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Nation Briefs Associated Press

Government braces for NSA changes WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s national security team argued Wednesday to keep its sweeping domestic surveillance powers intact, even as it acknowledged some limitations appear inevitable. Facing unexpectedly harsh opposition from both parties over its once-secret program capable of sweeping up the phone records of every American, the Obama administration said it wanted to work with lawmakers who seemed intent on putting limits on that authority. “We are open to reevaluating this program in ways that can perhaps provide greater confidence and public trust that this is in fact a program that achieves both privacy protections and national security,” Robert Litt, counsel to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing came one week after a surprisingly close vote in the House that would have killed the phone surveillance program. It barely survived, but lawmakers promised that change was coming.

US economy growth sluggish in Q2

Factory Direct Furniture

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy grew from April through June at an annual rate of 1.7 percent — a sluggish pace but stronger than in the previous quarter. Businesses spent more, and the federal govern-

ment cut less, offsetting weaker spending by consumers. The government on Wednesday sharply revised down its estimate of growth in the JanuaryMarch quarter to a 1.1 percent annual rate from a previously estimated 1.8 percent rate. Though growth remains weak, the pickup last quarter supports forecasts that the economy will accelerate in the rest of the year. Economists think businesses will step up investment, job growth will fuel more consumer spending and the drag from government cuts will fade. If so, the Federal Reserve could scale back its stimulus later this year. The April-June growth figure indicates that “the recovery is gaining momentum,” Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. During the April-June quarter, businesses increased their spending 4.6 percent after cutting by the same amount in the January-March period. And spending on home construction grew 13.4 percent, in line with the previous quarter. At the same time, the federal government cut spending only 1.5 percent after slashing it 8.4 percent in the first quarter. And state and local governments spent more for the first time in a year.

Obama reassures Dems on key issues WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to reassure Democrats nervous about the impact of

Thursday, August 1, 2013

State Briefs

his health care law and the prospects for immigration legislation, telling them “You’re on the right side of history.” In two closed-door meetings on Capitol Hill, Obama focused on financial gains as the economy emerges from the worst downturn since the Depression. He was warned about nominating former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as chairman of the Federal Reserve and faced questions about his health care law. Some lawmakers complained that three years after its passage, the law still baffles many Americans. The first major rewrite of immigration laws in a generation and legislation to keep the government running without interruption are paramount issues for Democrats.

Associated Press

Political speaking begins in Neshoba PHILADELPHIA — Mississippi politicians are sticking to familiar themes during this nonelection year at the Neshoba County Fair. Wednesday was the first of two days for speeches. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said he has fought to reduce the state’s long-term debt and has pushed for charter schools and gun rights. “When parents see these public charter schools succeed, they’re going to demand more school choice for more families. And I will stand with them,” Reeves said. Attorney General Jim Hood said his office has collected more than $700 million the past 91⁄2 years from “corporations that have cheated the state.” Hood, the only Democrat in statewide office, said that for the past 20 years, states across the nation have drawn congressional districts with super majorities of either black residents or white residents. He said such districts have created a sharp partisan divide in Washington. Hood also criticized congressional Republicans for enacting a law several years ago called the “class-action fairness act,” which he said is not fair at all.

Simpson wins parole on some charges CARSON CITY, Nev. — O.J. Simpson has been granted parole on some charges stemming from his 2008 kidnapping and armed robbery convictions involving the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room. The Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners on Wednesday released an order approving Simpson’s parole request. But the order doesn’t mean Simpson will be leaving Lovelock Correctional Center anytime soon. Because he was convicted on multiple charges, Simpson still faces at least four more years in prison on sentences that were ordered to run consecutively.

moter Corey Maclin has died in motor vehicle accident in Mississippi. The Mississippi Highway Patrol says the 43-year-old Maclin was southbound on Interstate 55 just south of Sardis around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when his vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and rolled over, throwing him from the vehicle. Maclin was pronounced dead on the scene. Maclin was alone in the vehicle. Maclin was a wrestling promoter in Memphis and formerly worked with Jerry Lawler before the two became embroiled in a trademark lawsuit over the name “Memphis Wrestling.”

Men imprisoned in real estate scam MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Men from Tennessee and Mississippi have been sentenced to prison in what federal

authorities called a real estate flipping scheme. A U.S. District Court judge in Memphis this week handed prison terms of 33 months to 43-year-old Michael Pinkney of Cordova and 50-year-old Alan R. Price of Olive Branch, Miss. U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said Pinkney conspired with Price to recruit nominee buyers of foreclosed properties, refinance them and submit fraudulent documents to mortgage finance companies. Pinkney owned Capital Mortgage and Peanut Construction Company and Price was a registered property appraiser. The government said loan funding companies lost nearly $1,284,000, which Pinkney and Price must repay. Both men pleaded guilty in mid-April to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Former wrestling promoter dies

Blowout Sale! SARDIS — Former Memphis wrestling pro-





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