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News Wrap: Air travel to see pre-pandemic highs Memorial Day weekend

In our news wrap Friday, with COVID restrictions easing, Americans are traveling in near-record numbers this memorial day weekend, with traffic hitting pre-pandemic levels. President Joe Biden formally released his $6 trillion budget for the coming fiscal year. The CDC says that fully vaccinated kids do not have to wear masks at camp this summer.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: President Biden formally released his $6 trillion budget for the new fiscal year. The plan would sharply increase federal spending on infrastructure, public health and education. It would be funded largely by tax increases on corporations and wealthy Americans. Even so, it forecasts a deficit of nearly $2 trillion, sending overall national debt to new highs.

    On the pandemic, the CDC says tonight that fully vaccinated children do not have to wear masks at camp this summer. It also says that children not yet vaccinated should use masks in crowds or when they are inside. The new guidance has been much-anticipated by parents.

    With COVID restrictions easing, Americans are traveling in near record numbers this Memorial Day weekend.

    Today, the secretary of homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, warned of long lines at airports, with traffic hitting pre-pandemic levels.

  • Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro Mayorkas:

    People will see lines because there's going to be a tremendous amount of people traveling this weekend, but patience is required. This is a partnership between TSA and the people we serve.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Mayorkas also said that officials are considering possible vaccine passports for people going abroad. Later, however, his agency said there are no such current plans.

    The issue has become a flash point for opponents, who say the passports would violate personal freedoms.

    Also today, the World Health Organization said that it's formulating a plan for more studies on the origins of COVID-19. Overnight, the U.S. criticized the initial study as — quote — "insufficient and inconclusive." That report found it was extremely unlikely that the virus escaped from a Chinese lab.

    A new cyberattack has hit more than 150 U.S. and foreign government agencies, think tanks and humanitarian groups. Microsoft says that the culprits are the same Russians behind the SolarWinds hack. This time, they accessed an e-mail service used by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and then targeted 3,000 other accounts.

    Vice President Kamala Harris told graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy today that they will face challenges unlike anything that came before. She spoke to about 1,000 graduating midshipmen in Annapolis, Maryland, the first woman to do so in the school's 175 years.

    And she warned, it's a new era.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris:

    Adversaries have their sights set on our military technology, our intellectual property, our elections, our critical infrastructure. The ransomware attack by criminal hackers earlier this month, well, that was a warning shot.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Last year, the academy held its first virtual graduation ceremony due to the pandemic.

    Three police officers in Tacoma, Washington, pled not guilty today to killing a Black man, Manuel Ellis, in March of 2020. Two white officers are charged with second-degree murder. An Asian American officer is accused of manslaughter. Prosecutors say he held Ellis down until he suffocated.

    Organizers in Oklahoma have canceled Monday's main event commemorating the Tulsa race massacre of 1921. They cite unexpected circumstances. U.S. Homeland Security officials had issued general guidance about possible attacks at such events. The massacre involved white mobs killing some 300 people, most of them Black.

    In economic news, the Postal Service is asking to raise first-class stamp prices by 3 cents to 58 cents. It is part of a general increase filed today with the Postal Regulatory Commission.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 64 points to close at 34529. The Nasdaq rose 12 points. The S&P 500 added three.

    And the investigation continues tonight in the rail yard shooting that killed nine people in San Jose, California. The motive remains unclear, but officials have identified the victims.

    Stephanie Sy has a remembrance.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Thirty-six-year-old Taptejdeep Singh spent his final moments trying to keep others safe, his family said. A husband and father to two, Taptejdeep was committed to serving others.

    Michael Rudometkin started at VTA as a mechanic, before becoming an overhead line worker. The 40-year-old was described on Facebook as a great friend.

    Jose Hernandez III lived life with zest, his family told the Associated Press. He was described by his father as a man with many friends. Jose was 35.

    Alex Fritch was described as optimistic, passionate, and a dreamer, a husband and father to two teenage boys. Alex, who worked at a substation, was 49 years old.

    Paul Megia was an assistant superintendent at VTA and always willing to help employees and accept tasks with a smile, his colleague said. Paul was 42 years old.

    Timothy Romo was described as caring and selfless, and he had endless jokes. The 49-year-old husband, father, and grandfather worked at VTA for more than two decades.

    Lars Lane was the first to help his neighbor, and he loved his family fiercely, his son said. According to local news outlets, Lars would have turned 64 this weekend.

    Abdolvahab Alaghmandan worked for VTA for two decades. He often worked overtime and throughout the pandemic. He was 63 years old.

    Adrian Balleza was a light rail operator at VTA. He was a loving family man, who still had so much to give, his family said. Adrian was 29 years old.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Such an enormous loss.

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