Week in Review



iraq: Iraq's Cabinet approved a security pact that sets a timetable for the nearly complete withdrawal of American forces within three years. The agreement faces an uncertain outlook in the nation's parliament, which must approve the pact also.

VOCABULARY: "Meh," the expression of indifference and boredom, has gained a place in the Collins English Dictionary after generating a surprising amount of enthusiasm among lexicographers. It will be included in the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition, to be published next year.

SCIENCE: Space shuttle Endeavor linked with the international space station, kicking off a huge home makeover that will allow twice as many astronauts to live there beginning next year.

AUTO RACING: NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson drove into the record books when he locked up his third consecutive championship at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joined Cale Yarborough as only the second driver in NASCAR history to win three titles in a row.


business: Citigroup Inc. announced it is shedding approximately 53,000 more employees in the coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to steady itself after suffering massive losses from deteriorating debt. Also, Goldman Sachs will forgo bonuses for employees this year.

MILITARY: Gulf War illness is a real medical condition that has affected at least 175,000 combat veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, according to a report. The report, six years in the making, should be a boon to Gulf War veterans who for years have been trying to persuade the VA to recognize their medical problems.

METRO: The simple battery criminal cases involving Woody Merry and Coliseum Authority member William Fennoy have been resolved without a trial. The resolution shifted blame to Mr. Merry for a fight in May between the men.

BASEBALL: St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols edged out Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard for his second National League MVP award.


economy: Detroit's Big Three automakers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, pleaded with Congress for a $25 billion lifeline to save the once-proud titans of U.S. industry, warning of a national economic catastrophe should they collapse.

POLITICS: Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid, marking the downfall of a Washington political power and Alaska icon who couldn't survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.

POLITICS: President-elect Obama's top choice for attorney general was revealed as Eric Holder, the No. 2 Justice Department official in the Clinton administration and an Obama campaign aide who would be the first black to serve as the nation's top lawyer.


economy: The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 427 points, or about 5 percent, at 7,997 -- its lowest close since March 2003. Since October 2007, the Dow has lost 6,000 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, a broader snapshot of the market, slipped more than 6 percent. Oil slipped to $53.62 a barrel, a level last seen around January 2007.

POLITICS: President-elect Obama is enlisting former Senate leader Tom Daschle as his health secretary. As the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Daschle is expected to play a key role in healthcare reforms Mr. Obama ran on.

crime: Florida police say they've closed an investigation into the death of the third husband of Betty Neumar, an Augusta woman who has left a trail of five dead husbands in five states.


economy: Jarred by new jobless alarms, Congress raced to approve legislation to keep unemployment checks flowing through the December holidays and into the new year for a million or more laid-off Americans whose benefits are running out. Mortgage financers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they would be suspending foreclosures for about 16,000 households during the holidays.

POLITICS: President-elect Obama is likely to choose a former federal prosecutor and two-term governor for the job of secretary of homeland security, top Obama advisers and several Democrats said.


Wall street & politics: Stocks rallied after word got out that President-elect Obama would select the New York Federal Reserve President as his treasury secretary. The Dow Jones Industrial average finished 494 points higher on the news that Timothy Geithner would assume responsibility for the weak economy in the Obama administration.

iraq: Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags and an effigy of President Bush in protest of the security pact the country made with the U.S. The Iraqi Parliament was scheduled to vote on the deal Monday.

UNEMPLOYMENT: The Southeast saw a rise in unemployment rates in October. South Carolina came in fourth in the nation for its high jobless rate.