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Jobs numbers up in march, unemployment down

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. employment recorded a second straight month of solid gains in March and the jobless rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent, marking a decisive shift in the labor market that should help to underpin the economic recovery. Nonfarm payrolls rose 216,000 last month, the…

U.S. traffic fatalities hit record low in 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. traffic deaths dropped by 3 percent to a record annual low of 32,788 for 2010 even as motorists drove more in an improving economy, projected government figures showed on Friday. Fatalities have dropped 25 percent over the past five years, which transportation officials and highway safety…

Alabama executes man for 1986 double murder

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) – A man who kidnapped, robbed and killed an eastern Alabama couple in 1986 was executed by lethal injection on Thursday. William Glenn Boyd, 45, was pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m. local time at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, just hours after his last-minute request…

FBI spied on little kids for days at a time, documents reveal

The digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced Thursday it had discovered violations stemming from the FBI’s use of expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. Documents obtained by the group as the result of pending Freedom of Information Act litigation suggest that abuses of surveillance powers granted…

African-Americans worse off in 2011: study

WASHINGTON – African-Americans are worse off and have less access to health care than white Americans this year compared to 2010, an annual report released Thursday said. In the 35th annual “State of Black America” report, the National Urban League (NUL) said blacks have slid down on an “equality index”…

Rep. Boehner: No budget deal just yet

WASHINGTON – US House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday there was no budget deal yet to keep the government operating, and insisted his fellow Republicans would fight for huge spending cuts during negotiations with Democrats. “There’s no agreement on numbers, and nothing will be agreed to until everything is agreed…

Florida governor attends Special Olympics after cutting aid for disabled

After announcing plans to use “emergency powers” to make deep cuts to the state’s Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Florida Governor Rick Scott participated the Special Olympics Torch Run Ceremony on Thursday. The ironic scheduling was first noted by Peter Schorsch of Saint Petersblog. The Miami Herald reported that Scott…

Two New Orleans cops sentenced in Katrina slaying

CHICAGO – Two New Orleans police officers convicted of shooting and burning a man in the 2005 post-Hurricane Katrina chaos were sentenced to 25 and 17 years in jail for their crimes, officials said Thursday. They were two of three police officers convicted in December in the September 2, 2005…

Maine Republicans seek to loosen child labor laws

Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill through the Maine Legislature that would rollback child labor laws enacted by the state in 1991. The bill, LD 1346, establishes a “training wage” for employees under 20 years of age at $5.25 per hour for their first 180 days of employment and increases…

Wisconsin GOP lawmaker complains of struggling on a $174,000 salary

The Republican Party in Polk County, Wisconsin has demanded that video of Rep. Sean Duffy (R) complaining about his $174,000/year salary be pulled from the Internet. Talking Points Memo reposted the clip Wednesday. “I can guarantee you, or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all…

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