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News Wrap: Eurozone Reports Record High Unemployment

October 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT

KWAME HOLMAN: Wall Street’s return to business after its two-day shutdown from the storm amounted to a nearly flat day of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 10 points to close at 13,096. The Nasdaq fell more than 10 points s to close at 2,977.

Unemployment across the Eurozone reached a record high of 11.6 percent in September. That means nearly 18.5 million people are out of work. The official figures were announced today by the E.U.’s statistics office. Spain led the list with nearly 26 percent unemployment. Spain is one of five Eurozone nations already in recession, along with Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Cyprus.

On the presidential campaign trail today, Vice President Biden accused the Romney campaign of perpetuating a — quote — “outrageous lie” in ads on the Obama administration’s auto industry bailout. The ads assert General Motors and Chrysler are adding jobs in China at the expense of workers in Ohio. Both GM and Chrysler have protested. But the Romney campaign insists the facts in the ad — in the ads are accurate.

Syrian government forces stepped up widespread air assaults on opposition strongholds today, anti-government activists said, after a holiday cease-fire fell apart. Amateur video showed MiG fighter jets strike near a mosque on the outskirts of Damascus. Warplanes also pounded the north, in the towns — in towns including Deir el-Zour. Two days of bombing have left at least 185 people dead.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a shakeup of the Syrian opposition in its bid to oust President Assad. She said it should include people who’ve been fighting on the front lines, not just activists who’ve lived outside of Syria for decades.

In China, a government think tank urged leadership to end the country’s one-child policy. It recommends each family be allowed to have two children by 2015, and by 2020 all limits be dropped. The one-child policy was introduced in 1980 to help curb China’s population growth. But it’s been widely unpopular and led to imbalances both between boys and girls and the nation’s aging population and its labor force.

Letitia Baldrige, the author and etiquette maven, has died at a nursing home outside Washington. She had severe osteoarthritis and cardiac complications. Baldrige served as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s chief of staff, planning state dinners and social gatherings at the White House. Later, “TIME” magazine hailed her the arbiter of new American manners for defining etiquette for the workplace. Letitia Baldrige was 86 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.