From Reuters.com

Graphic: U.S. Unemployment

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Unemployment Rate by State

Peering into the future

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Talk show host Tyra Banks gives a crystal ball to Barack Obama.  REUTERS/Jason Kempin/Warner Bros/Handout

Part of our mission at Reuters.com is to help our readers anticipate what’s around the corner. We do that through expert analysis of complex stories, factboxes laying out possible scenarios for milestone events and insight from columnists such as James Saft.

Now we’re trying out a new tool to help our readers figure out what’s next, and have some fun along the way. It’s a tie-up between our Reuters Lab team and Hubdub, a news prediction site where users compete at predicting the outcomes of   news stories. Hubdub is an example of a news prediction market that quotes prices for the likelihood of an event occurring. You’ll find some links to the theory behind such markets on the Hubdub FAQ . We’re not making any claims for the accuracy of these markets, but we think our readers will find Hubdub an interesting way to participate in the analysis of news events.

Recession? Place your bets

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Surprisingly dismal data on U.S. employment for August has heightened fears of a full-blown recession. To date, the economy has not met the popular definition of recession, two back-to-back quarters of declining GDP. Whether it will meet a more-nuanced definition employed by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the accepted recession arbiter, remains to be seen. What do you think? Place your bet via the Reuters page on Hubdub.com, a news prediction game. The odds shown on the live graph below fluctuate to reflect bets by the Hubdub community. You can let us know what you think of this feature in the comments below. Will the National Bureau of Economic Research announce in 2008 that the U.S. is in recession?

Inside the Tent: Frist on the “One” campaign

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It’s not all pomp, parties and politics in St. Paul this week. Former senator Bill Frist talks about the One campaigns’ efforts to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. This video was shot by Inside the Tent contributor Josh Ruxin, a guest speaker at the Republican National Convention.

Inside the Tent has more than 40 delegates and other attendees in Denver and St. Paul, equipped with video cameras to capture the conventions from the ground up. Ruxin is not a Reuters employee and any opinions expressed are his own.

Inside the Tent: Is North Carolina in play?

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No way, says North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.  “But I understand why (Democrats) say it’s in play,” he tells Inside the Tent contributor John Steward. “If you eliminate Virginia and North Carolina, it’s hard for Barack Obama to get to 270 (electoral votes).”

Inside the Tent has more than 40 delegates and other attendees in Denver and St. Paul, equipped with video cameras to capture the conventions from the ground up. Steward is not a Reuters employee and any opinions expressed are his own.

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