This election year we've seen a lot of cases where different people look at the same economic situation and come to different conclusions. And that seems to be happening in Michigan. It's America's comeback state - that according to its governor, Rick Snyder. Unemployment there is dropping, as the U.S. auto industry rebounds. And the state has a budget surplus for the first time in years.
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In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.
It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.
The Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure takes place tomorrow here in the nation's capital. It's one of the breast cancer charity's biggest fundraisers. But this year, participation is way down. That follows Komen's controversial decision in February to stop funding Planned Parenthood programs. The decision was quickly reversed, but Komen's supporters worry about the long-term impact, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 69,000 jobs last month — far fewer than analysts expected. The unemployment rate also rose to 8.2 percent, up from 8.1 percent in April. The monthly jobs report is an important weather vane for anyone trying to get a bead on which way the economic winds are blowing.
In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.
The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
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The mayor of the nation's largest city is proposing a new approach to a national problem, obesity. In restaurants, movie theaters and some other establishments, Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to stop the sales of super-sized soft drinks. Put simply, the proposal is to ban big cups.
And as NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is prompting objections from the beverage industry and from other New Yorkers.
Next Tuesday, a very unusual election will put conservative Republican Tea Party politics to a test. Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, faces a recall vote. His opponent is the Democrat he defeated in 2010, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Wisconsin Democrats petitioned for Walker's recall after his aggressive stance against public employee collective bargaining rights. As we've reported here, money is flowing into the race. Nearly $60 million has been spent, about three quarters of that sum by the Republicans.
A federal appeals court in Boston ruled unanimously Thursday that a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Ultimately, however, the court said that it will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the federal government can deny economic entitlements to legally married same-sex couples.