News Roundup: September 29, 2011

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Welcome to the first News Roundup. These news briefs will become a regular element of our blog, keeping you up-to-date on stories you might have missed on the 2012 elections, progress the Obama administration is making, and important legislative issues.

In an online roundtable discussion at the White House, President Obama called on the Latino community to make their voices heard on issues such as immigration, education, and jobs. Currently Latinos vote at a rate about 10 percent lower than other populations, and the President said they can make their issues a higher priority by participating more in elections.

The chief revenue estimator in Texas said today that the state economy is slowing down, claiming that the growth that Texas saw earlier this year—which is promoted heavily by Gov. Rick Perry—will not continue. He said sales tax receipts in the state would have “a substantially lower growth rate” in the next few years.

Weekly applications for unemployment insurance dropped by 37,000 to 391,000, the lowest level since April of this year. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 417,000. In another good sign for the economy, there has been recent growth in business investment plans; companies are buying more machinery, computers, and communications equipment.

President Obama delivered his third annual back-to-school speech on Wednesday afternoon, calling on students to be determined, persevere, and “work as hard as [they] know how to work” in school because they are the next generation of American leaders. The President also praised the hard work of the nation’s educators, telling students how much effort their teachers put in on their behalf.

The White House has announced its largest tweetup yet for followers of the @whitehouse Twitter feed, which will take place on October 13 during the State Arrival of Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak. Registration is open until 5:00 p.m. ET on September 29 at the White House website—apply now.