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Other News: Flooding in India Leaves Millions Homeless

October 6, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

JIM LEHRER: In other news today, record flooding in southern India left more than 2.5 million people homeless, 5 million in need of food. It was the region’s worst flood disaster in decades, triggered by heavy rain. More than 250 people were killed.

The water began receding today, as the focus shifted to delivering food and clean water to flood victims. In addition, millions of acres of farmland were destroyed, threatening corn and sugar supplies.

The cost of heating a home in the U.S. could be much lower this winter. The Energy Information Administration said today heating bills will average 8 percent less than they did last winter. It’s due to falling prices and forecasts of milder weather than usual. Natural gas users make up half of all American households. They would see an average savings of more than $100 total. Those using propane would see even larger savings, an average of $280.

Wall Street had another upbeat day, extending a worldwide rally. It was driven by new hopes that corporate profits will begin to grow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 131 points to close at 9,731. The Nasdaq rose 35 points to close above 2,103.