07-19-2018  8:41 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 and Paul Wiseman AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. job growth slumped in April for a second straight month. It pointed to a steadily growing but still sluggish economy that could tighten the presidential race.

A drop in the unemployment rate wasn't a necessarily a healthy sign for the job market. The rate fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. But that was mainly because more people gave up looking for work.

People who aren't looking for jobs aren't counted as unemployed.

The 115,000 jobs added in April were fewer than the 154,000 jobs created in March, a number the government revised up from its first report a month ago of 120,000. It also marked a sharp decline from December through February, when the economy averaged 252,000 jobs per month.

The percentage of adults working or looking for work has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years. Many have become discouraged about their prospects.

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Here's what The Associated Press' reporters are finding:

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TEPID ECONOMY, TEPID HIRING

Over time, strong economic growth is vital for strong job growth.

But early this year, hiring accelerated much faster than economic growth did. Job gains averaged a strong 229,000 in the first three months. But the economy grew at a sluggish annual rate of 2.2 percent.

Economists began to wonder: Would growth catch up with hiring? Or would hiring slow to match economic growth (as measured by gross domestic product, or GDP)?

Some economists say April's disappointing job growth suggests an answer, and it's not a cheerful one:

"It now appears that jobs have decelerated into line with GDP, rather than GDP accelerating to catch up with jobs," said Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

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REVISING HISTORY

The job market seems to look better with hindsight.

The Labor Department has revised job growth upward for 10 straight months - and for 18 of the past 21. Over the past 10 months, it's added 413,000 jobs to the original estimates.

The job figures are revised twice. They're updated in the two months after they first come out. And they're revised again in an annual update meant to capture updated employment data from the states.

History shows that the updated totals typically follow the trend in job creation: When the economy is creating jobs consistently, the revisions tend to be positive. Months of job losses typically lead to negative revisions.

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THE POLITICAL DEBATE

A falling unemployment rate would seem to be good news for President Barack Obama's re-election hopes. Dating to 1956, no incumbent president has lost when unemployment fell in the two years leading to an election.

On Election Day, unemployment will almost surely be less than it was two years earlier: 9.8 percent in November 2010.

But for the past two months, the rate has fallen for the wrong reason: More than 500,000 Americans have stopped looking for jobs and are no longer counted as unemployed. Job growth averaged a healthy 252,000 from December through February. It slowed to 135,000 in March and April.

The question is whether voters will focus more on the falling unemployment rate (good for Obama) or the modest job growth (not so good).

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A JAB FROM ROMNEY

Mitt Romney seized on the latter. He noted that the declining number of people seeking work explains the drop in the unemployment rate.

"This is way off from what should be happening in a normal recovery," Romney said on Fox & Friends. "You have more people dropping out of the work force than you have getting jobs."

"This is not progress," Romney said.

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DISAPPEARING WORKERS

The percentage of Americans 16 and older working or looking for work is now 63.6 percent, the lowest since 1981. For men, the so-called "labor force participation rate" is 70 percent. That's the lowest since the government started keeping records in 1948.

The rate peaked at 67.3 percent in early 2000 as women poured into the workplace. Since then, it's turned south. Demographic and social trends help explain the drop: Baby boomers are aging and retiring.

And more women, especially in upper-income families, are staying at home. The drop in participation accelerated after the economy slid into recession in late 2007. The tough job market led many to give up looking for work.

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   SOUR INVESTORS

The stock market didn't take Friday's news well.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 132 points, or 1 percent, in late-morning trading. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.4 percent.

   Investors were a lot happier earlier this week. They sent the Dow to its highest close since December 2007.

   Technology stocks and banks led the market lower Friday. Utility companies were the only broad category of stock in the S&P 500 index trading higher. They tend to fare well when investors grow nervous about the economy.

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NO SURPRISE TO BERNANKE

One person not likely surprised by the sluggish hiring in April: Ben Bernanke.

The Federal Reserve chairman has cautioned for months that the spike in hiring at the start of the year didn't match the economy's more modest growth.

His Fed colleagues probably agree. Their latest forecasts show that even under a best-case scenario, unemployment will be at least 7.3 percent in late 2013. Historically, a normal rate would range between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Most analysts expect the Fed to keep its key interest rate at a record low near zero well into 2013, if not later. But few think hiring has weakened enough to trigger a third round of bond buying to help lower long-term rates and encourage more lending.

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A LONG WAY TO GO

The United States has regained only 43 percent of the 8.78 million jobs lost from February 2008 to January 2010.

So far this year, the economy has generated 201,000 jobs a month. At that rate, it would take until May 2014 to restore employment to its 2008 peak of 138 million.

Of course, the population has grown since then. So it could take even longer to lower the unemployment rate to its 2008 level.

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Associated Press writers Martin Crutsinger and Kasie Hunt contributed to this report.

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