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News Wrap: Biden defends controversial behavior toward women

In our news wrap Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden defended his displays of affection toward women and tried to defuse the criticism he’s taken over the issue. At least four women have said Biden made them uncomfortable with physical contact. Also, British Prime Minister Theresa May has requested an additional delay for the UK’s departure from the European Union, from April 12 to June 30.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. job market bounced back in March. The Labor Department reports that employers added a net 196,000 jobs, up sharply from February.

    Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.8 percent. Wage growth slowed slightly, with a 3.2 percent increase from a year ago. We will take a closer look at the numbers after the news summary.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden today defended his displays of affection toward women, but tried to defuse the criticism he has been taking. At least four women have said that Biden made them uncomfortable with hugs and other physical contact.

    At a Washington speech today, he joked about hugging the man who leads the electrical workers union, saying he had permission. Later, he spoke in a more serious vein.

  • Joseph Biden:

    I'm sorry I didn't understand more. I'm not sorry for any of my intentions. I'm not sorry for anything that I have every done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. That's not the reputation I had since I was in high school, for God's sake.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    At the same time, Biden acknowledged that he will have to change the way he campaigns. And he said he plans to make a final decision about running for president — quote — "relatively soon."

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May has requested a further delay in her country's departure from the European Union. Her action today could buy more time to fashion a deal that will pass Parliament.

    In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, May asked to push the date back to June 30. Britain is currently set to leave the E.U. on April 12 with no deal.

    In Saudi Arabia, human rights groups and activists say authorities have detained eight people who have supported jailed women rights activists. Two are U.S.-Saudi dual citizens. Most are writers and advocates. These are the first such arrests since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi government agents last October.

    A Japanese spacecraft has successfully blasted a crater into the surface of an asteroid. Japan's space agency tweeted images today of the asteroid and the area that was targeted today. It should clear the way for collecting underground samples and returning them to Earth. The goal is to learn more about the origins of Earth and the solar system.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 40 points to close at 26425. The Nasdaq rose nearly 47 points, and the S&P 500 added 13.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": we break down the latest numbers on jobs and wages; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler on plans to subpoena the Mueller report; the healing power of photography 25 years after the Rwandan genocide; and much more.

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