Global Glance: US strike on Syria widely hailed; US unemployment falls to a low 4.5 percent

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

US strike on Syria is widely hailed, but angers Russia

BEIRUT (AP) — World leaders rallied around the United States after it launched a missile strike early Friday on a Syrian air base in response to this week’s chemical attack, while Russia condemned the move as “aggression” and suspended crucial coordination with Washington in Syria’s congested skies. The overnight missile attack, which marked the first time the U.S. has directly targeted Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, was condemned by his allies in Russia and Iran but welcomed by the Syrian opposition and its supporters, who expressed hope it signaled a turning point in the devastating six-year-old civil war. Read more

US adds just 98K jobs; unemployment falls to a low 4.5 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added just 98,000 jobs last month, the fewest in a year, though the unemployment rate fell to a nearly seven-year low of 4.5 percent. The rate fell because nearly a half-million more Americans reported finding jobs, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists had expected a falloff in hiring in March after job gains in January and February had averaged a robust 237,000. Those increases had been fueled partly by strong hiring in construction, which occurred because of unseasonably warm winter weather. Read more

Trump, Xi meet again in shadow of missile strikes on Syria

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the U.S-China trade imbalance as well as other points of tension between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are being overshadowed by the U.S. missile strikes on Syria. Nonetheless, the two leaders are meeting for a second day at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as planned Friday. Their first-night summit dinner wrapped up shortly before the U.S. announced the missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country’s long civil war. Read more

GOP health bill in shambles, House commences two-week break

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican health care bill remained in shambles Thursday as House leaders threw up their hands and sent lawmakers home for a two-week recess. GOP chiefs announced a modest amendment to curb premium increases, but internal divisions still blocked their promised repeal of former President Barack Obama’s law. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conceded “we have more work to do” over the “days and weeks ahead.” That underscored the longer timeline Republican leaders acknowledge they’ll need to resolve disputes between conservatives and moderates that blew up their legislation last month, dishing a mortifying defeat to Ryan and President Donald Trump. Read more

Greek bailout talks make major breakthrough on reforms

BRUSSELS (AP) — Greece and its international creditors took a big step Friday toward an agreement that will ensure the cash-strapped country gets the money it needs in time to avoid a potential bankruptcy this summer. For months, the bailout discussions have stalled amid disagreements over what reforms, including to pensions, tax and the labor market that Greece should take in order to get the rescue money due from its most recent international rescue. Without the money, Greece would once again be facing the prospect of having to exit the eurozone – so-called Grexit. Read more

Fitch downgrades South Africa’s credit rating to junk status

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The Fitch agency has downgraded South Africa’s credit rating to junk status, citing political turmoil and governance concerns. The downgrade on Friday followed a similar move earlier this week by the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency. It came as thousands of protesters across the country called for President Jacob Zuma to resign following his dismissal of the finance minister in a Cabinet reshuffle. Read more

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