News In Brief

Midday Update: Job numbers, calorie counts, and Romanian witches

Katharine Crnko Jan 7, 2011

The U.S. Labor Department’s jobs report threw us for a loop today. The nation’s unemployment rate fell from 9.8 to 9.4 percent today — the lowest rate since May 2009. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said only 103,000 jobs were added in December, missing most economists’ projections by a long-shot. Analysts say the U.S. needs to create between 150,000 and 200,000 jobs month after consecutive month to expand the economy.

Californians will have help keeping their New Year’s resolutions, thanks to a new law forcing restaurant chains to post calorie information on their menus. The law aims to encourage consumers to make healthier food choices — so far, studies say the calorie count doesn’t “appear to have a large impact on the foods that people are choosing.”

Finally, a new tax on the witchcraft profession in Romania brews trouble. Like most European nations, Romania is suffering due to budget cuts and a tough economic landscape. In an effort to fortify the budget, the Romanian president wants to tax professional witches in the country’s new tax code. Witches took to the streets — some protested the measure while others celebrated the government’s recognition of witchcraft as a profession.

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