From NPR News in Washington, I'm Lakshmi Singh.
The latest jobs report reveals an unexpected decline in new unemployment claims last week, but economist Hugh Johnson says the better measure on labor trends, the four-week average, tells a different story.
"The truth is that the jobless claims have been over time edging higher, suggesting that there’s weakness showing up in the labor market."
Tomorrow, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers a much-anticipated speech in Wyoming. Economists are waiting to hear how the Fed will likely respond if recovery keeps slowing.
Crisis is deepening in Pakistan, which is immersed in its worst flood disaster in recent memory. New floods are forcing more than a half million people in southern Pakistan to evacuate. In the city of Larkana, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports workers are struggling to prevent a levee breach.
There’s a huge infrastructure project underway to shore up the embankments of the Indus River that sits just outside the city. There are fears that the embankment could give away and water come gushing into yet another town here in the southernmost province of Pakistan. The situation here in Sindh is a grim one. It's estimated that two million people have been made homeless.
NPR's Julie McCarthy.
An explosion at the popular Mexican beach resort of Puerto Vallarta is responsible for more than a dozen injuries. A grenade went off in a nightclub late yesterday. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports the governor of Jalisco state in Mexico is now calling on bar owners to install metal detectors at their doors.
The governor of Jalisco, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, says the grenade went off by accident. Speaking on local radio, the governor said some young people had brought grenades into the bar "Pink Cheladas" just off a tourist strip in Puerto Vallarta. One of the young men was carrying a bucket of beers and accidentally tripped the explosive, according to the governor. No one was killed in the explosion, but at least four people had to have their legs amputated. Grenades have become a common weapon of Mexico's drug cartels. This week there have been several grenade attacks in the northern industrial city of Monterrey. Governor Gonzalez in Jalisco says the police can’t patrol every bar and nightclub in part of Vallarta and it's up to bar owners to make sure weapons aren't allowed inside. Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Mexico City.
Illinois' ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich will be retried next year on corruption charges. The federal judge says it won't start earlier than January 4th, but federal prosecutors say they won't retry Blagojevich's brother. The former governor's lawyer, Sam Adam Sr., says he finds it odd his client is the only one still charged.
"Now I'm down to one defendant, one defendant. I don't know who they’re going to say to expire with himself, I guess."
The defendants were accused of conspiring to sell or trade President Obama's old Senate seat.
On Wall Street, Dow's down 74 at 9,986 at last check.
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A hearing in Anchorage, Alaska is focusing on deepwater oil drilling, worker safety and oil spill response a day after a White House commission called the Gulf oil spill a major shared failure of public responsibility by the oil industry and government. NPR's Paul Brown reports environmentalists are concerned about risks connected to Arctic offshore drilling.
Arctic waters are remote. The weather is often hostile. There’s no Coast Guard station nearby. And even if there were, rough weather could easily interfere with attempts to stop an oil leak there as it did in the much less forbidding environment of the Gulf Coast. Marilyn Heiman of the Pew Environment Group is testifying at the hearing in Anchorage, one of a series around the country. She tells NPR the Gulf oil spill proves that better regulations and oversight are crucial as exploration expands.
"We need strict regulations on safety, on spill prevention in place before we go to extreme places like the Arctic Ocean."
Also testifying, oil industry supporters, industry trade groups want a drilling ban lifted soon and they're wary of new regulations. Paul Brown, NPR News.
A federal judge reportedly is recommending that a bankruptcy court approve a 12-million-dollar settlement in a salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts. News reports say the judge issued his decision late yesterday to pay more than 120 personal injury claims. That outbreak, traced to plants belonging to Peanut Corporation of America, has been linked to at least nine deaths and hundreds of injuries. The Virginia-based company then filed for bankruptcy.
Dow's down 74 below the 10,000 mark.
I'm Lakshmi Singh, NPR News.