In our news wrap Friday, as much as 6 inches of snow fell from Texas to Georgia. Thousands lost power, flights were cancelled and traffic slowed to a crawl in many places. Also, the U.S. economy had a strong November with a net gain of 228,000 new jobs.
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In the day's other news: Far from the California fires, the Deep South struggled with snow. As much as six inches fell from Texas to Georgia in a region unaccustomed to seeing the white stuff, even in the depths of winter. Thousands lost power, flights were canceled and traffic slowed to a crawl in many places.
The U.S. economy had a strong November, with a net gain of 228,000 new jobs. The numbers, released today by the Labor Department, mark 86 consecutive months, or more than seven years of improvement. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent. That's the lowest in 17 years.
Still, wage gains have not kept pace. Average earnings were up just 2.5 percent in November.
To Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Islamist rebels killed 14 United Nations peacekeepers overnight, and wounded more than 50. It was the worst such attack in recent history. The rebels struck in an eastern province, where militias have battled for control of mineral riches for nearly a decade.
I condemn this attack unequivocally, and these deliberate attacks against U.N. peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime.
I call on the DRC authorities to investigate these incidents and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. There must be no impunity for such assaults here or anywhere else.
Most of the peacekeepers were from Tanzania. Two are still missing.
Britain and the European Union say they have made a breakthrough in talks on Brexit, Britain's departure from the E.U. It deals with Britain's financial obligations and the rights of each side's citizens, among other issues.
In Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May said the agreement sets the stage for talks on trade and post-Brexit relations.
Prime Minister Theresa May:
Getting to this point has required give and take on both sides, and I believe that the joint report being published is in the best interest of the whole of the U.K. I very much welcome the prospect of moving ahead to the next phase.
The initial agreement also calls for the border between the Republic of Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland to remain open. That had been a key sticking point.
Back in this country, Republican Representative Trent Franks resigned from Congress today, in the face of sexual harassment allegations. He had originally set the date for next month. A former aide says that the Arizona congressman pressed her to be a surrogate mother so that his family could have another child, and offered her up to $5 million.
Meanwhile, Texas Republican Blake Farenthold now faces a House ethics investigation over harassment allegations.
The Ethics Committee has cleared Congressman Devin Nunes of leaking classified information. That means the California Republican and Trump ally can resume chairing the House Intelligence Committee. If so, he would again be running a probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The Trump administration has killed a proposal to make airlines declare all baggage fees at the start of a ticket purchase. Now that information is usually disclosed much later in the process. The U.S.Department of Transportation says the change proposed by the Obama administration would be — quote — "of limited public benefit."
And on Wall Street, the jobs report and the Brexit news gave stocks a boost. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 117 points to close at 24,329. The Nasdaq rose 27 points, and the S&P 500 added 14. For the week, the Dow and the S&P gained a fraction of a percent. The Nasdaq dropped a fraction.