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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.
While advocates for the strikers put their numbers at 1,200, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement that, on Friday evening, meals had been refused by 750 of a total 1,300 inmates at the Northwest Detention Center, operated by the GEO Group. The hunger strike, in its second day on Saturday, will continue for at least five days and is likely to go longer, said Seattle-area attorney Sandy Restrepo, who represents several of the strikers and, in recent years, has represented hundreds of detainees at the privately run facility. "They are human beings, not criminals, and they deserve better treatment." Under President Barack Obama, deportations from the United States have hit record highs, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security data.
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO (Reuters) - A judge set bail at $1.2 million on Saturday for a pregnant woman facing attempted murder charges for driving a minivan carrying her three young children into the surf off a Florida beach, according to jail records. Ebony Wilkerson, 32, has been charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder and three counts of child abuse in the incident, which occurred on Tuesday at Daytona Beach. Wilkerson had come to Florida three days before the episode to escape an abusive marriage, according to the arrest affidavit. The children told investigators their mother had been acting "crazy" since they arrived in Florida, and Wilkerson's sister tried twice to get mental health treatment for her the day before she drove the van into the water, the affidavit said.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) ? A stage has collapsed at a high school in Anaheim and reports say more than two dozen people have been injured.
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) ? A pre-St. Patrick's Day celebration near the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts spiraled out of control, pitting police in riot gear against thousands of drunken and unruly revelers at the annual "Blarney Blowout." There were more than 70 arrests and four officers were injured in the clashes that included some students throwing beer bottles, cans and snowballs, officials said.
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) ? An early St. Patrick's Day celebration around the University of Massachusetts' flagship campus known as "Blarney Blowout" spun out of control Saturday as police officers in riot gear arrested more than 70 people while dispersing massive crowds, including unruly students throwing beer cans and bottles.
LOS ANGELES (AP) ? The military pilot killed in a fighter jet crash during a training exercise in Nevada has been identified as Marine Capt. Reid Nannen.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ? Race leader Aliy Zirkle took a two-hour lead out of the Yukon River village of Kaltag on Saturday and became the first musher to reach the Alaska west coast community of Unalakleet in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Four years after the tea party rocked the political world by ousting several prominent Republicans in Congress, the ultra-conservative movement finds itself with slimmer prospects as it moves into the new election season.