News Midday Update: Execution of Atlanta man ordered in death penalty case; stocks rise as investors absorb bad economic news; Clark Howard won't run for Atlanta mayor

A judge has sentenced the first man convicted in a federal death penalty case in Tennessee to be executed.

A jury in October convicted 24-year-old Rejon Taylor of Atlanta and voted unanimously that he be put to death for the 2003 abduction and slaying of French National and Atlanta restaurant owner Guy Luck.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier said at the Wednesday sentencing hearing that the jury's sentence is binding on him. He said the execution date will be set later.

In court, Taylor smiled frequently as he talked with his attorneys, who had requested the judge to reduce the punishment to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Associated Press

Stocks rise as investors absorb bad economic news

Wall Street overcame an early slide and turned higher Wednesday as investors calmly absorbed the latest evidence of a still-weakening economy.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said the nation's services sector contracted dramatically in November as slower spending hurt insurers, retailers and hotels.

ISM, which reported a discouraging reading on the manufacturing sector earlier this week, said its services sector index fell to 37.3 in November from 44.4 in October. The reading was significantly lower than the 42 the market expected.

The news followed a report from the Labor Department that productivity growth slowed in the third quarter.

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 87.14, or 1.04 percent, to 8,506.23, after earlier falling as much as 185 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.09, or 1.31 percent, to 859.90, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 28.21, or 1.99 percent, to 1,478.61.

Associated Press

Clark Howard says he won't run for Atlanta mayor

Consumer advocate and broadcast personality Clark Howard says he had decided not to run for mayor of Atlanta.

In an interview on WSB Radio Wednesday morning, Howard said, "As I got closer and closer to getting involved and got more involved in the political world and met with more and more people, it was clear that my life as I knew it with my children was over."

He said, "There was no way I could serve the people of Atlanta as I should, if I were to run for Mayor, and still be a good father to my kids. Just couldn't happen. I could not do that to my kids.

Associated Press


- A jury is deliberating today in a rape trial involving two Macon men. Come back to for the latest information.


We invite you to check out our Web site again tomorrow for the Midday Update. Monday through Friday, Online Editor Beth MacFadyen will bring you timely information about what Telegraph staffers are working on, plus news we think you need to know immediately. Send feedback to