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Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Mortgage Rates Edge Up

New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326,000 in the week ending July 27 — the lowest level for initial jobless claims in more than five years, according to the Labor Department. Employment data for the month of July is due to be released Friday.
NPR

Cleveland Kidnapper Sentenced To Life Plus 1,000 Years

Ariel Castro repeatedly raped three women he held captive in his house for more than a decade. He's been sentenced to life without parole on 937 counts, including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.
NPR

Jobless Aid Falls To New Low

The Labor Department announced on Thursday that applications for jobless benefits fell to 326,000 last week — that's the lowest level since January of 2008.
NPR

Snowden Leaves Moscow Airport

Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he has been holed up for more than a month. Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow and Pentagon correspondent Larry Abramson.
NPR

S&P 500 Index Passes 1,700 Mark For First Time

The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from the Federal Reserve that it would continue to support the U.S. economy.
NPR

When Fleeing Zombies (Or Flu), Cooperation Saves Lives

Acting altruistically rather than selfishly is what makes quarantines successful in stopping disease outbreaks. But an analysis by scientists at MIT finds that commuting patterns also could play a big role in how infectious diseases spread.
NPR

Beset San Diego Mayor Says He Didn't Get Harassment Training

An attorney for Bob Filner says the city failed to meet its legal requirement and therefore should foot the mayor's legal bills.
NPR

U.S. 'Extremely Disappointed' At Russia's Asylum For Snowden

After Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden a one-year asylum, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the move "undermines a long history of cooperation." Snowden arrived at Moscow's airport from Hong Kong more than a month ago.
NPR

Denver Hotel Offers Stay In Traveling, Inflatable Room

The Curtis hotel in Denver is offering a combination art installation/holiday experience. You can stay in a 5-foot-by-7-foot inflatable chamber — kind of like a kids' bouncy house — set on top of a lift, which is on top of a van. The price tag: $50,000. Should you book this cozy, plastic room, you'll be greeted by Sonny and Cher impersonators and receive lavish gifts, including crystal-encrusted binoculars and a Tiffany diamond pendant.
NPR

More Surveillance Revelations Put Government On Defensive

More leaks from Edward Snowden about government surveillance have come out in The Guardian, in an article detailing the power of a program that searches the Internet for everything from email traffic to web-surfing activity. The government continues to insist these efforts are legal and that it respects civil liberties.

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