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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is promoting his second-term agenda to House Democrats, eager to keep them unified as a bulwark against a Republican majority on issues as diverse as the economy, immigration and guns. Obama was meeting with Democratic lawmakers Thursday during their retreat in Lansdowne, Va., a day after he held a closed-door session with Senate Democrats at their off-campus conference in Annapolis, Md.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Discount retailer Target Corp. said Thursday that a key revenue measure rose 3.1 percent in January as shoppers bought holiday clearance merchandise. The gain topped Wall Street expectations, and Target shares edged up 31 cents to $63 in premarket trading. Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, said its customers "continue to shop with discipline in the face of a slow economic recovery and new pressures, including recent payroll tax increases."
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. worker productivity shrank in the final three months of 2012 although the decline was caused by temporary factors. The Labor Department says productivity contracted at an annual rate of 2 percent in the October-December quarter, the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2011. Productivity had risen at 3.2 percent rate in the July-September quarter. Labor costs rose at a 4.5 percent rate in the fourth quarter, the fastest gain since the first quarter of 2012.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, indicating companies continue to hire at a modest but steady pace. The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 350,500, the lowest in nearly five years. The average is low because of seasonal factors, which reduced applications sharply last month.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Green hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 28 points to help the San Antonio Spurs to their 11th straight win, 104-94 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Tony Parker had 31 points and eight assists and Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who kept right on rolling without injured stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Gary Harris scored 15 points and Keith Appling added 14 points before leaving the game with an injury to help No. 12 Michigan State bounce back from a poor first half to beat No. 18 Minnesota 61-50 Wednesday night. Appling left the court with 1:17 left, holding his right shoulder after getting tied up with Joe Coleman. He returned to the bench in the final minute.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton said he’ll use his State of the State address to explain and defend his budget proposal. Dayton said his speech will clarify misconceptions about the tax proposals in his budget, which he unveiled last month. He’s due to give his third annual address before the Legislature at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Earth-like worlds may be closer and more plentiful than anyone imagined. Astronomers reported Wednesday that the nearest Earth-like planet may be just 13 light-years away - or some 77 trillion miles. That planet hasn't been found yet, but should be there based on the team's study of red dwarf stars. Galactically speaking, that's right next door.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- With a big to-do list at the start of his second term, President Barack Obama is trying to sell Democrats on his strategy for tackling immigration, gun control and a host of fiscal dilemmas. Obama met behind closed doors Wednesday with lawmakers from his own party at the Senate Democrats' annual retreat at a hotel in Annapolis, Md. House Democrats will hear from Obama at their annual retreat Thursday in Leesburg, Va.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota canceled the state’s 2013 and future moose hunting seasons Wednesday, citing a “precipitous” decline in the moose population. By Steve Karnowski Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota canceled the state’s 2013 and future moose hunting seasons Wednesday, citing a “precipitous” decline in the moose population.