WASHINGTON (AP) — To a struggling White House, the economy that was supposed to be a political millstone is losing some drag.
An uptick in growth and a downturn in unemployment give the president a stronger story line going into the 2014 congressional election year. They also provide Democrats with a counterpoint to Republican attacks on Obama's health law.
The economy has pushed ahead despite a government shutdown, edge-of-the-cliff deals on the debt, and indiscriminate budget cuts that were supposed to hold back the recovery.
But Obama's fortunes have seesawed for months, marked by ups and downs on foreign and domestic policy.
Whether this economic trend accelerates remains to be seen.
President Ronald Reagan faced remarkably similar circumstances in 1986. Politically, it didn't turn out so well.
NEW YORK (AP) — At least a dozen good Samaritans in New York City have risked their own safety to save a stranger this year.
Personal trainer Dennis Codrington is one of them. He jumped down onto the subway tracks to save an unconscious man as the train barreled down in February. He says he was just doing what was right.
But psychologists say it takes a certain set of character traits to make someone leap down onto subway tracks, including altruism, courage, knowing the right thing and being reflexive about it, as well as the ability to inhibit fear that stops most people from getting involved.
Codrington doesn't know what happened to the man he saved, but he hopes he survived and is healthy.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Ambulance workers have found an 18-year-old man shot dead in East St. Louis, Illinois.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports Roman Brooks was found in snow and a pool of blood early Friday. East. St. Louis Assistant Police Chief Ronald Ike says the teen was found in front of a house.
Ike says police received a call before 5 a.m. from ambulance workers reporting that they found the teen.
Police say they have no suspects but are investigating with help from Illinois State Police.
It's the 20th homicide in East St. Louis this year.