WASHINGTON (AP) — New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits has topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.Keep that in mind while you scan this next item:
The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week's figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims.
The 667,000 new claims are the most since October 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then. The four-week average of initial claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose to 639,000, the highest in more than 26 years.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes her first foray into Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking next week, promising more than $900 million (628 million pounds) in aid for Gaza but with dim prospects of reviving talks soon.Yes, Americans, your empire may be broke and lacking in a real, productive, manufacturing-based economy, but your nobles are still trotting the globe with pockets full of sugar. And depend on it -- when Secretary Clinton lands in Israel next week, she'll have a somewhat larger gift ready for her hosts there. So you get to buy weapons for the Israelis, so that they can slaughter Palestinians and destroy Gaza, and then you get to pay to rebuild Gaza ... not, of course, through its democratically-elected government, but through the corrupt Western puppet organization Fatah. At the same time, you'll be continuing to pay to replenish the Israeli bomb locker, so the cycle can begin again. Do you ever get the feeling that you're caught in a Paul Newman movie? "I don't know, Boss ... I don't know what Boss Johnson's dirt is doin' in your hole. Don't hit me no more, Boss! I got my mind right!"
Middle East experts say the timing could not be worse, with a new Israeli government being cobbled together after last week's election and Egyptian efforts making no headway yet in forging a Palestinian unity government.
Clinton will be in Egypt on Monday for a donors conference to rebuild Gaza after Israel's December invasion. She will go on to Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank for talks early next week with Israeli and Palestinian officials.