U.S. Unemployment Aid Requests Near 3-Month High

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high last week, a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. It was little changed from the previous week’s figure, the highest since Jan. 7. The four-week average, a less volatile […]

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A New U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership: Should the Taliban Be Afraid?

After many months of wrangling and negotiations between Washington and Kabul, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta initialed the draft of a strategic partnership agreement that promises American support for Afghanistan for 10 years following the planned 2014 withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops. However, like many recent agreements between the two countries, observers […]

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Workforce Strains Social Security, Medicare

An aging population and an economy that has been slow to rebound are straining the long-term finances of Social Security and Medicare, the government’s two largest benefit programs. Those problems are getting new attention Monday as the trustees who oversee the massive programs release their annual financial reports. Medicare is in worse shape than Social Security because of rising health […]

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A game changer for Syria?

(CNN) — The six-point peace plan for Syria proposed by Kofi Annan is doomed to fail for one simple reason: Neither President Bashar al-Assad nor the government opposition is interested in making it work. For al-Assad, full implementation of the plan, which includes a political settlement through dialogue and respect for the rights of citizens to demonstrate peacefully, will bring […]

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