In our news wrap Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris appealed for cooperation in a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to curb the rise in migrants arriving at the U.S. border. Pfizer has started the application process for a full FDA approval of its COVID vaccine for people 16 and older. April's jobs report fell far short of what many analysts expected.
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April's U.S. jobs report for the U.S. fell far short of what many analysts expected. The Labor Department today reported that employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1 percent.
At the White House, President Biden urged patience as the latest COVID stimulus package is implemented.
Pres. Joe Biden:
It was designed to help us over the course of a year, not 60 days, a year. We never thought that, after the first 50 or 60 days, everything would be fine. Today, there's more evidence that our economy is moving in the right direction, but it's clear we have a long way to go.
We will take a closer look at the jobs report after the news summary.
India broke another grim record today with more than 414,000 new COVID infections in the last 24 hours. School buses are being converted into mobile oxygen sites, as hospitals scramble to find space for the surge of COVID patients.
A representative with the United Nations' humanitarian agency in Geneva voiced concern about the escalating crisis.
Yasmin Ali Haque:
The wave is almost four times the size of the first wave, and the virus is spreading much faster. On an average, there were more than four new cases every second and more than two deaths every minute in the last 24 hours.
What is happening in India should raise alarm bells for all of us. The pandemic is far from over.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization granted emergency authorization to China's Sinopharm COVID vaccine. It is 78 percent effective among those younger than 60.
Pfizer has started the application process for a full Food and Drug Administration approval of its COVID vaccine for people 16 and older. It is the first vaccine manufacturer to do so.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking into whether the official global COVID death toll needs to be revised higher. Its director weighed in on a University of Washington report that estimates there were more than 900,000 U.S. deaths. That is far higher than the current toll.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
Just those who passed from COVID-19 specifically, but excess deaths relating to access to care, not presented to care, and many other things.
So, we will look at this carefully, and then we will work within the CDC to make decisions as to whether to count them as excess or to count them as COVID-specific.
The current U.S. COVID death toll stands is roughly 581,000.
Vice President Kamala Harris appealed for cooperation with Mexico today to curb the rise in migrants arriving at the U.S. Southern border. She held a virtual meeting with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Harris has been leading the diplomatic effort to address the challenges in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that are driving migration.
Vice President Kamala Harris:
Together, we must fight violence, we must fight corruption and impunity. It is in our country's mutual interests to provide immediate relief to the Northern Triangle and to address the root causes of migration.
You and I have discussed before an understanding and a belief most people don't want to leave home.
Harris plans to travel to Mexico and Guatemala next month for her first foreign trip as vice president.
Meanwhile, in Donna, Texas, Secretary of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas toured a processing facility that housed nearly 4,000 unaccompanied migrant children at the start of April. Today, he said that number is just above 300.
A federal grand jury has indicted four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd with violating his civil rights. The three-count indictment says that Derek Chauvin and the other officers failed to provide Floyd with medical care, among other charges. Last month, Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter.
Texas is now the latest Republican-led state to advance a restrictive election overhaul. The bill would limit mail-in ballots and empower partisan poll watchers, among other things. It passed the state House after an all-night debate, but it still needs to be reconciled with the state Senate before it is sent to the governor's desk.
In Jerusalem, clashes erupted tonight between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. More than 50 people were injured. Violence escalated over the potential eviction of Palestinians from land claimed by Jewish settlers. Protesters threw rocks at Israeli police, who fired back with stun grenades and tear gas. Emergency crews rushed the wounded away.
And on Wall Street today, stocks rallied in spite of last month's hiring slowdown. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 229 points to close at a record 34778. The Nasdaq rose 119 points, and the S&P 500 added 31 to hit another record high.