Gov. Andrew Cuomo is (still) in Albany. He holds a cabinet meeting in the Capitol’s Red Room at 11 a.m.

JCOPE meets at 10:30 a.m. in Albany.

Mayor Bloomberg meets with Yingluck Shinawatra, prime minister of Thailand, at 7:15 am. and with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at 3 p.m. Both meetings are taking place at Gracie Mansion in NYC, 88th Street and East End Avenue.

At 4 p.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at the opening of the Integrated Center for Math & Science at Nazareth College. Peckham Hall, 4245 East Ave., Rochester.

GOP/Conservative US Senate hopeful Wendy Long is the keynote speaker at the Conservative Party 2012 Presidential Reception, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, 811 Seventh Ave., NYC, 6:45 p.m.

At noon, GOP state Senate candidate Bob Cohen is receiving the endorsement of a “leading business group.” Artuso’s Bakery, 969 McClean Ave., Yonkers.

President Obama and Mitt Romney are both campaigning in Virginia today. Obama won the state in 2008 – the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to do so – and hopes to keep in his column this fall.

Headlines…

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous on whether Sen. Roy McDonald will run on the Independence Party line in November – with Cuomo’s “full support”: “There have been a lot of conversations…In the next 24 hours things will sort out.”

“This could actually help the Democrats if it creates a three-way split,” said one Albany insider, predicting McDonald could take votes from the GOP primary winner, Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione.

Cuomo’s letter is “nice,” writes The Troy Record’s James Franco, but not as nice as a “boatload of cash” to assist McDonald would be. (McDonald reportedly had just $40,000 in his once-full campaign war chest as of Sept. 20).

Outgoing Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan called on McDonald to bow out of the race, saying: “I hope Roy will think of his background and success as a Republican through the years.”

The Log Cabin Republicans’ Jeff Cook, who advises NY Unity PAC, which spent more than $200,000 to help McDonald and other “yes” voting GOP senators in the primary, insists there’s a “clear path to victory” for the senator in November.

The Democratic candidate in the 43rd SD, Claverack Supervisor Robin Andrews, is a married lesbian. Her reaction to Cuomo’s letter promising support to McDonald:

““Whatever Senator McDonald chooses to do will have no effect on my intentions of representing the 43rd Senate District.”

“I decided to run because our communities deserve to have a voice at the Capitol and I believe that I am the best person to carry their message.”

“I have been out speaking with people in all four counties for months now and last year’s same-sex marriage vote is not what they are concerned about.”

“People simply want someone with the energy and drive to find creative ways to create jobs and ensure that our government’s resources are being used effectively and efficiently.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. appeals court in New York is set to take its turn today at considering the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law restricting the recognition of same-sex unions that has already been struck down in several other places.

Since 2007, New York City has been hit by seven tornadoes. By contrast, there were only three in the previous 20 years—and not a single documented tornado before 1985 (reliable records date back to 1950), according to the National Weather Service.

AG Eric Schneiderman is involved in an investigation into the practices of one of the world’s largest direct mail companies, Quadriga Art.

Big Tupper Ski Area, which has been open the last three winters thanks to community volunteers, will close this year because of a legal challenge against a massive resort project centered on the mountain.

The Angel’s Gate hospice, an animal hospital once praised by Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities, is shutting down as its owner faces a lawsuit from Schneiderman failing to file financial reports.

Cuomo announced a multi-pronged initiative to keep drivers with a history of repeat alcohol- or drug-related driving convictions off the road.

Traffic fatalities from July 2011 through June 2012 in NYC were up 23 percent from the previous year — to 291, from 236. It was the first increase since 2007, when there were 310 traffic fatalities.

Rep. Bob Turner, forced back into retirement by the elimination of his NY-9 district through redistricting, is mulling a run for Queens GOP chairman “if there’s a vacancy.”

The first presidential debate next Wednesday in Denver is shaping up to be a do-or-die event for Mitt Romney, who’s trailing Obama in a number of key swing states.

Voters in the key swing state of Iowa start casting early ballots today as polls show Obama ahead there.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested there was a link between the Qaeda franchise in North Africa and the attack at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

As of yesterday, Clinton had already met with 21 heads of state and government and foreign ministers during a marathon schedule of meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The Buffalo News says a new NRCC TV ad that seeks to tie Rep. Kathy Hochul to Obama is “misleading.”

A second teen has been charged with hurling chunks of concrete through the window of Rep. Michael Grimm’s Staten Island campaign office. The duo, 16 and 14, respectively, said they broke the window for no particular reason.

Erie County’s top prosecutor, Frank Sedita III, is frustrated by the dismissals and acquittals in a specialized domestic violence court, and so has stopped prosecuting misdemeanors and violations in the court.

Cuomo faced a deadline yesterday to act “Lauren’s Law”, an organ-donation bill named after a Rockland County 12-year-old.

Bloomberg and Cuomo are among an array of elected officials – both Democrats and Republicans – who question the federal government’s formula for calculating unemployment rates.

Critics slammed Bloomberg for curbing what NYC residents can eat and drink while also jacking up the cost of city recreation centers where many go to work off calories.

The MTA will begin an internal debate on its advertising policies in earnest today – just more than two months after its refusal of an anti-Muslim ad campaign was ruled to have violated the First Amendment of the Constitution.

A former chief executive of the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan has been charged with receiving about $1.4 million in illegal payments in an extortion and kickback scheme carried out between 1996 and 2007.

NYRA’s leaders are prepared to unveil a $250,000 mural depicting 100 of the racing industry’s biggest names – including Charlie Hayworth, who was fired for allegedly mismanaging the franchise.

Sandra Lee says her “sweet baby boy” – an 11-month-old cockatoo named “Phoenix” that was a gift from “Andrew and the girls” – is a major focus in her life.

Rep. Paul Ryan will attend a breakfast fundraiser at Aquavit in Manhattan Monday.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets and two downstate foie gras producers have been sued by the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund in an effort to ban the sale of the delicacy.

Residents of two rural upstate New York counties – Chenango and Schoharie – have voiced their opposition to a plan to build a natural gas pipeline through their hometowns.