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Question of the Day
Filings for jobless aid at a five-week high
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a five-week high, evidence that the job market remains sluggish.
The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, increased for the first time in a month to 374,500.
Applications had leveled off at about 370,000 for four weeks. That decline suggested that hiring could pick up in May. When applications drop below 375,000, it typically suggests that hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.
Thursday’s figures don’t figure into the May employment report, to be released Friday. That report is based on figures gathered in the middle of the month.
Marines expand probe of corpse urination video
The Marine Corps is investigating “other possible misconduct” by members of a battalion who drew worldwide attention when a video surfaced purporting to show them urinating on Afghan corpses, officials said Thursday.
In disclosing that a follow-up probe is under way, Marine spokesman Col. Sean D. Gibson said he could not provide details of the possible misbehavior or say what prompted the decision to widen the probe. He said the follow-up began May 15 and is to be completed by mid-June. It is headed by a Marine colonel.
“There are indications of other possible misconduct involving the unit depicted in the video that requires another investigation,” Col. Gibson said.
The disclosure in January of the video showing four Marines in full combat gear urinating on the bodies of three dead men led to a criminal investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as well as a Marine investigation of the unit involved, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, which fought in the southern Afghan province of Helmand for seven months before returning to its home base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in September.
No investigation results have been released.
U.S. returns military officers to Pakistan
The Pentagon says that at Pakistan’s request, the U.S. military in Afghanistan has returned two officers to the headquarters of the Pakistani army’s 11th Corps to help coordinate military actions along the Afghan border.
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