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In our news wrap Friday, there's more evidence of inflation as a key barometer of prices is up nearly 4.5% from a year ago — the most in 30 years. The Food and Drug Administration formally recommended Pfizer's COVID vaccine for young children. Southern Australia is recovering from the strongest winds in at least a decade. The White House will try again to stop making asylum seekers wait in Mexico.
In another development, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to consider whether the federal government can curb carbon emissions from power plants.
Southern Australia, meanwhile, is trying to recover from some of the strongest winds in at least a decade. A low-pressure system roared across Melbourne and the surrounding state of Victoria overnight, causing severe damage. Wind gusts topped 100 miles an hour in places, peeling back roofs, downing trees and knocking out power to more than 450,000 homes.
Back in this country, the Biden administration will try again to stop making asylum seekers wait in Mexico. The homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said today that the Trump era policy did cut border crossings, but he also said migrants faced major violence in Mexican cities.
Separately, it was widely reported that the Justice Department is in talks to pay up to $450,000 per person to families separated at the border during the Trump administration.
A U.S. military jury today sentenced the first high-value detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Majid Khan got 26 years for murder and terrorism charges. But he could be released in February because he's cooperated with U.S. authorities. On Thursday, Khan testified publicly about being tortured at secret CIA prisons after 9/11. He's been at Guantanamo since 2006.
The sheriff in Albany County, New York, says there is overwhelming evidence for a sex crimes complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. It charges him with groping a woman last year, and it's a misdemeanor under state law.
Sheriff Craig Apple acknowledged today there was confusion over Thursday's filing of the complaint, but he said that doesn't change the facts.
Craig Apple, Albany County, New York, Sheriff:
The way it went down has nothing to do with the case. The case is a very solid case. We have great information that was obtained. We have made — we met our burden as far as probable cause. And we have filed.
Cuomo resigned in August, after a state attorney general's report accused him of harassing multiple women. Today, Attorney General Letitia James announced she will run for governor.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois announced today he won't seek reelection next year. The five-term congressman has been a vocal critic of former President Trump. He's also one of only two Republicans on the committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. His announcement came hours after Democrats in the Illinois legislature approved new congressional districts. They put Kinzinger in the same district with a pro-Trump Republican.
Federal wildlife officials are proposing new protections for the Mexican gray wolf, an endangered species in the Southwest. The changes would remove wolf population limits and restrict legal killing if they prey on livestock, elk or deer. Environmental groups say the changes will help the species to recover. Ranchers say wolf numbers and livestock losses are already growing.
And, on Wall Street, stocks wrapped up a big month. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89 points to close at 35819. The Nasdaq rose 50 points. The S&P 500 added nine. Overall, the Nasdaq and the S&P were up 7 percent or more in October, the most in a year. The Dow added nearly 6 percent, its best since March.
And Merriam-Webster dictionary is out with this year's crop of 455 newly-added words. They range from TBH, an abbreviation for to be honest, to super-spreader, to fluffernutter, the sandwich of peanut butter and marshmallow creme. And for fathers who eat too many fluffernutters, there's dad bod, referring to a less-than-fit body type.
Dads, you look great. Don't let anyone tell you different.
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