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Senate votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement. Critics say the contract lacks sufficient levels of paid leave for rail workers. Read more

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Talks with breakaway region fail to ease Moldova energy woes

A key electrical power plant in a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Moldova will not resume energy supplies to the rest of the country after officials failed to reach any agreements on Friday amid an acute energy crisis, authorities said. The meetings held Friday between Moldovan officials and de-facto authorities from Transnistria took place in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, and focussed on a range of bilateral issues raising hopes of easing a severe energy crisis for Moldova, Europe’s poorest country.  But the talks did not yield any solutions including resuming electricity supplies, Vitaly Ignatyev, the unrecognized government’s foreign minister, told reporters. Read more

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Panthers owner David Tepper scrutinized in criminal probe

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and his real estate company are being scrutinized in a criminal investigation. The probe is examining whether they misused any public money in their failed effort to build a new practice facility for the NFL team. The York County Sheriff’s Office says state agents and local prosecutors are involved in the probe, which does not mean any crime occured. Tepper’s company GT Real Estate is denying any criminal wrongdoing. It suggests the probe could be timed to disrupt a settlement the team reached agreeing to repay York County more than $21 million, roughly what it took in sales tax revenue to build access roads. Read more

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Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider

The United States' newest nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut after years of secret development. The new bomber is part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China. The B-21 Raider gets its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo and is the first new American bomber aircraft built in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the B-21 Raider program is classified. The Pentagon is providing the public its first glimpse of the Raider at an invitation-only event in Palmdale, California, on Friday. Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman is building the Raider, which will take its first flight next year. Read more

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Rail strike averted: Biden signs bill enforcing agreement

President Joe Biden has signed a bill to avert a freight rail strike that he said could have plunged the U.S. into recession. Biden signed the measure Friday after it was approved Thursday by the Senate and Wednesday by the House. It binds rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. Members in four of the 12 unions involved rejected the proposed contract, creating the risk of a strike beginning Dec. 9 that the government has likely staved off with the bill signing. The president has said that a strike would have sunk the U.S. economy. Read more

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Stocks sag on Wall Street after strong data on wages, jobs

Worries about inflation are hitting Wall Street, and the S&P 500 is down 0.8% in morning trading. It's on track to erase much of what had been a healthy week of gains after a report showed wages for U.S. workers are accelerating. That's good news for workers, but it can also feed into even higher inflation for the nation. It's also raising worries the Federal Reserve may not be able to ease back as much as hoped on its big interest-rate hikes. Treasury yields jumped following the release of the jobs report, which also showed stronger hiring by U.S. employers than expected. Read more

US hiring stays strong, complicating Fed's inflation fight

The nation’s employers kept hiring briskly in November despite high inflation and a slow-growing economy — a sign of resilience in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. The economy added 263,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate stayed 3.7%, still near a 53-year low. November’s job growth dipped only slightly from October’s 284,000 gain. Last month’s hiring amounted to a substantial increase. All year, as inflation has surged and the Fed has imposed ever-higher borrowing rates, America’s labor market has defied skeptics, adding hundreds of thousands of jobs, month after month. With not enough people available to fill jobs, businesses are having to offer higher pay to attract and keep workers. Read more

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Infowars host Alex Jones files for personal bankruptcy

Infowars host Alex Jones has filed for personal bankruptcy protection in Texas as he faces nearly $1.5 billion in court judgments over conspiracy theories he spread about the Sandy Hook school massacre. Jones filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in bankruptcy court in Houston on Friday. His filing lists $1 billion to $10 billion in liabilities owed to 50 to 99 creditors and $1 million to $10 million in assets. The bankruptcy filing comes as Jones faces court orders to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for calling the massacre a hoax. Read more

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