07-19-2018  8:42 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Komen Begins Data Collection to Address Breast Cancer Disparities

In anticipation of forming an initiative to address breast cancer disparities, Komen partners with independent contractors ...

American Underground Announces Call for Applications

Black startup founders have until August 6 to apply to Google For Entrepreneurs Exchange program ...

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Oregon man accused of murder in beating of elderly father

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man has been charged with murder in the death of his 77-year-old father.The Washington County Sheriff's Office says 53-year-old Shaun Maki reported in March that his father was suffering from self-inflicted injuries inside the home they shared.The critically...

Man sentenced to prison after pleading no contest to assault

ALBANY, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man was sentenced to more than three years in prison in a case of an assault in a bathroom at Linn-Benton Community College.The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports Prosecutors charged Benjamin Leland Bucknell, of Corvallis, with attempted murder, second-degree...

Tractor operator dies trying to suppress Oregon wildfire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A tractor operator who was killed in a wildfire that scorched 70 square miles (181 kilometers) in little more than 24 hours in the Pacific Northwest appears to have died trying to restrain it, police said.The blaze east of Portland, Oregon, and near the city of The...

Washington state man sentenced for Manchester shooting

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a man while he was sleeping.The Kitsap Sun reports 22-year-old Robert Hackett was sentenced last week after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder.The Kitsap County Sheriff's...

OPINION

Newsprint Tariffs Another Assault on the Black Press

The NNPA opposes the Trump tariffs on newsprint and demands an end to the disastrous trade policies that are hurting our businesses and communities ...

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Netanyahu greets Hungary's Orban as 'true friend of Israel'

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, calling him a "true friend of Israel" despite the outcry over the visiting leader's past remarks that have been interpreted as anti-Semitic.Orban and Netanyahu held a joint...

Ga. Democrat shows the way for other black women in politics

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrats have long pointed to a Georgia electorate that is increasingly urban and less white as a sign they may be able to break the Republican hold on statewide offices. This year, after previous disappointments, their gubernatorial candidate has already made history as the...

Bill Clinton: Leaders must remember 'our common humanity'

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton says the key to political leadership is remembering "our common humanity."Clinton's comments came Wednesday night during the NAACP Convention in San Antonio, where he presented Texas native Willie Brown with the 2018 NAACP Springarn Medal for...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Brady Bunch' house for sale for nearly jumi.9M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The home featured in the opening and closing scenes of "The Brady Bunch" is for sale for jumi.885 million.Records show George and Violet McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom split-level home in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1973 for...

A Comic-Con without Marvel, HBO gives others a chance to pop

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Comic-Con fans know one thing to be true: Where there is fun, there's usually a line that precedes it. And hours before the annual pop culture convention officially kicked off Wednesday night in San Diego, there were lines everywhere — to get onto the convention floor...

Bruce Springsteen surprises audience at Billy Joel concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Springsteen propped himself on top of Billy Joel's piano to sing a duet with The Piano Man, who was celebrating his 100th concert at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.Joel told the energetic crowd he had a guest coming onstage who has won a Grammy, Oscar and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New York state launches tax probe of Trump Foundation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state tax officials have opened an investigation into the Trump Foundation to...

Sisters recount years of horror in Syria's Palestinian camp

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — When the first Syrian soldier reached Lod street in the Palestinian refugee camp of...

Ga. Democrat shows the way for other black women in politics

ATLANTA (AP) — Democrats have long pointed to a Georgia electorate that is increasingly urban and less...

Growing extremism threatens Mali's July 29 elections

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — As deadly attacks by extremists become more brazen in Mali, officials and citizens fear...

EU preparing to hit back if US puts tariffs on car imports

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it is already preparing measures to retaliate against the United...

Inquest opens into British woman poisoned by nerve agent

LONDON (AP) — A coroner on Thursday opened an inquest into the death of a British woman who was exposed to...

Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is picking up. If only job growth would follow.

A spate of data Thursday showed U.S. factories grew last month at the fastest pace since June, construction spending increased for a third straight month, and both retail sales and auto sales rose in November.

But the number of people applying for unemployment benefits is still too high to signal strong hiring.

The reports offered a mixed picture for the economy one day before the government reports on job growth in November. Economists project that employers added a net 125,000 jobs. That's not enough to lower the unemployment rate, which is projected to stay at 9 percent for the second straight month.

And manufacturers could face strains overseas in key export markets, especially if Europe's debt crisis worsens and leads the continent into another recession.

For now, factories are growing. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said Thursday that its manufacturing index rose to 52.7 in November, up from 50.8 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. Factories have grown for 28 straight months.

Bradley Holcomb, chair of the ISM's survey committee, said manufacturers "are cautiously more optimistic about the next few months based on lower raw materials pricing and favorable levels of new orders."

Still, companies have tempered their outlook with concerns about future economic growth, government regulation and the debt crisis in Europe, he added.

New orders rose to a seven-month high and production increased, according to separate indexes in the report.

Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics, said the gains suggest factory output will expand at an even faster pace next month.

"The economy seems finally to be developing real momentum; growth is accelerating," he said in a note to clients.

But a measure of factory employment fell. The drop indicates manufacturers are still hiring, but at a slower pace than the previous month.

"Manufacturers are trying to meet demand without significantly increasing their work force," said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities.

Worker productivity rose in the July-September quarter by the most in 18 months, while labor costs fell, the government said Wednesday.

A more productive and less-costly work force can boost corporate profits. But unless companies see more demand, they're unlikely to step up hiring.

And manufacturers could soon see less demand overseas. Most economists expect Europe's financial crisis to tip that region into recession next year. About 20 percent of U.S. exports are shipped to Europe.

China, the world's second-largest economy, is also slowing. Manufacturing in China contracted in November for the first time in nearly three years, according to business surveys released Thursday.

Separately, the Labor Department said the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose above 400,000 for the first time in four weeks. The increase comes after applications had drifted lower over the past two months.

About 7 million people are still receiving benefits. House Republicans said they are drafting legislation to continue an extended benefits program set to expire at the end of this year. That program provides up to 99 weeks of aid in states with the highest unemployment rates.

Another report showed that U.S. builders spent more in October on new homes, offices and shopping centers. Construction spending rose for a third straight month, the Commerce Department said. Despite the gains, overall construction spending remained depressed.

The projected job growth in November would be an improvement from the previous month, when the economy added just 80,000 jobs.

Some economists are more optimistic after payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that companies added 206,000 workers last month, the most this year. That survey doesn't include government agencies, which have been cutting jobs.

Other economic indicators reinforce the outlook for an improving economy. Retailers reported a strong start to holiday sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, consumer confidence surged in November to the highest level since July, and Americans' pay rose in October by the most in seven months.

Those reports have caused many economists to forecast a pickup in growth in the final three months of the year, to about a 3 percent annual rate. That would be an improvement from growth of 2 percent in the July-September period.

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