The House of Representatives passed the $700 billion bailout bill on Friday and President George W. Bush signed it later in the day, calling it “essential to helping America's economy weather the financial crisis.”
A Labor Department report released Friday revealed that 159,000 jobs were lost in September, the worst monthly loss in five years and the ninth straight month that jobs have declined. “There’s really nothing good about this report at all,” says economist Michael T. Darda of MKM Partners. “We’ve lost jobs in nearly every area of the economy, and this is going to worse before it gets better because the credit markets have deteriorated basically on a daily basis for the last few weeks.”
Apple Inc. shares plummeted today after a false report on CNN’s iReport.com that CEO Steve Jobs was in the hospital after a “major heart attack.” After the story was proven false, the stock rebounded. The Securities and Exchange Commission says it will investigate the source of the article.
Wachovia has backed out of its proposed merger with Citigroup, announcing Friday that it will instead merge with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo will absorb all of Wachovia’s operations, buying the company for $15.1 billion, about $7 per share.
A reported nine Russians were killed by a car bomb in the capital of South Ossetia Friday. South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity blamed Georgian special forces, saying the attack “proves that Georgia has not abandoned the policy of state terrorism.”
Former South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota sharply criticized the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress, saying that is uses “practices that are dangerous to the democracy.” Lekota is a supporter of former President Thabo Mbeki, who was forced out of the presidency by rival factions in the ANC.
Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab say that the Chinese government has been spying on Skype users and censoring thousands of messages. They found a database full of messages containing words like “democracy” and “Tibet,” as well as users’ personal information.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Thursday that a September 11 Memorial will be finished by Sept. 11, 2011. The Freedom Tower, the centerpiece of the Ground Zero development, won’t be completed until 2013, and the rail hub is scheduled to open in 2014.
The National Transportation Safety Board banned the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by rail workers Thursday. The ban is in response to last month’s deadly crash in Los Angeles in which the engineer was found to be texting seconds before the accident.
News service Bloomberg LP, owned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is being sued by 72 current former employees who claim they were mistreated when they became pregnant. The lawsuit alleges that pregnant women faced pay decreases and demotions, due to a “systemic, top-down culture of discrimination” installed by Bloomberg himself.
The on-time arrival rate of U.S. airlines improved to 78.4 percent in August, up 7 percent from last year and the highest mark since 2003, according to an announcement Thursday by the U.S. Transportation Department. The improvement is due in large part to the scheduling of fewer flights this year as a result of higher fuel costs.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded expectations in Thursday night's vice presidential debate, but early polls show Del. Sen. Joe Biden to be the slight winner. Palin used a folksy manner to appeal to “Main Street” America, while Biden frequently linked Ariz. Sen. John McCain to President George W. Bush. There were no significant gaffes or “game-changing moments” for either candidate, writes The New York Times.
The McCain-Palin campaign won a victory in the Ohio Supreme Court over absentee ballots that had been rejected by Ohio’s Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, because the voter had not checked a box saying he or she is a “qualified elector.”
Food and Drug Administration officials say that they will not ban over-the-counter cold and cough medicines designed for children, but they agree with pediatricians’ concerns about the medications. Dr. John Jenkins of the FDA said he was concerned a ban would lead to children being given adult medicine.
Both the Dodgers and Phillies took a 2-0 lead in their National League division series Thursday, while the Rays won their first playoff game in franchise history to take a 1-0 series lead over the White Sox.
Helio Castroneves, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and “Dancing with the Stars” champion, was indicted Thursday on charges of tax fraud and tax evasion and faces up to 35 years in prison. Castroneves, his sister and his attorney allegedly concealed $5 million in revenue over the last four years.