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NATION



Published: Mon, February 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

Beware of fund-raisersfor shuttle families

NEW YORK -- After every major accident or natural disaster, Americans tend to collect money and other aid for the affected. It's a response crooks count on -- and the Better Business Bureau is warning the space shuttle catastrophe is no different.

Charity auctions and at least one Web site purporting to be for helping shuttle family members have been reported. The BBB offers these tips:

UBe wary of appeals long on emotion, but short on specifics about how the charity will address victims' needs.

UDo not give cash.

U Be alert for excessive pressure for immediate donations, and any request to send someone to collect your contribution.

U Do not offer a credit card number or other personal information to a telephone solicitor or in response to an e-mail solicitation.

UBe wary of charities reluctant to discuss reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs.

Majority of joblessare single, report says

NEW YORK -- One little factoid you don't often hear about in the government's monthly unemployment rolls -- marital status.

It turns out that in the current economic downturn, about 62 percent of the roughly 1.85 million Americans who have been unemployed more than six months are single, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & amp; Christmas Inc., based on a review of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Chicago-based firm theorizes that a surge in the number of single mothers and widowed seniors entering the work market since the last recession 11 years ago is responsible for the rise in unemployed singles.

Other factors: companies looking for more experienced workers, who tend to be older and married; continued hiring discrimination against gays and lesbians; and companies seeking those with more specialized skills, which come with age.

Associated Press




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