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News Wrap: Unemployment rate hits lowest since 2000

In our news wrap Friday, the unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent as U.S. employers added 164,000 jobs in April, according to the Labor Department. Also, President Trump says the details are set for his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but would not say what they are.

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  • John Yang:

    In the day's other news, The April jobs report was mostly encouraging. The Labor Department said employers added 164,000 jobs last month. At the same time, the unemployment rate slipped from 4.1 percent to 3.9 percent, the lowest since December 2000.

    We will look at whether the new tax cuts are affecting job creation right after the news summary.

    President Trump says the details are set for his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But he's not saying what they are. He spoke today as he left the White House.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Stay tuned. I think you're going to be seeing very, very good things.

    And, also, the trip is being scheduled. We now have a date, and we have a location. We will be announcing it soon.

  • John Yang:

    The president also said withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea is not on the table, although he said he would like to lower troop levels there at some point in the future. The New York Times reports that Mr. Trump asked the Pentagon for options on troop reductions.

    In the Middle East, thousands of Palestinians protested again in Gaza along the border fence with Israel. Gazan medics said at least 70 people were shot and wounded. Protesters threw stones and burned tires as Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and tear gas. The Israelis said they targeted those trying to breach the fence. Since March, 40 Palestinians have been killed in the weekly protests.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apologized today for a speech widely criticized as being anti-Semitic. He'd claimed on Monday that European Jews were persecuted because of their role in banking. In a statement today, he condemned anti-Semitism and said, "I would like to reiterate my full respect for the Jewish faith."

    Nearly 60,000 Hondurans who had sought refuge in the United States now have to leave in 18 months. The Department of Homeland Security announced today they are losing the special status they received after a major hurricane two decades ago. The Trump administration has already canceled that status for immigrants from five other nations.

    Hawaii's Kilauea volcano kept spewing lava today, burning two homes and filling the air with sulfur gas. The eruption started late Thursday, sending lava into forests and into neighborhoods, while smoke and ash blew high into the sky. Some 1,500 residents on the Big Island were ordered to evacuate.

  • Man:

    Since it's right there behind our house, we could hear the lava exploding, right from the house. And so is the house still going be there when we go back over there? It might be. The lava's floating downhill. We're uphill. But it's going to be changing the scenery, for sure.

  • John Yang:

    Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

    Late this afternoon, Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the nation's strictest abortion limits into law. The new statute bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That's usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Opponents of the bill say they will sue to block the measure from taking effect. Backers say they hope the case could lead the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe vs. Wade.

    A stunning decision today in the long-running Michael Skakel murder case. The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed its own previous ruling and threw out his 2002 conviction. He'd been found guilty of killing a young girl in 1975, when both were teenagers. Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

    A sexual abuse scandal has scuttled plans for this year's Nobel Prize in literature. The Swedish academy announced today that it won't give the award in 2018. It cited a scandal that's roiled the organization and prompted seven members to quit. One member says that has made it impossible to conduct business as usual.

  • Anders Olsson (through translator):

    We have decided not to award a prize this year. And we did that after long and intense discussions. But we reached the conclusion that the confidence in the academy is so low in the world at the moment, and that is the deciding reason why we now refrain from awarding the prize.

  • John Yang:

    It's the first time since World War II that the literature prize has not been awarded. Instead, the academy will give out two prizes in 2019.

    And on Wall Street, tech stocks fueled a Friday rally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 332 points to gain at 24262. The Nasdaq rose 121 points, and the S&P 500 added 33.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour," the effect the new tax cuts on the economy; old wounds from the Bosnian War spark new tensions in the region; Mark Shields and David Brooks weigh in on the president's legal troubles; and much more.

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