News Wrap: Justice Department sues Texas over 6-week abortion ban

In our news wrap Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department sued Texas over its law banning most abortions. A federal judge in Florida struck down a Republican-backed law targeting violent protests. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are asking the supreme court to reject proxy voting during the pandemic. Hot, dry conditions have mostly returned to California, raising new wildfires risks.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Biden is rolling out requirements for up to 100 million Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested weekly.

    His plan, announced today, is a bid to stem the surging Delta variant. It affects private employers with more than 100 workers, and it mandates that federal employees and contractors get shots with no testing option.

    The president had sharp words for the unvaccinated.

    Joe Biden, President of the United States: We have made vaccinations free safe and convenient. The vaccine has FDA approval. Over 200 million Americans have gotten at least one shot.

    We have been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us. So, please do the right thing.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    We will talk to the president's top infectious disease adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, later in the program.

    Separately today, the Los Angeles School Board considered a vaccine mandate for students 12 and older who return to classrooms. It's one of the most aggressive measures yet in a major school district.

    Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are asking the Supreme Court to end proxy voting in Congress during the pandemic. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said today that it's not right that lawmakers stay home and get paid while other Americans have returned to offices. Democrats say that proxy voting limits the spread of COVID.

    In Afghanistan, the Taliban today allowed the first large-scale departure since last month's mass evacuations. An estimated 200 non-Afghans flew to Qatar from Kabul, including an undetermined number of American citizens. U.S. officials said they expect another flight tomorrow. We will look at this after the news summary.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Justice Department sued Texas over a new law banning most abortions. It takes effect around six weeks into a pregnancy, and it lets private citizens sue anyone who helps in obtaining an prohibited abortion.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland said it's a dangerous precedent.

  • Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General:

    This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United States is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear. If it prevails, it may become a model for action in other areas by other states and with respect to other constitutional rights and judicial precedents.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Texas law is the most sweeping restriction since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld abortion rights in 1973.

    A federal judge in Florida today struck down a Republican-backed law that targets violent protests. Governor Ron DeSantis championed the statute. It says peaceful protesters may face criminal charges if there's violence during a demonstration. The judge called it an assault on constitutional rights.

    Extremely hot, dry conditions have returned to much of California, raising the risk of new wildfires. A fire weather watch covers parts of the state through tomorrow. Nearly 15,000 firefighters are already battling 14 major fires across the state.

    In the Southeastern U.S., the problem is too much water. Remains of Tropical Storm Mindy poured rain over Georgia and South Carolina today in areas already soaked by previous storms. In the Pacific, Hurricane Olaf headed toward Mexico's Los Cabos resort region with winds of 80 miles an hour.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned sales today of nearly 950,000 vaping products. It cited their potential appeal to teenagers. But the FDA allowed the bestselling Juul brand to stay on the market for now. The agency said it needs more time to complete its reviews.

    And on Wall Street, worries about the COVID surge pushed stocks lower again. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 151 points to close at 34879. The Nasdaq fell 38 points. The S&P 500 slipped 20.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": many Louisianians still struggle without power and water in the wake of Hurricane Ida; the president withdraws his nominee to lead the ATF; we talk with Dr. Anthony Fauci about the latest surge of COVID hospitalizations; plus much more.

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