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MANCHESTER — From the earnest to the absurd, 17 unknown presidential hopefuls who have been shut out of the higher-profile debates are gathering in New Hampshire, where anyone with $1,000 can run for president.

One candidate, Timothy Brewer, vows that speaking with Jesus through “afterlife orbs” will solve the world’s problems. Another, Vermin Supreme, yanks up his shirt to show off his kidney-transplant scar. Then there’s Ed O’Donnell, who calls for a return to good manners and says he’d outlaw all guns.

Most of the 10 Republicans and seven Democrats in Monday’s forum are ordinary people motivated by the same issues that have dominated the other debates, including the economy and foreign policy.

An airline pilot from Kentucky, Christopher Hill, says he’s a lesser-known candidate who stands for lesser-known Americans.

LABOR

Unemployment fell in 43 states in November

Unemployment rates fell in 43 states in November, the most to report such declines in eight years.

The falling state rates reflect the brightening jobs picture nationally. The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in November to 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009. The economy has generated 100,000 or more jobs five months in a row - the first time that’s happened since 2006, before the Great Recession.

Only three states reported higher unemployment rates in November, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Four states showed no change.

Nevada for the 18th straight month had the highest state unemployment rate: 13 percent. It was followed by California at 11.3 percent. North Dakota again enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate: 3.4 percent. It was followed by Nebraska at 4.1 percent and South Dakota at 4.3 percent.

The biggest decline in the unemployment rate in November compared with October was in Michigan. Its rate dropped by 0.8 percentage points to 9.8 percent, from 10.6 percent in October.

Alabama, Minnesota, South Carolina and Utah all reported declines of 0.6 percentage points in November from October.

Employers added jobs in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Employment decreased in 19 states and was unchanged in two. The largest month-over-month increases were in New York, up 29,500 jobs, and Texas, with a gain of 20,800.

NEW YORK

Romney to America: ‘Newt Gingrich? Really?’

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