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Despite the nation's credit woes, American confidence in the economy grew last month, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. Analysts had predicted the Consumer Confidence Index would sink, but the private research group said it rose to 59.8 in September from August's 58.5.

A mission to carry out repairs on the Hubble Space Telescope will have to be postponed until February at the earliest, NASA announced Monday. A spokesman said a computer that relays data to scientists on Earth failed and a spare must be tested first before it can be installed. The repair mission was scheduled for Oct. 14.

With his state's motorists waiting in long lines to buy gasoline, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) appealed to President Bush for help. Citing damage to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico from recent hurricanes, Perdue asked for the release of "a significant amount" of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be refined into motor fuel. The gas shortage in Georgia has been projected to last for up to two more weeks. Parts of Tennessee and North Carolina also are affected.


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