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Tariff-driven price increases broaden across US, wage growth higher: Fed

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Tariff-driven price increases have spread more broadly through the U.S. economy, though on balance inflation has risen at a modest pace in most parts of the country, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday in its latest report on the economy

The U.S. central bank’s “Beige Book” report, a snapshot of the economy gleaned from discussions with business contacts in the Fed’s 12 districts in the weeks through November 26, also said that the economy appeared to be growing modestly to moderately. Labor markets tightened across a broad range of industries, and wage growth “tended to the higher side of a modest to moderate pace.”

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The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at the close of its Dec. 18-19 policy meeting. Policymakers have said the United States’ strong economy could stoke higher inflation if they do not raise borrowing costs further.

At the same time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has signaled the Fed’s three-year tightening cycle is drawing to a close and central bankers are looking for signs a global growth slowdown and a U.S.-China trade war might be weighing on the U.S. economy.

Recent Beige Book reports have detailed business worries about rising tariffs, including reports by U.S. factories that they were raising prices because tariffs were making input costs more expensive.

Reporting by Jason Lange and Howard Schneider in Washington and by Ann Saphir in San Francisco; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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Strike on Saudi oil field likely launched by Iranian ‘proxies’ inside Iraq

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The drone strike on an oil field in Saudi Arabia on the weekend was likely launched by Iraqi militias affiliated with Iran, said France 24’s terrorism expert Wassim Nasr.

“It’s the most plausible version,” he said.

And it wouldn’t be the first time such strikes have been launched from inside Iraq by Iranian-backed forces, Nasr explained. Between April 2018 and July 2019, three reported interceptions or strikes targeted a Saudi pipeline running from the east of the Kingdom to the Red Sea, disrupting the transport of oil.

The technology was also evidently a Houthi missile based in Iranian technology, a Quds-1 missile that is a smaller and “better” version of the Iranian Soumar missile, Nasr said.

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Michigan Republicans thank ‘Uncle Ted’ Nugent for testifying after he says their state ‘doesn’t qualify as America’

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Republican lawmakers in Michigan invited conservative rocker Ted Nugent to testify even though he has said the state "doesn't qualify as America."

In testimony on the Michigan state House floor on Tuesday, Nugent spoke in support of a bill that would reverse a ban on deer and elk baiting. The ban was put in place in 2018 due to suspicions that chronic wasting disease (CWD) was being spread through piles of bait.

For his part, Nugent argued that the ban was ineffective because deer are "swapping spit."

"If they think they can stop deer from swapping spit, they're idiots," Nugent testified, according to The Detroit News.

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NY judge kicked off the bench after suggesting nooses are needed to ‘make America great again’

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A judge in upstate New York has been forced off the bench after he posted an image of a noose on his personal Facebook account -- and suggested it was needed to help "make America great again."

The Washington Post reports that officials on Tuesday revealed that Kyle R. Canning, a part-time judge, was relieved of his duties after the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct concluded that his Facebook post showed an unacceptable level of political and racial bias.

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