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Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel said it could take between three and six years and up to $500 million more to finish the project managed by the FAA and its contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp.

Significant problems with software designed for managing flight data led to radar-related failures, misapplication of flight data, and other issues at a test site in Salt Lake City, according to Mr. Scovel’s report.

LABOR

Fewer people seek benefits

Economic reports Thursday suggest employers are laying off fewer workers, businesses are ordering more computers and appliances, and consumers are spending with more confidence.

The latest data confirm that the economy is improving, even though too few jobs are being created to lower the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.

The number of people seeking benefits edged down by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 420,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the second drop in three weeks.

Weekly unemployment applications at around 425,000 signal modest job growth. But economists say applications would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant decline in unemployment. Weekly applications peaked during the recession at 651,000 in March 2009.

The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, rose slightly to 426,000. The average had fallen for six straight weeks to the lowest level in more than two years.

FBI

Agency releases Schorr files

Newly released FBI files depict the Nixon White House role in ordering an investigation into newsman Daniel Schorr, whose tough reporting got him on the president’s infamous enemies list.

According to one section among hundreds of pages from Schorr’s FBI file, the Nixon White House had the bureau conduct a background investigation in 1971. The White House said it was considering Schorr for a presidential appointment in the environmental area. A day later, the investigation was canceled by the White House.

The 93-year-old Schorr died in July after a six-decade career with CBS and other media. He thought the White House tried to intimidate him for his hard-hitting coverage of the Nixon administration.

COMMERCE

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