U.S. & World News

Iowa’s 2.4 Percent Unemployment Rate Remains Nation’s Lowest

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s unemployment rate remained at a national low of 2.4 percent in December. Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the rate didn’t change as the number of unemployed resident remained at an estimated 40,600. The number of residents with jobs rose slightly to 1,651,300. Iowa’s rate compared to the national December rate of 3.9 percent. Iowa…

Spyglass Gas Well Permits Revoked

RAPID CITY, S.D. – State regulators have revoked a company’s permits for 40 natural gas wells near Buffalo. The wells have been idle for seven years as the company, Spyglass Cedar Creek, has struggled financially. The state Board of Minerals and Environment also directed the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources to calculate the maximum civil penalty that may…

Perdue recalls chicken nuggets due to wood contamination

WASHINGTON (AP) – Perdue is recalling more than 68,000 pounds (30,844 kilograms) of chicken nuggets because they may be contaminated with wood. The gluten free Organics Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets were produced on Oct. 25 and were sold at stores nationwide. They have a UPC bar code of 72745-80656 and the establishment number of P-33944 in the US Agriculture Department…

Rural Bankers in 10 States Worry Over Farm Loan Defaults

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019. More than 4 of every 10 bankers questioned for the Rural Mainstreet survey for January said they expect farm loan defaults to be the year’s biggest challenge. Creighton University economist…

Facebook Shuts Hundreds of Russia-Linked Pages, Accounts

LONDON – Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups and accounts that it says were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news. The social media company said Thursday it took action after finding two networks “that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. Facebook’s head of…

‘I Never Said There Was No Collusion,’ Trump Lawyer Says

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he’s “never said there was no collusion” between Russia and members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Giuliani’s comments Wednesday night on CNN directly contradict the position of his own client, who’s repeatedly insisted there was no collusion during his successful White House run. Giuliani himself has described the idea of…

Number of federal workers seeking US jobless aid doubles

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of furloughed federal employees seeking unemployment benefits jumped in the first two weeks of the shutdown, topping 10,000 during the week of Jan. 5. The Labor Department says that is double the number of federal workers who sought aid in the previous week. Typically fewer than a thousand former federal employees apply for jobless benefits…

Lawyers: Motive for Jayme Kidnap to be Revealed

BARRON, Wis. (AP) – Defense attorneys for a man accused of kidnapping a Wisconsin teen and fatally shooting her parents say his motivations will become clear as the case progresses. Investigators believe Jake Thomas Patterson broke into 13-year-old Jayme Closs’ home near Barron in October, killed her parents and abducted the girl. He’s accused of holding her in a remote…

Texas Man Gets 35 Years in 8-State Child Pornography Scheme

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Federal prosecutors in Illinois say a Texas man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison on child pornography charges involving more than 40 girls in eight states. Prosecutors said Tuesday 36-year-old Mark P. Barnwell of Whitehouse, Texas, was sentenced on Jan. 9. Authorities say he used false Facebook profiles to contact girls and advertise modeling…

USDA Reopening Farm Service Agency for 3 Days

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is temporarily reopening an agency that provides resources to farmers and ranchers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday the department has called back 2,500 employees to reopen Farm Service Agency offices on Thursday, Friday and next Tuesday to process existing farm loans and provide tax documents. The office will not process any…

White House Denounces Rep. King’s White Supremacy Remarks

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is describing comments by Republican Rep. Steve King about white supremacy as “abhorrent.” Presidential press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is praising the move by House Republicans to strip the nine-term Iowa lawmaker of his committee assignments. King was quoted last week by The New York Times as saying: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization…

YouTube Revises Policy, Bans Dangerous Prank Videos

This March 20, 2018 file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore. The video-sharing network owned by Google is cracking down on harmful or dangerous pranks. Updated policies no longer allow challenges that present “an apparent risk of death” and ban content featuring children “participating in dangerous challenges that pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily…

Suspect’s Father: ‘All I Care About’ is Jayme’s Family

BARRON, Wis. (AP) – The father of a Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and killing her parents says he cares about the girl’s family. CNN reports that 21-year-old Jake Patterson’s father, Patrick Patterson, visited the Barron County Justice Center on Tuesday saying he wanted to pass a note to Jayme Closs’ family. Patterson’s son, Jake, is charged…

Sears Staves Off Liquidation, Stores to Remain Open

NEW YORK (AP) – Sears may have won a reprieve in a desperate attempt to stave off its own demise. Multiple media outlets reported early Wednesday that billionaire Eddie Lampert has won a bankruptcy auction after strengthening his bid in several days of negotiations with creditors. Lampert, Sears’ chairman and largest shareholder, upped his offer to more than $5 billion…

IRS Recalling 46,000 Workers to Handle Taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Internal Revenue Service is recalling about 46,000 of its employees furloughed by the government shutdown – nearly 60 percent of its workforce – to handle tax returns and pay out refunds. The employees won’t be paid. With the official start of the tax filing season coming Jan. 28, the Trump administration has promised that taxpayers owed…

Netflix Raising Prices for 58M U.S. Subscribers as Costs Rise

SAN FRANCISCO – Netflix is raising its U.S. prices by 13 percent to 18 percent, its biggest increase since the company launched its streaming service 12 years ago. Its most popular plan will see the largest price hike, to $13 per month from $11. That option offers high-definition streaming on up to two different internet-connected devices simultaneously. Even at the…