From NPR News in Washington, I'm Giles Snyder.
The cargo ship captain rescued from Somali pirates Easter Sunday is back home in Vermont. Captain Richard Phillips' plane landed in Burlington late this afternoon. After a brief reunion with his family, Phillips spoke to the media for the first time and downplayed his hero status.
"They are out there. They are, they are everyday people we will not recognize, and I will not divulge, but they did an excellent job and they saved me. They're at the point of the sword everyday, doing an impossible job where which we can not comprehend."
Phillips was freed after Navy Seal snipers shot the pirates holding him hostage on a lifeboat.
US is welcoming Cuban President Raul Castro's comment said he is open to talks with the United States about everything. NPR’s Michele Kelemen reports.
During her visit to the Dominican Republic, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton fielded questions from around Latin America in a virtual town hall. When Cuba was brought up, she made clear she is pleased with Raul Castro’s readiness to talk about everything, including human rights and political prisoners. “We welcome his comments, the overture that they represent and we are taking a very serious look at how we intend to respond.” She also pointed out that the Obama administration made a serious gesture this week, as well, by giving Cuban-Americans the right once again to travel to Cuba as often as they like and lifting caps on the remittances they sent home, restrictions that the Bush administration had put in place. Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.
It's another sign of just how hard the job market has been hit by the economic downturn. The unemployment rate in California has climbed to a new record. From member station KCRW Chery Glaser has more.
Unemployment in California jumped to 11.2 percent last month. That's the fourth highest rate in the country, behind Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina. California lost more than 62,000 non-farm jobs in March and the declines hit a wide range of industries from construction to international trade, to financial services. All in all, more than two million people in California who want work don't have it. But Jack Kyser with the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation says the state may get some relief thanks to public works projects being funded by the economic stimulus package.
"Those are good quality jobs and of course you building something that we desperately need like improved transportation projects." Even so, Kyser says California's job market may not rebound until some time in 2011. For NPR News, I'm Chery Glaser in Los Angeles.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the recession has done lasting harm to household finances. He says regulators must protect consumers from confusing forms of credit.
"When complexity reaches the point of reducing transparency, it impedes competition and leads consumers to make poor choices. And in some cases, complexity simply searches to disguise practices that are unfair and deceptive." Bernanke was speaking in Washington today.
The Wall Street had a sixth straight week of gains. The Dow closed up five points.
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In Colorado, a powerful spring snow storm is forcing the closure of schools and businesses and causing problems for travellers. Up to three feet of snows predicted for parts of the state. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC reports from Denver.
The heavy and wet snow made for hazardous travel condition throughout the state. Several roads were closed, including the stretch of Interstate 25 north of Denver to Wyoming state line. In downtown Denver, snow flakes at the size of the golf balls could be seen at times. Kyle Fredin is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He says a late spring storm isn't unusual for this part of the country.
"It's pretty normal. April is real close to November for second. They got kind of go back and forth for second and third for the most snowiest month, eh, March is the snowiest."
The winter storm warning is in effect for most of Colorado through Saturday morning. But Coloradoans probably won't need their snow shovels for long. Temperatures are expected to quickly rebound into the 70s by Monday. For NPR News, I'm Kirk Siegler in Denver.
Spring flooding is causing more trouble for North Dakota. In Valley City along the swelling Sheyenne River, the mayor is urging people to leave the city after the city sewage system backed up flooding businesses and offices.
Officials in Oakland Park of Florida say the pilot of a small plane that crashed toward a house is dead. The plane went down shortly after take off, slicing through a house about two miles from an airport near Fort Lauderdale. Rick Cunningham witnessed the crash.
"I heard the spitting and sputtering, and when I turned around, I've seen this small engine plane coming in sideway."
Investigators are waiting for the wreckage to cool before beginning a search. An airport spokesman says the tower got a distress call before the plane went down. There's no word on whether anyone was in the house.
I'm Giles Snyder, this is NPR News from Washington.