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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 12:40 p.m. EST

February 1, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has announced that it is pulling out of a landmark nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, accusing Moscow of violating the Cold War-era pact with “impunity” by continuing to develop banned missiles. NATO says if Moscow fails to destroy all new missile systems that Washington insists violate the treaty, “Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the treaty.” Russia denies being in violation and blames the U.S. for undermining global security by ending compliance.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The healthy pace of hiring the government reported Friday illustrated the job market’s durability nearly a decade into the economic expansion. The U.S. has now added jobs for 100 straight months, the longest such period on record. The unemployment rate did rise in January to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, but mostly for a technical reason: Roughly 175,000 federal workers were counted as temporarily unemployed last month because of the shutdown.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is appealing to Americans to come together from their partisan corners as he launches his 2020 presidential candidacy. The New Jersey Democrat appeared live on “The View” on Friday, telling its hosts that he is running as a counterweight to “a caustic type of politics” that threatens to divide the country. Booker, the former mayor of Newark, joins multiple other candidates of color in a diverse Democratic primary field.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is giving his State of the Union address at a sensitive time in talks to prevent another government shutdown. But the striking visual is shaping up to be the record number of women House members who will be seated in front of the president while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sits just over his shoulder on the dais. Afterward, Stacey Abrams will become the first black woman to deliver the Democratic rebuttal.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Tourists unable to visit a popular beach in Northern California that was taken over by a colony of nursing elephant seals during the government shutdown will be able to get an up-close view of the creatures. The Press Democrat reports Point Reyes (rayz) National Seashore rangers and volunteer docents will lead small groups of visitors starting this weekend to the edge of a parking lot son they can safely see the elephant seals and their newborn pups.

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