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U.S. stocks are heading back toward record highs on Friday, despite discouraging data detailing how much damage the deepening pandemic is doing to the job market. The S&P 500 was 0.5% higher in early trading, on pace to erase its slight loss from the day before and return to a record. The much weaker-than-expected jobs report may perversely have been bad enough to help kick Congress out of its paralysis and deliver more support for the economy. Hopes also remain deeply rooted on Wall Street that one or more coronavirus vaccines are on the way to rescue the global economy next year. Read more

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A year after a series of concerts in Puerto Rico that ended up being his last because of the pandemic, Daddy Yankee is bringing those performances to YouTube as a Christmas gift to his fans around the globe.  "DY2K20,” the digital version of his show “Con Calma Pal’ Choli,” will be released in three parts in Yankee’s YouTube channel starting Friday, with the second and third parts available on December 14 and 21, respectively. Yankee tells The Associated Press he has another surprise for his fans: A new music collaboration he will release in the coming days, although he wouldn’t provide details yet. Read more

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is pledging $19 billion to promote ecological businesses and innovation to achieve his goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Suga, who took office in mid-September, set climate change as one of his main policy goals along with promoting a digital transformation of Japanese society — issues which were left behind by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, who resigned because of ill health. His pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 will be a major challenge given Japan’s significant reliance on fossil fuel. Suga says Japan needs to strive to become a global leader in achieving carbon neutrality, and that investment in the environment is a growth opportunity, not a burden. Read more

Powerful winds that pushed wildfires through Southern California, burning several homes and injuring two firefighters, have begun to ease but forecasters say the fire danger remains extreme. Firefighters battled several fires after Santa Ana winds erupted Wednesday night. One blaze in Orange County injured two firefighters and forced thousands from their homes. The National Weather Service says the winds began easing Thursday but low humidity and bone-dry brush means red flag warnings for the region remain up. However, utilities began restoring power they cut to tens of thousands of customers as a precaution against sparking wildfires.  Read more

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A suspect in the shooting of a state trooper in Massachusetts has been killed during a shootout with U.S. marshals in New York City that left two of the officers wounded. Two law enforcement officials say the two marshals were in good condition after the 5:30 a.m. confrontation in the Bronx. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. The officials say 35-year-old Andre Sterling was killed in the shootout. He had been wanted for shooting a Massachusetts trooper in the hand on Nov. 20 during a traffic stop in Hyannis. He was also wanted on narcotics charges in Wyoming. Read more

Officials in Germany say they are taking the potential for attacks on mass vaccination centers into consideration as they set up sites to be used once European Union regulators approve the first coronavirus vaccines. The former head of Germany’s civil protection agency was tasked with setting up six mass vaccination sites in Berlin. He said Friday that he plans to have “intense conversations” with police and private security firms about the protection of the Berlin vaccination centers but added that so far there haven’t been any concrete threats. A small but vocal minority in Germany has staged regular protests against pandemic restrictions and vaccinations. Read more

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America’s employers scaled back their hiring last month as the viral pandemic accelerated across the country, adding 245,000 jobs, the fewest since April and the fifth straight monthly slowdown. At the same time, the unemployment rate to a still-high 6.7%, from 6.9% in October, the Labor Department said. November’s job gain was down from 610,000 in October. Friday’s report of another slowdown in hiring was the latest evidence that the job market and the economy are faltering in the face of a virus that has been shattering daily records for confirmed infections. Read more

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An Emmaus woman has died of injuries she suffered in a crash in Allentown. Read more

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CHAMBERSBURG, Pa., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Martin's® Famous Potato Rolls and Bread announces geographic expansion into the San Antonio, Texas, retail market. Read more

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Britain’s business minister said Friday that U.K.-EU trade talks are at a “difficult” point, as British officials poured cold water on hopes of an imminent breakthrough. France, meanwhile, says it could veto any agreement it doesn't like. U.K. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said Friday that Britain was “committed to reaching an agreement” but “time is short and we are in a difficult phase.” Negotiators Michel Barnier of the EU and Britain's David Frost remain locked in talks after a week of late-night sessions fueled by deliveries of sandwiches and pizza. U.K. officials briefed media outlets that the EU had set back negotiations by making last-minute demands. The EU denies the allegation. Read more

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The now 38-year-old is facing three felony child sex charges Read more

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The U.S. trade deficit widened 1.7% in October to $63.1 billion. The politically sensitive gap in the trade of goods with China and Mexico grew.The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between the goods and services the United States sold and what it bought abroad rose from $62.1 billion in September. The deficit in the trade of goods with China rose 9% to $26.5 billion and the gap with Mexico rose 10% to $11.8 billion. So far this year, the overall trade gap with the rest of the world has risen to $536.7 billion, up 9.5% from January-October 2019. Read more

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U.K. regulators are going on the offensive to beat back criticism that they rushed their authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Friday that its personnel rigorously analyzed data on safety and effectiveness in the shortest time possible without compromising the thoroughness of their review. The agency's comments came as the Times newspaper reported that the agency’s chief executive would give a series of radio interviews so she can speak directly to people who may be concerned about being vaccinated. The media blitz comes amid concerns that criticism of the approval process could undermine public confidence in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading some individuals to shun shots.  Read more

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Denmark has decided to end all oil and gas activities in the North Sea by 2050 and has cancelled its latest licensing round. It says it is “now putting an end to the fossil era.” The Danish Parliament voted late Thursday to end the offshore gas and oil extraction, which started in 1972 and has made the country the largest producer in the European Union. Non EU-members Norway and Britain are far larger producers. But environmental activists hailed the move as significant as it shows the way forward in how to fight climate change. Read more

(The Center Square) – U.S. Rep. Kelly, R-Pa., asked the Supreme Court to invalidate 2.5 million ballots cast in Pennsylvania on Nov. 3 based on a law he says is unconstitutional. Read more

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local): Read more

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Supportive Culture and Employee Dedication to Company Core Values Are Cited Read more

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HERSHEY, Pa., Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Hershey is introducing a new Blossoms cookie, the Holiday Sugar Cookie Blossoms, to spark festive cookie baking this year. With a sugar cookie base and the recently released Hershey's Kisses Sugar Cookie candy at the center, the new Holiday Sugar Cookie Blossoms are a colorful addition to holiday traditions. Read more

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Authorities in Bangladesh have sent the first group of more than 1,500 Rohingya refugees to an isolated island despite calls by human rights groups for a halt to the process. An official says the 1,642 refugees boarded seven Bangladeshi naval vessels for the trip to Bhashan Char. The island was once regularly submerged by monsoon rains but now has flood protection embankments, houses, hospitals and mosques built at a cost of more than $112 million by the Bangladesh navy. The island’s facilities are built to accommodate 100,000 people, just a fraction of the million Rohingya Muslims who have fled waves of violent persecution in their native Myanmar. Read more

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Joe Biden says he will ask Americans to commit to 100 days of wearing masks as one of his first acts as president. He stopped just short Thursday of the nationwide mandate he’s pushed before to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The move would mark a notable shift from President Donald Trump, whose own skepticism of mask-wearing has contributed to a politicization of the issue. That’s made many people reticent to embrace a practice that public health experts say is one of the easiest tools to manage the pandemic, which has killed more than 275,000 Americans. The president-elect has frequently emphasized mask-wearing as a “patriotic duty." Read more

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The cost of the postponement for the Tokyo Olympics could reach at least $2.8 billion in figures released by the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo city government and Japan's national government. The numbers are in line with estimates that have been made in Japan since the Olympics were postponed eight months ago. They are now set to open on July 23, 2021. About two-thirds of the added costs are being picked up by the two government entities. The other one-third will come from the privately funded organizing committee. Tokyo costs are ballooning and could reinforce skepticism about holding the Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. Read more

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South Korea has recorded 629 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest daily tally in about nine months. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Friday that 600 of the newly confirmed cases were domestically transmitted _ nearly 80 % of them in the densely populous Seoul area, which has been at the center of a viral resurgence. After successfully suppressing two previous outbreaks this year, South Korea has been grappling with a fresh spike in infections since it relaxed stringent social distancing rules in October. Last week, it toughened those restrictions but authorities say they’re struggling to contain the latest bout. India’s capital has decided against a night curfew as the number of new cases continued to drop. Read more

Japanese space agency officials say their Hayabusa2 spacecraft is on its intended trajectory as it approaches Earth to deliver a capsule containing samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth. The spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) away, a year ago. The capsule is to be released 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) away in space and land in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia, on Sunday. Scientists say they believe the samples, especially those taken from under the asteroid’s surface, contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors.  Read more

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At least two people, including a police officer, were taken to the hospital with injuries. Read more

The United Nations’ human rights chief is lamenting a deteriorating situation in Belarus and says that reported beatings of protesters by security forces may in some cases amount to torture. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said Friday there hasn't been improvement since a Human Rights Council debate about Belarus in September and “recent weeks have seen continued deterioration, particularly with respect to the right of peaceful assembly.” Belarus has seen mass protests triggered by President Alexander Lukashenko’s election to a sixth term in August was riddled with fraud. The Belarusian ambassador in Geneva said that “not all the protests were peaceful, and in response law enforcement agencies used force and detentions. Read more

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As Brexit talks enter their decisive final days, there’s still a big catch: the fishing industry. Fishing stands in the way of a massive trade deal between the European Union and recently departed Britain, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of euros in annual production losses. While fishing is only a small part of the nations' economies, it is an important point of national pride for coastal and island nations and has a massive impact on politics. And most fish caught by U.K. fishermen are exported to the EU. That's why, as the days to the Jan. 1 deadline dwindle, fisheries remains one of the biggest obstacles. Read more

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Britain’s announcement that it has become the first Western country to authorize the use of a COVID-19 vaccine has sparked debate about whether officials emphasized speed over safety. The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency gave temporary authorization for people to receive a vaccine produced by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and German company BioNTech. The agency made the decision under rules allowing regulators to sign off on medicines more quickly during public health emergencies. Britain's health secretary generated controversy by saying British authorities couldn’t have moved so quickly if the U.K. still belonged to the European Union. That drew a rebuke from the EU, and the U.K. regulator's assurance that “no corners have been cut.”  Read more

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In his quest to cling to power, President Donald Trump has managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden but over and over again in courts across the country. Seemingly incapable of accepting the reality of his defeat, Trump and his allies continue to mount new cases recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump’s own attorney general said the Justice Department uncovered no widespread fraud. Another legal blow came Thursday, a day after Trump posted a 46-minute speech to Facebook filled with falsehoods. In Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court refused to hear Trump’s lawsuit seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in its two biggest Democratic counties. Read more

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“It’s the hunger that killed him,” the grieving mother says. In this village in Madagascar’s extreme south, she lost her 3-year-old boy in June as hunger swept the region, more severe than in recent years. On a visit this week, The Associated Press spoke with suffering families who are among the 1.5 million people in need of emergency food assistance, according to the U.N. World Food Program. It’s a consequence of three straight years of drought, along with historic neglect by the government of the remote region as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

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While Senate leader Mitch McConnell is at the center of talks on another coronavirus relief bill, hardships are mounting in his home state of Kentucky. In Louisville, Paula and Anthony Hunter saw their catering and restaurant businesses slam to a halt because of the pandemic. They relied on federal assistance to help stay afloat. Now, months later, they're hoping for another round of aid to hang on until vaccines can conquer the virus. Despite a growing sense of desperation, much of the political pressure in Kentucky is focused not on McConnell but on Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and the restrictions he has imposed on everyday life. Read more