (BUSINESS)

If someone does or buys something on the cheap, they spend less money than they should because they are more concerned with what it costs than with its quality. (INFORMAL)

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