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Evie Rodriguez

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10 Things to Know for Today

Thursday, 25 April 2013 17:27 Published in April 2013

The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:



1. REVELATIONS ABOUT QUESTIONING OF BOSTON BOMB SUSPECT U.S. officials say Dzokhar Tsarnaev stopped talking after he was read his Miranda rights, and after admitting his role in the marathon attacks.

2. BANGLADESH BUILDING ORDERED CLOSED A DAY BEFORE COLLAPSE Factories flouted the mandate — despite deep cracks visible in the walls — before the building tumbled down, killing more than 200 people.

3. WARNINGS IN KOREAS, THIS TIME FROM THE SOUTH Seoul warned of a "grave measure" if North Korea rejects talks on reopening a jointly run factory park shuttered for nearly a month.

4. A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN THE U.S. ECONOMY A new survey today finds Americans' belief in the job market has rebounded to a normal level from record lows after the Great Recession.

5. FUEL BARGES BURNING ON ALABAMA RIVER At least seven explosions created a major fire that left three workers hospitalized burned overnight on the Mobile River.

6. WHERE ALL LIVING U.S. PRESIDENTS WILL BE Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush will join George W. Bush for the dedication in Dallas of his presidential library.

7. A MEMORIAL FOR TEXAS FERTILIZER BLAST VICTIMS President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend the service at Baylor University for the 14 people killed.

8. MYSTERY MOTIVE FOR KILLINGS OF 5 IN ILLINOIS TOWN Police say the victims — including two boys — killed by a mayor's nephew were related, but didn't reveal a reason for the shootings.

9. SWEARING NEWSCASTER GETS 15 MINUTES A.J. Clemente, fired as a North Dakota news anchor after his profanity-laced debut, was asked to appear on "Today" and David Letterman's show.

10. HEAVY ON SIZE IN NFL DRAFT Linemen like Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel are expected to dominate the top picks tonight.

Americans Felt More Secure in Jobs in 2012

Thursday, 25 April 2013 17:25 Published in April 2013


Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP)


Confidence in the U.S. job market has rebounded to roughly a normal level from its record low after the Great Recession, a trend that could help boost the economy. Americans increasingly feel they could find a new job if necessary, according to the results of the 2012 General Social Survey, a long-standing poll of public opinion. And fear of being laid off dropped last year from its 2010 peak to roughly its average for the 35 years the question has been asked. The percentage of Americans who said it would be somewhat or very easy to find a job if they lost theirs rose to 54 percent last year from 46 percent in 2010. The 2010 figure was the lowest since 1983, when the United States was also emerging from a deep recession. On average in the survey's history, about 58 percent of respondents have said it would be very or somewhat easy to find a job. As layoffs have declined, fewer Americans fear losing their job. Last year, 11 percent of adults thought it was somewhat or very likely that they'd lose theirs. That was down from a record-high 16 percent in 2010. And it matches the 11 percent average the survey has found since it began asking the question. Americans may be feeling even more secure now than when the survey was taken last year. The number of layoffs fell in January to the lowest level in the 12 years the government has tracked the data. Fewer people are seeking unemployment benefits. And employers have stepped up hiring, though the job gains slowed in March. Employers added nearly 2.2 million jobs in 2012, an average of about 180,000 a month. That's enough to slowly lower the unemployment rate. Even though the rate remains high at 7.6 percent, greater confidence among those who have a job could encourage more consumer spending and boost economic growth. "If you're not afraid of being laid off, you're going to spend more of your money," said Drew Matus, an economist at UBS. The General Social Survey has been conducted roughly every two years since 1972. The survey is a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with primary funding from the National Science Foundation. From mid-March through September last year, 1,975 adults were asked about their financial situation and their feelings about the job market. The survey's margin of error was plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. The results were only recently made available. The survey found that confidence in the economy varied by education. Those with college degrees felt more job security than those with less education. And since the recession ended in June 2009, Americans with a college education have reported greater improvement in confidence than have those with high school degrees or less. Only 6 percent of college-educated Americans said in 2012 that it was somewhat or very likely that they'd lose their job. That was down from 10 percent in 2010. Those with high school degrees were also more confident in 2012: Twelve percent of this group feared losing their job, down from 19 percent two years earlier. But Americans with less than a high school degree reported little change: 26 percent felt it was somewhat or very likely they would be laid off in 2012, about on par with the 29 percent who felt so in 2010. On whether it would be somewhat or very easy to find another job, 59 percent of those with college degrees said so, up from 52 percent in 2010. Among high school graduates, that figure rose to 53 percent last year from 43 percent in 2010. Those without a high school degree still lack confidence: Only 40 percent said it would be somewhat or very easy to find new work, essentially unchanged from the 41 percent who said so in 2010. Among the survey's other findings: — Fewer Americans say their financial situation has worsened in the past few years, though the proportion remains high. A record 37 percent of Americans in 2010 said their finances had deteriorated. In 2012, that figure fell to 30 percent, still the second-highest on record. — More Americans define themselves as in the "lower class" than at any time since 1972. A record 8 percent classified themselves as lower class in 2012, the same as in 2010. That compares with the record low of 4 percent in 1985. — The proportion of Americans who expect their children to be somewhat or much worse off financially than they are was 20 percent in 2012, compared with 18 percent in 2010. The figure is slightly below the record level of 22 percent in 1996.

The Bush and Clinton Families, On Stage in Texas

Thursday, 25 April 2013 17:22 Published in April 2013

KEN THOMAS, Associated Press



They have dominated American politics for the past three decades: the Bush and Clinton families, taking turns in a string of positions of power and influence. The dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library on Thursday shines a spotlight on two of the nation's most prominent political dynasties — and the prospect of another White House campaign, in 2016, featuring the families. President Barack Obama, who broke a 20-year string of either a Bush or Clinton in the Oval Office, will join four ex-presidents at the red-brick library on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Obama has his own back story with the families — he waged a long primary race against Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008, campaigned vigorously against Bush's policies and then turned to the former senator and first lady to run the State Department. When Obama needed a re-election boost last year, former President Bill Clinton was there to help. The White House binds the two families — from former President George H.W. Bush, who presided over the end of the Cold War but watched his popularity fade, to Bill Clinton, whose "I feel your pain" message created a connection with Americans that survived impeachment, to the younger Bush, whose bullhorn speech amid the wreckage of the 9/11 attacks in New York was followed by draining wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that left him unpopular in his second term. "The presidents' club is small," said Mary Matalin, a longtime George W. Bush adviser. "Only presidents who have sat behind that desk in the Oval Office know the weight of it. There's just a bond there that nobody else can understand except for a handful of people who have done it." The families first squared off in 1992, when George H.W. Bush ran for re-election and faced Bill Clinton and independent H. Ross Perot in a riveting campaign that took place as Bush's sky-high approval dwindled following the first Iraq war. Clinton repeatedly questioned Bush's handling of the economy while the incumbent challenged the fitness for office of Clinton and running mate Al Gore, punctuated by Bush's claim that his English springer spaniel, Millie, knew more about foreign policy "than these two Bozos." George W. Bush served as an aide to his father's re-election campaign, giving him a close-up view of his father's defeat — and plenty of reasons to dislike the opponent. But the families eventually formed a connection that was helped by a common understanding of the burdens of the office. "They both have a real commitment to public service and are willing to take the slings and arrows that go with it," said Paul Begala, a former aide to Bill Clinton. When the Clintons arrived at the White House in January 1993, aides to both families said the Bush family was gracious to the new president and his family. The elder Bush avoided criticizing his successor and after Clinton's presidency, the two joined forces to raise money for victims of the devastating tsunami in Asia in 2005 and Hurricane Katrina in 2006. Aides describe a friendship between the two ex-presidents that almost resembles a father-son relationship. Bill Clinton has visited the ailing ex-president at his homes in Houston and Kennebunkport, Maine, and they keep in touch. Former first lady Barbara Bush joked in a 2012 interview with Parade Magazine that her sons refer to Clinton as their "brother by another mother." Bush 41, as he is known, told Clinton in a 2006 letter that presidential politics might strain their friendship, "but it is my view that it will survive. In any event, I have genuinely enjoyed working with you. Don't kill yourself by travel or endless rope lines." That friendship helped connect Clinton and George W. Bush, who campaigned for president in 2000 on restoring "honor and dignity" to the White House following Clinton's impeachment over a sex scandal. After Haiti's devastating earthquake in 2010, Obama tapped Clinton and the younger Bush to lead a relief effort. Joshua Bolten, a former chief of staff to George W. Bush and a board member of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, recalled that on their first trip to Haiti, the presidents wore tan baseball caps emblazoned with the number 85 — the combination of the 42nd and 43rd presidents. He said the relationship between Clinton and the elder Bush "helped open the door to a good 42 and 43 relationship." Both families know what it's like to watch a family member face the scrutiny of a national campaign. Bolten said that during the 2008 race, Clinton and George W. Bush would talk by phone about the campaign as Hillary Clinton sought the White House — a time when Bush's approval ratings sank and Republicans avoided him. "Both political junkies. One of them very decidedly on the sidelines, the other one engaged but not the principal," Bolten said. "And having shared the experience of having a loved one running for president or being involved in the arena and being attacked, from their perspective unfairly; I think that was something of a shared experience," Bolten said. "They could definitely relate." Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said the relationship between the families reflected the "tendency of most ex-presidents to form at least modest friendships because they found that they shared an almost unique experience, as well as the welfare of the country." The two families could be thrust into the spotlight once again if Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush runs for president in three years. During the 2008 campaign, Bill Clinton served as his wife's top surrogate, vouching for her abilities. In recent days, George W. Bush has encouraged his younger brother to seek the White House, saying in an interview with C-SPAN, "My first advice is: Run." Playing on the idea of his brother and Hillary Clinton appearing at the library opening, the former president told ABC News: "It'll be a fantastic photo here. It would certainly eclipse the museum and the center." But first lady Barbara Bush appeared to disagree. Asked in an interview Thursday on NBC's "Today" show how she felt about Jeb Bush running for president, Mrs. Bush said, "We've had enough Bushes." Recent polling has found an improving assessment of George W. Bush's presidency, a measurement which could play a factor in how Jeb Bush would be viewed in future Republican primaries. A poll released in March of registered Republicans by Quinnipiac University found Jeb Bush trailing GOP opponents such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Kentucky Sen. Ron Paul. Hillary Clinton remains popular, with a Gallup poll released earlier this month showing that 64 percent had a favorable opinion of her. The presidential trail follows both of them three years before the next election. Clinton supporters gathered outside her private speech in nearby Irving, Texas, on Wednesday night while Jeb Bush received encouragement to run for president during a speech at a Dallas civic group. Looking to the future, Jeb Bush pointed to the nascent campaign in Texas of his 37-year-old son, George P. Bush. "To be honest, I'm focused on the land commissioner race in 2014," Bush said with a smile. Presidential politics can wait.