From NPR News in Washington, I am Jack Speer.
Another proposal to extend the benefits to the long-term unemployed has failed in the senate. The extension would have lasted three months and cost 6.5 billion dollars. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports the measure failed one vote short of sixty votes needed to pass.
Since the benefits for the long-term unemployed expired December 2008, the senate has voted on few different proposals on how to extend those payments. Republicans have been demanding that any extension be paid for by cuts elsewhere in the federal budgets. Democrats have agreed to that but disputes focus on what that offset would be and how many amendments to the legislation Republicans can bring. Even if the senate is able to pass legislation to extend benefits, the fight in the house is likely to be more intense. House speaker John Boehner has said he'll only consider extension if it is paid for and if it comes with plan for job creation. Ailsa Chang, NPR News, the Capitol.
According to house speaker Boehner, the Republican controlled body has no intention of missing a late February deadline to up the government's borrowing ability. The Ohio Republican says we are not going to default on our debt and he also hold up the possibility the house could consider so-called clean debt limit increase that includes no GOP add-ons.
"We are in discussions with members about how we can move ahead. We have got time to do this. We are going to continue to work at it. No decisions, no decisions have been made."
Boehner is struggling to win enough support among Republicans to pass debt limit measure without any help from Democrats.
Obama administration officials think Russia might have been behind a leaked telephone conversation between two US diplomats. Conversation was about Ukraine emplaced Russia's complains about US meddling. As NPR's Michele Kelemen explains.
A recording posted on YouTube sounds like assistant Secretary of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, talking with the US ambassador in Ukraine about which opposition figure should join in coalition government. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki did not raise any doubts about inauthenticity of the recording nor did she say who might bug to the diplomats but she points out Russian officials were the first to Twitter about it.
"This is a new low in Russian tradecraft."
She says Nuland had to apologize to the European Union for a part of conversation when Nuland used coarse word to express frustration with the EU's approach to Ukraine. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, The State Department.
A private sector job's report appears to be painting a mixed picture of the labor market so far this year. The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says after hitting a 13-year-low in December, it is on uptake in layoff last month. Or at least some of those lost made in seasonal with majority of layoff coming in retail, and many companies said higher temporary employees during the busy holiday season.
Wall Street closed higher today, the Dow Jones Index Average up 188 points end session at 15,628 that was gain of more than 1%. The NASDAQ closed up 45 points. The S&P 500 was up 21 points today.
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According to US research institute, an upgraded North Korea's main rocket launch pad could be completed by spring. The official is saying that in turn could mean more testing by the north. US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies citing new satellite imagery shows the modifications are underway at the site. North Korean watchers say it appears that site is being ready for the possible testing of larger rockets something the US feel worrisome since the country is continuing to try to develop ballistic missile technology.
A disgraced Catholic religious order has apologized many victim of his late founder, a probably who lived a double life as pedophilia, womanize and drug addict. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports the Legionaries of Christ accused the founder of reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior.
Delegates from around the world meeting in Roma to set a new direction for the legion denounce the magnitude of the evil and scandals cause by Father Marcial Maciel. He found the legion in 1941 and led it until the Vatican removed him in 2006. For decades, the Vatican has dismissed accusations by seminarians that Maciel has abused them. Former members say the order was ran like call to rule in secrecy while Macile led double life and fathered at least three children by two women. Delegates elected a new General Director Eduardo Robles Gil a longtime Macile aid. But in the sign of Vatican mistrust of the legion's decisions, the Holy See appointed two reform-minded advisors to serve on its governing council. Sylvia Poggioli, NPR News, Roma.
Shows kick off the fashion week in New York, Designers including Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein telling their latest fashions. Fashion Week draws estimated 232,000 people to more than 500 shows.
I am Jack Speer, NPR News in Washington.