In our news wrap Tuesday, a North Carolina prosecutor says he will not charge three sheriff's deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. last month in Elizabeth City. U.S. public health officials stepped up appeals for younger Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Southern Louisiana braced for more downpours and flooding this week.
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In the day's other news: U.S. public health officials stepped up appeals for younger Americans to get vaccinated. More than four million eligible adolescents, aged 12 to 17, have been given shots so far.
The head of the CDC said getting young people immunized could accelerate downward trends.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
We should all have cautious optimism. Cases have continued to decrease and have not been this low since spring of last year. Hospital admissions are down, deaths are down, and we are vaccinating between 1.5 million and two million people per day.
Meanwhile, in hard-hit India, deaths from COVID hit a record 4,300 in 24 hours, even as daily infections fell again to 260,000.
Western India's death toll from a tropical cyclone has risen to 29. The storm weakened after making landfall in Gujarat state last night with winds up to 130 miles an hour. First responders rescued about 180 people from an oil barge that sank off Mumbai, and the Indian navy searched for 81 others.
Southern Louisiana braced today for more downpours and more flooding this week. At least a foot of rain fell Monday in Lake Charles, with drivers struggling in flooded streets, and officials saying hundreds of homes had been damaged.
Parts of the city received upwards of 15 inches of rain over a six-hour period. This absolutely meets the threshold of a 100-year rain event. The events of yesterday was more impactful as far as flooding than even the hurricanes of 2020.
The storm also dumped heavy rain on Baton Rouge and on parts of Texas and Arkansas.
A North Carolina prosecutor now says he will not charge three sheriff's deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. last month in Elizabeth City. District attorney Andrew Womble showed body camera footage today that he said shows Brown using his car as a deadly weapon, forcing the officers to shoot.
My review of the incident indicates there is no evidence that the deputies who fired the fatal shots acted in any manner that is inconsistent with the threat they perceived and certainly no evidence the deputies acted in any way contrary to or in violation of North Carolina law.
Lawyers for the Brown family have said the footage actually shows he was trying to drive away from the deputies.
The FBI is conducting a separate civil rights investigation of the killing. In the meantime, the local sheriff says the deputies will be disciplined and retrained, but will keep their jobs.
A sheriff in South Carolina, meanwhile, has fired two deputies over the death of Jamal Sutherland, a Black inmate at a Charleston County jail. Body camera footage from January released last week showed the deputies using stun guns and pepper spray and kneeling on Sutherland. He had refused to leave his cell for a bail hearing. Sutherland had previously been in a mental health facility.
A bipartisan deal to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob lost key Republican support today. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out against establishing an outside commission, unless it also investigates other violence, including during Black Lives Matter protests.
Top Democrats and Republicans had sharply different reactions.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries:
It's my hope that Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy will do right thing and, as has been the case with other traumatic attacks on the United States, we will have a bipartisan commission.
Sen. Mitch McConnell:
I am not saying that we have decided that this should not go forward, but if it's going to go forward, it needs to be clearly balanced and not tilted one way or the other, so we have an objective evaluation.
McConnell said, for now, he's pushing the pause button, leaving the bill's fate in the evenly divided Senate uncertain.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused McCarthy of — quote — "cowardice," but she has the votes to pass the commission bill tomorrow, even with no GOP support.
Spain, meanwhile, has deployed troops to its border with Morocco after at least 8,000 migrants entered a Spanish enclave in North Africa. They arrived in the coastal city of Ceuta from Morocco over the last two days. People began swimming in or climbing fences to reach Spanish territory, amid a diplomatic dispute. Spain sent back at least 4,000 people.
The International Energy Agency called today for aggressive action to slash carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050. That includes halting investments in new coal mines and oil and gas wells and phasing out gas-powered vehicles. The Paris-based agency is considered close to the fossil fuel industry.
The U.S. State Department issued a new rule on citizenship today, in a victory for same-sex couples. Under the Trump administration, some children of same-sex marriages born abroad were denied American citizenship at birth. With the new guidance, children conceived through IVF, surrogacy and other reproductive technology to American same-sex couples will be granted U.S. citizenship.
And on Wall Street today, a late afternoon slide by big tech stocks led the broader stock market lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 267 points to close at 34060. The Nasdaq fell 75 points. And the S&P 500 slipped 35.
And comedic actor Charles Grodin died today at his home in Connecticut from bone marrow cancer. He rose to stardom in the 1970s with films including "The Heartbreak Kid," "Midnight Run," and "Beethoven." He also penned plays and TV scripts, and later became a radio and TV commentator.
Charles Grodin was 86 years old.