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April 4, 2008

National News for March 22 - April 4

by Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from The Washington Post. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Washington, D.C.

April 3 - The U.S. economy may be experiencing a recession, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Fed officials are predicting a shrink in the economy during the first half of the year but then for the economy to strengthen in the second half of the year and to be strong by 2009. This announcement reflects a change in attitude by economic officials who two weeks earlier had said that there was a limited amount of economic activity but did not acknowledge the possibility of a recession.

April 1 - Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson resigned in the middle of a large mortgage crisis with global implications. Lately Jackson's career has been swarmed with controversy. Last month Democratic lawmakers insisted that Jackson step down after he would not comment on a lawsuit by the Philadelphia Housing Industry against HUD.

Santa Fe, NM

March 30 - Democratic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced that the three American hostages who are being held in Colombia seem to have deteriorating health. U.S. defense contractors, Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell, have been under the control of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia since their plane crashed in rebel territory in February 2003. Richardson met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe asking for the release of the contractors. The rebels are demanding that the United States release some of their members in exchange for the three Americans.

Anchorage, AK

March 24 - Four crew members are dead and one is missing after a fishing boat sank off the Aleutian Islands according to the Coast Guard. Forty-two members of the Seattle- based 47-person crew have been rescued and the search for the missing member continues, according to Chief Petty Officer Barry Lane. The Fishing Company of Alaska released a statement saying that they do not have enough information to determine what went wrong.

Minneapolis, MN

March 24 - A collection of old photos show that the Interstate 35W Bridge, which collapsed in August 2007, was visibly bent at least four years before the accident, which killed 13 people. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is not saying what they knew about the bent steel plates. The National Transportation Safety Board released the photos that were taken by a consulting firm that the state hired from 2003-2007.



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