- - Thursday, March 10, 2011

ARIZONA

Giffords will watch spouse’s shuttle launch

HOUSTON | Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has shown so much progress in her recovery from a bullet wound to the head that friends and family are making plans for her to attend the launch of her husband’s space shuttle mission next month in Florida, a person close to the family told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the family and doctors have not yet publicized the decision. A news conference is scheduled Friday morning at the Houston hospital where Mrs. Giffords is undergoing rehabilitation.

Mrs. Giffords was shot in the head Jan. 8 at a political event outside a supermarket in an attack that killed six people and wounded 12 others.

ECONOMY

Unemployment rate down in 24 states, up in 10

The unemployment rate fell or held steady in 40 states in January, the latest sign that hiring is strengthening throughout the country.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the unemployment rate fell in 24 states, the most in seven months, and remained the same in 16. The unemployment rate rose in only 10 states. In December, the rate fell in 15 states and rose in 20.

Employers added to their payrolls in 35 states in January, up from only 15 in the previous month. That’s the most to report higher payrolls since October.

Nationwide, employers added 63,000 net jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell sharply to 9 percent from 9.4 percent. The rate ticked down last month to 8.9 percent and employers added 192,000 net jobs.

GUANTANAMO

Senators push tough law on detainees

Six senators, led by John McCain, Arizona Republican, say a tougher, more comprehensive military detention policy is necessary to fill the void created by two years of what they call the Obama administration’s inconsistent approach.

The lawmakers proposed legislation Thursday that would keep open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; impose restrictions on transferring detainees to foreign countries, and push for military commissions, not civilian trials, for detainees.

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