Before foreign ministers gathered in Geneva, the prospect for progress on reducing tensions appeared to be be slim. But afterward, Secretary of State John Kerry said differences had been narrowed.
The 304,000 applications filed last week means they were close to the lowest level since May 2007. Analysts say the news is another sign that the economy continues to grow.
It was one spy speaking to another, as Putin put it, when "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden asked the Russian leader on national TV whether his nation has a program like the U.S. National Security Agency's.