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August 7, 2014
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Following the good news that food stamp usage is finally falling, here is another sign that the U.S. economy is finally healing. Bloomberg reports that jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week that ended Aug. 2 from 303,000 in the prior period, according to a Labor Department report.

Bloomberg's survey of economists had estimated a rise in jobless claims, perhaps influenced by last month's news that Microsoft would be making 18,000 layoffs, the largest number of job firings in its history.

But the happiest news is that the four-week average of new jobless claims dropped to 293,500. That's the lowest that measure has been since February 2006, long before the financial crisis and subsequent recession. John Aziz

April 22, 2017

"Without scientifically literate citizens, the United States — any country, in fact — cannot compete on the world stage," Bill Nye the Science Guy told a cheering crowd at the March for Science in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. "Yet today we have a great many lawmakers — not just here, but around the world — deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science. Their inclination is misguided, and in no one's best interest."

Nye touted the ways scientific discoveries have improved global quality of life, arguing that science is not merely "purview of a different, or special, type of citizen." "Our numbers here today show the world that science is for all," he said, and government must come to recognize that "science serves every one of us."

The Washington event where Nye spoke was one of more than 600 marches scheduled around the globe on Saturday. "I think the profession of science is under attack," said scientist Lucky Tran, who helped organize the rallies, in an interview with NPR. "We haven't engaged in politics, we've left that open for politicians to come in and really hijack and obfuscate science for their own selfish needs."

Crowd size estimates are still in the making, but you can see scenes from a few of the marches below. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

President Trump announced in February he would skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner, which is scheduled for April 29. On Saturday, Trump tweeted his alternative plans for that day:

The last president to miss the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981; he sent a phone message instead of appearing personally because he was recovering from an assassination attempt. Trump's decision to decline has been widely interpreted as retribution for press coverage he considers unfair. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017
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The United States will proceed with an agreement with Australia to help resettle refugees, Vice President Mike Pence pledged Saturday at joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney. The arrangement requires the U.S. to accept up to 1,250 refugees, many from Iran and Syria, from their present location in offshore detention centers in Australia. In return, Australia will accept refugees from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

"Let me make it clear that the United States intends to honor the agreement, subject to the result of the vetting process that has now applied to all refugees considered for admission to the United States of America," Pence said. "President Trump has made it clear that we'll honor the agreement, but it doesn't mean we admire the agreement."

Earlier this year, Trump suggested he might abandon the arrangement. "Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia," he tweeted in February. "Why? I will study this dumb deal!" Turnbull said Trump's willingness to honor the deal anyway "speaks volumes for the commitment, the integrity of President Trump." Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017
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Eyewitnesses of an altercation between an American Airlines employee and a passenger say the flight attendant "violently took a stroller from a lady with her baby" and was then observed "hitting her and just missing the baby." The attendant has been suspended as the airline investigates.

Video filmed in the aftermath of the initial dispute, which reportedly concerned whether the stroller could come on the flight, shows the mother in tears and a male passenger arguing with the employee. "Hey bud, hey bud, you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat!" the male passenger yells in one clip. "You stay out of this!" the attendant yells back, adding, "Hit me! Come on, hit me!"

"We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident," said an American Airlines statement. "The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care."

This incident comes a little more than a week after United Airlines employees violently removed a passenger from a plane the company initially said was overbooked. United did not immediately apologize for its employees' behavior. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

Two Harvard researchers on Friday presented their discovery of a rare parchment manuscript of the Declaration of Independence discovered in a small town in southern England last year. "The Sussex Declaration," as the document has been dubbed, is believed to have been made in America in the 1780s. It is one of only two known parchment copies of the Declaration worldwide.

"I was just looking for copies of the Declaration of Independence in British archives," said researcher Emily Sneff, when she noticed a record office listing mentioned "parchment," suggesting a rare find. "I reached out to them a bit skeptically," Sneff recalled. "The description was a little vague, but once we saw an image and talked to a conservator we started to get excited."

The Sussex Declaration differs from the parchment copy at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., mainly in the order of the signers' names. In the Washington copy, the names are organized by state; in the Sussex copy, they are not. "The list of names was intentionally scrambled," Sneff suggested, "to drive home the point that the signers of the Declaration of Independence signed as individuals, as a community" rather than solely as representatives of states. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

Large-scale, anti-government demonstrations continue in Venezuela Saturday in what opposition leaders have called the "mother of all marches." An estimated 22 people have been killed during the demonstrations, with 13 dying on Thursday alone. Most of Thursday's victims were killed while attempting to loot a bakery.

The socialist state is suffering massive shortages of food and medicine, as well as skyrocketing inflation. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has responded to popular uproar by attempting to consolidate his own power, and authorities have met protesters with cannons and tear gas.

Read more about "Venezuela's socialist hell" from The Week's Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, and see scenes from the protests below. Bonnie Kristian

April 22, 2017

Thousands of people are expected to protest Saturday in Washington, D.C., and in cities around the world in March for Science events timed for Earth Day.

The rallies are intended to promote popular interest in science, recognize scientific achievements, and protest the Trump administration's proposed cuts to research funding as well as policy-making around issues like climate change which marchers argue disregards the best available evidence. Some scientists have criticized the marches, expressing worry that science as a discipline will be negatively politicized.

Bill Nye the Science Guy is among the speakers scheduled to appear at the main event in Washington. Other events are planned in London, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and beyond. Bonnie Kristian

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