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Jobless Claims At Five-Year Low; Home Building Hit Five-Year High In 2012

There were 335,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 37,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's the lowest total for any one week since January 2008.

In other good economic news, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say there was a 12.1 percent gain in housing starts in December from November. Starts were up 36.9 percent from December 2011.

Construction was begun on an estimated 780,000 housing units last year. According to The Associated Press, it was "the best year since 2008."

Home construction is a closely watched economic indicator not only because of the jobs it creates in the building industry, but for its ripple effects on other parts of the economy — including the appliance, furniture and retail industries.

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Elvis Costello: 'There Is No Absolute Right And Wrong About Music'

Throughout his memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Costello grapples with parallels to his father's life. "In the end, music was playing in the room when my father left this earth," he says.

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts

Americans' junk food calories increasingly come from big box and convenience stores rather than traditional grocers, a study finds. And researchers say this trend is a public health concern.

Planned Parenthood To Stop Accepting Reimbursement For Fetal Tissue

Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept reimbursement for the cost of providing fetal tissue to researchers. The move is a response to sting videos and accusations that the organization unlawfully profits from such donations.

Groups Aim To Make It Easier To Own A Cable TV Box Instead Of Renting

A study estimated that 99 percent of cable TV subscribers rent their set-top boxes and pay on average $231 a year to do so. Groups want to make it easier for consumers to own similar devices.

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