Archives for News

So, why are the jobless numbers so high?

The job numbers are bleak. Some 13.9 million workers remain unemployed 21 months after the end of the recession, according to the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Of those, 6.2 million people have been out-of-work for 6 months or more, and 8.4 million toil at part-time jobs. And few economic forecasters believe the nation’s unemployment rate — currently at 9 percent — will drop much below that level in 2011. Just how broken is the great American jobs machine? American companies have returned to record profitability, and, as President Obama pointed out in a speech to the
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The ‘widows tax:’ Another broken promise

Tens of thousands of the nation’s war widows find it perplexing and downright disrespectful to their late military husbands: In order to fully collect on insurance their husbands bought for them when alive, they must marry another man. And to qualify, the widows must remarry when they are 57 or older. Those who remarry earlier miss out, as do widows who never remarry. At the heart of the issue is a government policy known as the “widows’ tax.” It says a military spouse whose loved one dies from a service-related cause can’t collect both survivor’s benefits and the full annuity
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At CIA, mistakes mean promotions

In December 2003, security forces boarded a bus in Macedonia and snatched a German citizen named Khaled el-Masri. For the next five months, el-Masri was a ghost. Only a select group of CIA officers knew he had been whisked to a secret prison for interrogation in Afghanistan. But he was the wrong guy. A hard-charging CIA analyst had pushed the agency into one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism. Yet despite recommendations by an internal review, the analyst was never punished. In fact, she has risen to one of the premier jobs in the CIA’s
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Obama to CEOs: What can you do for America?

Echoing John F. Kennedy, President Barack Obama prodded business leaders Monday to “ask yourselves what you can do for America,” not just for company bottom lines, even as he sought to smooth his uneasy relations with the nation’s corporate executives. Speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the president urged the business community to help accelerate the slow economic recovery by increasing hiring and unleashing some of the $2 trillion piling up on their balance sheets. “I want to encourage you to get in the game,” Obama said. He enumerated new efforts by his administration to improve the nation’s business
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Muburak announces reform committees

In its latest effort to defuse public anger amid mass protests, embattled President Hosni Mubarak’s regime set up a committee Tuesday to recommend constitutional changes that would relax presidential eligibility rules and impose term limits. Mubarak’s decrees were announced on state television by Vice President Omar Suleiman, who also said that Mubarak had decreed the creation of a separate committee to monitor the implementation of all proposed reforms. The two committees would start working immediately, but Suleiman did not give details about who would sit on the panels or how they would be chosen. The government has promised several concessions
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Rise and fall of the foreclosure king

During the housing crash, it was good to be a foreclosure king. David Stern was Florida’s top foreclosure lawyer, and he lived like an oil sheik. He piled up a collection of trophy properties, glided through town in a fleet of six-figure sports cars and, with his bombshell wife, partied on an ocean cruiser the size of a small hotel. When homeowners fell behind on their mortgages, the banks flocked to “foreclosure mills” like Stern’s to push foreclosures through the courts on their behalf. To his megabank clients — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, GMAC, Citibank and Wells Fargo —
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Winter gives some the blues, makes others frisky

Does winter weather give you the blues? Or are you the type who gets a little frisky when there’s a chill in the air? Either way, you’re not alone. Four in 10 Americans say the weather affects their mood, and winter by far is the season most likely to leave them feeling down. Still, there are pleasures to be had amid the snow and ice. Given the choice between grabbing an extra blanket or cozying up with someone special when it’s cold, most people choose snuggling over a Snuggie. And some folks take things a whole lot further: 15 percent
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AOL buying Huffington Post for $315 million

Online company AOL Inc. is buying online news hub Huffington Post in a $315 million deal that represents a bold bet on the future of online news. The acquisition announced early Monday puts a high-profile exclamation mark on a series of acquisitions and strategic moves engineered by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in an effort to reshape a fallen Internet icon. AOL was once the king of dial-up online access known for its ubiquitous CD-ROMs and “You’ve got mail” greeting in its inboxes. Perhaps just as important as picking up a news site that ranks as one of the top 10
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Green Bay takes Super Bowl 31-25

Forget Lombardi on Broadway. Green Bay has the newest Super Bowl hit: Aaron Rodgers. Capping one of the greatest postseasons for any quarterback, Rodgers led the Packers to their first NFL championship in 14 years Sunday with a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers reclaimed the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for their legendary coach who is making his own star turn in New York these days in the play named after him. Rodgers, the game’s MVP, thrilled his legion of Cheesehead fans with a spectacular six-game string that should finally erase the bitterness of the Brett Favre separation
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Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” franchise had its highest toy revenue ever for a non-movie year in 2010 and the best toy revenue since “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.” With sales of more than $510 million last year, “Star Wars” also maintained its position as the bestselling boys toy license in the U.S. for the third consecutive year, according to Lucasfilm and research firm NPD Group. The popularity of animated TV series “Clone Wars” on U.S. cable network Cartoon Network has helped keep the saga in media play, and toy lines from Hasbro and Lego have helped keep long-time
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