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News Wrap: October jobs numbers exceed expectations, despite GM strike

In our news wrap Friday, the U.S. turned in better-than-expected October economic numbers. The Labor Department reports that employers added a net 128,000 jobs last month, and figures for August and September were revised upward. Also, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced he is ending his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, saying he lacks the resources to continue.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    News from the campaign 2020 trail tonight.

    Beto O'Rourke is dropping out of the Democratic presidential field. The former Texas congressman tweeted late today that he has ended his run. He said his campaign doesn't have the means to move forward.

    Sixteen Democrats are still in the race, including former Vice President Joe Biden. He spoke with Judy Woodruff today, and we will have that interview after the news summary.

    The U.S. economy has turned in better-than-expected jobs numbers for October. That's despite thousands of General Motors workers being counted as unemployed during the strike. The Labor Department reports that employers added a net of 128,000 jobs. In addition, jobs numbers for August and September were revised upward by 95,000. Unemployment for October rose slightly to 3.6 percent, still a 50-year low.

    The jobs report went down well on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 300 points to close at 27347. The Nasdaq rose 94 points to finish at a new high. And the S&P 500 added 29, also reaching a record close.

    California's war with wildfires eased a bit today, but officials warned the danger is far from over, and fire crews kept busy.

    Stephanie Sy has our report.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Winds are now dying down, but firefighters in Southern California still faced a fast-moving brushfire north of Los Angeles overnight.

  • Don Pyne:

    All we can do is pray and hope and rely on their professionalism, and they're doing a great job.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    The so-called Maria Fire scorched nearly 9,000 acres in Ventura County, fueled in part by the flammable oil in eucalyptus trees.

  • Man:

    This is a ranching community with a lot of avocados and citrus orchards in the area. And, a lot of times, they use the eucalyptus for wind breaks. The conditions are very extreme for wildfire conditions.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    About 2,300 homes and other buildings were endangered, and 8,000 residents were ordered out. Elsewhere, fire crews made more headway, even as red flag warnings remained posted in communities north and west of L.A.

    To the east, in San Bernardino, families have returned home, but some found nothing left.

  • Matthew Valdiva:

    It happened so fast, we didn't have a chance. We didn't have a chance at all. And it hurts, because I have a laptop that has my kids' pictures in it when they were little. They are irreplaceable. So, now I'm not — that's what hurts.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In Northern California's wine country, nearly 200,000 people have also been allowed back.

    Meanwhile, utilities are ending more of the blackouts that affected hundreds of thousands.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Halloween storms, meanwhile, swept the Eastern Seaboard overnight, killing two people and knocking out power. The outages affected half-a-million customers from South Carolina to Maine.

    In Central Pennsylvania, meanwhile, a tornado tore trees out of the ground and ripped off roofs from homes. The storms also unleashed flooding in Pennsylvania and New York state.

    In Iraq, Central Baghdad witnessed its largest rally since anti-government protests began a month ago. Thousands of flag-waving demonstrators filled Tahrir Square, bringing traffic to a standstill. They called again for an end to government corruption and economic hardship. At least 350 people were wounded by security forces.

    Tens of thousands of people also turned out today in Islamabad, Pakistan, demanding that Prime Minister Imran Khan resign. Crowds chanted in the streets, as hundreds of vehicles flying the black-and-white flags of a hard-line Islamist party arrived in the city. They charged that Khan's government has let them down.

  • Arshad Mehmood (through translator):

    People were told we will build a new Pakistan. But, after almost 1.5 years, the government has failed to deliver. So now all the opposition parties are demanding this government should resign, due to his failure.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Khan has said he is working to improve the economy, and today refused to step down.

    Back in this country, President Trump named a new acting secretary of homeland security. Chad Wolf is currently an undersecretary in the department. He will be the fifth person to head Homeland Security under Mr. Trump.

    Also today, the president nominated Dr. Stephen Hahn to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Hahn is currently chief medical executive at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The FDA has had an acting commissioner since April, and today was the deadline to name a permanent replacement.

    A federal rule proposed today would let faith-based agencies exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual parents from adopting and still receive federal funding. The White House says the rule would let more agencies help children. LGBT groups said fewer families would be eligible for adoption or foster care.

    Google announced today it will buy Fitbit, the maker of wearable fitness technology. The deal is valued at $2.1 billion. The move aims to give Google and parent company Alphabet a boost in the intense competition over smart watches and health trackers.

    And President Trump is changing his permanent residence from Trump Tower in New York to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, after he leaves the White House. He announced it on Twitter last night, at the same time slamming New York's Democratic leaders and tax rates.

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fired back with a statement that said — quote — "Good riddance."

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