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In our news wrap Tuesday, a sell-off hit Wall Street as big tech stocks fell sharply amid anticipation of higher interest rates, Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-isolate and continue working, China intensified its effort to control the country's COVID outbreak, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is vowing to speed development of nuclear weapons.
In the day's other news: A sell-off hit Wall Street, as big tech stocks fell sharply amid anticipation of higher interest rates.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 809 points, 2 percent, to close at 33240. The Nasdaq fell 514 points. That's nearly 4 percent. It's down 20 percent since the year began. The S&P 500 slipped 121. That's almost 3 percent.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed Lael Brainard as vice chair of the Federal Reserve. She was nominated in November and has been on the Central Bank's board since 2014. But efforts to wrap up debate on Lisa Cook's nomination failed. She would be the first Black woman on the Fed Board, but Republicans have questioned her experience.
Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19. The White House said today that she has no symptoms, but will self-isolate and continue working. Aides also said that she has not had close contact with President Biden in recent days.
The CDC now estimates that three of every four children in the U.S. have been infected by COVID. That follows a dramatic jump in cases during the Omicron variant's spread. Today's finding came as the White House moved to make Paxlovid pills more widely available. They can sharply reduce serious illness and deaths from COVID.
Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator:
We're opening up a federal — a federal pharmacy channel. And what that means is pharmacies can order directly from the federal government.
Currently, there are about 20,000 sites in United States that carry Paxlovid. We expect, with this change, that we will very quickly get to 30,000. And, within the next couple of weeks, I expect us to get to about 40,000 sites.
Meanwhile, in China, officials in Beijing erected more barriers around locked-down sections of housing. Mass testing also got under way in 11 of the capital city's 16 districts. We will look at the pandemic in this country after the news summary.
North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, is vowing to speed development of nuclear weapons and to use them preemptively if provoked. Kim spoke last night as powerful missiles rolled through Pyongyang in a military parade. Last month, the North fired a missile higher and farther than ever before.
Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court today considered the Trump era policy that makes asylum-seeking migrants wait in Mexico. President Biden had suspended the program, but lower courts reinstated it after Texas and Missouri filed suit. The High Court's decision is expected by late June.
Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States hit an all-time high in 2021. That's according to the Anti-Defamation League, which says it counted more than 2,700 cases of harassment, vandalism and assault. That's up 34 percent from 2020. The ADL says that incidents spiked during the Israel-Hamas war last may.
A Russian court has fined Facebook's parent company, Meta, for what it calls LGBT propaganda. Today's penalty of four million rubles is the equivalent of $54,000. The court acted under a law that bans — quote — "the promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors."
And production of conventional light bulbs in the United States will in January 1. That's in favor of LED bulbs lasting 25 to 50 times longer. The U.S. Energy Department will allow sales of less efficient bulbs until the summer of 2023. Then-President Trump canceled a similar phase-out in 2019.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": democracy in crisis — how powerful conservatives pushed 2020 presidential election fraud; streaming services battle for viewers and survival; a Columbia University professor shares her Brief But Spectacular take on Black life and literature; and much more.
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