Week in Review



campaign: Colin Powell, a Republican and retired general who was President Bush's first secretary of state, broke with the party and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, calling him a "transformational figure" while criticizing the tone of Republican John McCain's campaign.

RELIGION: Greene Street Presbyterian Church in downtown Augusta dissolved its congregation after 129 years. The congregation had dwindled to about a dozen members as most moved to the suburbs.

ENTERTAINMENT: Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's appearance on Saturday Night Live catapulted the long-running show's ratings to the highest in 14 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.


ECONOMY: Stocks bolted higher, with the Dow Jones industrials rising 413 points. There also were new signs that credit conditions were thawing a bit.

campaign: Joe Biden appears in very good health, with some of the routine issues of aging, according to health records the 65-year-old Democratic vice presidential nominee released to the media.


ECONOMY: Declines in manufacturing and construction last month earned Georgia a dubious distinction: Second in the nation for jobs lost in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The state saw an employment level decrease of 22,300, a rate exceeded only by Michigan, which saw 28,300 jobs dry out over September.

WORLD: Russia, Iran and Qatar took their first serious steps toward forming an OPEC-style cartel for natural gas, a prospect that has unnerved Europe and the United States. The three countries account for 60 percent of the world's gas reserves.

campaign: Entering the homestretch, Barack Obama leads John McCain by 50 percent to 42 percent and appears to be gaining strength on key issues despite a barrage of criticism from his rival, a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll found.


ECONOMY: After three days of relative calm, turbulence returned to Wall Street. Louder warnings of a deep recession and weak corporate earnings took the Dow Jones industrial average down 514 points amid fears that government intervention won't be enough to prevent global economies from faltering.

WORLD: U.S. Special Forces soldiers conducting a daring nighttime operation freed a kidnapped American working for the Army Corps of Engineers -- the first known hostage rescue by American forces in Afghanistan.

SCIENCE: In a study published in the journal Neuron , Dr. Joe Z. Tsien, of the Medical College of Georgia, and collaborators at East China Normal University in Shanghai were able to selectively take out key components of certain memories in mice. They used mice specially bred to have high levels of a mutated enzyme.


ECONOMY: Unemployment claims, already well into recession territory, are rising even faster than expected, leading economists to warn that the worst is yet to come.

HOUSING: Nationwide, nearly 766,000 homes received at least one foreclosure- related notice from July through September, up 71 percent from a year earlier, according to foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.

HEALTH: Expectant mothers with symptoms of severe depression are more than twice as likely to give birth prematurely as those with no signs of depression, according to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction.

IRAQ: The U.S. military formally handed control over the once-violent Babil province to Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi army and local police are now responsible for security in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces, though U.S. forces continue to assist across the country.

IRAN: The Bush administration will announce in mid-November that it intends to establish the first U.S. diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, according to senior administration officials.

GOLF: Retired golfer and two-time Masters champion Seve Ballesteros' brain tumor is cancerous, doctors announced.

WORLD SERIES: The Tampa Bay Rays pulled out all their tricks at Tropicana Field to tie the World Series. James Shields stymied the Philadelphia Phillies, rookie David Price got the final seven outs and Tampa Bay rebounded from a rare home loss with a 4-2 victory that made it 1-all.


GAS PRICES: OPEC's announcement that it would slash oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day went largely ignored. Such action by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries has usually driven prices higher, but with recent dips in demand, prices are remaining steady. Crude oil prices have fallen 56 percent from the highs reached in since July.

WEATHER: A storm that rolled through the area with 53 mph winds downed trees, knocked out power to thousands and dumped an inch of rain.

GANGS: Authorities are laying the blame on Laney-Walker-based gang Thugg Mafia for graffiti found on the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building and nearby Heritage Academy. Sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said surveillance video and a fingerprint could aid the investigation.

IRAQ: Under pressure from politicians and citizens alike, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki won't sign an agreement with the U.S. over the status of troops, a top Iraqi lawmaker said.

ECONOMY: Though sales of existing homes rose in September, analysts warn the housing slump is far from over. The numbers, they say, reflect conditions before the financial upheaval increased the likelihood of a recession.

GOLF: Seve Ballesteros underwent a third operation for a cancerous brain tumor, a 61/2-hour procedure that went "better than expected."