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Unemployment Claims Drop To Pre-Recession Levels

More than 330,000 people filed new claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week. That sounds like a big number — and is a slight increase over the previous week — but it's being taken as some very good news. For a month, now, fewer new people are asking for unemployment insurance than at any time since November, 2007. That's before the Great Recession.
NPR

Obama Calls For College Affordability On Bus Tour

President Obama was in Buffalo, N.Y., today, talking up the college affordability program at the SUNY campus there and urging Congress to do more to support higher education. The president also has a political agenda as he drives from town to town. NPR's Scott Horsley is with the president and joins us now.
NPR

Nasdaq Trading Halted For Hours By Technical Glitch

Trading on the Nasdaq exchange was halted today due to an unspecified technical glitch. The shutdown rattled investors and raised fresh concerns about the safety and stability of financial markets. Nasdaq in particular has experienced technological mishaps, most notably during the Facebook IPO in 2012.
NPR

Sgt. Who Admitted To Killing Afghans Apologizes In Court

"Sorry just isn't good enough, but I am sorry." That apology was offered Thursday by Army Sgt. Robert Bales — in a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. Bales agreed to plead guilty to killing 16 Afghan civilians as part of a deal that spared him the death penalty. His sentencing hearing is wrapping up this week.
NPR

Is Government's Renewed Push On Mortgage Fraud Too Late?

Are federal prosecutors gearing up to file more big mortgage fraud cases? Bank of America was targeted recently, and JPMorgan Chase has disclosed that it is under investigation. Now that banks have returned to profitability, regulators may be more willing to take action. But time may be running out in some cases.
NPR

911 Call Captures School Employee Talking Down Gunman

We hear some of the 911 call from a Georgia school clerk to the police earlier this week. Antoinette Tuff, who works at the McNair Discovery Learning Center, talked a 20-year-old gunman who was brandishing an AK-47 and shooting at police, into giving himself up.
NPR

Justice Department Sues Texas Over Strict Voter ID Law

The Justice Department is suing the state of Texas over its strict voter ID law, saying it discriminates against minorities. The attorney general also wants a judge to order Texas to get federal permission before it changes its election procedures.
NPR

'Uncertain' Science: Judith Curry's Take On Climate Change

When Republicans on Capitol Hill want to hear reasons not to take strong action on climate change, sometimes they call on Judith Curry to testify. The climatologist has staked out an unusual position on the subject: She says the climate is changing and people are partly responsible, but we shouldn't bother regulating carbon dioxide.
NPR

Do The Data Exist To Make A College-Rating System Work?

President Obama unveiled a plan on Thursday that would, for the first time, tie federal student aid to a new rating system for colleges and universities. The problem is that many of the things the administration wants to measure to rate schools are hard to pin down.
NPR

New Activists Harness Memory Of 1963 March On Washington

Events commemorating the March on Washington started Wednesday evening, and got under way in earnest on Thursday.

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