The median price of existing homes sold last month fell 5.1 percent (to $207,800) from the same time in 2006, the biggest year-over-year decline on record, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The number of homes sold also dropped for the eighth straight month, by 1.2 percent.

Al Hubbard, chairman of President Bush's National Economic Council, announced Wednesday that he would be joining a growing number of White House advisers in stepping down as the Bush administration winds down. Hubbard, who has served three years in the post, will hand the reins to his deputy, Keith Hennessey.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., whose print ads for Camel cigarettes have raised concerns in antismoking quarters, said the company will stop advertising in newspapers or consumer magazines in 2008.

In an anticrime experiment being watched by at least five other cities, Philadelphia's black community launched civilian street patrols Tuesday aimed at curbing the country's highest urban murder rate. Above, volunteers participating in the "10,000 Men: It's a New Day" initiative hit the streets.

Two new studies differ on the extent of cyberbullying among children, one concluding that a third of children are affected, the other 10 percent, according to articles in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Several states have introduced legislation or programs designed to reduce harassment via e-mail, instant messaging, and other electronic communications.

The future for rural America looks bright if it can take advantage of broadband Internet, increased demand for biofuels, and expanding overseas markets, Thomas Dorr, a top US Agriculture Department official, told an agricultural summit in South Carolina Tuesday.

Actors Wil and Kin Shriner, the twin sons of humorist Herb Shriner, the late radio and TV entertainer, have decided to send 400 vintage harmonicas found among their father's warehoused possessions to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It beats sending them tubas," Wil Shriner said.

Race car driver Helio Castroneves won the "Dancing with the Stars" competition Tuesday night to conclude the fifth season of the hit TV show, in which viewers have a say in the outcome. Above, Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, celebrates the victory with his professional partner, Julianne Hough, who'd won last year's competition with speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

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