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Jobless Claims Drop, Inflation At 3 Percent, Housing Starts Cool

A trio of economic indicators were just released:

-- First-time claims for jobless benefits plunged by 50,000 last week from the week before, to 352,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. You have to go back to Spring 2008 to find a lower number. Reuters says the news signals "continued improvement in the labor market."

-- Consumer prices finished 2011 up 3 percent from the year before, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's a faster pace than 2010's 1.5 percent and 2009's 2.7 percent. But prices were unchanged in December, vs. the month before.

-- While the number of "housing starts" in December was 4.1 percent below November's pace, they ended the year 24.9 percent up from 2010, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
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Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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