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The number of people receiving jobless benefits for more than a week increased by 193,000 last week to 5.3 million, the most on records dating to 1967, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Some economists project that the national unemployment rate, now 8.1 percent, will reach 10 percent by the end of the year

The launch of the space shuttle Discovery was postponed until at least Sunday after problems arose with a hydrogen gas leak hours before liftoff. Because of the delay, NASA said the two-week mission will have to be shortened and some spacewalks dropped to avoid overlapping with a Russian ship's flight to the International Space Station.

President Obama instructed trade officials Wednesday to come up with a new trucking plan that Congress will support and that will fulfill US commitments to Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The proposal would replace an 18-month-old pilot program, now unfunded, which allowed Mexican truckers to travel beyond a 20-to-75-mile buffer zone along the southern border.

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Chrysler LLC may close its Cana-dian plants, it said Wednesday, if labor concessions, government aid, and a resolution to a tax dispute are not forthcoming.

The Alabama gunman who killed 10 people before taking his own life in a shootout with police earlier this week kept a list of people who wronged him, authorities said Wednesday. Investigators, however, still wonder why Michael McLendon, who struggled to keep jobs, killed five relatives.

A special court sorting out issues in Minnesota's undecided Senate race is reportedly close to ending the long recount saga, which finds Democrat Al Franken holding a 225-vote lead over incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. Appeals could follow.

Larkin Baggett, a Utah chemical company owner wanted as an environmental-crimes fugitive, was shot and wounded by authorities in the Florida Keys Wednesday after pointing a gun at them. Baggett disappeared before going on trial in 2008 on charges of violating hazardous-waste laws.

President Obama created a women's advisory panel Wednesday to help cabinet agencies and federal departments collaborate on ways to provide women with equal opportunities. His senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, a single mother, will head the group. Above, the president posed with Lisa Leslie, a star with pro basketball's Los Angeles Sparks, at the White House signing ceremony.

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