Obama's election voted top news story of 2008
The epic election that made Barack Obama the first African-American president was the top news story of 2008 — followed closely by the economic meltdown that will test his leadership, according to US editors and news directors voting in The Associated Press' annual poll.
The campaign, with subplots emerging throughout the year, received 100 first-place votes out of 155 ballots cast for the top 10 stories. Two other political sagas — the history-making candidacies of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sarah Palin — also made the list.
The vast economic crisis, plunging the US into recession and ravaging many business sectors worldwide, was the No. 2 story, receiving 49 first-place votes. The precipitous rise and fall of oil prices was No. 3.
The top story of 2007 was the massacre of 32 people at Virginia Tech University by a mentally disturbed student gunman.
Here are 2008's top 10 stories, as voted by AP members:
_1. US ELECTION: Obama emerged from Election Night as a decisive victor and a symbol for the world of America's democratic promise.
_2. ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: It was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and will cost the federal government well over $1 trillion in various rescue and stimulus packages.
_3. OIL PRICES: The price of crude soared as high as $150 a barrel in July before crashing to $33 this month. In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of regular gas peaked at $4.11, then plunged below $1.70.
_4. IRAQ: The much-debated "surge" of US troops helped reduce violence after more than five years of war, but Iraq is still buffeted daily by bombings, ambushes, kidnappings and political uncertainty. A newly ratified U.S.-Iraqi security agreement sets a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal by 2012.
_5. BEIJING OLYMPICS: China hosted the Olympics for first time, drawing praise for logistical mastery. The games themselves were rated a success, highlighted by the record-shattering performances of swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt.
_6. CHINESE EARTHQUAKE: A huge quake in May killed 70,000 people in Sichuan province.
_7. SARAH PALIN: Few Americans outside Alaska knew much about its governor when Republican John McCain picked her as his running mate.
_8. MUMBAI TERRORISM: Ten attackers allegedly sponsored by a Pakistan-based Islamic group terrorized India's financial capital in November, killing 164 people in coordinated attacks on hotels, markets and a train station..
_9. HILLARY CLINTON: She didn't win, but Clinton came closer than any other woman in US history to becoming a major party's presidential nominee.
_10. RUSSIA-GEORGIA WAR: The two nations waged a five-day war in August ignited by a Georgian artillery barrage on the breakaway region of South.