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In our news wrap Thursday, judges in Kentucky and Florida became the latest to block new abortion limits since the end of Roe v. Wade, Hong Kong prepares for the 25th anniversary of its return from British to Chinese rule, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was sworn in as president in Manila, and the Justice Department opened an investigation of New York City's police unit that handles sex crimes.
In the day's other news: The Supreme Court also opened the door to possibly changing how federal elections are conducted. The justices agreed to consider whether state courts may review election procedures and congressional district lines. The case involves a North Carolina court's ruling against districts that heavily favor Republicans.
Judges in Kentucky and Florida became the latest today to block new abortion limits since the end of Roe v. Wade. The ruling in Kentucky halted a near total ban on abortions. A judge in Florida temporarily stopped enforcement of a ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The NATO summit has ended with President Biden vowing to defend — quote — "every inch" of the bloc's eastern flank against Russia. He also pledged another $800 million in arms for Ukraine today.
We will return to the summit after the news summary.
Russian forces pulled out of a strategic Black Sea island today, possibly easing pressure on Ukraine's attempts to export grain. Snake Island sits about 90 miles from Odessa. The Russians said it was leaving as a goodwill gesture. Ukraine said that they were driven off.
Hong Kong made ready today for the 25th anniversary of its return from British to Chinese rule. Crowds and performers welcomed China's President Xi Jinping. Under his rule, authorities have cracked down on protests and any form of dissent in Hong Kong and barred opposition candidates from elections. Xi praised the changes.
Xi Jinping, Chinese President (through translator):
In the past period of time, Hong Kong endured difficult tests one after another, overcame risks and challenges one after another. After the storms, Hong Kong reemerged from the fire and was reborn. Hong Kong is showing vibrance.
This was Xi's first visit to Hong Kong since mass pro-democracy protests there in 2019.
In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator, was sworn in as president in Manila. He took his oath of office to cheers from supporters 36 years after his father was overthrown. The new president glossed over the widespread corruption and human rights abuses under Marcos Sr. and predicted a bright future.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., President of the Philippines: We will build back better by doing things in the light of the experiences that we have had, both good and bad. It doesn't matter, no looking back in anger or nostalgia.
Elsewhere, in Manila, protesters marched and condemned Marcos' rise to power and said he pulled it off by whitewashing his family's past.
Back in this country, the — in this country, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now says that new COVID vaccine boosters will have to target the newest Omicron offshoots. Those subvariants are highly contagious and are fueling a rise in new cases around the world. The FDA says the original vaccines should still be used for people who are getting their first shots.
And on Wall Street, stocks closed out another losing month. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 253 points to close at 30775. The Nasdaq fell 149 points, more than 1 percent. The S&P 500 gave up 33. For the first half of the year, the Dow is down 15 percent, the Nasdaq is off 29 percent, the S&P is off 20 percent.
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