In our news wrap Wednesday, India set new high records with 2,000 deaths and 295,000 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours. Meanwhile, the United States reached 200 million vaccinations. There's word that President Joe Biden will pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half - from 2005 levels - by the year 2030. On Wall Street, stocks were broadly higher. And Britain's Queen Elizabeth turned 95.
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In the day's other news: The United States reached 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 50 percent of U.S. adults have now gotten at least one shot, but the pace has begun to slow. President Biden today announced tax credits for businesses that would fund paid leave for employees to get their shots.
Pres. Joe Biden:
I'm calling on every employer, large and small, in every state to give employees the time off they need with pay to get vaccinated, and any time they need, with pay, to recover if they're feeling under the weather after the shot.
Meanwhile, in Germany, protesters in Berlin criticized new nationwide restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.
And, in India, 22 patients died after an oxygen tank leaked at a hospital for COVID-19 patients. The country set grim new high records today with 2,000 deaths and 295,000 cases in 24 hours.
Another attempt at fostering peace talks in Afghanistan has faltered. Plans for an international conference on Saturday were shelved today. The sponsors cited a lack of any prospect of meaningful progress. The Taliban had dismissed the meeting as political spectacle.
There's word that President Biden will pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half from the 2005 levels by the year 2030. That was widely reported today on the eve of a virtual summit with 40 world leaders. Meanwhile, the European Union agreed to go carbon-neutral by 2050. European lawmakers said it puts pressure on Washington to act.
The U.S. is not our big brother on climate. We are the big brother or the big sister. So, they will be actually encouraged by this. They will be pressed by this. They will need to deliver when they see what we have accomplished.
Also today, China's President Xi Jinping confirmed that he will take part in the summit. China is the world's largest carbon polluter, followed by the U.S.
A dozen governors want an end to sales of new gas-powered vehicles in the U.S. by 2035. The group, led by California and New York, has sent the proposal to President Biden in a letter. It would apply to passenger cars and light-duty trucks.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Vanita Gupta today to be the associate attorney general 51-49. She will be the first woman of color to serve as the Justice Department's third-ranking official. Nearly all Republicans argued that she was too radical. Alaska's GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski broke ranks and voted to confirm.
Plans for a so-called European soccer Super League collapsed today after 10 out of 12 clubs dropped out. Their plans to break away from existing leagues had ignited backlash from fans around the world.
A founder of the Super League, Andrea Agnelli, said that he still believes in the project.
It would have given that stability which is required. The rest, I can see where they are coming from, other comments that resemble greediness. But I would push back that, because it's simply that, today, football, it's an economic industry.
European soccer officials had threatened to ban Super League clubs from this year's European championship and from next year's World Cup.
On Wall Street, stocks were broadly higher today, led by tech companies and banks. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 316 points to close at 34137. The Nasdaq rose nearly 164 points, and the S&P 500 added 38.
The late Congressman Alcee Hastings was honored today with a memorial service in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. Fellow lawmakers and others celebrated the Florida Democrat and his nearly three decades in the House of Representatives. Hastings died earlier this month after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 84.
And Britain's Queen Elizabeth turned 95 today, her first birthday in 73 years without her husband, Prince Philip. He died this month at the age of 99. In a statement today, the queen thanked all those who paid tributes to Philip. She said she had been deeply touched.