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By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth accelerated sharply in February despite the icy weather that gripped much of the nation, easing fears of an abrupt economic slowdown and keeping the Federal Reserve on track to continue reducing its monetary stimulus. Employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after creating 129,000 new positions in January, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent as Americans flooded into the labor market to search for work. "It reinforces the case for the economy being stronger than it's looked for the last couple of months," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.
By Colleen Jenkins FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - Opening statements in the military trial of a U.S. Army general accused of twice forcibly sodomizing a female captain during their illicit sexual relationship provided sharply conflicting accounts on Friday of what drove the adulterous affair. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair stands accused of forcing the junior officer under his command to perform oral sex, of grabbing her genitalia against her will and of having intercourse with her in public places. The 51-year-old general, who is married, denies sexually assaulting the captain and says the relationship was consensual, although inappropriate by military standards. The rare court-martial of a high-ranking U.S. military official is unfolding in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, amid a growing debate among U.S. lawmakers over how best to curb sexual assault in the military.
Attorneys for the man charged with mass murder for shooting dozens of people at a Colorado movie theater have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to force a reporter to reveal confidential sources she used for a story about the massacre. James Holmes, 26, faces the death penalty in the shooting rampage that killed 12 people and injured dozens more at a screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20, 2012. His attorneys filed a petition on Thursday, asking the Supreme Court to consider overturning a 2013 ruling by New York's top state court, the Court of Appeals, which found that New York's journalist shield law protected Fox News reporter Jana Winter from being compelled to testify in Holmes' case in Colorado. Holmes' lawyers said Winter's testimony is necessary to determine the identity of law enforcement officials who violated a gag order and divulged some of the contents of a notebook Holmes allegedly sent to a psychiatrist before the shooting incident.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ? Surveillance. Online privacy. Robots. Food processing. Wearable computers. To get a sense of what's on the minds of the tech industry's thinkers, leaders and tinkerers, it's a good idea to head to Austin, Texas, rather than Silicon Valley this time of the year.
SEATTLE (AP) ? A gay vice principal who was forced out of his job at Eastside Catholic School filed a discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against the school and church on Friday. Lawyers for the church and school plan to respond immediately with a motion arguing King County Superior Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case without violating the First Amendment.
ATLANTA (AP) ? The family of Martin Luther King Jr. has warned Georgia's governor it wants input on any monument to the slain civil rights icon that might be erected on the grounds of the state Capitol.
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) ? A judge has questioned the viability of a prosecution against a man accused of illegally building hundreds of untraceable rifle silencers under what had been a secret contract with the Navy Seals.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) ? Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared Friday that achieving equality for women and girls is "the great unfinished business of the 21st century."
HONOLULU (AP) ? A Honolulu courtroom is set to become the scene of a death penalty trial even though Hawaii abolished capital punishment in 1957.