In our news wrap Friday, the spokesman for the insurance exchange website HealthCare.gov announced most of the tech troubles will be cleared up by the end of November. Also, demolition began at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last December.
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The federal government’s point man for fixing the faulty health care website says most of the roadblocks can be cleared by the end of November. Jeffrey Zients told reporters today it will take a lot of work, but, in his words, healthcare.gov is fixable. The Obama administration also announced that QSSI, one of the companies hired by the government to work on the website, will take the lead role in overseeing repairs.
J.P. Morgan Chase agreed today to settle claims that it misled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about risky mortgage securities. The bank will pay $5.1 billion. It’s still negotiating a broader deal with the Justice Department. The mortgage securities lost billions of dollars in value when the housing bubble burst.
Wall Street finished this Friday on a high note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 61 points to close at 15,570. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to close at 3,943, its highest point in 13 years. For the week, the Dow was up 1 percent; the Nasdaq was up more than one-half percent.
Demolition began today on the school in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last December. The razing of Sandy Hook Elementary is expected to take several weeks. Plans call for every trace of the old building to be removed and a number of townspeople said, it’s for the best.
BILL CLARK, resident of Sandy Hook:
I have lived in town for 54 years. I have lived on this street my whole life. We’re a very strong community, and we’re going to overcome this. We’re going to move on. And they’re going to put up another beautiful school and we’re going to move on.
The new school is expected to open by December of 2016.
In Nigeria, the military announced an air and ground assault killed 74 suspected fighters from the Islamist group Boko Haram. The offensive targeted two camps in Borno state in the African nation’s northeast, where Boko Haram has its strongest presence. Also today, the Nigerian navy said that it’s working to rescue two Americans who were kidnapped by pirates this week from an oil supply vessel.
Ousted Chinese politician Bo Xilai will spend the rest of his life in prison for corruption and abuse of power. The former member of the ruling politburo lost his appeal today. Flanked by security guards in a courtroom in Eastern China, he’d been a rising star in the Communist Party before being engulfed in scandal.