News Wrap: CDC approves Pfizer COVID vaccine booster shots for children ages 5 to 11

In our news wrap Friday, children in the U.S. ages 5 to 11 began receiving their Pfizer COVID vaccine booster shots after the CDC gave its final approval, a federal judge rules COVID asylum restrictions must continue on the border, the Justice Department unveiled new efforts to combat hate crimes after the massacre in Buffalo, and Russia claims it's taken full control of the city of Mariupol.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: President Biden kicked off his first trip to Asia since taking office by addressing the global computer chip shortage that's been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

    The president's five-day visit includes stops in South Korea and Japan, all aimed at reinforcing the U.S. commitment to its allies in the face of aggression from China and North Korea.

    We will take a closer look at what's at stake right after the news summary.

    Children in the U.S. ages 5 to 11 began receiving their Pfizer COVID vaccine booster shots today hours after the CDC gave their final approval. They will be eligible five months after their second vaccine dose. The CDC estimates that, so far, fewer than 30 percent of the 28 million children in this age bracket have received two doses of a COVID vaccine.

    A federal judge in Louisiana ruled today that COVID-19 asylum restrictions must continue on the southern U.S. border. The Biden administration planned to lift the restrictions Monday. The Trump era public health order known as Title 42 has allowed officials to deport thousands of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. during the pandemic.

    The Justice Department today unveiled new efforts to combat hate crimes just days after 10 Black people died in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. It includes plans to fund state hot lines to report hate crimes and to assist local police agencies with sending data to the FBI.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland said confronting acts of hate is a matter of moral urgency.

  • Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General:

    We do this work because we believe that all people in this country should be able to live without fear of being attacked or harassed because of where they are from, what they look like, whom they love, or how they worship.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The FBI reported more than 8,300 hate crimes in the U.S. in 2020, the last year for which data is available. That is the biggest — the highest level in more than a decade.

    Russia claims that it has taken full control of the southern port city of Mariupol, after a nearly three-month-long siege. There was no immediate confirmation, though, from Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Azovstal steel plant, the last pocket of resistance there, was completely liberated after the remaining Ukrainian defenders surrendered.

    Meanwhile, more assistance is on the way to Ukraine. The Group of Seven leading economies pledged nearly $20 billion today in economic aid.

    The United Nations sounded new warning today that parts of Africa will soon face mass starvation. It's largely due to the war in Ukraine, to the COVID pandemic, to inflation, and climate change. U.N. officials estimate that about 18 million people in the Sahel region will face severe hunger in the next three months. The countries most at risk are Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger.

    The Conservative Political Action Conference known as CPAC wrapped up today in Hungary. It was the first time the event was held in Europe. Dozens of conservatives from around the world gathered for the two-day event, but U.S. journalists were denied access.

    The speakers included former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Hungary's populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp.

    And a passing to note. Legendary American sports writer and editor Roger Angell died today at his home in Manhattan. He was known for his passionate writing about baseball, penning hundreds of essays and stories that captured the spirit of a true fan as a regular contributor to "The New Yorker." Roger Angell was 101 years old.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": calls for the president to cancel the widespread financial burden of student debt grow louder; New York struggles with a sharp rise in violent crime, complicating the city's recovery from COVID-19; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart weigh in on the week's political headlines; plus much more.

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