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Other News: Wall Street Rallies on Jobs Report

May 8, 2009 at 10:55 PM EST
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In other news, the markets rallied on the new jobs report released by the Labor Department and wildfires drove more than 20,000 people from their homes near Santa Barbara, California.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In other news today, Wall Street rallied on the jobs report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 164 points to close at 8,574. The Nasdaq rose more than 22 points to close at 1,739. For the week, the Dow gained more than 4 percent; the Nasdaq rose 1 percent.

Losses are still mounting at two corporate giants. Fannie Mae, the mortgage finance company, ran $23 billion in the red in the first quarter. It’s asking for another $19 billion in federal aid. And Toyota reported its worst annual loss since starting business in 1937, more than $4 billion.

A wind-blown wildfire drove to the very edge of Santa Barbara, California today. Dozens of homes lay in jeopardy on top of 75 already damaged or destroyed over three days. And more than 30,000 people were ordered out, as the fire exploded overnight, fueled by dry weather and gusty winds.

Flames hop-scotched through neighborhoods, jumping roads and even a highway to ignite thick brush; 2,500 firefighters fought to protect the coastal city.

ANDREW DIMIZIO, Santa Barbara City Fire Chief: In my short appointment as fire chief, I never thought I’d use these cliche-type words, but literally last night all hell broke loose. We saw the fire spread laterally across the top of the city and the fire front extend to almost five miles now.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The fire crews faced another long night with forecasts that late-day winds could reach 65 miles an hour.

The swine flu outbreak in the U.S. has jumped to more than 1,600 cases. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta reported the infection has spread to 43 states. Here in Washington, President Obama cautioned the country is “not out of the woods yet.”

And in Mexico, officials reported the death toll from the outbreak has risen again, to 45.

In western Afghanistan, the U.S. military rejected claims that nearly 150 civilians died in a disputed U.S. bombing raid this week. A military official called the figures, quote, “extremely over-exaggerated.” The statement came as amateur video, obtained by Associated Press Television News, showed villagers in Farah province wrapping remains in blankets. The attack remained under investigation.

In the south, four NATO soldiers and 21 Afghan civilians died in fighting since yesterday.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the Middle East today on his first trip there since becoming pontiff. He touched down in Amman, Jordan, greeted by ceremonial cannon fire and Jordan’s King Abdullah. He said he came to show “deep respect” for the Muslim community.

The Obama Interior Department will stick with a rule that limits protection for polar bears from global warming. The Bush administration had declared the polar bear “threatened” due to melting sea ice, but it ruled against using the Endangered Species Act to curb greenhouse gases. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today that a broad cap on those gases should be used to combat climate change, not that particular act.