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AP news in brief for Jan. 17

Poll finds Newtown tragedy tops 9/11

Americans were angrier about last month’s horrific school shooting in Connecticut than they were about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

And more favor stricter gun laws now than did shortly after the shooting deaths of 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in April 2007.

Three-quarters of Americans said they reacted to the Connecticut massacre with deep anger, higher than the 65 percent who said they felt that way in a poll from NORC at the University of Chicago after the 9/11 attacks.

About a third said that after Newtown, they felt there may be too many guns in this country. A similar share said they worried how the shooting would impact U.S. gun laws.

CEOs call for raising age of retirement

An influential group of business CEOs is pushing a plan to gradually increase the full retirement age to 70 for both Social Security and Medicare and to partially privatize the health insurance program for older Americans.

The Business Roundtable’s plan would protect those 55 and older from cuts but younger workers would face significant changes. The plan unveiled yesterday would result in smaller annual benefit increases for all Social Security recipients. Initial benefits for wealthy retirees would also be smaller.

Medicare recipients would be able to enroll in the traditional program or in private plans that could adjust premiums based on age and health status.

Jersey Shore town
to rebuild boardwalk

The boardwalk where generations of families and teens got their first taste of the Jersey Shore and where the MTV reality show of the same name was filmed is about to be rebuilt following its destruction in Superstorm Sandy.

Seaside Heights last night awarded a $3.6 million contract to have the boardwalk rebuilt in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The walkway, one of the most popular and heavily used at the Jersey Shore, was destroyed in the late October storm, the state’s worst natural disaster. Officials say it is the centerpiece of the borough’s tourism industry, which funds 75 percent of its budget.

“A lot of people love Seaside and want to see what’s happening this year,” Mayor William Akers said. “If they don’t come back, we don’t eat.”

The Associated Press

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