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Dow jumps 200 points after strong jobs report
Written by STEVE ROTHWELL, AP Markets Writer   
Friday, 06 December 2013 16:07

NEW YORK (AP) — Good news was finally good news for the stock market on Friday.

Stocks rose sharply in afternoon trading after a fourth straight month of solid U.S. job gains, the latest encouraging sign for the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 200 points, or 1.3 percent, at 16,020 as of 1:50 p.m. Eastern time.

The rise snapped a five-day losing streak, with the strengthening job market shifting the focus of investors to growth rather than the fate of the Federal Reserve's huge stimulus program.

Stocks had been falling this week after a series of positive economic reports made investors worry that the Fed would soon pull back on its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, which have kept long-term interest rates low and supported the stock market.

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Smoke in W.Va. school sends 37 people to hospitals
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 06 December 2013 16:04

TUNNELTON, W.Va. (AP) — Smoke from an outdoor furnace at a northern West Virginia auto repair shop drifted into a nearby elementary school's ventilation system Friday, and authorities said 37 people were taken to hospitals.

Preston County Assistant Superintendent Craig Schmidl said classes were dismissed Friday at Tunnelton-Denver Elementary School.

In a news release, the Preston County emergency services office said it received a call at 10:38 a.m. that a few students in one of the classrooms were having respiratory problems. After rescue units arrived, the number of patients "took a dramatic increase." They were taken to four area hospitals

Schmidl said many of the students taken to the hospital were in one of two modular units adjacent to the school's main building. Smoke from the furnace got pulled into the school's ventilation system.

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U.S. unemployment falls to 7 pct. on 203,000 jobs added
Written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer   
Friday, 06 December 2013 11:05

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate in November to a five-year low of 7 percent. The surprisingly robust job gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate.

It also fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.

Employers added 203,000 jobs last month after adding 200,000 in October, the Labor Department said Friday. November's job gain helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October.

The economy has now generated a four-month average of 204,000 jobs from August through November. That's up from 159,000 a month from April through July.

Evidence of a stronger job market cheered stock investors, who sent the Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones industrial average futures up 1 percent before stock markets opened.

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Russia: Crashed pilot may have had fake license
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 06 December 2013 11:14

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian investigators said Friday that the pilot who sent a Boeing 737 into a near-vertical dive that killed all 50 people on board might have had a fake license.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that the investigators believe some pilots working for small regional Russian airlines aren't properly trained but have received fake licenses in centers certified by the aviation agency.

Markin said that the pilot who sent the Boeing 737 into a dive after an aborted first landing attempt had received his license in a small training center that has since been shut down. He said the investigators were conducting searches for documents related to the activities of such centers.

No criminal charges have been filed yet in the Nov. 17 crash of the Tatarstan Airlines jet in the city of Kazan, 720 kilometers (450 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia's federal aviation regulator, Rosaviatsiya, said it is investigating to check the legitimacy of pilots' licenses that were issued at the training center mentioned by Markin and other similar facilities.

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Woman unknowingly tweeted about death of husband
Written by DOUG ESSER, Associated Press PHUONG LE, Associated Press   
Friday, 06 December 2013 07:25

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state woman who regularly monitors police scanner traffic unknowingly live-tweeted about her husband's death in a freeway crash.

In a series of gut-wrenching tweets on Wednesday that grew more frantic, the Vancouver, Wash., mother first tweeted how horrible it was when she learned someone had died on Interstate 205 near the Oregon border.

Caran Johnson, who uses the handle @ScanCouver, then told her Twitter followers that she was trying not to panic because her husband, who drives the freeway, wasn't picking up his phone and was late getting home.

"i'm a basketcase," she tweeted.

Johnson also worried because her husband had epilepsy and was feeling faint when he left work early. She wondered whether he might have pulled over somewhere and fretted about how long she should wait for him before calling police.

As the events unfolded, she messaged Washington State Patrol spokesman Will Finn directly, asking whether he had descriptions of the vehicles involved in the collision. Finn said he didn't, but it struck him as odd so he began looking into the crash.

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