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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

The shutdown's surprise effect on jobs numbers

Saturday, 09 November 2013 09:25 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government shutdown may have affected October's jobs numbers. But not how you think.

In the height of irony, the 16 days of federal worker furloughs and government disruptions may have helped, not hurt, the improved jobs picture.

Because of the shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics delayed the release of the jobs numbers by one week to allow more time to collect payroll and household data. That extra time resulted in an above average response rate for payroll data.

A stronger participation rate can skew the hiring numbers up. As a result, to some economists, Friday's robust jobs number is looking slightly inflated.

Trans fat doesn't stir much 'nanny state' debate

Saturday, 09 November 2013 09:23 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — They are among our most personal daily decisions: what to eat or drink. Maybe what to inhale.

Now that the government's banning trans fat, does that mean it's revving up to take away our choice to consume all sorts of other unhealthy stuff?

Salt? Soda? Cigarettes?

Nah.

In the tug-of-war between public health and personal freedom, the Food and Drug Administration's decision to ban trans fats barely rates a ripple.

Hardly anyone defends the icky-sounding artificial ingredient anymore. It was too decades when health activists began warning Americans that it was clogging their arteries and causing heart attacks.

Mostly, Americans' palates have moved on, and so have their arguments over what's sensible health policy and what amounts to a "nanny state" run amok.

Missouri court imposes lawyers' fee to aid the poor

Saturday, 09 November 2013 09:20 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court is imposing a new fee on attorneys to help provide legal aid to low-income residents in civil court cases.

The court said Friday that it had approved an additional $30 annual fee to be paid by lawyers starting in 2014. The fee is expected to generate at least $750,000.

Missouri's legal services fund helps pay for attorneys to aid people in civil cases such as child-custody disputes, protective orders, home foreclosures and bankruptcy cases.

The Supreme Court says the fee increase will help offset a recent cut in federal funding for low-income legal services.

Missouri's four regional legal aid programs also receive funding from a state fee charged on the filing of civil and criminal court cases.

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