In a sluggish economy, good jobs are scarce; employers offer mainly low-pay or part-time work
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 162,000 jobs the economy added in July were a disappointment. The quality of the jobs was even worse.
A disproportionate number of the added jobs were part-time or low-paying — or both.
Part-time work accounted for more than 65 percent of the positions employers added in July. Low-paying retailers, restaurants and bars supplied more than half July's job gain.
"You're getting jobs added, but they might not be the best-quality job," says John Canally, an economist with LPL Financial in Boston.
So far this year, low-paying industries have provided 61 percent of the nation's job growth, even though these industries represent just 39 percent of overall U.S. jobs, according to Labor Department numbers analyzed by Moody's Analytics. Mid-paying industries have contributed just 22 percent of this year's job gain.
Democratic governors fret about health care law, but say readiness favors them in 2014
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Democratic governors say they are nervous about getting the new federal health care law implemented but add they will be better positioned in next year's elections than many of their Republican counterparts who have resisted the far-reaching and politically polarizing measure.
Several of the 12 Democratic governors shared that sense of nervousness-veiled-by-optimism at the National Governors Association meeting Saturday in Milwaukee.
"There's some angst, and you can see that from the decision the administration made a couple weeks ago," said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell. "There's a lot of work to do."
By next Jan. 1, most people will be required to have insurance. States have to set up exchanges by Oct. 1, when uninsured individuals can start buying subsidized private health coverage that would go into effect Jan 1, and businesses with more than 50 employees working 30 or more hours a week were supposed to offer affordable health care to their workers or risk a series of escalating tax penalties.
But businesses said they needed more time, and on July 2, President Barack Obama's administration abruptly extended the deadline one year — to Jan. 1, 2015.
LA fire official: At least 12 injured as car drives into crowd at Venice Beach boardwalk
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A car drove into a packed Saturday early evening crowd walking along the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, injuring at least a dozen people, two of them critically.
Multiple witnesses reported that the driver appeared to be in control of the car and it was not moving erratically as it plowed through the crowd, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Firefighters were surveying the crowd and looking for anyone who was hurt, Humphrey said.
Twelve injured had been counted so far, with 10 of them hospitalized. Two were hurt seriously and two critically, Humphrey said. He had no details on the identities of the victims or their injuries.
The car, described by witnesses as a sedan or compact, was still moving as it drove out of sight of firefighters and the people who were hit, and it was not clear if the person had stopped or was arrested.
Dying 2-year-old boy is Pennsylvania couple's best man in backyard ceremony
JEANNETTE, Pa. (AP) — Looking dapper in a tiny tan pinstripe suit and orange shirt, a 2-year-old boy with only weeks to live served as the best man Saturday afternoon for his parents' Pennsylvania wedding.
Christine Swidorsky carried Logan Stevenson on her shoulder at the Saturday afternoon wedding in Jeannette, a suburb of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Logan stood with his grandmother, Debbie Stevenson, during a 12-minute ceremony uniting Logan's mother and his father, Sean Stevenson. The boy has leukemia and other complications.
"We're married," Swidorsky exclaimed joyously after kissing her groom to applause from family and friends.
After a whirlwind week, the Jeannette couple tied the knot in a hastily arranged backyard ceremony that formalized their union and celebrated Logan's life, which doctors say will be cut short soon by cancer.
Fort Hood suspect faces death penalty if convicted but US military executions are rare
DALLAS (AP) — Hundreds of unarmed soldiers, some about to deploy to Afghanistan, were waiting inside a building for vaccines and routine checkups when a fellow soldier walked in with two handguns and enough ammunition to commit one of the worst mass shootings in American history.
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan doesn't deny that he carried out the November 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas, which left 13 people dead and more than 30 others wounded. There are dozens of witnesses who saw it happen. Military law prohibits him from entering a guilty plea because authorities are seeking the death penalty. But if he is convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that starts Tuesday, there are likely years, if not decades, of appeals ahead.
He may never make it to the death chamber at all.
While the Hasan case is unusually complex, experts also say the military justice system is unaccustomed to dealing with death penalty cases and has struggled to avoid overturned sentences.
Eleven of the 16 death sentences handed down by military juries in the last 30 years have been overturned, according to an academic study and court records. No active-duty soldier has been executed since 1961.
Longtime NBC news correspondent John Palmer dies at 77, worked for the network for 40 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Palmer, a veteran reporter for NBC News who covered wars and Washington over a career that spanned 40 years, died Saturday after a brief illness at a Washington hospital.
Palmer's wife Nancy confirmed he died at George Washington University Hospital of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 77.
The gentlemanly Palmer worked for NBC from 1962 to 1990, and then returned to the network from 1994 until 2002.
"John was a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers through many of the most significant events of the past half-century - from the early days of the civil rights movement through the tragedy of 9/11," NBC News said in a statement. "He covered five presidents and traveled to every corner of the world, always showing the empathy and compassion that helped set him apart. His kindness is remembered by all of us, and it built lasting bonds throughout our news division. "
He served as a correspondent in Chicago, Paris and Beirut, as well as at the White House. In 1980 he landed one of his biggest scoops, breaking the news of the Carter administration's failed attempt to rescue the American hostages being held in Iran. His reporting on the story brought him the Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage, making him the first broadcast journalist to receive that honor.
Amid threat to US embassies and travel warning, top US officials meet and Obama is briefed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Top U.S. officials met Saturday to review the threat of a terrorist attack that led to the weekend closure of 21 U.S. embassies and consulates in the Muslim world and a global travel warning to Americans. President Barack Obama was briefed following the session, the White House said.
Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, led the meeting and then joined Lisa Monaco, Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, in briefing the president, the White House said in a statement.
"The president has received frequent briefings over the last week on all aspects of the potential threat and our preparedness measures," according to the statement.
Among those at the meeting Saturday afternoon were the secretaries of state, defense and homeland security and the directors of the FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency, according to the White House. Also attending was Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In an interview Friday with ABC News, Dempsey said officials had determined there was "a significant threat stream" and that the threat was more specific than previous ones. The "intent is to attack Western, not just U.S. interests," he said.
Obama trade representative reverses ban on imports of some Apple iPads, older iPhones
President Obama's trade representative on Saturday vetoed a ban on imports of some Apple iPads and older iPhones, dealing a setback to rival South Korean electronics company Samsung.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman overruled a June decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which had banned imports of the iPhone 4 and some variations of the iPad 2. The commission ruled that the Chinese-made Apple devices violated a patent held by Samsung and couldn't be imported. The ban never went into effect, though, because the Obama administration had 60 days to decide if it would uphold the commission.
Obama is against import bans on the basis of the type of patent at issue in the Samsung case. The White House has recommended that Congress limit the ITC's ability to impose import bans in these cases.
Samsung and Apple are in a global legal battle over smartphones. Apple argues Samsung's Android phones copy vital iPhone features. Samsung is fighting back with its own complaints.
In an email, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company applauded the administration "for standing up for innovation." A message seeking comment from Samsung was not returned.
Zimbabwe officials say Mugabe wins presidential poll by a landslide; opposition rejects result
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's electoral panel on Saturday declared that longtime President Robert Mugabe had won re-election by a landslide, a result that could exacerbate tensions in the country, where the 89-year-old's chief rival and former coalition partner has accused him of poll-rigging.
Mugabe seemed set to strengthen his hold over Zimbabwe after the state Election Commission said his party won 158 of the 210 parliament seats. That gives it a two-thirds majority in the legislature — enabling it to amend a recently approved constitution that provides for democratic reforms.
Challenger Morgan Tsvangirai's party, which had gambled that a high turnout in its favor would overcome any alleged fraud in the vote, captured 50 seats and two went to independent candidates.
According to the results, Mugabe won 61 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Tsvangirai, who had been prime minister in a tense power-sharing deal with the president. Officially, Mugabe, who has been in power for 33 years, gets another five-year term in office.
Tsvangirai rejected the results as fraudulent and called for fresh elections. He urged a peaceful response to the alleged massive rigging by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, which has the muscle of the security forces to deter any groundswell of street protests.
New Boston Globe owner won with commodities, Red Sox, but newspapers could be more difficult
BOSTON (AP) — John W. Henry took a backward ballclub in a dilapidated park and transformed it into a two-time World Series champion that is one of baseball's model franchises.
As the owner of The Boston Globe, he will try to turn around a newspaper that — like many other major metro dailies — is shedding staff, subscribers and advertisers as it makes the transition into the Internet age.
Henry agreed to buy the Globe along with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Boston Metro for $70 million, a fraction of the $1.1 billion The New York Times Co. paid 20 years ago. Henry apparently made this deal without his Red Sox partners, though he said in a statement that more information will soon be available "concerning those joining me in this community commitment and effort."
The son of southern Illinois soybean farmers now worth an estimated $1.5 billion, Henry was a minority owner of the New York Yankees and the sole owner of the Florida Marlins when he led a group that bought the Red Sox for $660 million in 2002. (The original group included The New York Times, which sold the last of its 17.5 percent ownership last year.)
They soon set out to preserve Fenway Park while taking a wrecking ball to most everything else that had mired the franchise in failure for more than eight decades.