News Wrap: Pope Francis apologizes to Canada’s Indigenous for Catholic school abuse

In our news wrap Friday, Pope Francis apologized to Indigenous peoples in Canada for abuses in Catholic-run residential schools, a Saudi Arabian coalition and rebels backed by Iran agreed to a two-month truce in Yemen, Sri Lanka was rocked by mass protests amid an worst economic crisis, and the Transportation Department is re-imposing tougher fuel economy standards for new vehicles.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since the pandemic began. The Labor Department today reported that employers added a net 431,000 jobs in March. That pushed the unemployment rate to 3.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent in February.

    Wages rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier, but that wasn't enough to keep up with inflation. We will take a closer look after the news summary.

    The CDC confirms that it will end a pandemic policy that turned away most asylum-seeking migrants at the U.S. southern border. The rule took effect two years ago under President Trump. Today's announcement said that it will end on May 23. The Biden administration is making plans to try to accommodate an expected influx of migrants.

    Pope Francis apologized today to indigenous peoples in Canada for abuses in Catholic-run residential schools. More than 150,000 Native children attended from the 1800s to the 1970s in a campaign of forced assimilation. Members of indigenous communities attended today's Vatican audience. The pope called the church's behavior deplorable and begged forgiveness.

    Pope Francis, Leader of Catholic Church (through translator): I feel shame, sorrow and shame for the role of a different Catholics, in particularly those with educational responsibilities had and all that hurt you with abuses and lack of respect towards your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Canadian officials have admitted rampant physical and sexual abuse at the schools.

    And, last year, hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered. The pope said today he hopes to visit Canada in July to apologize in person to survivors.

    In Yemen, a Saudi Arabian coalition and Houthi rebels backed by Iran have agreed to a two-month truce. A United Nations envoy says that it will begin tomorrow and allow for shipments of fuel and some flights into Yemen. The war began in 2014, but past attempts at cease-fires have failed to hold.

    Sri Lanka was rocked overnight by mass protests amid its worst economic crisis in memory. Hundreds stormed pass barricades near the president's home and set fire to a bus. Police fired tear gas and a water cannon. Dozens of people were hurt and dozens more arrested. The Indian Ocean nation has staggered under huge debt and fuel shortages.

    The Taliban have released two detainees, an American and a U.S. green card holder, in Afghanistan. The U.S. State Department said today that they are in Qatar awaiting travel home. The release came as the Taliban have been pressing for outside humanitarian aid and economic assistance.

    Back in this country, there's word that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will leave this spring to work for MSNBC cable news. Psaki declined to confirm reports of her plans today. But she faced questions about representing the White House while negotiating a job in journalism.

  • Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary:

    There are a range of stringent ethical and legal requirements that are imposed on everybody in this administration and many administrations past about any conversations you're having with future employers. That is true of any industry you're working in.

    And I have abided by those and tried to take steps to go beyond that as well.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Psaki took the press secretary job in January of 2021 and said then that she wanted to stay just a year.

    The U.S. Transportation Department is reimposing tougher fuel economy standards for new vehicles. They will have to average at least 40 miles per gallon by 2026. That's up from 24 miles a gallon now. The change reverses President Trump's rollback of higher standards.

    Meanwhile, Ford and General Motors say that they will recall some 1.4 million vehicles. GM says the 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrains may have faulty windshield wipers. Ford's recall covers possible oil leaks in the 2020 to 2022 Escape and Bronco Sport. It also includes pickup and SUV models with trailer brakes that may fail.

    For the first time, workers at an Amazon site have voted to unionize. Pro-union forces at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island New York won 55 percent of the vote. At the same time, Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, appeared to reject a union, but that outcome is subject to a review of more than 400 disputed ballots.

    And on Wall Street, stocks finished the week with modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 140 points to close at 34818. The Nasdaq rose 41 points. The S&P 500 added 15.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": another strong jobs report shows the American economy gaining steam; the Biden administration decides to end a controversial Trump era immigration rule; a British singer-songwriter's blend of many genres turns heads in Nashville; plus much more.

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