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News Wrap: Boulder shooting suspect’s case could take a year to try

In our news wrap Thursday, the suspect in Monday's mass shooting in Colorado made his first court appearance. His lawyers requested a mental health assessment. Then, efforts to ship COVID-19 vaccines to needy nations face major delays and about 90 million doses may be affected. Also, California's Supreme Court issued a ruling today barring holding people in jail because they cannot afford bail.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: At least one tornado has struck the Birmingham, Alabama area, with reports of five deaths and multiple injuries. Officials say a storm hit a subdivision of Birmingham and several towns to the south. It tore up homes and a civic complex and ripped down power lines.

    Efforts to ship COVID-19 vaccines to needy nations have run into major delays. The Gavi alliance, backed by the U.N. says 90 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine are affected. They are being produced in India, but domestic demand is rising in that country. We will look at vaccine delays in Europe after the news summary.

    The suspect in the Boulder, Colorado, shooting had his first court appearance today on 10 charges of first-degree murder. The lawyer for Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa asked for a mental health assessment. That will delay the next pretrial hearing. And prosecutors said it could take a year to try the case.

  • Michael Dougherty:

    Today's court appearance is the first step in what will be a long journey to justice for the victims, their loved ones, and this community. And I can promise you every step of the way we're going to fight incredibly hard to secure the right outcome in this case.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Alissa did not enter a plea at the hearing.

    The Supreme Court of California issued a major ruling today that bars holding people in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. The unanimous decision said lower courts must consider the ability to pay, unless the defendant is deemed too dangerous to release. The upshot is that many indigent defendants may now be released.

    In Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny says that his physical condition is worsening in prison. He posted a letter today complaining of poor treatment for back pain and leg problems. Navalny was jailed for violating probation because he traveled to Germany to recover from being poisoned. He blamed the attack on the Putin government.

    Protests in Myanmar today led to fresh violence, with reports of four people killed. The day began with peaceful marches against last month's military coup. Later, troops reportedly attacked the crowds.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. imposed new sanctions. State Department officials told a Senate hearing that they will hit the army regime where it hurts.

  • Atul Keshap:

    What these are doing now is really pinpointing the commander in chief, his family, his ruling circle.

    These are very carefully sort of designed sanctions to put pressure on the commander in chief, to put pressure on his children, on his family to make him realize that he has bitten off more than he can chew.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United Kingdom imposed similar sanctions today.

    Crews are still struggling to clear Egypt's Suez Canal of a giant cargo ship that is wedged across it. Leaders of the effort warned today that it could take weeks. Tugboats and cranes have failed to free the ship, which ran aground on Tuesday during a sandstorm. At least 150 other vessels are now blocked from transiting the canal.

    Back in this country, the University of Southern California has agreed to pay $852 million in a record settlement involving sexual abuse. The money goes to more than 700 women who accused the longtime campus gynecologist. Dr. George Tyndall is also facing 35 counts of alleged sexual misconduct.

    The U.S. Supreme Court says that victims of accidents involving Ford vehicles may sue the company in state courts. Today's decision includes cars originally purchased in one state and resold as used elsewhere. It could open the door to more state court lawsuits against automakers and companies doing business nationwide.

    In economic news, new claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell to 684,000 last week, the lowest since the pandemic began.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 199 points to close at 32619. The Nasdaq rose 15 points, and the S&P 500 added 20.

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