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Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

Private sector gains 118,000 jobs

ROSELAND, N.J., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Payroll firm Automatic Data Processing said the U.S. economy added 118,000 non-farm private sector jobs in November, the fourth lowest monthly gain of 2012.

ADP said November's gain fell short of October's 157,000 job gain and did not meet expectations. Economists had predicted 125,000 jobs would be gained in the month.

For the year, ADP President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Rodriquez pointed out the year-to-date average for new jobs for 2012 is 135,000 per month.

A natural disaster played a big role in the job market in the month, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said.

Zandi said Hurricane Sandy wiped out 86,000 jobs. "The manufacturing, retailing, leisure and hospitality and temporary help industries were hit particularly hard by the storm," he said in a statement.

"Abstracting from the storm, the job market turned in a good performance during the month," Zandi said.


Right assails Boehner for new tax revenue

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Conservatives assailed U.S. House Speaker John Boehner for offering new tax revenue in "fiscal cliff" talks, as President Obama was to talk to a business group.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a leading member of the Tea Party movement, said the $800 billion in new tax revenue Boehner proposed to the White House "will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more."

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who heads the Republican Study Committee, an influential group of conservatives, said his fellow Ohioan's proposal on behalf of the GOP-controlled House amounted to a tax increase, "and I am not going to vote for a tax increase because it hurts economic growth."

Obama pressed his case before the politically conservative Business Roundtable in Washington Wednesday.

Obama met with a bipartisan group of governors about his deficit-reduction proposal at the White House Tuesday.

Boehner had no immediate comment on the criticism. His proposal said the $800 billion in revenue could be raised without raising tax rates but by closing loopholes and deductions in a broad tax-code rewrite.

The White House quickly rejected Boehner's offer Monday in part because it does not include tax-rate increases on taxable income above $250,000.


Lebanese battle over Syrian president

TRIPOLI, Lebanon, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon, between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad have claimed at least five lives, security sources said.

Schools were closed in the port city Wednesday after fighting broke out a day earlier between residents of two Tripoli neighborhoods, The (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

It was the seventh round of fighting to erupt between Jabal Mohsen, which supports Assad, and Assad opponents who live in Bab al-Tabbaneh.

Security sources told the Daily Star the number of wounded has risen to 48 since the fighting began.

The Lebanese Army stepped up its presence in Tripoli and vowed to respond to any gunfire, regardless of which side it comes from.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati urged residents of the city to stay calm and be wary of rumors and attempts to start trouble.

Tensions have been running high in Tripoli over reports a group of Salafist fighters from the city were killed by the military in the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh.


Government forces killed 13 PKK members

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A two-day operation by Turkish security forces killed 13 members of the Kurdistan Workers Party in the Amanos Mountains, officials said.

Five members of the terrorist organization were captured during the fighting that took place in the Osmaniye province region, Today's Zaman reported Wednesday.

Nearly 1,000 security forces, including special operations police and commandos, participated in the operation.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has been fighting for an independent Kurdish in Southeast Turkey since 1984.

As many as 40,000 people have been killed in clashes with the group.


San Francisco board approves nudity ban

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- At least six people stripped naked after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved legislation banning public nudity in the city, sheriff's deputies said.

There was no discussion before the supervisors voted to send the measure to Mayor Ed Lee for his signature, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

The legislation exempts nudity at private beaches, on private property and at special events when permits have been obtained. It doesn't apply to children under the age of 5.

Violators can be fined $100 for the first offense and $200 if a second offense occurs within a year.

The men and women who stripped naked and began yelling insults at the board after the vote were quickly covered with blankets by sheriff's deputies and hustled out of the chamber.

One man warned that the nudity ban sends the wrong message to children about their bodies.

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