The full scale of the devastation caused by the "once in a lifetime" storm that smashed into the United States eastern seaboard began to emerge on Tuesday, after its hurricane-force winds and devastating floods left 8.2 million people without power, claimed at least 48 lives and left New York at a standstill.
Barack Obama received a pre-election boost on Friday when the latest economic figures showed a higher-than-expected rise in growth as both the Democratic and Republican teams stepped up efforts to break the deadlock before November 6.
US vice-presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are preparing for their televised debate on Thursday with the knowledge that a strong performance during the head-to-head from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has closed the gap with President Obama to just two points.
Barack Obama's hopes of re-election were boosted by $181m in September, as supporters contributed to the largest one-month fundraising total of the president's campaign to date.
It has taken longer than expected to come about, but Mitt Romney has finally taken the advice of his chief aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, and turned his campaign for the US presidency into an Etch A Sketch. As Fehrnstrom famously put it back in March: "You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again."