In our news wrap Thursday, a new study published in the medical journal "Pediatrics" found more than 120,000 American children lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic. The U.S. Labor Department reported the number of new jobless claims fell by 38,000 last week — for the first time in a month — to 326,000. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake killed at least 23 people in Pakistan, and injured 200 more.
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In the day's other news: The short-term debt ceiling deal triggered a rally on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 338 points to close at 34755. The Nasdaq rose 152 points, and the S&P 500 added 36.
Pfizer has officially asked the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for children ages 5 to 11. That amounts to roughly 28 million American children. The FDA's advisers will meet to debate the evidence behind the request later this month.
Meanwhile, President Biden traveled to a construction site outside Chicago today to tout the importance of vaccination requirements.
President Joe Biden:
My message is: Require your employees to get vaccinated. With vaccinations, we're going to beat this pandemic finally.
Without them, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy, and anxiety in our schools, and empty restaurants, and much less commerce.
Also today, a new study published in the medical journal "Pediatrics" found that more than 120,000 American children have so far lost a primary caregiver during the pandemic. More than half of those children were either Black or Hispanic American.
We will take a closer look at the COVID surge in Alaska later in the program.
There were more signs today that the U.S. job market is improving, even as the pandemic lingers on. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of new jobless claims fell last week, for the first time in a month to 326,000. That's down 38,000 from the previous week, and the biggest drop in claims since late June.
Flash flood warnings are in effect for much of the Southeastern U.S., after a slow-moving storm dumped as much as 13 inches of rain across Alabama. At least four people died when their vehicles were swept away. Roads near a grocery store in East Brewton were inundated with water. And overnight, in Hoover, rescue crews helped stranded drivers escape the floods.
In Southern California, U.S. Coast Guard investigators boarded a massive German cargo ship today to determine whether its anchor may have ruptured an oil pipeline nearly a week ago. Officials are focusing on the ship's GPS tracking data prior to the spill off of Huntington Beach. They're looking into whether its anchor snagged and bent the pipeline.
The governors of four Northeastern states agreed today to share data on firearms purchases in order to help curb gun crime. The Democratic governors from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut said that the data will only be used by law enforcement. Current federal law prohibits the U.S. government from collecting gun sales records into a national registry.
In Pakistan, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake killed at least 23 people before dawn and injured 200 more. It shook a remote district in the southwest province of Balochistan. As many as 100 mud homes in the mountainous region collapsed, leaving behind piles of rubble and burying residents in their sleep.
Ghulam Khan, Pakistan (through translator):
Everyone, including women and children, were running here and there. We were scared and didn't know what to do. Later, the ambulances arrived and took the injured to the hospital.
The area is also home to a number of coal mines, one of which collapsed during the quake, killing at least four miners.
And this year's Nobel Prize for literature honored a Tanzanian novelist whose writing has explored the effects of colonialism. Abdulrazak Gurnah, who is based in the U.K., has penned 10 novels. Most examined the plight of refugees. Gurnah is the first African to win this award in nearly two decades.