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In our news wrap Tuesday, mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations spread to more of the U.S. as the delta variant surges, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected any new restrictions, New York became the nation's first big city to require proof of shots, the Taliban accelerated its gains in Afghanistan, and an American Olympic star returned to competition in women's gymnastics.
In the day's other news: Mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations spread to more of the country, as the Delta variant surges.
New York became the nation's first big city to require proof of shots for indoor dining, theaters and gyms. Tyson Foods ordered its 120,000 employees to get vaccinated. It's one of the first big employers of front-line workers to do so. And Microsoft said, starting in September, anyone entering its buildings must be vaccinated.
Also today, major U.S. automakers announced that unionized workers must return to work wearing masks tomorrow.
In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis rejected any new restrictions today. He spoke in Miami after news that COVID hospitalizations in the state hit a record for the third straight day.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL):
We are not shutting down. We are going to have schools open. We are protecting every Floridian's job in this state. We are protecting people's small businesses.
Gov. Ron DeSantis:
These interventions have failed time and time again throughout this pandemic, not just in the United States, but abroad. They have not stopped the spread, and particularly with Delta, which is even more transmissible.
President Biden today criticized governors who have blocked vaccination and masking requirements. He said — quote — "If you aren't going to help, please get out of the way."
A Pentagon police officer was stabbed to death today at a transit station outside the Pentagon. The building was put on lockdown for part of the day. It was widely reported that officers shot and killed the suspect at the scene. There was no word on a possible motive.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban accelerated its gains, moving to capture a provincial capital for the first time in years. Insurgents gained control of nearly all of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, and desperate civilians tried to flee.
Bahauddin Khan, Resident of Lashkar Gah (through translator): I am leaving. Everyone has left. There is bombing from the air, and Taliban are on the ground.
Meanwhile, an explosion in Kabul apparently targeted the acting defense minister. He was unhurt, but at least six others were killed, including four gunmen.
A Belarusian exile was found hanged today near his home in Ukraine's capital, Kiev. Vitaly Shishov led a group that helps people fleeing the authoritarian government in Belarus. Ukrainian police said they're investigating the death as a possible murder staged to look like a suicide.
A major forest fire is burning on the outskirts of Athens, Greece, tonight, forcing thousands to flee their homes. Water-dropping tanker planes and helicopters attempted today to drown the flames. Huge clouds of smoke rose as the fire spread. The fire is feeding off one of the country's worst heat wave in decades.
On Wall Street, stocks made modest gains, as investors kept an eye on how new pandemic restrictions might affect the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 278 points to close at 35116. The Nasdaq rose 80 points. The S&P 500 added 36.
And at the Summer Olympics, an American star returned to competition. Gymnast Simone Biles won bronze on the balance beam after sitting out other events to focus on her mental health.
And in pole vaulting, American Chris Nilsen won silver, while Sweden took the gold.
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