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Today's News

  • With aid slow to come Japanese fend for themselves

    KARAKUWA, Japan (AP) — There may be no water, no power and no cell phone reception in this tsunami-struck town, but in the school that serves as a shelter, there are sizzling pans of fat, pink shrimp.

    Relief supplies have only trickled into the long strip of northeast Japan demolished by a powerful earthquake and the wave it unleashed a week ago, leaving affected communities to fend for themselves.

  • Crises in Japan, Gulf thwart US energy accord

    WASHINGTON (AP) — On the road to a national energy policy, President Barack Obama is hitting pothole after pothole.

    First, worries over coal-burning plants' role in global warming prompted Obama and other Democrats to look more favorably on offshore oil and gas exploration. Last year's BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico abruptly ended that.

  • Japan official: Disasters overwhelmed government

    TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese government acknowledged Friday that it was overwhelmed by the scale of last week's twin natural disasters, slowing the response to the nuclear crisis that was triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that left at least 10,000 people dead.

    The admission came as Japan welcomed U.S. help in stabilizing its overheated, radiation-leaking nuclear complex, and reclassified the rating of the nuclear accident from Level 4 to Level 5 on a seven-level international scale, putting it on a par with the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.

  • House accepts $5 billion state budget

    With adjournment looming, the Legislature is sending to Gov. Susana Martinez a critical proposal for balancing the state's $5 billion state budget.

    Lawmakers gave final approval late Thursday to a measure that saves nearly $111 million next year to help plug a budget gap. It requires state workers and educators to pay more into their pensions while government reduces its payroll contributions by a similar amount. The bill also will delay higher state payments to shore up the retirement fund for public school employees and college faculty.

  • Japan raises severity of nuclear accident

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the severity rating of the country's nuclear crisis Friday from Level 4 to Level 5 on a seven-level international scale, putting it on par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979.

  • Why inflation hurts more than it did 30 years ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation spooked the nation in the early 1980s. It surged and kept rising until it topped 13 percent.

    These days, inflation is much lower. Yet to many Americans, it feels worse now. And for a good reason: Their income has been even flatter than inflation.

    Back in the '80's, the money people made typically more than made up for high inflation. In 1981, banks would pay nearly 16 percent on a six-month CD. And workers typically got pay raises to match their higher living costs.

    No more.

  • UN approves no-fly zone over Libya

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council on Thursday approved a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from attacks by Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

    The action came as the Libyan leader was poised to make a final push against rebels holding out in Bengazhi, Libya's second largest city.

    The vote in the 15-member council was 10-0 with five abstentions, including Russia and China.

    The United States, France and Britain had pushed for speedy approval.

  • NM House turns down Senate's budget-balancing bill

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — With adjournment looming, the Legislature still hasn't agreed on all the pieces of a more than $5 billion state budget package.

    The House and Senate must work out their differences on a measure that saves nearly $111 million next year to help balance the budget. It requires state workers and educators to pay more into their pensions while government reduces its payroll contributions by a similar amount. The bill also will delay higher state payments to shore up the retirement fund for public school employees and college faculty.

  • Japan asks for US help in nuclear crisis

    YAMAGATA, Japan (AP) — Japan reached out Friday to the U.S. for help in stabilizing its overheated, radiation-leaking nuclear complex, while the U.N. atomic energy chief called the disaster a race against the clock that demands global cooperation.

    At the stricken complex, military fire trucks again sprayed the troubled reactor units for a second day, with tons of water arcing over the facility in desperate attempts to prevent the fuel from overheating and spewing dangerous levels of radiation.

  • Employer tax hike proposed

    SANTA FE — Lawmakers are sending Gov. Susana Martinez a proposal to shore up the state’s unemployment compensation program by raising taxes on employers and cutting jobless benefits.
    If the governor signs the legislation, taxes on businesses will go up by $128 million next year.
    The Workforce Solutions Department projects the unemployment fund will run out of money by next March without any changes.