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News Wrap: Iran Announces Arrests in Nuclear Scientist’s Murder

December 2, 2010 at 3:57 PM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: First-time claims for jobless benefits ticked up last week. But the Labor Department reported today the four-week average was the lowest in two years. That raised hopes for tomorrow’s report on November unemployment.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 106 points to close at 11362. The Nasdaq rose nearly 30 points to close at 2579.

In Iran, the government announced a number of people have been arrested in the murder of a top nuclear scientist. Iranian authorities have said attackers on motorcycles stuck magnetized bombs on the cars of two scientists on Monday. One was killed, the other wounded. The regime has said the attacks were part of a campaign by Israel and Western countries to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

NATO has reported its first fatalities in Afghanistan this month. The alliance said two service members were killed today in the east and south. A third soldier died Wednesday in a roadside explosion in the east. There was no immediate word on their nationalities. Fifty-five NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan in November.

The founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks faced mounting legal pressure today. The high court in Sweden upheld an order to detain Julian Assange over allegations of rape and other sex crimes. He’s denied any wrongdoing. A worldwide search for Assange intensified, just days after WikiLeaks released 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

The U.S. lost out today in its bid to host the soccer World Cup. Soccer fans around the globe watched as the sport’s governing body, FIFA, made the announcement in Switzerland. Russia was selected to host the 2018 World Cup, heading off bids from several European countries. And the Persian Gulf oil state of Qatar beat out the U.S. and others for the 2022 tournament.

Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern nation to host the World Cup.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.