Post It Notes: Hottest Headlines on 2/27
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Those “Nutrition Facts” labels that are plastered on nearly every food package found in grocery stores are getting a new look. Calories would be in larger, bolder type, and consumers for the first time would know whether foods have added sugars under label changes being proposed by the Obama administration. Serving sizes would be updated to make them more realistic. A serving of ice cream, for example, would double to a full cup, closer to what people actually eat.
The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 14,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, though the broader trend in applications remained stable. But the four-week average was unchanged at 338,250, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs. The average is not far above pre-recession levels, a sign companies are laying off few workers.
President Barack Obama on Thursday launched his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, urging stronger efforts to create more opportunities for young minority men and to improve conditions that keep them impoverished and imprisoned in disproportionate numbers. Obama said these young men consistently do worse in society, with odds stacked against them. “By almost every measure the group that’s facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color,” Obama said, ticking off statistics on fatherhood, literacy, crime and poverty.
Calling Pharrell’s current state “happy” might be an understatement. The producer-rapper-singer’s tune “Happy” is nominated for best original song at Sunday’s Oscars. Days ahead, the upbeat anthem has climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Pharrell says in an interview Wednesday he’s “ever so grateful” and “it’s pretty crazy.”
In an interview with People magazine, former Food Network star Paula Deen compared herself to Missouri’s All-America defensive end Michael Sam, who recently came out as gay. She said: “I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out … He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.” No, Paula, just no.
The president is scheduled to speak at an event commemorating that 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Acts. The event will take place April 8-10 and is sponsored by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law in 1964.
Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 MLB Beacon Awards Luncheon on May 30 in Houston, Texas before the annual Civil Rights game. This year’s game takes place between the Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles. Prolific writer Maya Angelou, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy and football star Jim Brown will be honored.