“What recession?” : US employers create 528,000 jobs in July
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs last month despite early signs of an economic slowdown, easing fears of a recession and giving President Joe Biden good news ahead of the election mid-term. Unemployment fell another notch, from 3.6% to 3.5%, matching the more than 50-year low reached just before the pandemic took hold. The economy has now recovered the 22 million jobs lost in March and April 2020 when COVID-19 hit the United States. The searing numbers were reported Friday by the Labor Department. Economists had expected just 250,000 new jobs last month, down from a revised 398,000 in June. Instead, July turned out to be the best month since February.
China ends climate, military ties after Pelosi visit to Taiwan
WASHINGTON (AP) — China said it was canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on a range of issues ranging from climate change to military relations and counter-narcotics efforts in retaliation for the visit this week to Taiwan from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The measures announced on Friday are the latest in a series of measures promised to punish Washington for allowing the visit to the island, claimed by Beijing as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary. China is holding threatening military exercises off the coast of the island republic. The White House summoned China’s ambassador to Washington to protest what it called China’s “irresponsible” actions since Pelosi’s visit.
Democrats say they have reached an agreement on the economic package
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats say they have reached agreement on changes to their flagship economic legislation, removing the biggest roadblock to advancing one of President Joe Biden’s top election-year priorities. across the room in the next few days. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist seen as the pivotal vote, says she is ready to “move forward” on the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said lawmakers reached a compromise that would receive the support of all Democrats in the house. His party needs the unanimity and decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris to pass the measure in the Senate in the face of some solid opposition from Republicans.
Kentucky flood survivors turn to a grim task: burying the dead
CHAVIES, Ky. (AP) — Angel Campbell should have been browsing photo albums and eating soup beans in his grandmother’s living room this week. Now the living room is gone and so is her grandmother. At least 37 people have died as massive flooding ravaged Appalachian communities in eastern Kentucky last week. Funeral homes have settled into a regular cadence of visitation and commemoration, one after another. They continue the grim work of recovering and burying the dead even as the rain falls. A survivor says they may not have a lot of money, but they are rich in friendship and family, and that’s what’s important.
Israeli strikes on Gaza leave 10 dead, including a senior militant
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian officials say Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed at least 10 people, including a senior militant, and injured 55 others. Israel says it is responding to an “imminent threat” after days of tension following the arrest of a senior Islamic Jihad operative in the occupied West Bank. Israel had closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it prepared for a revenge attack. An Islamic Jihad commander was among those killed on Friday, raising the likelihood of a wider conflict. Israel and the ruling Hamas militant group in Gaza have fought four wars and several small battles in the past 15 years.
Economist: Alex Jones, his business worth up to $270 million
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An economist says conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his company Free Speech Systems are worth up to $270 million. The testimony came Friday before a jury trying to determine whether Jones should have to pay punitive damages to the family of a 6-year-old child killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown , Connecticut. The same jury has already ordered Jones to pay Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis $4.1 million in compensation for defamation. Their attorney on Friday asked jurors to award an additional $145.9 million. Jones’ attorneys said less than $300,000 would be fair. Economist Bernard Pettingill, whom the plaintiffs hired to study Jones’ net worth, says records show Jones withdrew $62 million for himself last year.
Pentagon rejects DC’s request for National Guard migrant aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has denied a request from the District of Columbia for National Guard assistance for the thousands of migrants bused to the city from two southern states. US defense officials said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin refused to provide Guard personnel and the use of the DC Armory to help welcome migrants to the city. An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision not yet made public, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s food and shelter program had provided funding for the issue and indicated that these funds were sufficient. Mayor Muriel Bowser says the city can send in an amended request.
Seven years of sexual abuse: How Mormon authorities let it happen
BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) — The Associated Press has obtained nearly 12,000 pages of sealed records from a child sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon Church. The documents offer the most detailed and comprehensive look yet at the church’s so-called ‘hotline’ for handling child sex abuse allegations against officials and members. Families of survivors who sued said they showed it was part of a system that could easily be misused by church leaders to deflect accusations of abuse of the forces of the order to church lawyers who could bury the issue, leaving the victims in danger. One victim was 5 years old when her father told her bishop he was sexually abusing her. The abuse went on for seven more years, while the bishop failed to report it to authorities.
NCAA hoops leagues grapple with unequal salaries for female umpires
The NCAA received praise last year when it agreed to pay referees fairly for its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The gesture costs only about $100,000, a tiny fraction of the roughly $900 million the networks pay each year to air March Madness. Now, as the NCAA examines various disparities between men’s and women’s sports, pressure is mounting to also pay referees equally during the regular season. Two Division 1 conferences have told The Associated Press they plan to equalize wages, and another is considering it. Others resist change, even if the impact on their budget would be negligible.
Amazon buys iRobot vacuum cleaner for around $1.7 billion
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Friday it has reached an agreement to acquire vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for about $1.7 billion. It’s a move that will see Amazon scoop up another company to add to its collection of smart home appliances amid wider concerns about its market power. iRobot sells its products worldwide and is best known for the circular shaped Roomba vacuum. Amazon says it will acquire the company for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction that will include iRobot’s net debt. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. In the end, iRobot CEO Colin Angle will remain in his post.
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