[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/07/art.ryder.jpg caption=" Join the conversation on Jack's blog."]
As millions of Americans pound the pavement looking for work, turns out they may have better luck finding a job in certain parts of the country than others.
No doubt the national unemployment situation remains bleak - with more than five million people losing their jobs since the beginning of 2008. Last month the unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent, the highest in 25 years.
But the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that some places are faring better when it comes to jobs. A study of 372 metropolitan regions shows that 20 areas had unemployment rates below five percent in February: including Ames, Iowa; Manhattan, Kansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Lubbock, Texas and Lafayette Louisiana.
To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.palin1.cnn.jpg caption="Palin has requested stimulus funds for an Alaskan launch facility."](CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s office reacted Monday to North Korea’s rocket test with a statement that “reaffirmed Alaska’s commitment to protecting America from rogue nation missile attacks.”
Palin herself criticized proposed Obama administration cuts proposed to missile defense programs. “I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead,” she said in the statement. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska’s strategic location and the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation....
Michelle and Barack Obama become the third U.S. presidential spouse with a lifelike wax figure on display at Madame Tussauds.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama joins an elite group Tuesday.
She is to become the third U.S. presidential spouse with a lifelike wax figure on display at Madame Tussauds, a museum and tourist attraction.
Figures of Jacqueline Kennedy and Hillary Clinton stand in the museum alongside lookalikes of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr. as well as Angelina Jolie and Will Smith.
Madame Tussauds touts its new addition as an "incredibly lifelike" figure in a sleeveless red dress based on the purple dress she wore when her husband claimed the Democratic nomination for president.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - The trial to resolve Minnesota's disputed U.S. Senate race may soon be over - but get ready for appeals, say attorneys involved in the case.
The three judge panel on Tuesday is reviewing and potentially counting nearly 400 absentee ballots that they decided last week should be added to the tally.
In the end, it could be disappointing news for former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, who had originally asked for 1,300 ballots to be added. Now Coleman - who brought forth the trial after Democratic challenger Al Franken came out ahead in the statewide recount by a mere 225 votes out of 3 million - will have a much smaller pool of votes to work with to overturn Franken's lead.
Even if the counting wraps up by the end of the day, there has been no indication by the judges when a final ruling in the case could come.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A federal judge ordered the conviction of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens set aside Tuesday.
He also initiated criminal contempt proceedings against the government lawyers who prosecuted Stevens. He appointed an independent, non-government attorney to investigate the matter.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/07/art.douglas.gi.jpg caption="Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas had vetoed a bill to allow same-sex marriage in his state."](CNN) - Vermont's House and Senate voted Tuesday to override the governor's veto of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
The Senate voted 23-5 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, according to the Senate office. Shortly afterward, the House overrode the veto on a 100-49 vote. The votes surpassed the number needed - two-thirds of those present - to override the veto.
The action makes Vermont the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriages. The others are Massachusetts, Connecticut and, as of last week, Iowa.
Douglas vetoed the bill on Monday. "Vermont's civil union law has afforded the same state rights, responsibilities and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples," the governor wrote in a letter to David Gibson, secretary of the Senate. "Our civil union law serves Vermont well and I would support congressional action to extend those benefits at the federal level to states that recognize same sex unions. But I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/07/art.getty.obama.2.26.jpg caption=Turkish authorities have released a Syrian man who was arrested last week in connection with an alleged plan to kill President Barack Obama."]ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) - Turkish authorities have released a Syrian man who was arrested last week in connection with an alleged plan to kill President Barack Obama, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
The official said that while U.S. authorities take all threats seriously, they do not believe the president's life was ever in serious danger.
Details concerning the man's release were not immediately available.
The alleged plot was first reported by the Saudi Arabian newspaper al-Watan, which revealed that Turkish security services arrested a man of Syrian origins Friday in connection with a plan to kill Obama during his visit to Turkey. Obama was in Strasbourg, France, on Friday for a NATO Summit and did not arrive in Turkey for the final leg of his trip until Sunday.
(CNN) - As President Obama makes an unannounced stop in Iraq, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support the president's plan to remove the majority of U.S. troops from the country by August of next year.
Just under 70 percent of Americans approve of Obama's plan to remove most troops in Iraq by next August while keeping 35,000-50,000 troops there past that date. Thirty percent of Americans oppose that plan.
Of the 30 percent who oppose the plan, 19 percent want all troops removed as soon as possible while 11 percent say all troops should stay indefinitely.
The new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also showed 63 percent of Americans oppose the War in Iraq while 35 percent approve.
The poll, conducted between April 3-5, interviewed 1,023 adult Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus three points.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/07/art.iraq.gi.jpg caption="Obama has made an unscheduled stop in Iraq."](CNN) - President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Iraq Tuesday, according to a journalist traveling with him.
Air Force One landed in the capital city of Baghdad.
During the campaign season, Obama visited Iraq on a multi-stop overseas trip. That trip also included stops in Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
Obama's surprise stop in Iraq came at the conclusion of his first overseas trip as president.
Turkey was the last scheduled stop on the president's tour abroad. There, he held a joint news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and addressed the Turkish parliament. Obama's trip to Turkey was his first presidential visit to a Muslim country.
Listen: CNN Radio reveals what Americans think of the president's overseas trip
Obama arrived in Europe last week for a series of summits.
He first met with world leaders at the G-20 summit in London to discuss the global financial crisis.
At the NATO summit in France and Germany, the president was hoping to get a boost in resources for the war in Afghanistan. He did get allies to pledge about 5,000 troops, but in the form of police and security trainers - not combat troops.