American household incomes lost ground last year as the poverty rate remained flat, a sign the U.S. economic expansion had yet to lead to gains for many Americans five years after the 2007-2009 recession. The data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, which showed the inflation-adjusted median income slipping to $53,657 last year from $54,462 in 2013, offered a reminder of the tepid nature of the economy's recovery. At the same time, the poverty rate held steady at 14.8 percent, the data showed.
DENVER (AP) — Colorado's marijuana growers were the big winners Wednesday when the state suspended new recreational pot taxes, a tax quirk that saved shoppers some sales tax but saved wholesalers tens of thousands.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Priests, nuns and canon lawyers who advocate for clergy sex abuse victims urged Pope Francis, on the eve of his U.S. visit, to investigate the child protection records of Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of Philadelphia, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, who led dioceses in Wisconsin and Missouri.
By Andrea Shalal NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday warned that continued uncertainty about U.S. military spending levels would send "the wrong message at the wrong time" when Russia and China are rapidly advancing their technologies. Carter told the annual meeting of the Air Force Association that failure by the U.S. Congress to pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 could trigger a return to difficult spending cuts and a $38 billion shortfall in funds needed for new weapons, training and operations. The Pentagon has already made many tough choices and trade-offs about the size of its armed forces, new capabilities and readiness levels as a result of mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration in recent years, Carter said.
U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to avoid shutting down the government starting on Oct. 1, as Republicans in the House of Representatives struggled to get enough votes to pass a bill to fund it. Some conservatives want to punish women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood by denying the group federal funds. Conservative Republicans are watching how the battle plays out.
SEATTLE (AP) — Striking Seattle teachers who reached a tentative contract deal tapped into the concerns of the community to win unusual concessions: guaranteed 30-minute recess for elementary students and teams created to address race and equity in schools.
A group of pharmacy workers within Target Corp's store in Brooklyn, New York, have won a vote to form a microunion, making it the first unionized store at the retailer since its inception in 1902. Earlier on Wednesday, Reuters was first to report that a group of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians won an initial ballot, 7-2, to form the union, according to a filing on the National Labor Relations Board website and union officials. Target said it was "disappointed" by the vote within its store and will appeal the NLRB's decision to allow the vote to proceed.