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News Wrap: Economy Added 175,000 Jobs in May, but Unemployment Grew

June 7, 2013 at 12:00 AM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: More people went out looking for jobs last month, and more people found them. The Labor Department reported the May numbers today. It said unemployment rose a tenth of a point to 7.6 percent, as the ranks of job seekers grew. The economy actually added 175,000 jobs, about what was expected.

Wall Street moved sharply higher on the jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 207 points to close at 15,248. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to close at 3,469. For the week, the Dow gained nearly one percent; the Nasdaq rose four-tenths-of-a-percent.

Gunfire broke out today near a college in Santa Monica, Calif. Police said a man began firing at vehicles from a street corner. They said at least one person was killed and several wounded. One suspect was in custody. At the time of the shooting, President Obama was attending a fundraising luncheon about three miles away.

The president also was opening two days of talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Cyber-security figured high on the agenda. The U.S. has publicly accused China of hacking into American business and defense systems. China denies it. President Xi arrived yesterday with his wife at Ontario International Airport outside Los Angeles. They were greeted by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The FBI arrested an East Texas woman today for allegedly sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A third letter went to Bloomberg’s group that lobbies for gun control. The woman was identified as Sharon Guess Richardson of New Boston. The FBI said she initially claimed her husband sent the letters.

The U.S. Senate formally opened debate today on a bill to overhaul the country’s immigration system.

Ray Suarez has our report.

RAY SUAREZ: Prospects for immigration reform have been clouded for years, but Senate supporters expressed hopes today they can break through.

MAN: The majority leader.

RAY SUAREZ: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talked optimistically of passing the first overhaul of immigration laws since 1986.

SEN. HARRY REID, D-Nev.: Our system is broken. It needs to be fixed. It is gratifying to see the momentum behind this package of commonsense reforms.

RAY SUAREZ: Similar efforts died in 2006 and 2007, and opponents, including Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, argued this bill is no better, because it means amnesty first, before border security.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-Ala.: The legislation basically says, everybody here is given legal status and put on a guaranteed path to citizenship. Just don’t get convicted of a felony.

RAY SUAREZ: The Senate bill worked up by eight senators from both parties would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented people in a process that would take 13 years. Applicants would have to pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and pass a criminal background check, among other things.

But, first, backers need 60 votes to clear a procedural hurdle and move forward to weeks of debate and final action.

Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont urged senators today to let the process play out.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, D-Vt.: We represent over 300 million Americans. They’re counting on us not to use stalling tactics, but to stand up, vote for or vote against.

RAY SUAREZ: Hoping to muster those 60 votes, Majority Leader Reid pledged to allow as many amendments as possible, with a deadline of July 4 to finish work.

Utah Republican Mike Lee dismissed that offer.

SEN. MIKE LEE, R-Utah: There is no series of tinkering changes that will turn this mess of a bill into the reform the country needs and that Americans deserve.

RAY SUAREZ: Meanwhile, in the House, bipartisan talks are ongoing, but Republican Raul Labrador of Idaho pulled out this week over objections related to immigrant health care. And, yesterday, the chamber voted along party lines to block funding for a 2012 presidential order that delays deportations of young undocumented immigrants.

KWAME HOLMAN: Michigan Congressman John Dingell now is the longest serving member of Congress ever. After 57 years in office, he passed the late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd today. The veteran Democrat is 86, and was first elected in 1955. He supported landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s and also played a key role in creating the Medicare program.

Tropical Storm Andrea lost some of its punch today as it blew across Georgia and the Carolinas. Sustained winds dropped to 45 miles an hour, but the storm still was strong enough to whip up heavy surf. It also was dumping as much as six inches of rain as it passed. Andrea made landfall yesterday on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

The gray wolf may lose most of its remaining wildlife protections against hunting and trapping in the Lower 48 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the move today, over the objection of environmental groups. The wolves were placed on the endangered species list in 1974. There are now more than 6,100 across 10 states.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Jeff.