US thrifts lost $5.4 billion in the second quarter, the second-largest amount ever, and set aside a record $14 billion to cover losses from bad mortgages and other loans, federal regulators said Wednesday.

As Friday's third anniversary of hurricane Katrina approaches, officials in Louisiana and Mississippi are keeping an eye on tropical storm Gustav. It was downgraded from a hurricane after moving over Haiti, but forecasters expect it to regain strength and move into the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days.

Average SAT test scores for the record number of 1.5 million students from the high school graduating class of 2008 who took the college admission exams stayed the same as last year, according to the nonprofit College Board, which owns and administers the test. The Los Angeles Times said the board is encouraged by the stability of the scores, but noted that achievement gaps between students of different ethnic backgrounds persist.

A federal jury in Riverside, Calif., awarded toy giant Mattel $100 million in damages Tuesday in the company's copyright infringement lawsuit against rival doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc. The two playtime powerhouses are still wrangling over whether MGA can continue to make the saucy Bratz line.

After a computer failure caused flight delays at three dozen major airports Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration said it would work to ensure the problem doesn't happen again. The glitch appeared to be with software used at a Hampton, Ga., facility that processes flight plans. The FAA has increasingly been criticized over its air-traffic-controller staffing levels and plane-inspection standards.

The University of California won the right to build a sports center on its Berkeley campus Tuesday when a judge lifted an order blocking construction, which protesters fought by living in endangered oak trees on the site for more than 18 months.

Alaska Republicans gave US Sen. Ted Stevens, currently facing a federal indictment, an easy primary victory Tuesday, setting up what could be the toughest reelection challenge in his 40 years in public office.

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