AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

Israel resists US pressure to pause the war to allow more aid to Gaza, wants hostages back first

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday pushed back against growing U.S. pressure for a “humanitarian pause” in the nearly month-old war to protect civilians and allow more aid into Gaza, insisting there would be no temporary cease-fire until the roughly 240 hostages held by Hamas are released.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his third trip to Israel since the war began, reiterating American support for Israel's campaign to crush Hamas after its brutal Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel. He also echoed President Joe Biden’s calls for a brief halt in the fighting to address a worsening humanitarian crisis.

Alarm has grown over spiraling Palestinian deaths and deepening misery for civilians from weeks of Israeli bombardment and a widening ground assault that risks even greater casualties. Overwhelmed hospitals say they are nearing collapse, with medicine and fuel running low under the Israeli siege. About 1.5 million people in Gaza, or 70% of the population, have fled their homes, the U.N. said Friday.

Palestinians are increasingly desperate for the most basic supplies.

The average Gaza resident is now surviving on two pieces of bread per day, much of it made from stockpiled U.N. flour, said Thomas White, Gaza director for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. Demands for drinking water are also growing.


Trapped in hell: Palestinian civilians try to survive in northern Gaza, focus of Israel's offensive

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — When Israeli warplanes bombed the crowded Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza this week, neonatal nurse Hudaa Ali Eldaor felt the vibration in her ward at the nearby Kamal Adwan Hospital. She heard the thunder and saw the smoke.

Then the wounded flooded in. Patients young and old filled the beds and then covered the floors — burns and shrapnel wounds, life-threatening abdominal bleeds, traumatic amputations. Eldaor snapped into crisis mode: Halt the bleeding. Resuscitate. Clean just enough to prevent sepsis.

During the bedlam Wednesday, Eldaor caught a glimpse of two familiar faces coated with gray dust. She ran toward them, screaming. They were her boys, 7-year-old Kenan and 9-year-old Haidar.

She buried them later that day, along with her sister, two brothers and three uncles.

On Thursday, Eldaor was back at work, weeping between hospital rounds. “What was their fault? What was their guilt?” she asked.


Supreme Court will rule on ban on rapid-fire gun bump stocks, used in the Las Vegas mass shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether a Trump era-ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns, violates federal law.

The justices will hear arguments early next year over a regulation put in place by the Justice Department after a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017.

Federal appeals courts have come to different decisions about whether the regulation defining a bump stock as a machine gun comports with federal law.

The justices said they will review the Biden administration's appeal of a ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that invalidated the ban.

The Supreme Court already is weighing a challenge to another federal law that seeks to keep guns away from people under domestic violence restraining orders, a case that stems from the landmark decision in 2022 in which the six-justice conservative majority expanded gun rights.


US employers pulled back on hiring in October, adding 150,000 jobs in face of higher borrowing rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s employers slowed their hiring in October, adding a modest but still decent 150,000 jobs, a sign that the labor market may be cooling but remains resilient despite high interest rates that have made borrowing much costlier for companies and consumers.

Last month’s job growth, though down sharply from a robust 297,000 gain in September, was solid enough to suggest that many companies still want to hire and that the economy remains sturdy. And job growth would have been higher in October if not for the now-settled United Auto Workers’ strikes. The strikes ended this week with tentative settlements in which against Detroit’s automakers granted significantly better pay and benefits to the union’s workers.

Friday’s jobs report from the government comes as the Federal Reserve is assessing incoming economic data to determine whether to leave its key interest rate unchanged, as it did this week, or to raise it again in its drive to curb inflation. The lower job growth in October, along with a slowdown in pay gains last month, could help convince the Fed that inflation pressures will continue to cool and that further rate hikes may not be needed.

On Wall Street, traders appeared to signal their growing belief in that scenario. Bond yields fell and stock prices rose sharply after the jobs report was released, indicating optimism that the Fed will decide it won’t need to impose additional rate hikes.

The unemployment rate rose last month from 3.8% to 3.9%. And in another sign of a possible softening in the labor market, the Labor Department revised down its estimate of job growth in August and September by a combined 101,000.


At least 128 dead as strong quake rocks northwestern Nepal, and officials say toll expected to rise

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Helicopters and ground troops rushed to help people hurt in a strong earthquake that shook northwestern Nepal districts just before midnight Friday, killing at least 128 people and injuring dozens dozens more, officials said Saturday.

Authorities said the death toll was expected to rise, noting that communications were cut off with many places.

As day broke, rescue helicopters flew into the region to help out and security forces on the ground were digging out the injured and dead from the rubble, Nepal police spokesman Kuber Kadayat said.

Troops were also clearing roads and mountain trails that were blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake. Helicopters flew in medical workers and medicines to the hospitals there.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal also flew in on a helicopter with a team of doctors. Dahal led an armed communist revolt in 1996-2006 that began from the districts that were hit by the quake.


Panama president signs into law a moratorium on new mining concessions. A Canadian mine is untouched

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panama’s President, Laurentino Cortizo, signed into law an indefinite moratorium on new mining concessions Friday. The law also prohibits renewing existing concessions.

Panama’s National Assembly approved the bill Thursday. An article was removed, however, that would have revoked a controversial mining contract that sparked nationwide protests over the past two weeks.

The new law will still allow Minera Panama to operate an open-pit copper mine in the state of Colon for 20 years, with a possible extension for another 20 years.

Environmentalists argue the mine threatens to destroy more of the dense jungle surrounding it and imperils local drinking water.

Minera Panama is a local subsidiary of Canadian mining company First Quantum.


Lawyers in Trump's civil fraud trial are ordered to clam up about judge's communications with staff

NEW YORK (AP) — The judge in Donald Trump's civil business fraud trial barred attorneys in the case Friday from commenting on “confidential communications” between him and his staff, after the former president's attorneys renewed claims that a clerk is poisoning the proceedings.

Threatening “serious sanctions” for any violations, Judge Arthur Engoron expanded on a prior gag order that prohibited parties in the trial from speaking publicly about court staffers. The earlier order didn't mention the parties' attorneys, but Engoron had suggested Thursday he might expand it.

The matter seized attention on a day when Eric Trump, one of the former president's sons and a top executive in the family business, wrapped up his testimony. He said he relied completely on accountants and lawyers to assure the accuracy of financial documents that are key to New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit.

The state lawsuit accuses Trump and his company of deceiving banks and insurers by exaggerating his wealth on his annual financial statements. Trump and other defendants, including sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., deny the allegations.

The former president and current Republican 2024 front-runner is due to testify Monday in the case, which threatens the real estate empire that launched him into the public eye and, eventually, politics.


Can Trump be on the ballot in 2024? It can hinge on the meaning of 'insurrection'

DENVER (AP) — Can former President Donald Trump run for his old job again after his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol? The answer may depend on the definition of insurrection.

Liberal groups have filed lawsuits in Colorado, Minnesota and other states to bar Trump from the ballot, citing a rarely used constitutional prohibition against holding office for those who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution but then “engaged in insurrection” against it. The two-sentence clause in the 14th Amendment has been used only a handful of times since the years after the Civil War.

Because of that, there's almost no case law defining its terms, including what would constitute an “insurrection.” While people have argued about whether to call Jan. 6 an insurrection ever since the days following the attack, the debate in court this week has been different — whether those who ratified the amendment in 1868 would call it one.

“There's this very public fight, in all these colloquial terms, about whether it's an insurrection, but it really comes down to brass tacks defining what this constitutional term means,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who's followed the litigation closely.

There are a myriad of other legal reasons why the long-shot legal bids to bar the former president and current Republican primary frontrunner from the ballot could fail, from limits on the role of state courts to whether Section Three applies to the president. But perhaps none resonate like the debate over whether the Jan. 6 attack should be considered an insurrection in the first place.


As billions roll in to fight the US opioid epidemic, one county shows how recovery can work

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Communities ravaged by America's opioid epidemic are starting to get their share of a $50 billion pie from legal settlements.

Most of that money comes with a requirement that it be used to address the overdose crisis and prevent more deaths.

But how?

It could mean that places look more like the area around Findlay. Here, conservative Hancock County has built a comprehensive system focused on both treatment and recovery by adding housing, a needle exchange, outreach workers and a community center.

“People recover in a community,” said Precia Stuby, the official who heads the county’s addiction and mental health efforts. “We have to build recovery-oriented communities that support individuals.”


Maine mass shooter was alive for most of massive 2-day search, autopsy suggests

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The Army reservist who opened fire inside at a bowling alley and a bar in Lewiston, Maine, before disappearing was alive and possibly on the run during a good portion of the massive search that followed, according to a conclusion from the state medical examiner’s office released Friday.

Robert Card died from a self-inflicted gunshot that “likely” happened eight to 12 hours before the discovery of his body, based on a time-of-death analysis, officials said. The conclusion was announced a week after his body was discovered in the back of a tractor-trailer on the property of his former employer at a recycling center.

In the wake of the Oct. 25 shootings, which killed 18 people and wounded 13 more, tens of thousands of area residents sheltered at home behind locked doors as hundreds of law enforcement officers scoured the area looking for Card. He fled in a vehicle that was later found abandoned on a waterfront in a nearby town.

Law enforcement agencies came under scrutiny for not finding Card's body earlier under the assumption that he killed himself in the hours just after the shootings and that his body was overlooked in earlier searches.

But the time of death provided by the state's chief medical examiner, Dr. Mark Flomenbaum, suggests Card, 40, was alive and potentially on the move for more than 24 hours after the killings.

The Associated Press