April 5, 2019: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that 196,000 jobs were added to the nation's payrolls in March, leaving the unemployment rate at 3.8%. CNBC reports that average hourly earnings in March were 3.2% higher than a year earlier. That compares with just 20,000 new jobs and a 3.4% year-over-year gain in February.
  • Idaho's lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives split the vote Thursday in a bill that reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act. Congressman Mike Simpson voted in favor of the the measure, while freshman Congressman Russ Fulcher voted against it. The reauthorization includes a provision that makes it more difficult for violent offenders to keep their guns, closing the so-called "boyfriend loophole" that allowed spouses or domestic partners convicted of abuse or assault to keep their firearms. The NRA urged lawmakers to reject the bill, but the House passed the measure, 263-158.
  • click to enlarge FLICKR
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Thursday that it will now allow children of same-sex couples to be baptized. The New York Times says this reverses the church's 2015 ruling that said those in same-sex marriages were apostates and subject to excommunication. The LDS church will still consider same-sex marriage "to be a serious transgression," read Thursday's statement, but "it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline."
  • Jeff Bezos is still the richest man in the world this morning, but on Thursday he agreed to a divorce settlement that will give his ex-wife 25% of the couple's Amazon stock. Inc.com reports that MacKenzie Bezos also agreed to give her ex-husband her interests in The Washington Post and the Blue Origin aerospace company.
  • National Geographic has a rather sad story
    click to enlarge FREE-PHOTOS/9121 IMAGES, CC0
    • Free-Photos/9121 Images, CC0
    of how our dependence on electricity has made our nights much brighter, but as the illumination increases, we're endangering ecosystems by harming animals whose life cycles depend on the dark.
  • The college basketball post-season gets very serious this weekend. The NCAA women's Final Four will play this evening, with Baylor taking on Oregon and Notre Dame facing Connecticut. The men's Final Four will play Saturday, when Auburn faces Virginia and Texas Tech takes on Michigan State.
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