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-Unemployment claims were up 4,000 last week. Over the last four weeks, the rise has been 3,750, bringing the total to 368,000. When that total number stays below 375,000, the amount of hiring will lower the unemployment rate. The very slight improvement in the job situation coupled with rising home building, home prices, and increased production from factories shows the economy is making slow steps towards recovery.

-Here are a few of the side effects of the worst U.S. drought in decades:

  • Corn and soybean prices are already increasing after analysts and investors got a good look at the crops. We should expect food prices to increase in the coming months.
  • Wine from the Midwest might taste better now, but there will be less of it and the vines will have issues in upcoming seasons.
  • There’s less boating and shipping on the nation’s rivers and in lakes. Shipping costs are going up.
  • We have to choose between food and fuel. There is a debate now about using corn for ethanol versus livestock.
  • It’s easier to catch people who are growing marijuana.

-There’s going to be a huge concert in New York’s Central Park on September 29 to pressure world leaders attending the United Nations meeting to commit an additional $500 million to fight poverty around the world. K’Naan, the Black Keys and the Foo Fighters are among the performers. Global Festival 2012 has been organized by the Global Poverty Project. To get two of the 54,000 free tickets to the concert, click here and take digital action for the cause.

-There have been a number of reported and suspected skin infections across the country stemming from tattoo ink. Rochester, N.Y. has seen the largest outbreak, with 19 infections. The contaminated ink has been recalled, and there are links to common bacteria in tap water. It’s estimated that one in five adults has a tattoo.

-Clutch asks whether black women should care about Pu**y Riot. We say everyone should care, but take a look and come to your own conclusions.

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