As we've just reported, there's some fresh economic data to ponder this morning:
-- The number of people filing claims for unemployment insurance benefits has dipped for the third time in four weeks.
-- But the number of home foreclosure filings hit a new high in August according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.
As for other stories making headlines, they include:
-- Morning Editon -- Mideast Peace: Much Activity, No Visible Progress. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from Jerusalem that there's been a lot of diplomacy. But progress remains slow and difficult to see.
Michele Kelemen on 'Morning Edition'
-- Politico -- "Tea Party Gains Clout For 2012": "No GOP presidential hopeful in 2012 can expect to pass go without bowing to the Tea Party activists and other aggrieved conservatives who in this year’s primary season repeatedly showed their ability to reward Republicans they like, and severely punish those they don’t. The opening phase of the Republican nominating contest is likely mainly to be a sprint by candidates to prove who can be the most zealously supportive of the tea party’s ideological goals and preference for ostentatiously combative candidates."
Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Pope Benedict XVI in Edinburgh, Scotland, today.
-- Associated Press -- "Pope Admits Abuse-Scandal Failures During U.K. Visit": "Pope Benedict XVI, beginning a controversial state visit to Britain, acknowledged Thursday that the Catholic Church failed to act decisively or quickly enough to deal with priests who rape and molest children and said the church's top priority now was to help the victims. The pope's comments to reporters traveling with him from Rome marked his most thorough admission to date of church failures to deal with the sex abuse scandal. The issue has reignited with the recent revelations in Belgium of hundreds of new victims, at least 13 of whom committed suicide."
-- Morning Edition -- "Record Increase Expected For Poverty Figures": "The Census Bureau releases its annual poverty statistics for the United States Thursday. Given the poor economy, experts predict the news will not be good. Officials cite the bad economy and the high unemployment rate as the main culprits."
Related post at Planet Money: "Income Was Stagnant Way Before The Recession Started."