Markets took a beating today, pulled down by energy stocks flailing due to the lowest oil prices in five months and turmoil within investment bank Lehman Brothers. The S&P 500 dropped 3.4 percent to 1,224.51 points, its biggest one-day loss since February 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 280.01 points, closing at 11,230.73; and the Nasdaq lost 59.95 points, closing at 2,209.81.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after their price-per-share dropped below the benchmark $1 yesterday. The two mortgage companies were taken into the conservatorship of the U.S. Treasury yesterday. If they are taken off the trading board, they will be replaced in the index by Chinatrust Financial Holding Company and Visa.
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, Ariz. Sen. John McCain is now more popular among white female voters than Democratic presidential candidate Ill. Sen. Barack Obama. Sen. McCain polls at 53 percent, compared to Obama’s 41 percent.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Assocation is financially backing a bid to recall Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from office. “We have the largest budget deficit in the history of California. We have one of the longest budget stalemates,” union spokesperson Lance Corcoran told the Los Angeles Times. According to the Times, the governor and the union have had a history of disputes.
The Washington Post obtained documents showing GOP vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin charged taxpayers a “per diem” allowance for meals for 312 nights she spent at home during her first 19 months as governor.
High unemployment rates are draining state funds for jobless benefits. Trust funds of 32 states are below the U.S. government's recommended level of having cash reserves to cover a year of recession-level payments. California, New York, Ohio and Michigan are projected to deplete their coffers for unemployment benefits either this year or in 2009.
The Clayton County School District does not plan to appeal its accreditation loss, it announced yesterday. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools rescinded the Atlanta-area school system's accreditation, effective as of Sept. 1.
Hurricane Ike hit Cuba’s western coast today as a Category 1 storm, weakened from Monday, when it ravaged the east coast and led to the death of four people. It passed into the Gulf of Mexico today, where meterologists predict it will strengthen back to Category 3 status. Latest tracking projections predict Ike will make landfall near the Texas-Mexico border, away from Gulf drilling facilities.
A White House spokesperson announced yesterday that President George W. Bush plans to withdraw 4,000 troops from Iraq by the end of his presidential term. The Pentagon is changing its strategic focus to Afghanistan, and commanders have requested an additional 10,000 troops there.
A court ruled that Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej must resign within 30 days for his hosting of a cooking show while governor of Bangkok. The nine-judge panel voted 6-3 that Samak breached the Thai constitution by working for a private company at the same time as serving in public office. His party vowed to nominate him back into office.
Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was sworn in as Pakistan’s new president. Relatively new to politics yet already dogged by corruption allegations, he replaces Pervez Musharraf, who resigned from the post last month.
A new cervical cancer test that checks for the presence of the protein P16INK4A is more accurate than pap smears, suggests a study led by Italy's Centre for Cancer Prevention and published in British medical journal Lancet Oncology. The study showed that the newer test can better identify potentially dangerous lesions that mark the second-most common type of cancer found in women.
Humans have much better memories than scientists previously believed, according to a study founded by several U.S. government agencies. After 14 adults viewed some 3,000 images, then later asked to identify the pictures they had seen, the subjects had recall rates of upward of 87 percent.
Tennis' Roger Federer beat Andy Murray in three sets to win the 2008 U.S. Open last night. This is the American's 13th Grand Slam title, putting him within one championship of tying Pete Sampras' record career 14th Grand Slam wins.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-19 during the first Monday night game of the 2008-09 NFL season. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 178 yards and scored a touchdown in his test as a replacement for former Green Bay star and current New York Jet Brett Favre. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, last season’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, ran 103 yards and scored a touchdown.
According to VeloNews.com sources, champion cyclist Lance Armstrong is gearing up to return to competitive cycling next year, but will not race for salary or bonuses. If the rumors hold true, he will be racing for Kazakhstan-funded, Belgium-based team Astana. But team press representative Philippe Maertens told the AP in an e-mail, “Team Astana has no plans with him.”
Britpop band Oasis is rescheduling a Toronto concert after Noel Gallagher was assaulted by a man who ran on the stage during the band’s performance at the V Festival in the Ontario city. Gallagher sustained bruises to his hip and ribs.
The State Department tapped comedienne Fran Drescher to serve as a public diplomacy envoy to Eastern Europe to raise cancer awareness efforts. "No word yet on whether or not she’ll be giving Condi hair tips," quips Politico's Anne Schroeder.
As part of a collaboration among some 150 zoos and aquariums, software developed by Zoological Information Management Systems is going online to create a sort of "dating site" for animals needing mates.