Archives for News

March jobs report disappointing, fewest adds in nine months

U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown may signal that the economy is heading into a weak spring. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent, the lowest in four years, from 7.7 percent. But the rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work. People who are out of work are no longer counted as unemployed once they stop looking for a job. The percentage of working-age adults Americans with a job or looking for
Read More

Democrats, Republicans closing in on immigration bill deal

A group of Republicans and Democrats in the House is finalizing a sweeping immigration bill that offers work permits and the eventual prospect of citizenship to millions of people living illegally in the United States, aides say. That path to citizenship, however, is likely to take at least 15 years for many, longer than envisioned by Senate immigration negotiators or by President Barack Obama. The secretive House effort, which also aims to further tighten the border against foreigners crossing illegally into the U.S. and crack down on employers who hire them, has been overshadowed by the bipartisan negotiations in the
Read More

Are jobs gaining in the United States?

The U.S. economy has enjoyed a four-month stretch of robust job gains, and on Friday the government will report whether that trend endured into March. Economists generally think it did. They predict that employers added a solid 195,000 jobs, according to a survey by FactSet. That’s a healthy gain, although below February’s 237,000 net jobs added. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at a four-year low of 7.7 percent. The Labor Department will release the report at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday. Job gains have accelerated to an average of 205,000 per month from November through February. That’s nearly double
Read More

Obama will accept entitlement cuts in exchange for taxes

President Barack Obama will offer cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs in a budget proposal aimed at swaying Republicans to compromise on a deficit-reduction deal, a senior administration official said on Friday. Under a proposal that would cut the deficit by $1.8 trillion over 10 years, the president will offer to apply a less generous measure of inflation to calculate cost-of-living increases, the official said on condition of anonymity. That change would result in lower payments to some beneficiaries of the Social Security program for retirees and is staunchly opposed by many congressional Democrats as well as labor
Read More

More violence found in states with weak firearms laws

Many states with the weakest firearms laws have the highest rates of gun-related homicides and suicides, according to a study released on Wednesday by a liberal think tank. Alaska had the most gun deaths, with 20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010, twice the national average, the analysis by the Center for American Progress showed. Louisiana and Montana, which followed with 19.06 and 16.58 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively, were among the 10 states with the weakest gun laws, according to the study, the latest to link gun laws to firearm deaths. Eight of the states with the highest levels
Read More

Connecticut governor ready to sign new, stricter gun control bills into law

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was expected to sign a wide-ranging bill that includes sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, a response to last year’s deadly school shooting in Newtown. Following a total of more than 13 hours of respectful and at times somber debate, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted in favor of the 139-page bill crafted by leaders from both major parties in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly. The bill passed 26-10 in the Senate and 105-44 in the House. Both were bipartisan votes. Malloy’s office said he would sign the legislation at
Read More

Murdered West Virginia Sheriff was a strong, anti-drug crusader

Just months before being gunned down, Sheriff Eugene Crum made good on a campaign promise to do what many in law enforcement have attempted for years in southern West Virginia — crack down on drugs, especially the illegal sale of prescription pills. In three months and two days on the job, he’d already helped indict dozens of suspected drug dealers through Mingo County‘s new Operation Zero Tolerance. Authorities haven’t said whether that crusade was related to his shooting death at mid-day on a Williamson street Wednesday, but residents and county officials suspect it. Crum’s team has targeted people “who spread
Read More

Obama hits the road to try and revive stalled gun control effort

In danger of losing congressional momentum, President Barack Obama is drawing attention to Colorado’s newly passed gun control laws as he applies public pressure on Congress to pass similar federal measures. Obama was traveling to the Denver suburbs Wednesday, stepping up his call for universal background checks for gun buyers as well as his demands for Congress to at least vote on an assault weapons ban and limits on large-capacity ammunition magazines. The trip is heavy with political symbolism. Colorado expanded background checks and placed restrictions on magazines despite being a state with a deep-rooted hunting tradition, where gun ownership
Read More

Mark Sanford continues comeback bid by winning GOP nomination for House seat

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday cleared another hurdle in his bid for political redemption, defeating a former Charleston County council member to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he held for three terms. “It’s been a very long journey. And in that journey I am humbled to find ourselves where we find ourselves tonight,” said Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago when, as sitting governor, he disappeared from the state only to return to acknowledge an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman. That woman, Maria Belen Chapur, and Sanford are now
Read More

Two more Senators switch sides and now support gay marriage

The ever-increasing circle of Senators changing their positions and supporting gay marriage widened again Tuesday as Illinois Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Tom Carper announced their support for same sex unions. “The government has no place in the middle of the marriage question,” Kirk said on web site.  Hours earlier Carper wrote on his Facebook pagte that “all Americans ultimately should be free to marry the people they love and intend to share their lives with, regardless of their sexual orientation. On Monday, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey added his name to supporters, leaving just seven Senators from the party of
Read More