U.S. manufacturing shrinks to 3-year low


A survey shows U.S. manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, the first month after the Great Recession ended. Worries about automatic tax increases in the New Year cut demand for factory orders and manufacturing jobs. The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing conditions fell to a reading of 49.5. That’s down from 51.7 in October. Any reading above 50 signals expansion, while readings below 50 indicate contraction….

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UN to withdraw non-essential staff from Syria

Missions to Syria cancelled and remaining staff on standby to move, in final step before full-scale evacuation Jihad Makdissi has reportedly been sacked as Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman, the first high-profile departure from the Assad regime in recent months. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images The United Nations is preparing to evacuate […]