10 things you need to know today: February 2, 2013

Scott Brown doesn't want John Kerry's old job.

The Week

Scott Brown opts out, Iran’s space-monkey stunt may be a hoax, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

1. ECONOMY ADDS 157,000 JOBS
U.S. employers added 157,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The gains, a hair shy of what economists expected, was enough to signal continued slow improvement of the employment picture but not enough to keep the unemployment rate from inching higher, to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent the month before, as more unemployed Americas went back out to hunt for work. Encouragingly, government data also showed that the economy added 150,000 more jobs than first estimated in the final quarter of 2012 — and 335,000 more over the whole year. That brought 2012′s job growth to 2.2 million. [The New York Times]
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2. SCOTT BROWN WON’T RUN FOR KERRY’S SENATE SEAT
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) announced Friday that he will not to run in the special election to fill John Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat. “I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time,” Brown said in a statement. “And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me.” The GOP had put its faith in Brown as the candidate who would have the best chance of snagging the usually-Democratic seat. [Washington Post]
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3. HILLARY CLINTON LEAVES STATE DEPT., BLASTS BENGHAZI CRITICS
After more than three decades of public service, Hillary Clinton stepped down from her post as secretary of state on Friday. But before ceding her job to John Kerry, Clinton took a parting shot at critics of the Obama administration’s response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. “I was so unhappy with the way that some people refused to accept the facts, refused to accept the findings of an independent Accountability Review Board, politicized everything about this terrible attack,” she told The Associated Press. “There are some people in politics and in the press who can’t be confused by the facts. They just will not live in an evidence-based world. And that’s regrettable.” [The Week]
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4. SUICIDE BOMBER ATTACKS U.S. EMBASSY IN TURKEY
On Friday, a suicide bomber struck the U.S. embassy in Ankara, Turkey, killing himself and a Turkish guard. The bomber reportedly detonated his charge as he entered the embassy’s security checkpoint, limiting the blast to the facility’s outer ring. The Turkish government initially blamed the attack on a Marxist terrorism group, and later identified the perpetrator as a man once incarcerated for domestic terrorism. The United States plans to make its own investigation into the attack. [The New York Times]
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5. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES CONTRACEPTION COMPROMISE
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Friday that the Obama administration is proposing a compromise for religious organizations that object to the government’s policy requiring health insurance plans to cover contraceptives for women at no charge. Under the proposal “eligible organizations would not have to contract, arrange, pay, or refer for any contraceptive coverage to which they object on religious grounds.” Female employees of such organizations would receive contraceptive coverage through separateindividual health insurance policies, without having to pay premiums or co-payments. It remains unclear who exactly would pay such costs. The ObamaCare requirement caused an uproar last year within faith-based organizations that see it as an infringement of their religious liberty. [New York Times]
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6. MEDIA: IRAN’S SPACE MONKEY IS A FAKE
When reports initially surfaced Monday from Iran declaring that the country had successfully launched a monkey into space, the world was surprised, and perhaps a bit shaken. But after images from a press conference surfaced on Friday, Britain’s Telegraph led the charge in declaring the cosmic stunt a hoax. As the paper notes, “the monkey triumphantly presented to the nation’s media in his own silk tuxedo appeared markedly different to the creature that was pictured strapped into a rocket prior to its launch into space.” Upon further investigation, it’s clear that the distinctive red mole over the monkey’s right eye is not present on the monkey that attended the conference, leading many to believe that the entire stunt was a fake, or that the original monkey died during the mission. [Slate]
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7. STRUGGLING EUROZONE CHEERED BY GOOD DATA
Europe’s battered economy got a triple dose of encouraging news on Friday. Unemployment proved lower than feared in December across the 17 countries that use the euro (although it’s still high, at 11.7 percent). Also, manufacturing showed signs of growth, and inflation fell. But despite the good news, the eurozone remains stuck in a recession. “It’s not as bad as it was and that’s probably the best one can say…” says market strategist Marc Ostwald of Monument Securities. “It doesn’t mean happy days are near.” [Associated Press]
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8. SOURCES: SOUTH FLORIDA DOPING RINGLEADER INJECTED A-ROD
Anthony Bosch, the man Major League Baseball believes is at the center of a widespread doping operation involving numerous professional baseball players, reportedly injected New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs, according to ESPN sources. While other athletes relied on Bosch’s intermediaries to transport drug regimens, the sources say, Rodriguez dealt only with Bosch. Bosch’s visits to the third baseman’s mansion in Florida’s Biscayne Bay reportedly took place every few weeks, and Bosch, the sources report, spoke openly about his relationship with the Yankees All-Star. Two sources said that documents they reviewed even detailed the drug regimens and schedules Rodriguez received. Rodriguez’ spokesperson said Friday that the allegations are not true. [ESPN]
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9. DETROIT STARTS 2013 WITH STRONG SALES
Ford, GM, and Chrysler all started the year with solid January sales increases, the Detroit automakers reported Friday. Ford sold 166,501 vehicles, a 22 percent monthly jump. GM sold 194,699, an increase of 16 percent. And Chrysler posted its 34th consecutive monthly sales gain with a 16 percent increase. Analysts attributed the improvement to the release of pent-up demand, as Americans who had been putting off purchases were encouraged by the gradual economic recovery to finally visit dealer showrooms. [Detroit Free Press]
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10. SURVEY: MANY MALE MARINES WOULD LEAVE IF WOMEN JOINED COMBAT
According to a survey conducted last year of 53,000 members of the Marine Corps, 17 percent of male Marines said they would leave the service if women moved into combat. That number increased to 22 percent when participants were asked how they’d react if women were involuntarily assigned to combat roles, according to the survey results released on Friday. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had earlier reviewed the survey results before opening thousands of combat jobs to women last week. Male Marines said their major concerns with women in combat would be being falsely accused of sexual misconduct, some Marines getting preferential treatment, or women being limited because of pregnancy or personal issues. [Associated Press]

2 comments

  1. Mostly Marine Machismo! I’ve ridden thousands of morotcycle miles with too many Marines and ex-Marines to be fooled by that “survey.’

    [Marines answers to surveys can be macho bravado, don't ya' know.]

    NOTE: No apology forthcoming.

    Like

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