This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Today, new evidence that the pace of job growth is picking up. The government's employment report for December showed 200,000 jobs added to payrolls. The unemployment rate continued its downward trend falling to 8.5 percent.
And while that may be welcome news, as NPR's John Ydstie explains, the December report could be overstating job growth.
Moroccan rapper Mouad Belrhouat — commonly known as "El-Haqed," or "the sullen one" (shown here on an album cover) — has been jailed for four months and is awaiting trial in Casablanca. His supporters say his case shows the limits of recent, post-Arab Spring political reforms.
Credit Abdelhak Senna / AFP/Getty Images
Young protesters in Rabat, Morrocco, demand political and social changes along with Belrhouat's release, Sept. 11, 2011,
Morocco has been called one of the winners of the Arab Spring. The country's young king, Mohammed VI, offered a new constitution and early elections, taking the steam out of the February 20th protest movement.
But the arrest and trial of an artist who writes provocative rap songs shows that the reforms have a long way to go.
The rap songs of 24-year-old Moaud Belrhouat are popular in Morocco, even more so after the four months he has spent in jail.
We thought the World Wide Web was supposed to make information fly.
But now we have to question that notion.
It's taken a year and a half for us to hear that Pepsi is defending itself against a lawsuit claiming that a mouse was found in a can of Mountain Dew by saying that the furry little creature couldn't have been there because:
Open any children's book with a scene set downtown and you'll see a picture of basically the same row of shops. There's a bookstore, a pharmacy, a florist, a post office and a bank, and maybe a bakery where the kids can hope for a free cookie.
Nearly all those businesses are under threat from the Internet.