George Bush Declines Barack Obama’s Ground Zero Invite; Hamas and Fatah Make Pact; U.S. Has ‘Moderate Job Growth’


• Barack Obama invited George W. Bush to join him in his Ground Zero visit tomorrow, but the former president reportedly declined. Obama plans to meet with families of 9/11 victims on Thursday — some family members have gotten email invitations regarding the visit. The White House has not released the schedule for the day. Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday that Obama will also visit Ground Zero on the anniversary of 9/11. [NYP]

Time found some of the second-grade kids who were being read to by Bush (from the book The Pet Goat) when the 9/11 attacks occurred. They’re 16 now. [Time]

• Hamas and Fatah, rival Palestinian factions, have announced a pact to end their four-year rift. This agreement “provides for the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government ahead of national elections next year but leaves key issues unresolved, such as who will control the Palestinian security forces, and makes no mention of relations with Israel.” [NYT]

• The U.S. experienced “modest job growth” in April: Private-sector jobs rose by 179,000. [WSJ]

• New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board, which met last night, “preliminarily” approved rent hikes of between 3 and 5.75 percent for one-year leases and between 6 and 9 percent for two-year leases. [NBC NY]

• It seems the hawk eggs outside of NYU’s Bobst Library will not be hatching. Sadface. [NYT]

• Staten Islander and winner of the $72 million Mega Millions jackpot, a 69-year-old city bus driver named John Gillen, says “When God decides it’s your turn, that’s when it will happen.” [SILive]