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In our news wrap Thursday, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan won support for his possible bid for House speaker from moderates, mainstream conservatives and a group of fiscal conservatives who opposed John Boehner. Also, President Obama vetoed a $600 billion defense bill that increased war spending by going around budget caps.
Republican Paul Ryan now appears all but certain to run for and be elected speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Wisconsin lawmaker won support in his own party today from key moderates, from mainstream conservatives, and from a group of fiscal conservative that opposed the current House speaker, John Boehner. Ryan cleared an even bigger hurdle last night, when most of the harder-line conservatives in the so-called Freedom Caucus voted to support him. The House will choose its speaker next week.
President Obama vetoed a sweeping $600 billion defense bill today. In an Oval Office ceremony, he took issue with increasing war spending by going around budget caps set by the so-called sequester.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
I have repeatedly called on Congress to eliminate the sequester and make sure that we are providing certainty to our military, so they can do out-year planning, ensure military readiness, ensure our troops are getting what they need. This bill instead resorts to gimmicks that does not allow the Pentagon to do what it needs to do.
Republicans are considered unlikely to muster the votes needed to override the veto.
Secretary of State John Kerry voiced cautious optimism today about ending a spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence. He met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for four hours, as both men visited Berlin, Germany, and he spoke to reporters afterward.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: There may be some things that could be, in the next couple of days, put on the table which would have an impact, I hope, on the perceptions of everybody engaged that there is a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward.
Kerry called for an end to incitement, without singling out either side. He plans to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on Saturday.
Meanwhile, there was fresh violence in Jerusalem. Two Palestinians wounded a Jewish man in a stabbing attack. Police killed one of the assailants and wounded the other.
The people of Sweden were stunned today by a savage attack on a school. It happened in the southern part of the country, where a masked man fatally stabbed two people, before he was killed himself.
Cordelia Lynch of Independent Television News filed this report.
Clad in black, wearing a metal helmet, wielding a sword, while casually posing with students unaware of the malice behind the mask. They assumed he was dressed up for Halloween, but it's believed moments after this photo was taken, he attacked and killed a teacher and pupil, injuring two others.
Police were called to Kronan School in Trollhattan, north of Gothenburg, shortly after 10:00 this morning. They said the 21-year old attacker knocked on the doors of two classrooms and targeted those who opened them. After shooting the attacker dead, police searched his home and recovered what they called interesting items. They are now looking into possible far-right sympathies.
But what led up to the rampage is still unclear. It is, the prime minister said, a dark day for Sweden.
STEFAN LOFVEN, Prime Minister, Sweden (through interpreter):
That which should never happen has happened here today, and this is why this is a tragedy that affects the whole country.
The town has a large immigrant population and this was an ethically diverse school. The killer lived locally. The fact he was seemingly able to enter so easily, though, has prompted calls for much tighter security across the country.
The last such attack on a school in Sweden was in 1961.
The Russian military has announced plans to build a base in an island group that's partly claimed by Japan. The islands, known as the Kurils, are located just miles off the Japanese mainland. The Soviet Union seized the chain at the end of World War II. As a result, Japan never signed a formal peace treaty with Moscow.
In economic news, the United Auto Workers union approved a new four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler, after rejecting an earlier version.
And Wall Street got a big boost from upbeat reports by McDonald's and eBay. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 320 points to close near 17490. The Nasdaq rose almost 80 points, and the S&P 500 added 33.
And from now on, a round of golf could mean a term in jail for members of China's Communist Party. New rules have banned all 88 million party members from playing golf, in a crackdown on corruption and high-living. The party's anti-corruption office says that golf courses are where illegal deals get done, and where officials spend time playing instead of working.
I know some people not going to China now.
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