Here is what we’re working on today:
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In US news:
• We’re looking over the new unemployment numbers for what they mean about the direction of the economy. Both Laurent Belsie here in the newsroom and Peter Grier in Washington are filing on this.
• Linda Feldmann in Washington is following the political jockeying over the coming Supreme Court vacancy. Hispanics are pushing hard for a seat.
• Gail Chaddock on Capitol Hill looks at the legislation the House just cleared to tighten up rules on mortgage lending and whether that horse is already out of the barn.
• “Stress tests” results out today are making it easier for strong banks to exit the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, but economics writer Mark Trumbull is exploring why the government wants to slow them down.
• California’s Governor Schwarzenegger made news when he launched a discussion this week on whether marijuana should be legalized. Mike Farrell in San Francisco is taking a harder look today at legalization’s potential as a revenue raiser.
• Dante Chinni looks at America’s “military bastions” – one of 11 county types that make up Patchwork Nation – and finds that military payrolls may soften the impact of recession there, but not much.
• Coming later in the day, Dan Wood and Mike Farrell in California report on how the fast-flaring Santa Barbara wildfire is testing California’s expertise at managing mass evacuations.