News Wrap: Unemployment rate drops below 5 percent
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The Labor Department reported that U.S. workers saw their best pay raises in seven years last month in the final jobs report before the election. It found that, for the month of October, U.S. employers added a net of 161,000 jobs, rounding out what observers say are signs of a resilient economy. The unemployment rate improved by a tenth of a point, to 4.9 percent.
Guilty verdicts today in a scandal that shadowed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his failed run for president. A federal jury convicted his former aides Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni of shutting down parts of a major bridge in order to punish a political opponent. Afterward, both sides argued again over whether Christie himself should have been charged.
MICHAEL BALDASSARE, Attorney for Bill Baroni: One of the things the U.S. attorneys office should be ashamed of is where it decided to draw the line on who to charge. They should have had belief in their own case to charge powerful people, and they didn’t.
PAUL FISHMAN, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey: The evidence that we had that proved people beyond — guilty beyond a reasonable doubt was sufficient to indict and convict Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, and that’s the indictment we asked the grand jury to return.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In a statement, Christie said again he knew nothing about the bridge closures until after the fact. And he promised to speak out soon about what he called — quote — “the lies told by the media” and in the courtroom.
U.S. intelligence officials say they have picked up information that al-Qaida might stage attacks here on election eve. Reports today said that New York, Texas and Virginia were listed as possible targets. But officials warn, the information has not been corroborated.
Three U.S. military trainers in Jordan were killed today outside a military base. It happened near the southern city of Ma’an. The Americans were fired on as their car tried to enter the base. It is not clear what prompted the shooting. U.S. and Jordanian officials say they are investigating.
The political purge in Turkey took another sharp turn today: Police rounded up a dozen top Kurdish lawmakers as part of what they’re calling terror investigations. The arrests sparked protests from Istanbul to Ankara, and police used pepper spray and water cannons on the crowds. Supporters of the Kurdish lawmakers called the arrests political genocide.
ADEM GEVERI, Pro-Kurdish Lawmaker (through translator): These operations are politically designed by the state. As you know, the Parliament was bypassed after the coup attempt. And now the Parliament’s operations have been officially stopped in illegal and anti-democratic way. The government is trying to create an authoritarian Turkey.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Hours after the arrests, a car bomb killed nine people and wounded scores more in the city of Diyarbakir in the Kurdish southeast.
The Iraqi military launched a new assault into eastern Mosul today, touching off some of the fiercest fighting yet. Tanks blasted Islamic State positions, and special forces captured six districts. ISIS fought back with rockets, mortars and suicide car bombs.
In Indonesia, a mass protest by hard-line Muslims turned violent late today in Jakarta. At least one person died and seven were hurt. An estimated 150,000 people demanded the city’s Christian governor be arrested for allegedly insulting the Koran. As the day wore on, clashes broke out, and police fired tear gas and water cannons.
The besieged president of South Korea made an emotional apology today for an influence-peddling scandal. It stems from allegations that Park Geun-hye let a close confidante meddle in state affairs. On national television, Park called the scandal heartbreaking and said she accepts responsibility, while denying some of the allegations.
Park’s approval rating has fallen to 5 percent. She’s under mounting pressure to resign.
Back in this country, a federal jury today has found a “Rolling Stone” magazine story about a gang rape defamed an administrator at the University of Virginia. The story has since been discredited. The official sued the magazine, its publisher and the reporter. The jury now decides whether to award her $7.5 million in damages.
Harvard University has canceled the rest of its men’s soccer season over sexual comments about the women’s soccer team. An investigation found that members of the men’s squad routinely rated female players on appearance and made lewd comments. They called it the scouting report and put it online. Officials say it’s been going on since at least 2012.
Wall Street stumbled for a ninth day, its longest losing streak since 1980. Analysts cited jitters over Donald Trump’s economic policies, as he makes late gains in the presidential race. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 42 points to close at 17888. The Nasdaq fell 12, and the S&P 500 slipped one.
And Chicago turned out today to celebrate the Cubs’ first World Series since 1908. The Chicago River was dyed blue in their honor, and hundreds of thousands cheered the team. The players paraded from Wrigley Field to a rally downtown.