Unemployment rates rise in most states
WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates rose in more than half of U.S. states in July and fewer states added jobs, echoing national data that show the job market may have lost some momentum.
The Labor Department said Monday that unemployment rates increased in 28 states. They were unchanged in 14 and fell in eight states – the fewest to show a decline since January.
Nationwide, hiring has been steady this year but slowed in July. Employers added 162,000 jobs, the fewest since March. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, a 4 1/2-year low, from 7.6 percent.
More college students receiving federal aid
WASHINGTON – With college costs continuing to rise, more students are receiving federal financial aid, though state and institutional aid remains largely flat
Data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Department of Education, shows 71 percent of all undergraduate students received some type of financial aid in the 2011-12 school year, up from 66 percent four years earlier.
Forty-two percent of students received federal grants, up from 28 percent, and 40 percent received federal loans, an increase of 5 percentage points.
Al-Jazeera America gets ready for launch
NEW YORK – In a warren of offices at a former bank building near Madison Square Garden, dozens of journalists are at work on gleaming new electronic equipment, ready to turn their test runs of Al-Jazeera America into the real thing.
The Qatar-based news organization will finally establish a firm foothold on American television today after a decade of trying. At 3 p.m. EDT, Al Gore’s former Current TV will turn out the lights in more than 45 million TV homes, replaced by the new U.S. affiliate of Al-Jazeera.
The network has hired many veterans of U.S. television, including John Seigenthaler, Joie Chen, Antonio Mora and Sheila MacVicar, and is promising a meaty diet of news that it believes will contrast with the opinionated talk that dominates American news networks.
Creditors file against Detroit bankruptcy
DETROIT – The city’s biggest employee union, retirees and even a few dozen residents filed objections Monday to Detroit’s request for bankruptcy protection, the largest municipal filing in U.S. history and a move aimed at wiping away billions of dollars in debt.
The filing by the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Michigan Council 25 also came before expected objections from two city pension systems, bond holders, banks and others who hope to convince federal Judge Steven Rhodes not to allow the Chapter 9 petition by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr.
Rhodes set Monday as the eligibility objection deadline. By early Monday evening, more than 100 objections had been filed, including those made by several smaller city unions.
President of NPR plans to step down
WASHINGTON – The president and CEO of NPR is stepping down after less than two years to take a similar position at the National Geographic Society, the public radio organization’s board of directors announced Monday.
Gary Knell said he plans to stay on the job at Washington-based National Public Radio until November while the board works to find a successor, serving out most, if not all, of his initial contract.