In our news wrap Thursday, more than 8,000 people have crossed the border at Del Rio, Texas in the past few days as federal agencies rush to provide assistance, storm-battered Louisiana and other areas of the south saw another day of heavy rains from the remnants of Hurricane Nicholas, and the U.N. warns only immediate, large-scale cuts in carbon emissions can avoid a climate disaster.
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The COVID crisis is casting new shadows tonight. The daily virus has killed roughly 2, 600 Americans for two days in a row. That is the most since early March.
Meanwhile, Idaho today imposed health care rationing statewide. It has one of the nation's lowest vaccination rates. And two dozen Republican attorneys general warned that they will sue to block President Biden's vaccination mandates.
New jobless claims rose last week in a sign that layoffs increased as COVID infections kept spreading. Claims for benefits were up 20,000 to 322,000. Still, the four-week average of new claims fell for the fifth week in a row.
The French government expressed anger today over a new U.S. defense pact with Australia and the United Kingdom. It's because Australia will scrap a $40 billion contract for conventionally powered submarines from France in favor of nuclear-powered subs from the United States. Paris called it — quote — "a stab in the back."
In Washington, Secretary of State Blinken responded, as he and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hosted their Australian counterparts.
Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State: France in particular is a vital partner on this and so many other issues stretching back generations, and we want to find every opportunity to deepen our transatlantic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and around the world.
France also likened the U.S. move to unilateral actions by then-President Trump. The White House dismissed the comparison.
We will hear from the French ambassador to the U.S. after the news summary.
A new migrant emergency is building along the Texas border with Mexico. More than 8,000 people, mostly Haitians, have crossed to Del Rio, Texas, in the last two days. U.S. federal agencies say they're rushing in staff, portable toilets and other aid. Also today, a federal judge gave the government two weeks to end rapid expulsions of migrants during the pandemic.
Across the Deep South, it's been another day of rain for parts of storm-battered Louisiana from what's left of Hurricane Nicholas. Even heavier rain spread over Alabama, the Florida Panhandle and Georgia today. Flash flood watches remain in effect for much of the region.
The secretary-general of the United Nations warned today that only immediate large-scale cuts in carbon emissions can head off a climate disaster.
In Geneva, Antonio Guterres cited extreme weather events, and he said that a U.N. report shows the world has reached its tipping point.
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General:
The disruption to our planet and our climate is already worse than we thought. And it is moving faster than predicted.
Yet we are far from meeting the goals of the five-year old Paris agreement. This report shows just how far off course we are.
Guterres urged governments to offer new plans for emission cuts ahead of an upcoming climate summit.
As if to bolster his argument, reports out today say that the ozone hole over the Southern Hemisphere is larger than usual this year and still growing. Scientists say it covers an area larger than Antarctica, allowing more ultraviolet radiation to reach Earth. A ban on ozone-depleting chemicals is helping, but it could be decades before the ozone layer recovers.
Special counsel John Durham, reviewing the original Russia investigation into former President Trump, charged a cybersecurity lawyer today with lying to the FBI. It involved alleged Russian contacts with Trump associates during the 2016 U.S. presidential race. The lawyer's firm represented Hillary Clinton's campaign. The original investigation found that Russia interfered to aid Mr. Trump's candidacy.
For the first time, an all-amateur crew circled the Earth today carried aloft on a SpaceX capsule. The company's first space tourism flight blasted off last night with billionaire Jared Isaacman, two contest winners and a health care worker on board. They will land on Saturday.
And on Wall Street, stocks had an up-and-down day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 63 points to close at 34751. The Nasdaq rose 20 points. The S&P 500 slipped seven.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": we break down negotiations in Congress over critical economic legislation; how hospitals in sparsely vaccinated areas prepare to ration care; a new report details the problematic inner workings of Facebook; plus much more.