- Making News: Unexpected Rise in Jobless Claims
The Labor Department reported today that 3.8 million Americans are unemployed, the highest number in nine years, while the number receiving unemployment benefits is the highest in 20 years. Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive policy think-tank, interprets the numbers for us.
- Reporter's Notebook: $3.9 Billion Monthly for the Iraq War
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday that the cost of keeping troops in Iraq and Afghanistan were almost double those given in April. The Pentagon estimates peacekeeping efforts at $3.9 billion a month in Iraq and almost a $1 billion more in Afghanistan. Where did it all go? Steven Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments looks at the cost of war - and of peace.
Advancing the Cause of Peace in the Middle East
American law prohibits direct aid to the Palestinian Authority, unless it-s a question of national security. President Bush reportedly is prepared to invoke that provision to prop up Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. At least $15 or $20 million will go directly to job-creating public works projects, in a gesture suggesting the weakness of Abbas with his own people, and the importance of the Middle East to American interests. Will such aid be enough to reinforce the new Prime Minister? Does either side have the political will to follow the road map? We update the latest peace efforts with Palestinian and Israeli political scientists, the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, and a former Middle East envoy for the Clinton and Bush administrations.