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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / December 16, 2008



This year's presidential election achieved the highest rate of voter participation (61.6 percent) since 1968 and drew a record 131 million voters to the polls, according to final certified tallies compiled over the weekend. The results were announced as the Electoral College prepared to perform the largely ceremonial act of electing Barack Obama president on Monday.

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Industrial output fell 0.6 percent in November, slightly less than an anticipated 0.8 percent drop, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

The Supreme Court Monday instructed an appeals court to reconsider a lawsuit by four British men formerly detained at Guantánamo Bay who claim their harsh treatment included religious rights violations. The men allege they were denied copies of the Koran and prayer mats.

To involve more Americans in his inauguration, President-elect Obama will travel by train to Washington, the inaugural committee has announced. The train will depart Phila-delphia Jan. 17 and stop in Wilmington, Del., to pick up Vice President-elect Joseph Biden and his family. The swearing in occurs Jan. 20.

Law enforcement officials in Oregon arrested an unidentified bombing suspect Sunday in the blast that killed two police officers at a Woodburn bank Friday. They said the man's name and a list of charges would be released late Monday afternoon (after Monitor deadlines). The suspect was arrested in Salem, Ore., 20 miles away.

A fire in the Wasilla, Alaska, church that Gov. Sarah Palin attends is being investigated as arson, authorities said of the blaze that caused an estimated $1 million in damages Friday. The evangelical Wasilla Bible Church received national attention during Palin's vice presidential candidacy.

The iced-over Northeast began thawing out Monday, facilitating efforts by utility repair crews from Canada and as far away as Michigan and Virginia to restore power to more than half a million customers.

The University of Maryland men's soccer team won the NCAA College Cup championship game Sunday in Frisco, Texas, 1-0, with its third victory of the season over North Carolina. North Carolina's women's squad won its 19th NCAA soccer crown the week before by defeating Notre Dame, 2-1.

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