8:38am

Thu June 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Rose By 9,000 Last Week

There were 429,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, an increase of 9,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

And in further evidence of a weak labor market, it revised up its estimate of first-time claims from that previous week: to 420,000 from the initial estimate of 414,000 for the week ending June 11.

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8:29am

Thu June 23, 2011
Opinion

New Republic: The News Isn't In The Numbers

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted Sunday that preliminary talks with members of the Taliban in an effort the end the war.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A.J. Rossmiller is a fellow at the National Security Network, a former intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the author of Still Broken: A Recruit's Inside Account of Intelligence Failures, from Baghdad to the Pentagon.

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8:25am

Thu June 23, 2011

8:05am

Thu June 23, 2011
Opinion

Foreign Policy: Legalization Won't Make It Better

Jaime Francisco Leyva Merlos, aka "El Bebe" at the federal police headquarters in Mexico City on Wednesday. According to the federal police, Leyva Merlos is a member of a group known as 'Los Caballeros Templarios.' He and seven other alleged members were arrested by federal police on June 21.
MIguel Tovar AP

Elizabeth Dickinson is a freelance journalist and former assistant managing editor at Foreign Policy.

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7:56am

Thu June 23, 2011
Strange News

Egg Throwing Deemed Legitimate Sport

The World Egg Throwing Federation says its "eggstatic" now that the English Sports Council has deemed most of its games "legitimate sports." The list includes throw and catch and target throwing. Russian egg roulette did not make the cut.

7:50am

Thu June 23, 2011
Around the Nation

Board Rejects Alcohol Road Name Change

Selectmen in Greenwood, Maine, have decided they will not change the name of Alcohol Mary Road. It's named after a Prohibition bootlegger. A local man says it defames his grandmother, who's named Mary, but is no relation to Alochol Mary.

7:49am

Thu June 23, 2011
Politics

GOP Finds Itself At A 'Pivot Point' Over Afghanistan

Not so long ago, when the question was war, the response on Capitol Hill was an automatic blank check.

A largely compliant Congress, and presidents and politicians who were fearful of looking "weak on defense" or "unpatriotic," rubber-stamped massive military spending.

Funny how 10 years, two $1 trillion-and-counting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a budding military engagement in Libya, and a nation mired in unsustainable spending and debt can change what was once a military imperative.

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7:40am

Thu June 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Muggles Take Notice: 'Pottermore' Is Coming

Pottermore.com

There's great excitement today among Harry Potter fans.

Author J.K. Rowling has gone on the Web to say that in October a website called Pottermore.com is launching — and that it will be a "safe, unique online reading experience built around the Potter books." It will be the place to buy, for the first time, e-book versions of the Potter series.

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7:32am

Thu June 23, 2011
Opinion

Weekly Standard: Why So Fast? Oh, Election 2012

President Barack Obama delivers a televised address from the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, announcing on his plan to drawdown U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard, which, together with Fred Barnes and John Podhoretz, he founded in 1995. Kristol regularly appears on Fox News Sunday and on the Fox News Channel.

"As a result, starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer, fully recovering the surge I announced at West Point."

-- President Barack Obama, June 22, 2011

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7:20am

Thu June 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Gangster 'Whitey' Bulger, Who Used To 'Own' Boston, Captured

James "Whitey" Bulger. From his page on the website of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.
FBI.gov

A man who is about as notorious in Boston as al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden was captured Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif.

James "Whitey" Bulger, a gangster wanted for his alleged role in 19 murders who turned his FBI handlers into informants and is accused of using information he got from them to kill his enemies, had been on the run for 16 years.

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