Recently in National News Category

Controversy increases over photo of NY subway death

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A front-page photo of a subway rider pushed onto the tracks drew criticism after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post, new sources reported.
A day after Ki-Suck Han was hit by an oncoming train, criticism arose over the photograph of the helpless man in the way of an oncoming train at the Times Square station, Associated Press reported.
"But the New York Post had every right to run the picture. This is what tabloids do -- milk tragedy for every ounce of emotional impact. No New York straphanger should have been surprised to see the photo," CNN reported.
The photo was shot for the Post by freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi. Abbasi said he got the shot while running to the scene and firing off his camera. He hoped the flash would attract the attention of the train conductor, the Post reported (AP).
"No one would dispute that the story is newsworthy. It is, in fact, every New Yorker's nightmare," CNN reported.

Powerball jackpot rose to $550 million Wednesday, tempting many people to purchase a ticket for the second-largest payout in U.S. history, news sources report.

The chance of winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 and yet tickets were selling at a rate of 130,000 a minute nationwide and continue to grow. The increase in tickets sales means the jackpot could climb even higher before the Wednesday night drawing, said Chuck Strutt, executive director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, CNN reports.

The jackpot hasn't had a winner the last 16 consecutive times but Powerball officials say they believe there is a 75 percent chance the winning combination will be drawn this in this round, FOX news reports.

According to some experts, if one ticket hits the right numbers then chances are good that multiple ones will be, FOX News reports.

Hostess files for bankruptcy, competitors seek to purchase

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Hostess Brands, the maker of the iconic Twinkies, announced Friday it is going out of business, creating an opportunity for competitors to purchase the brand.

The news comes after Hostess bakers went on strike protesting a new contract that was being forced on them. Nearly 18,500 workers will lose their jobs in the company, shutting down 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers nationwide, CNN reports.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," said CEO Gregory Rayburn in a statement, CNN reports.

Hostess will sell its assets to the highest bidder. Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, the world's largest bread-baking firm, is interested in obtaining some of the Texas-based Hostess' products, according to Forbes. Grupo Bimbo "owns parts of Sara Lee, Entenmann's and Thomas English Muffins", FOX News reports.

Others firms considered prospects include Pepperidge Farm, a division of Campbell Soup Co.; ConAgra and Flowers Food, the American company behind Nature Valley granola; and McKee Foods, baker of Little Debbie snack cakes, the Christian Science Monitor reports. (FOX News reports)

Approval of the bankruptcy court is still needed before Hostess will start selling its assets. Meanwhile, production of all of its bakeries stopped Friday, and stores will no longer receive products from Hostess Brands after the final round of deliveries were made Thursday night, CNN reports.

Jared Loughner, the Arizona man who pleaded guilty for the January shooting rampage and attempted assignation of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, has been sentenced to life in prison, news sources report.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns sentenced 24-year-old Loughner on Thursday to seven consecutive life terms in prison, plus 140 years, without the possibility of parole, CNN reports.

"He should never get out of prison. I find this is just punishment. He will never have the opportunity to pick up a gun and do this again," Burns said, CNN reports.

The January shooting at a meet-and-greet in Tuscon left six people dead and 13 others wounded, including Giffords, NBC reports.

The hearing was the first time the victims could confront Loughner in court about the shooting. Gifford's husband spoke on her behalf, saying "Loughner changed his wife's life forever but couldn't dent her spirit", NBS reports.

It's still unclear where Loughner will be sent to serve his sentence. The placement will be contingent on the nature of his mental illness and its treatment, news sources report.

October jobs report; unemployment up, hiring increases

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The final monthly jobs report before Election Day showed a relatively higher unemployment 7.9% from 7.8% in September while the economy added a better-than-expected 171,000 jobs, news sources report.

Both Mitt Romney and President Obama will set to work putting their spin on that data. Although, if nothing else, it "underscores the slow pace of the recovery," Fox news reports.

Economists expected the rise in unemployment; more people joined the labor force, pushing up the share of the working-age population with a job, CNN reports.

Although, former Bureau of Labor Statistics chief Keith Hall told Fox Business Network that at this rate, "we're still talking nine or 10 years" before the economy gets back to normal, FOW news reports.

The pace of hiring has not regained since January and February, when more than 250,000 jobs were being added each month, CNN reports.

"Today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said, FOW news reports.

The Transportation Security Administration said 25 agents will be fired and 19 others suspended for failing to search baggage properly, news sources report.

TSA spokesman David Castelveter told CNN these 44 employees all worked in a checked-baggage screening room in Newark's Liberty International Airport, CNN reports.

"Roughly 250 bags affected last November and December were deemed safe by other parts of the screening system, and passenger safety was not threatened," Castelveter said. He could not give details of any security lapses, Reuters reports.

The punishment is the largest removal and suspension of TSA officers in the agency's history, CNN reports. This removal is apart of a larger internal crackdown on improper behavior by TSA agents, CNN.

In June, eight other employees were fired as part of the same investigation, Reuters report.

Two Navy Submarines Collide off the East Coast

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The Pentagon is looking into why a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine collided with an Aegis cruiser off the East Coast late Saturday, news sources report.

No one was injured on the submarine USS Montpelier and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto, Pentagon officials told NBC News. The news release says the damage is being evaluated and the submarine's propulsion plant was "unaffected by the collision," Associated Press reports.

"We have had circumstances where Navy vessels have collided at sea in the past, but they're fairly rare as to how often they do take place," Lt. Commander Brian Badura of the Fleet Forces Command told Associated Press. "If we do have an incident that does take place, there are folks that swing into action."

Both of the ships are based out of Norfolk, Va. and according to the news release, will continue to operate under their own power (Associated Press and NBC News).

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