A blitz of new data on the economy is due this week as stock markets appear at risk of ending the year's first half on their biggest decline, in percentage terms, since mid-2002.The Dow Jones Industrials have slid 14.5 percent so far in 2008. The Standard & Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq are down 12.9 percent and 12.7 percent, respectively.

Amid drier weather, weary Midwesterners were returning to their homes after weeks of flooding inundated much of the region. Although the crest had yet to reach the lower Mississippi Valley, the Army Corps of Engineers said more sophisticated levee systems there should hold "if we don't have any more rain."

Many residents of Omaha, Neb., faced the possibility of a week without electricity after a strong storm Saturday tore roofs off houses and uprooted trees. Two people in neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa, died when a tree fell on their car.

Production on several films and many network TV shows scheduled for fall could grind to a halt Monday when the contract between the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires. SAG is seeking more money from DVD sales, a concession the producers have refused to make to other unions in the industry.

Arizona voters will be asked again whether they want to keep a ban on same-sex marriages after the state Senate voted Friday night to place the question on the Nov. 4 ballot. A similar vote was taken two years ago. Supporters say the new referendum would prevent judges from overturning the 1996 law.

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