RSS
10 things you need to know today: September 7, 2012
The jobless rate falls to 8.1 percent, Obama makes his case for a second term, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion
Job seekers line up for a career fair on Aug. 15 in midtown Manhattan: On Sept. 7, the Labor Department announced that the economy added just 96,000 jobs in August.
Job seekers line up for a career fair on Aug. 15 in midtown Manhattan: On Sept. 7, the Labor Department announced that the economy added just 96,000 jobs in August.
John Moore/Getty Images

1. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO 8.1 PERCENT
The Labor Department announced Friday morning that the U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs in August — well below analysts' expectations of 130,000 or so net new jobs. Still, the unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August. The Labor Department also revised July's job gains downward, reducing the number from 163,000 to 141,000. The jobs report had been anticipated for days, and will instantly become fodder in the economy-focused presidential race. [Talking Points Memo]

………………………………………………………………………………

2. OBAMA MAKES HIS CASE FOR ANOTHER TERM
President Barack Obama laid out his case for a second term at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, insisting that he kept his promises to America but needed four more years to finish the job and to stop Mitt Romney from taking the country backwards. "I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have," Obama told the Charlotte, N.C., crowd. "You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades." Obama emphasized that Americans are faced with "two different paths for America" — rather than the election being a referendum on his presidency so far. He painted his opponent, Mitt Romney, as weak on foreign policy, a friend of Wall Street, and a man who wants to gut education, upend Medicare, and take away health insurance for America's neediest. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. EARTHQUAKES IN CHINA KILL DOZENS
Two 5.6-magnitude earthquakes rocked southwestern China on Friday, killing at least 43 people. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their damaged homes near the border of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. According to state news agencies, 150 people have been injured and 20,000 homes have been damaged. [Reuters]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. JOHN KERRY RIPS MITT'S FOREIGN POLICY
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) had a field day at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, attacking Mitt Romney's foreign policy during a passionate, aggressive, and pointed speech. The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee said Romney "doesn't know much about foreign policy, but has all these neo-con advisers who know all the wrong things about foreign policy. He would rely on them. After all, he's the great outsourcer." Kerry defended Obama's record, lauding him for banning torture, stopping the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, and killing Osama bin Laden. "Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago," said Kerry. [Politico]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. GABBY GIFFORDS MAKES SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT DNC
The final night of the Democratic National Convention began with an emotional moment, when former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords recited the Pledge of Allegiance to an awestruck crowd. The audience gave Giffords a standing ovation and chanted "Gabby! Gabby!"  The former Arizona lawmaker has made an astonishing recovery since being shot in the head in January 2011. [MSNBC]
………………………………………………………………………………

6. JURY FINDS DREW PETERSON GUILTY OF MURDER
An Illinois jury ruled Thursday that Illinois cop Drew Peterson was guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. The 40-year-old's death was initially ruled an accident. It was only after Peterson's fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacey Peterson, went missing five years ago that Savio's body was exhumed and reclassified as a homicide. Peterson is a suspect in Stacey's disappearance too, but has not been charged. A top prosecutor in the case said he was confident the conviction would stand up to an appeal. [CNN]
………………………………………………………………………………

7. JOSEPH KENNEDY WINS MASS. PRIMARY
The Kennedy legacy continues. Joseph Kennedy, the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, won his Massachusetts congressional primary in a rout on Thursday night, garnering around 90 percent of the vote. He'll now face Republican Sean Bielat in November for the seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, who is retiring. "I got into this race because I believe this country was built on a simple promise: That each of us deserves a fair shot," Kennedy said Thursday night. "Nothing extra, nothing excessive — just the chance to make the most out of their own talent and hard work." [Associated Press]

………………………………………………………………………………

8. HURRICANE LESLIE SWIRLS TOWARD BERMUDA
Hurricane Leslie is picking up steam in the Atlantic, heading north toward the British territory of Bermuda. The Category 1 hurricane had sustained winds of 75 mph on Friday morning as residents swarmed stores to stock up on supplies. Hotels at the tourist destination said many travelers had canceled their trips. Forecasters predict Leslie will pass to the east of Bermuda on Sunday morning, possibly as a Category 2 hurricane with winds topping 105 mph.  [Associated Press]
………………………………………………………………………………

9. AMY POEHLER, WILL ARNETT SPLIT
Comedic power couple Amy Poehler and Will Arnett are pulling the plug on their nine-year marriage, according to a rep for both actors. The duo first began seeing each other in 2000, a year before Poehler landed her famous spot on Saturday Night Live, and years before Arnett began starring on Arrested Development.  A source told Us Weekly that the split was "amicable." Poehler and Arnett have two young children. [Us Weekly]
………………………………………………………………………………

10. ONE DIRECTION WINS BIG AT MTV VMAS
British boy band One Direction shined at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night, picking up three wins and edging out big names like Rihanna and Justin Bieber. The group won best new artist, while their single "What Makes You Beautiful" was named best pop video. The song also won the most share-worthy video award, decided by fans. [Associated Press]

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week