In our news wrap Tuesday, Wall Street ended a brutal first quarter with fresh losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 23 percent during the first three months of 2020 -- the largest percentage decline since 1987. Also, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that President Trump’s impeachment trial earlier this year diverted government attention from the looming coronavirus crisis.
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In the day's other news: Wall Street ended a brutal first quarter with fresh losses.
The Dow Jones industrials average dropped 410 points today, to close at 21917. It lost 23 percent for the quarter. That's the most since 1987. The Nasdaq fell 74 points today, and the S&P 500 slipped 42, ending its worst quarter since 2008.
Online retailing giant Amazon has fired a worker who led a protest over COVID-19 protections. Christian Smalls organized a walkout Monday at a warehouse on Staten Island. The company said that he had violated social distancing rules and refused to stay home after coming into contact with an infected co-worker. Smalls said that his bosses ordered him home only to get him out of the way.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed today that President Trump's impeachment trial diverted attention from the coronavirus. He appeared on a conservative radio show, and said the outbreak in China, during January, came as the White House and Congress were distracted.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:
It came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.
President Trump's top aides did brief Congress on the outbreak on January 24, during the impeachment trial, and again on February 5, the day he was acquitted. But, at the time, Mr. Trump maintained that the risk was low.
The Trump administration today rolled back Obama era standards for auto mileage. A new rule drops a requirement for annual increases of 5 percent in fuel economy. Environmental groups promised to challenge the change in court. We will get some details later in the program.
The Federal Communications Commission is taking new action against robo-calls. It ordered phone companies today to implement caller I.D. authentication against so-called spoofing. That practice makes it appear that a robo-call is coming from a local number, so that people will answer.
Federal judges have now blocked efforts by Alabama and Ohio to ban abortions during the coronavirus outbreak. The states had classified abortions as nonessential medical procedures. Meanwhile, Texas officials will appeal a federal judge's order that blocked a similar ban.
And the college sports governing body will grant another year of eligibility to spring sport athletes after their seasons were cut short by COVID-19. The NCAA's new policy covers baseball, softball and lacrosse. It doesn't include sports that had finished most or all of their playing seasons.