Happening Today

Happening Today: Weinstein Defense, Cruise Virus Screening, Job Report, NH Debate

Here's what to know for Friday, February 7

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Weinstein's Lawyers to Continue Defense After Rocky Start

Their defense off to a rocky start, Harvey Weinstein's lawyers look to rebound Friday by bringing in a film director to test the credibility of a rape accuser who acknowledged using prescription drugs during an early 1990s movie shoot. Weinstein's attorneys are also expected to call on a psychologist who specializes in memory. The defense is looking to raise doubts about the women’s recollections of encounters that in some cases are more than a decade or two old. The criminal charges at the trial in New York City are based on two allegations: that Weinstein raped a woman in March 2013 and that he forced oral sex on another woman in 2006. The allegations against Weinstein helped fuel the #MeToo movement.

Health Officials to Screen Cruise Ship Passengers Docked in Bayonne, NJ

More than two dozen Chinese nationals who traveled aboard a cruise ship that set to return to New Jersey will be screened for any signs of the new virus that have sicked tens of thousands in mainland China. Two sources familiar with the matter tell NBC New York that the travelers had came from China for the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas cruise through the Caribbean. There's no indication anyone has the coronavirus but the CDC and health officials will provide health screenings Friday morning when the ship docks in Bayonne.

January US Jobs Report May Provide Clarity Amid Disruptions

With China’s viral outbreak disrupting trade and Boeing’s troubles weighing on American factories, the January U.S. jobs report on Friday may provide timely evidence of the U.S. economy’s enduring health. Economists estimate that employers added 161,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low of 3.5%, according to data provider FactSet. That pace of hiring would be weaker than the monthly average of the past two years yet still more than enough to reduce unemployment over time. The closely watched jobs report comes in the same week that President Donald Trump boasted of his economic record in his State of the Union address, previewing a central campaign theme in his re-election bid.

Democrats Prepare for New Hampshire Debate as Urgency Rises

The Democratic Party's seven strongest presidential contenders are preparing for what could be the fiercest debate stage clash of the 2020 primary season as candidates look to survive the gauntlet of contests that lie ahead. The field has been shaken and reshaped by chaotic Iowa caucuses earlier this week. Friday's debate in New Hampshire offers new opportunity and risk for the shrinking pool of White House hopefuls. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg enter the night as the top targets, having emerged from Iowa essentially tied for the lead. Those trailing after the first contest have an urgent need to demonstrate strength. New Hampshire's primary is on Tuesday.

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