Newly elected members of Congress will get a reminder Friday of the economic challenges they face in January: The jobs report for October is expected to show hiring weak and unemployment still high. The outlook for 2011 isn't much better.
MOUNT MERAPI, Indonesia (AP) — The death toll from Indonesia's volcano has climbed to nearly 100 in more than a week after a blistering gas cloud ripped through a mountainside village. Hospital spokesman Heru Nugroho said 54 bodies were brought in after the inferno. More than 66 others were injured, many of them critically with burns.
HAVANA (AP) — A Cuban airliner flying from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba to the capital crashed after declaring an emergency Thursday evening with 68 people aboard, including 28 foreigners, state media reported. There was no immediate word on whether any survived. AeroCaribbean Flight 883 went down near the village of Guasimal in Santi Spiritus province, carrying 61 passengers and a crew of seven, state television said. It said 28 passengers were foreigners, but did not give a breakdown of nationalities.
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Qantas said the midair blowout near Singapore on one of its Airbus superjumbos was likely caused by material failure or faulty design in one of its Rolls-Royce engines, as the carrier ferried stranded passengers Friday to Australia. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told a news conference in Sydney that it was too early to say exactly what caused the engine failure that prompted the emergency landing Thursday shortly after takeoff from Singapore, and said that a thorough investigation was under way.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray seized a fourth term Thursday, surviving voters' backlash against Democrats nationally and weeks of relentless GOP campaign attacks on her voting and federal spending record. Murray's victory over Republican Dino Rossi, after three days of tallying, preserves breathing room for the Senate's shrunken Democratic majority. Republicans made inroads there Tuesday and took control of the House for the rest of President Barack Obama's first term.
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is again slapping down speculation that she harbors ambitions for another presidential run. In New Zealand on Friday, Clinton told a pair of television interviewers that she won't run for president even in the aftermath of this week's congressional midterms that saw Republicans take control of the House and make big gains in the Senate. Some have suggested that Clinton should take advantage of President Barack Obama's unpopularity to make a new bid.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Victorious at the polls, congressional Republicans asserted their newfound political strength on Thursday, vowing to seek a quick $100 billion in federal spending cuts and force repeated votes on the repeal of President Barack Obama's prized health care overhaul. At the White Houses, Obama said his administration was ready to work across party lines in a fresh attempt to "focus on the economy and jobs" as well as attack waste in government. In a show of bipartisanship, he invited top lawmakers to the White House at mid-month, and the nation's newly elected governors two weeks later.
KARACHI, Pakistan(AP) — A small plane carrying 22 people crashed near the airport in Pakistan's largest city on Friday after the pilot warned of engine troubles, officials said. There were no survivors. The crash was the second in less than four months in Pakistan, which has struggled with numerous crises this year, including massive floods that have left millions homeless and ongoing Islamist militant attacks. The previous crash, in July, killed 152 people and was the worst-ever on Pakistani soil.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wedding bells will ring again for one-time "Newlyweds" star Nick Lachey. A rep for Lachey says the singer and TV personality is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Minnillo. The couple said in a statement released Thursday through publicist Jessica Berger that they're "excited and incredibly happy" about their engagement. They didn't announce a wedding date.
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — With two solid tailbacks ahead of David Wilson on the depth chart, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer thought hard about redshirting his speedy sophomore. The decision not to, Beamer said Thursday night, "is looking better and better."