NPR News in Washington, I'm Windsor Johnston.
The Labor Department says the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% in February on higher job growth than the market expected. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the private sector also added higher paying jobs.
The report far surpass predictions with 236,000 net new jobs added last month. Many of them were in well-paid positions, including business and professional services, house care and information technology, those who worked also worked more and earned more. Still, the overall picture remains challenging there are 12 million people who are unemployed and the number of long-term unemployed remained unchanged. Many economists worry whether this growth can be sustained to the federal spending cuts imposed by the sequester. Furloughs of government workers take effect in coming weeks. Yuki Noguchi NPR News, Washington.
Osama Bin Laden son-in-law has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to kill Americans in a New York federal court today. As NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports the hearing provided few new details about the case.
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, was a spokesman for al-Qaeda, and frequently appeared in the organizations propaganda videos. At first blush, Bin Laden's son-in-law seems like a better candidate for a military trial at Guantanamo than a civilian one in New York. In fact, a handful Republicans have already made that point, saying the president didn't umbrella around the requirement that's something like Bin Laden's son-in-law, has to be in military detention. But Abu Ghaith has been charged with conspiracy, and conspiracy is not an internationally recognized war crime, has such, it'd be difficult to try him on that charge alone in Guantanamo because the military commissions try defendants who've broken the laws of war. Dina Temple-Raston, NPR news, New York.
A new look at American's wallet shows people are regaining losses they suffered after the great recession. As NPR's Jeanine Herbst reports the government says U.S. household wealth made great strides in the fourth quarter.
The Federal Reserves quarterly flow of fund report shows a strong stock market and a healing housing market, helped Americans gain back trillions of dollars they lost during the recession. The report shows household wealth came at a 66.1 trillion dollars in the fourth quarter of 2012. That's up 1.2 trillion dollars from the previous quarter. Some economists though say the better balance sheets may not translate into more consumer spending. And an economist from Credit Suisse says Americans are no longer taking as much as equity out of their homes for shopping, as they did before the recession. Jeanine Herbst, NPR news, Washington.
The papal conclave will start Tuesday afternoon following morning mass at the Vatican. Cardinals have been attending pre-conclave meetings to discuss the problems of the church and decide who among them is best suited to succeed Pope Benedict.
At last check on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industry Average was up 44 points, at 14,374. This is NPR.
John Brennan has been sworn in as the director of the CIA. The White House says Vice President Joe Biden swore him in during a private ceremony in the Roosevelt room this morning. He won confirmation the yesterday after a contentious senate debate on the use of armed drones against terror suspects.
The funeral for Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is underway. He died earlier this week after a battle of cancer. Over 30 heads of government are attending today's funeral, including Cuban President Raul Castro.
South Korea's new president says he (口误) won't tolerate North Korea's threats. Pyongyang says it's calling off a non-aggression pact with its neighbor. Jason Strother has more from Seoul, South Korea.
"Park Geun-hye hasn't been president for even two weeks, and already her hands are full with North Korea. This week, Pyongyang has threatened to cut off a military hardline, attack its enemies with nuclear weapons and end the Korean war ceasefire agreement. The provocations came as the United Nations imposed new sanctions on the North, they are meant to punish the regime for its February nuclear test. President Park calls the security situation on the peninsula grave but says she still holds out hope that relations can improve. For NPR News, I'm Jason Strother in Seoul."
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has arrived in Afghanistan in his first trip to the country in his new position. He's planning to meet with President Hamid Karzai and U.S. commanders. Hagel says there are numerous challenges ahead as NATO prepares to hand over the country security to Afghans. Hagel made four trips to the country during his two terms as a Nebraska senator. He was confirmed by the Senate last week.
I'm Windsor Johnston, NPR News, Washington.