In our news wrap Friday, President-elect Donald Trump announced two more White House staff appointments from his holiday stay in Florida: Kathleen “KT” McFarland as deputy national security adviser, and Donald McGahn as White House counsel. Also, the death toll from Thursday’s bombing in southern Iraq rose to at least 73. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
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President-elect Donald Trump has added two more names to his White House staff.
The announcement came today from Palm Beach, Florida, where Mr. Trump is spending the holiday. Kathleen “KT” McFarland was appointed deputy national security adviser. She’s worked in several Republican administrations and as a FOX News analyst. And Donald McGahn will be White House counsel. He served as the Trump campaign’s attorney. Neither appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
In a separate development, Green Party leader Jill Stein filed a petition formally requesting a presidential vote recount in Wisconsin to ensure the results were not manipulated. It is expected to begin late next week. Similar challenges are also being prepared in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
In the day’s other news:
The death toll from a massive truck bombing in Southern Iraq rose to at least 73. At least 40 of the dead were said to be Shiite pilgrims from Iran. The Islamic State claimed that it carried out the suicide attack last night at a gas station near the city of Hillah. It is the worst ISIS attack in Iraq since July.
A train collision in Northern Iran has killed at least 43 people, and injured 100 more. State TV reports that a moving train derailed and caught fire after striking a parked train on a main rail line. Injured passengers flooded an area hospital in zero — subzero temperatures.
Firefighters in Israel worked today to contain the worst of more than a dozen wildfires. The largest forced 60,000 people to evacuate around the city of Haifa. Planes dumped retardant today, but it was too late to save hundreds of homes. Meanwhile, police arrested a dozen people, amid allegations of terrorism.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Israeli Prime Minister (through translator):
There are elements of terror here, no doubt, elements with great hostility toward the state of Israel. We cannot tell yet if this is organized, but we can see a number of cells operating. I don’t know if there is a connection between them, and such a connection isn’t even necessary. It could be a terror of knives, and it could be a terror of fires.
So far, there have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries.
The president of Turkey threatened today to reopen the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants into Europe. Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke a day after the European Parliament called for freezing talks to admit Turkey to the European Union. That Parliament vote was aimed at Erdogan’s political and news media crackdown since a failed coup in July.
In Bulgaria, violent clashes broke out between migrants and police last night, leading to some 400 arrests. Officials said more than 2,000 asylum-seekers rioted after being confined to their camp over a health scare. Demonstrators threw rocks and set trash on fire. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Bulgaria’s prime minister vowed today to punish those responsible.
BOYKO BORISSOV, Prime Minister, Bulgaria (through translator):
We have everything filmed, and all these acts of vandalism committed. All migrants who took part will be charged. A small group will be banned and can immediately be extradited. The others, who all behaved brutally and violated public order, will be relocated to closed-door refugee camps.
Meanwhile, in Greece, two migrants, including a young boy, were killed in a fire at a camp on the island of Lesbos. Police said it was sparked by a gas stove.
Hurricane Otto weakened to a tropical storm and headed into the Pacific Ocean after crossing Central America. The storm battered Nicaragua and Costa Rica and killed at least nine people. Otto was an unusually strong late-season hurricane. In some places, as much rain fell in a few hours as normally falls in a month.
Back in this country, a federal judge ruled the man accused of a massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina, church is competent to stand trial. Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine black churchgoers in June of 2015. He faces federal counts of hate crimes and obstruction of religion. He will eventually face a separate trial on state murder charges.
Wall Street worked a half-day, but hit more record closes, as the post-election rally continued. The Dow Jones industrial average gained almost 69 points to finish at 19152. The Nasdaq rose 18 points, and the S&P 500 added eight. It is up 4 percent this month. For the week, all three indexes grew about 1.5 percent.
And one of television’s most beloved moms, Florence Henderson, has died in Los Angeles of heart failure. She gained enduring fame as Carol Brady on the 1970s sitcom “The Brady Bunch,” but she also had success on Broadway. Her roles included the female lead in “Oklahoma” and “The Girl Who Came to Supper.”
Florence Henderson was 82 years old.