News in Brief: Obama’s Approval Rating Increases After Bin Laden’s Death, and More

Obama's Approval Rating Increases After Bin Laden's Death

President Obama's approval rating has shot up since the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to The New York Times poll. A surge of national pride increased support for the president among Republicans and independents. In the poll, 56 percent of Americans said they approved of the president's job performance. Last month, 46 percent approved. More than 60 percent of Americans, however, said the killing of Bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism on American soil, and a majority of Americans said the assassination did not make them feel safer.

Suicide Bomber Kills 20 Police in Iraq

A suicide bomber crashed a bomb-filled vehicle into the barrier outside a police station in central Iraq on Thursday morning, killing 20 police officers and wounding many more, according to NPR. The attack is the second in Iraq since US commandos killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Monday. Iraqis remain fearful that the al-Qaeda branch in their country could orchestrate attacks to show their strength after losing a long-time leader.

GM Reports Highest Profits in Years

General Motors (GM) posted $3.2 billion in profits for the first quarter today, the highest quarterly earnings the company has seen in more than a decade, according to The Associated Press. GM has reported profits for five consecutive quarters. The company has seen a 25 percent increase in US sales during the past four months.

White House Criticizes Two GOP Offshore Drilling Bills

The White House opposes a pair of GOP oil drilling bills in the House that it claims would “undercut” safety and environmental reforms made since the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to The Hill. In a statement, the Obama administration stopped short of saying the president would veto the bills. The House is scheduled to vote on a bill today that would set a deadline for selling offshore drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, and the other bill would set a 30-day deadline for the Interior Department to act on permit requests from the oil industry.

Unemployment Claims Hit Eight-Month High

The number of Americans filing state unemployment claims rose to an eight-month high last week, according to Reuters. The number of initial unemployment claims rose 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000, the highest since mid-August 2010.