- - Monday, August 6, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said data that show the U.S. economy in recovery don’t fully capture the tough times felt by many.

Mr. Bernanke said that while measures of consumer spending, income and wealth point to improvement, “many individuals and households continue to struggle with difficult economic and financial conditions.”

His comments were made during a prerecorded speech on economic measurement to the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in Cambridge, Mass.

Mr. Bernanke said statistics can sometimes hide important information. He said there have been interesting developments in the study of “well-being” and cited the kingdom of Bhutan, which abandoned tracking gross national product in 1972 in favor of a measure of happiness.

Mr. Bernanke made no comments about Fed policy or the July jobs report released last Friday.


Pelosi stands by Reid after Romney comment

BOCA RATON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is defending her Senate counterpart for claiming that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasn’t paid income taxes for 10 years.

Mr. Romney has said he pays taxes every year and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is wrong.

Top Republicans have called Mr. Reid a liar.

Mrs. Pelosi, who was in Florida Monday, said that although the allegation is unproven, she didn’t think Mr. Reid was wrong to publicize it. Mr. Reid has said only that the tip came from a former Romney associate.

Mrs. Pelosi said she believed Mr. Reid’s claim that he got the information from a credible source. She said it was up to Mr. Romney to release more of his tax returns to prove Mr. Reid wrong.

So far, Mr. Romney has released only his 2010 tax return.


No contempt charge for ex-Edwards aide

RALEIGH — A North Carolina prosecutor said Monday he wouldn’t pursue contempt charges against an ex-aide to John Edwards related to a court fight over a video purported to show the ex-presidential candidate having sex with his former mistress.

A state judge in June assigned District Attorney Jim Woodall to weigh whether to pursue criminal charges against Andrew Young, his wife and two of their lawyers.

The contempt charges were tied to a lawsuit filed against the Youngs by Rielle Hunter, who was Mr. Edwards’ mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. The state court ordered sensitive documents in the lawsuit to be kept under seal, including a lengthy deposition given by Mr. Edwards.

Mr. Young and his lawyers acknowledged providing those documents to federal prosecutors investigating Mr. Edwards prior to his 2011 indictment, but said they did so only after receiving a subpoena signed by a federal judge. Attorneys for the Youngs said they were asked by prosecutors to keep the subpoena a secret from Ms. Hunter and her lawyers.

A judge found that created probable cause that the four had acted in contempt of the court’s order.

But Mr. Woodall determined “there is insufficient evidence to sustain a criminal prosecution in this matter beyond a reasonable doubt.” The lead prosecutor for a two-county district that includes Chapel Hill, where both the Youngs and Mr. Edwards live, said the case would be dismissed.

Raleigh lawyer Philip R. Isley did not immediately return a call seeking comment. He represents Andrew Young, his wife, Cheri, and their lawyers Robert Elliot and David Pishko.


First lady heads back to TV on Leno’s stage

BURBANK — Michelle Obama is headed back to Jay Leno’s stage.

NBC announced Monday that the first lady will make her third appearance on “The Tonight Show” on Aug. 13 to talk about the London Olympics and life with President Obama and their children at the White House.

On her last stopover, in January, the first lady promoted her “Let’s Move!” campaign to get children excited about fitness and healthy eating habits.

She managed to persuade vegetable-hating Mr. Leno to nibble on apples, sweet-potato fries and a pizza made with eggplant, green peppers and zucchini.

In London, she played a little tennis with children, handed out some hugs and posed for photos with strapping athletes as she formally began her stint leading the U.S. Olympics delegation.


Fewer immigration laws passed on state level

The National Conference of State Legislatures said states passed 20 percent fewer immigration laws in the first half of this year than at the same time last year.

In a report released Monday, the conference said lawmakers in 41 states enacted 114 bills and adopted 92 resolutions that dealt with immigration between Jan. 1 and June 30 this year.

That compared with 257 immigration laws and resolutions enacted during the first six months last year.

The report noted that state lawmakers indicated they delayed immigration legislation as they waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the states’ authority to enforce immigration laws. States also had other priorities, including finding solutions to budget gaps.


Noticeable changes await students this fall

Children probably will notice some changes and challenges in the new school year

One is a better-rounded curriculum with less focus on a single test. Another is higher academic standards and more difficult classwork. They also likely will see continued cuts to extracurricular and other activities because of the economy.

That from Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Mr. Duncan said he thinks students will see the effects of those changes when they return to class.

Lots of states have gotten waivers from important parts of the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. As a result, there’s a hodgepodge of individual state accountability plans for student performance and achievement.

Mr. Duncan said these state plans could help guide Congress in a needed rewrite of the law.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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