This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We begin this hour with more positive signs about the nation's economy. The Labor Department this morning said the U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly six years last month, and employers added some 288,000 jobs to their payrolls. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.
Sunni militants claimed vast swaths of Iraq last month, thanks largely to the collapse of the Iraqi army.
But three weeks later, the army has been able to win back some territory. The gains come after a call to arms by Shiite religious leaders in the holy city of Najaf, where deep emotion and symbolism are inspiring Shiite volunteers.
Najaf is home to the ancient Valley of Peace cemetery, which seems crowded. Miles of desert stretch under blistering sun, the gilded domes of mausoleums pressed up against the dusty headstones of the ordinary dead.
Now let's get one more perspective on a deeply polarized debate, a debate set off by this week's Supreme Court ruling in a case brought by the craft store chain Hobby Lobby. The court found that some business owners with religious objections to contraceptives cannot be required to provide them to their employees with their health insurance plans. But does that ruling end there? Our Steve Inskeep digs deeper into what's fueling this debate.
And our Last Word In Business today is, if they won.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RULE, BRITANNIA!")
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Imagine an America where trucks are called lorries, garbage cans are bins.
GREENE: Taxicabs are black, elevators are lifts, and English muffins are, well, just muffins.
MONTAGNE: That's the idea behind, If We Won. It's a cheeky, new advertising campaign from Newcastle Brown Ale. It envisions what the United States would be like if Britain had won the Revolutionary War.