From NPR News in Washington, I'm Barbara Klein.
The economic recession in the US is officially over. It ended in June of last year. That's according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which identifies the official dates of recessionary periods. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the recent recession is the longest downturn since the Great Depression.
According to the NBER, the recession began in December of 2007 and continued for 18 months. That's two months longer than the recessions of the mid-1970s and early 1980s. The members of the NBER's Business Cycle Dating Committee explained the long delay in calling the end of the slump by saying they wanted to wait for revisions in economic data that came late in July and August. The committee based its conclusions on employment and personal income data as well as gross domestic product, a measure of the total output of the economy. Even though the recession officially ended in June of 2009 with unemployment at 9.6 percent, it still feels like a recession for millions of Americans. John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington.
The commander of Utah's Army National Guard is taking the blame for a 3,500-acre wildfire that forced 5,000 people to evacuate and destroyed three houses. Live-fire machine gun training at a guard base near Herriman triggered the blaze Sunday. Major General Brian Tarbet says it was a red flag day and leaders of the exercise should have known that and halted the session. Crews say they're making progress putting the fire out.
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle says he will remove from office a district attorney, who tried to start a sexual relationship with a crime victim. But as Gil Halsted of Wisconsin Public Radio reports, it's going to take some time before the DA can be fired.
Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz sent 30 text messages to crime victim Stephanie Van Groll over two days, referring to her as "hot" and urging her to start a relationship with him. Kratz did this while he was prosecuting Van Groll's ex-boyfriend for trying to strangle her. Governor Doyle says he's shocked by Kratz's behavior, but he can't fire him until a state taxpayer sends him a formal complaint.
"It troubles me deeply that somebody turns to the criminal justice system for help and receives the kinds of text that we have seen."
Since the texts were released to the media last week, another crime victim has come forward, accusing Kratz of inviting her to meet him at an autopsy wearing high heels. Kratz has refused calls for his resignation, has promised to go to a therapy and has hired an attorney. For NPR News, I'm Gil Halsted in Madison.
The Federal Reserve meets tomorrow and gains on Wall Street today suggest investors are expecting the Fed to make some moves to prop up the lackluster economy. The Dow picked up 145 points; the NASDAQ rose 40; the S&P was up 17.
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The Food and Drug Administration is holding hearings on whether genetically engineered salmon can be sold to the public. Consumer and environment advocates say there isn't enough evidence it's safe.
The FBI has arrested a Chicago man for allegedly targeting a site near Wrigley Field in a far-fetched bomb plot. As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, the 22-year-old suspect was arrested after allegedly placing what he thought was a backpack containing a bomb on a crowded street corner over the weekend.
Prosecutors have charged Sami Samir Hassoun with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to use an explosive device. Hassoun has been under FBI surveillance and in contact with undercover agents for months. He's a Lebanese citizen who lives in Chicago. This summer, Hassoun allegedly began discussing his desire to commit violent plots to make money and shake up the political environment in Chicago. He allegedly thought about targeting the city's Willis Tower or attacking police officers. An undercover agent gave Hassoun what he said was a bomb on Saturday night. Hassoun allegedly put it in a trash can near a crowded nightclub. The FBI then moved in to arrest him. Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington.
At a summit meeting in New York City today, a coalition of Muslim groups called for a nationwide interfaith dialog in October to combat what they say is growing anti-Muslim sentiment. The Muslim leaders are meeting to support the plan to construct a Muslim cultural center and mosque on a site that's near Ground Zero. At a news conference today, they said Muslims should open mosques for a week next month to people of all faiths.
I'm Barbara Klein, NPR News in Washington.