Morning Brief: Employment blowout

Top Story It looks like the makings of another ugly day on Wall Street. Today’s economic news: the latest U.S. employment report is the worst since 1974, with an estimated 533,000 jobs lost in November. Meanwhile, the latest U.S. retail sales figures are the worst in 35 years. “This is a clear employment blowout,” one ...

591309_081205_nowhiring5.jpg
591309_081205_nowhiring5.jpg

Top Story

It looks like the makings of another ugly day on Wall Street.

Today's economic news: the latest U.S. employment report is the worst since 1974, with an estimated 533,000 jobs lost in November. Meanwhile, the latest U.S. retail sales figures are the worst in 35 years.

Top Story

It looks like the makings of another ugly day on Wall Street.

Today’s economic news: the latest U.S. employment report is the worst since 1974, with an estimated 533,000 jobs lost in November. Meanwhile, the latest U.S. retail sales figures are the worst in 35 years.

“This is a clear employment blowout,” one analyst told Reuters. The U.S. unemployment rate has now climbed to 6.7 percent.

And in Germany, the world’s export powerhouse, manufacturing orders have fallen off a cliff.

U.S. Presidential Transition

Former British PM Tony Blair weighs in on President-elect Barack Obama and Middle East peace.

Retailers are gearing up for big sales of Obama merchandise during inauguration week.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro says he will meet Obama “anywhere he wants.”

Americas

Canadian PM Stephen Harper has staved off a no-confidence vote — for now — by suspending Parliament.

Hospitals have become a battlefield in Mexico’s drug war.

Detroit’s Big Three auto executives are finding little sympathy on Capitol Hill.

Asia

New warnings of a possible hijacking threat have Indians rattled.

Newsweek‘s Fasih Ahmed visits the stronghold of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani militant group thought responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

Bangkok’s airport is back in business.

Middle East and Africa

Calls are escalating — from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Kenyan PM Raila Odinga — for Robert Mugabe to step down as president of Zimbabwe. Mugabe isn’t bending.

Tensions are growing in the West Bank after Israeli troops forcibly ejected some 250 extremist settlers from a building in the disputed town of Hebron.

Europe

In a record-breaking heist, thieves stole $100 million in merchandise from Harry Winston, one of Paris’s elite jewelry shops.

Russian PM Vladimir Putin faced tough questions about the economy in an annual Q&A session with the public.

Liechtenstein, the tiny European tax haven, has agreed to cough up some of its banking secrets.

Weekend Agenda

Neel Kashkari, the point man for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Troubled Assets Relief Program, gives an update on the banking rescue.

The Saban Forum, an annual dialogue between U.S. and Israeli officials, hosts a keynote address by U.S. President George W. Bush.

The U.S. Supreme Court considers a lawsuit alleging that President-elect Obama is not a U.S. citizen. “Legal experts say the appeal has little chance of succeeding,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

News organizations expect the United States and Russia begin talks on renewing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It expires this month.

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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