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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Sunday he thinks the economy is having a modest recovery, but right now there’s a “pause” in that recovery, so it feels like a “quasi-recession.”

Mr. Greenspan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that long-term unemployment is pulling the economy apart, even though large banks are doing much better and large companies are in excellent shape. He predicted that unemployment will remain where it is, hovering around 9.5 percent, for the rest of the year.

Cheering the comeback of the stock market, Mr. Greenspan said continuing that increase will do more to stimulate the economy than any of the remedies now being discussed.

AVIATION SAFETY

Congress OKs bill to make airline safer

Congress on Friday approved far-reaching aviation-safety legislation that was developed in response to a deadly commuter-airline crash in western New York last year.

The Senate approved the bill without debate, following similar action by the House late Thursday night. That sends it to President Obama for his signature.

The safety measures are an attempt to force airlines to hire more experienced pilots, investigate pilots’ previous employment more thoroughly and train them better. The legislation requires a major overhaul of rules governing pilot work schedules to prevent fatigue.

The impetus for the safety measures was the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo-Niagara International Airport on Feb. 12, 2009. All 49 people aboard and one man in a house were killed. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation faulted actions by the flight’s pilots and deficiencies in pilot hiring and training by Colgan Air, the regional carrier that operated the flight for Continental Airlines.

All of the past six fatal airline accidents in the U.S. involved regional carriers. Pilot performance was a contributing factor in four of those cases.

WHITE HOUSE

Aide to first lady set to leave post

First lady Michelle Obama’s communications director is leaving the White House for a job in the private sector.

Mrs. Obama says Camille Johnston helped develop effective strategies for the first lady’s childhood anti-obesity programs, as well as for her work with military families.

Miss Johnston previously served as communications director to Tipper Gore and was senior vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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