In our news wrap Friday, the U.S. economy rebounded in October after hurricanes pounded the South in September. The Labor Department reports U.S. employers added a net of 261,000 jobs to the economy and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest in nearly 17 years. Also, President Trump embarked on a 10-day trip to Asia, with concerns about North Korea at the top of his agenda.
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In the day’s other news: The U.S. economy rebounded in October from hurricanes that pounded the South the month before.
The Labor Department reports that U.S. employers added a net of 261,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, the lowest in nearly 17 years. That jobless decline was due mostly to people who stopped looking for work.
President Trump is spending tonight in Honolulu, as he embarks on a 10-day trip to Asia. He left Washington this morning and flew first to Hawaii. From there, he heads to Japan, South Korea and China, with North Korea expected to top the agenda. The North today condemned the latest U.S. B-1 bomber flight over South Korea. State media called it — quote — “a surprise nuclear strike drill.”
As he left today, the president criticized the Justice Department for not investigating Hillary Clinton and Democratic fund-raising last year. He cited an allegation by former Democratic leader Donna Brazile that the election-year primaries were rigged in favor of Clinton.
Mr. Trump tweeted that — quote — “It’s the real story on collusion,” and he followed up outside the White House.
President Donald Trump:
I’m really not involved with the Justice Department. I’d like to let it run itself. But, honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. They should be looking at a lot of things.
And lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.
And the president wouldn’t rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he fails to investigate Clinton.
For the first time, the U.S. military has carried out airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Somalia. Officials say two drone attacks killed several terrorists today. ISIS is a growing danger in Somalia, where a separate group, Al-Shabaab, has long been the lead threat.
Separately, ISIS forces were ousted today from two of their last major holdings in Iraq and Syria. Government troops in Syria retook Deir el-Zour, capital of an oil-rich eastern province. And, in Iraq, security forces and Shiite militias entered Qaim along the Syrian border. ISIS has now lost 96 percent of the territory that it once controlled.
The United Nations urgently appealed to Australia today to take in some 600 asylum seekers stranded at a camp in Papua New Guinea. Food, water and health care were cut off three days ago, when a court ordered the camp to close. But the detainees refused to leave, saying locals would attack them.
A U.N. spokesman warned today the situation is unsustainable.
We are trying to urge Australia again and again take up its obligation and its responsibility. This humanitarian emergency should be dealt in a humane way, based on compassion and international laws.
Australia has refused to take in asylum seekers who arrive illegally.
Back in this country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the rate of gun deaths rose last year, for the second straight year. That is after 15 years of little change. In all, there were more than 38,000 guns deaths in 2016, and experts said an upswing in homicide is a big reason for the increase.
The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is urging lawmakers and their staff to take sexual harassment training. Paul Ryan sent a letter to all House members today. He said Congress should lead by example. That is after the Associated Press reported that several current and former female lawmakers said they had been harassed by male colleagues.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 23 points to close at 23539. The Nasdaq rose 49, and the S&P 500 added eight. All three indexes finished at record highs.