U.S. jobless rate falls to 7.5%; Dow hits record high

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy showed in April that it's healthier than many had feared, adding a solid 165,000 jobs and driving the unemployment rate down a notch to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

Not only that, but many more people were hired in February and March than previously thought, the Labor Department said yesterday.

The stock market soared on the news. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 142 points, or nearly 1 percent, after briefly breaking 15,000 for the first time in history.

Obama to Latinos: 'A new Mexico is emerging'

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - President Obama yesterday cast Mexico as a nation ready to take "its rightful place in the world" and move past the drug battles and violence that have defined its relationship with the U.S. He then headed to Costa Rica to prod Central American leaders to tackle those same issues.

Obama's three-day visit to Mexico and Costa Rica is his first to Latin America since winning a second presidential term in an election in which he gained the support of Hispanic Americans by a large margin.

"A new Mexico is emerging," Obama told the crowd during a speech at Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology. "Mexico is also taking its rightful place in the world, on the world stage."

We're in 'culture war,' incoming NRA chief warns

HOUSTON - The National Rifle Association kicked off its annual convention yesterday with a warning to its members that they are engaged in a "culture war" that stretches beyond gun rights.

NRA First Vice President James Porter, who will assume the organization's presidency Monday, issued a full-throated challenge to President Obama and called on members to dig in for a long fight that will stretch into the 2014 elections.

More than 70,000 NRA members are expected to attend the three-day convention amid the backdrop of the national debate over gun control and the defeat of a U.S. Senate bill introduced after December's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

- Associated Press