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WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell to record lows in four U.S. states in March after months of steady job creation nationwide. Unemployment rates fell in 17 states in March and were mostly unchanged in 33, the Labor Department said Friday. Employers added a significant number of jobs in just three states last month and cut them in four. Employment was mostly unchanged in the other 43 states. Hiring nationwide was weak in March but strong in the previous two months. Arkansas, Colorado, Maine and Oregon reported the lowest unemployment rates since 1976.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed to stop using all its coal-fired electricity within the next 14 years. The Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2plWogY ) Friday that the company plans to replace coal entirely with solar, wind, natural gas and nuclear power. The company has found through its 20-year resource plan that consumers will save money in the long run if it shuts down its coal generating station in San Juan by 2022 and relinquishes the utility's 13 percent share in the nearby Four Corners Generating Station by 2031.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife officials have confirmed that two endangered Mexican gray wolf pups died last month. The Arizona Department of Game and Fish detailed the cases in a monthly report released Thursday. The agency says a female pup with the Hoodoo Pack was found dead in Arizona in March. The cause remains under investigation. A male pup with Arizona's Bluestem Pack died after being captured for a medical evaluation. Officials say testing confirmed the animal had canine distemper.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has been selected as the chairman of the National Aerospace States Association. The nonprofit organization is made up of lieutenant governors and governor-appointed delegates with the goal of fostering economic development and promoting state perspectives when it comes to federal aerospace policy. Sanchez says New Mexico in recent years has taken steps to offer incentives to attract new jobs and investment from aerospace and aviation companies.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on proposed cuts by Albuquerque Public Schools (all times local): 5:10 p.m. State education officials are joining the chorus of people who are criticizing Albuquerque Public Schools for proposed cuts to middle school sports. Deputy Public Education Secretary Paul Aguilar issued a statement Thursday saying parents deserve to know that pay for the district's top administrators has increased dramatically in just five years and now tops $4 million.

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Last night, the House of Representatives postponed a vote on its debt ceiling bill.

In the Texas trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, the suspect fired his lawyer and told the judge in the case that he wants to defend himself. The proceedings went forward Thursday, with plenty of dramatic moments.

We all know congressional negotiators are trying to balance party and ideology, principle and pragmatism. But negotiators are people, too, and psychology has some useful things to say about the ongoing debt-ceiling standoff. Here are some key ideas to keep in mind.

Tundra Fires And Climate Change: More Bad News

Jul 28, 2011

It may be cold up there in the Arctic, but that doesn't mean it doesn't burn. And as the planet gets warmer, tundra fires are not only becoming more common, they may also shift a huge amount of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere, a new study reports.

Back in 2007, lightning struck the remote North Slope of Alaska, igniting the largest fire to hit the region since modern recording began in the 1950s. The fire burned for nearly three months until snowfall finally put it out in October. It left behind a charred scar of 400 square miles — big enough to see from space.

Just as the Washington narrative had started to shift a bit from "House Speaker John Boehner doesn't have the juice to get his conference to support him" to "Boehner is getting his fellow Republicans to rally around him" it shifts back to the former.

That's because he was unable to get enough members of the Republican conference to commit to voting for his debt-ceiling increase.

An image of gout is easy to conjure up: The portly, elder royal resting his foot on a pillow, with a swollen, red and extremely painful big toe. It could be Henry VII, who was afflicted with the "disease of kings."

But today gout seems to be the disease of the average middle-aged American who's pudgy, consuming too much meat, and drinking too much alcohol — not unlike what the royals used to do.

OK, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. But the abortion-rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America says that none of the declared Republican candidates for president — nor any of those thought to be waiting in the wings — would pass muster with voters who support a woman's right to choose.

Former Yankees Pitcher Hideki Irabu Found Dead

Jul 28, 2011

Hideki Irabu, a Japanese pitcher who debuted for the New York Yankees in 1997, was found dead after an apparent suicide in Los Angeles.

The AP reports:

"The body of Irabu, 42, was found at 4:25 p.m. PDT Wednesday, county sheriff's Sgt. Michael Arriaga said."

"'He was found dead by an apparent suicide,' he said."

"Irabu lived in Rancho Palos Verdes but it was not immediately clear whether it was his home, the sergeant said."

Too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, can damage your liver or worse.

Now to reduce the risk of accidental overdoses, Johnson & Johnson's McNeil division, marketer of the painkilling mainstay, is lowering the maximum dose for Extra Strenth Tylenol to six tablets a day from eight.

Bob Bradley has been relieved of his duties as the head coach of United States National Team for men's soccer.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati thanked Bradley for his five years at the helm of the team but said now is the right time to make change. "It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob," Gulati said.

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