Week in review

PAR-3 CONTEST: The field for the 49th annual Par-3 Contest at Augusta National Golf Club combined for four aces, and Masters Tournament legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player put on a show, but it was South African Rory Sabbatini who took home the crystal pedestal bowl.


BOXING: Rayonta Whitfield earned a majority 12-round decision (114-114, 117-111 and 116-112) over Manuel Vargas in Augusta.

OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY: The Olympic torch was rerouted away from thousands of demonstrators who crowded the city's waterfront to protest its symbolic journey to China and the Beijing Games.

GOING GREEN: The car rental business is slowly undergoing a green evolution, adding more hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles to its fleets.

STORM SEASON: A noted hurricane researcher predicted that rising water temperatures in the Atlantic would bring a "well above average" storm season this year, including four major storms.

POLYGAMISTS' COMPOUND: More than 400 children, mostly girls in pioneer dresses, were swept into state custody from a polygamist sect in what authorities described Monday as the largest child-welfare operation in Texas history.

CHILD DEPRIVATION CHARGES: Police, responding to a call about a deceased person, arrested an Augusta couple on child-deprivation charges. Police said the couple was found living in a filthy apartment with their two small children.

CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT: Those looking to make a quick buck, or a couple of hundred, have discovered a treasure trove underneath vehicles -- the catalytic converter, which is stolen and sold to scrap yards or to recyclers. From February to March, the Aiken County Sheriff's Office had six reported cases of catalytic converters being stolen from automobiles for a total of 13.

IRS ISSUES: A week before the filing deadline, Treasury watchdogs said Monday that poor controls over IRS computers could allow an outside hacker to steal taxpayers' confidential information.

BAGHDAD EXODUS: Hundreds of people fled fighting in Baghdad's Shiite militia stronghold as U.S. and Iraqi forces increased pressure on anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who faces an ultimatum to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics.


- Republican Mitt Romney is still running -- perhaps for vice president this fall or the White House in 2012 or 2016. Two months after bowing out of the race, the former Massachusetts governor has become one of Sen. John McCain's biggest boosters, pledging to raise $15 million for his former rival and making the case for the likely nominee on talk shows and the campaign trail.

- Republican Sen. John McCain has erased Sen. Barack Obama's 10-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup, leaving him essentially tied with both Democratic candidates in an Associated Press-Ipsos national poll. The survey showed the Democratic primary campaign creating divisions among supporters of Mr. Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

FOOD POISONINGS: Americans didn't suffer more food poisoning last year despite high-profile outbreaks involving peanut butter, pot pies and other foods. But it's not getting better, either. Although there have been significant declines in certain food-borne illnesses since the late 1990s, all the improvements occurred before 2004, federal health officials said in a newly released report.

HEALTH INSURANCE: About 1,000 Georgians died in 2006 because they lacked health care, according to a new report from a Washington, D.C.-based organization. The report, Dying for Coverage in Georgia, estimated that 19 uninsured people between the ages of 25 and 64 die in the state each week. It was issued by Families USA, an organization that lobbies for more health insurance coverage.

FIREFIGHTERS ON YOUTUBE: A 16-second video posted on YouTube showed an Augusta firefighter duct-taping another's mouth, neck and head while he appears to struggle in vain. The chief said two firefighters involved were Brandon Trapp and his supervisor, Lt. Jeff Daniel.

UNRANIUM ENRICHMENT: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced major progress in Iran's push for nuclear power, saying that his nation was installing 6,000 new uranium-enriching centrifuges and testing a much faster version of the device.

OLYMPIC TORCH: The Olympic torch arrived for its only North American stop amid heavy security, a day after its visit to Paris descended into chaos and activists scaled the Golden Gate Bridge to protest China's human rights record.

IRAQ: Gunmen assassinated a top aide of anti-American leader Muqtada al-Sadr, sharpening a Shiite power struggle that has already triggered fighting between the cleric's followers and the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

BUSINESS: Wall Street stumbled after a disappointing first-quarter report from General Electric Co. surprised the market and stoked concern about the health of both corporate profits and the wider economy. The major indexes fell more than 2 percent, with the Dow Jones industrial average giving up more than 250 points.

MISSING MARINE: A three-month search ended with the arrest of Cpl. Cesar Laurean, 21, in Mexico. The U.S. Marine was suspected of killing a pregnant colleague. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, 20, of Vandalia, Ohio, who had accused him of rape.

SPENDING QUESTIONED: Veterans Affairs employees last year racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in government credit-card bills at casino and luxury hotels, movie theaters and high-end retailers such as Sharper Image and Franklin Covey -- and government auditors are investigating, citing past spending abuses. VA staff charged $2.6 billion to their government credit cards.

POLYGAMISTS' COMPOUND: Authorities who removed 219 women and children from a polygamists' compound were struggling to determine whether they had the 16-year-old girl whose report of an underage marriage led them to raid the sprawling rural property.

CAMPAIGN: U.S. Sen. Carl Levin said he and other top Democrats would find a way for Michigan Democrats to get fair representation at the party's national convention, despite a decision to strip the state of its delegates. Michigan Democrats gathered to gear up for the November election amid uncertainty about their role in choosing a presidential candidate atop the Democratic ticket.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY: For two years, five Philadelphia elementary schools replaced sodas with fruit juice. They scaled back snacks and banished candy. They spent hours teaching about good nutrition. The number of kids who got fat during the two-year experiment was half the number of kids who got fat in schools that didn't make those efforts.