The number of people continuing to claim unemployment benefits reached a 26-year high of 4.09 million last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. At the same time, new claims for jobless benefits fell by 21,000.

Despite calls for a life behind bars, a judge reimposed a 22- year sentence Wednesday in Seattle for Ahmed Ressam, an Al Qaeda-trained terrorist whose plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport was thwarted in late 1999. Prosecutors asked that his initial sentence be revoked after Ressam told the court, where he appeared on a legal technicality, that he recanted everything he'd shared as a government informant.

Three US-based Islamic charities must pay $156 million in a civil judgment for their roles in bankrolling Hamas terrorist groups, a federal appeals court ruled in Chicago Wednesday. The decision upheld a lower-court judgment in the 2000 case that holds US charities liable for funding groups that engage in terrorist acts, even if they designated the funds for humanitarian purposes.

Organizers of a Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial planned for the National Mall told civil rights pioneers in Washington Wednesday that they'd like it completed by 2010 while Barack Obama is president. The $120 million project, which could break ground in early 2009, is still not fully funded. Above, Xernona Clayton, who served as King's assistant, looks at a model of a memorial centerpiece with King's likeness.

The use of food stamps jumped 17 percent in September to an all-time record number of recipients (31.5 million Americans), the US Depart-ment of Agriculture said Wednesday. The nation's economic downturn is viewed as the major factor.

AT&T Inc. will cut 12,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce, the nation's largest telecommunications company said Thursday. AT&T's land-line business dropped 11 percent last quarter.

A French utility entered a $4.5 billion bid to buy 50 percent of Constellation Energy's nuclear business. Maryland-based Constellation accounts for roughly 5 percent of US nuclear capacity. Bidder Electricite de France SA is state-controlled, which raises questions about its potential stake in US nuclear plants.

Greenhouse-gas emissions increased in the US last year by 1.4 percent to 8 billion tons, the Energy Department has reported. The release of gases that cause heat-trapping pollution has increased 16.7 percent since 1990, or an average of 0.9 percent a year.

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