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News Wrap: Putin condemns protests supporting jailed opposition leader

In our news wrap Monday, Russia's President Vladmir Putin condemned mass protest in support of jailed opposition leader Alexi Navalny, President Biden suggests that the nation could soon vaccinate 1.5 million people a day against COVID-19, Dominion Voting Systems is suing former President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Brazil's president faces protests over his handling of the COVID crisis.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In today's other news: President Biden suggested the nation could soon vaccinate 1.5 million people a day against COVID-19. That's up from one million a day now. That came as the U.S. death toll reached 420,000, and the president warned that it could hit 600,000 before the tide turns.

    Meanwhile, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the current surge has begun to ease.

    He spoke on NBC's "Today Show."

  • Anthony Fauci:

    What I think this really is, is just the natural peaking and then plateauing and coming down.

    The number of vaccines that we have gotten into the arms of people, good start. We want to keep going, get a lot of people vaccinated. But I don't think the dynamics of what we're seeing now with the plateauing is significantly influenced yet — it will be soon — but yet by the vaccine.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, California lifted regional stay-at-home orders. Future restrictions will be on a county-by-county basis.

    We will turn to the challenge of vaccinating Americans after the news summary.

    Dominion Voting Systems is suing former President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for defamation. The suit asks more than $1.3 billion in damages. Dominion is a leading manufacturer of voting machines. It says that Giuliani falsely claimed that it helped rig the election for President Biden. Giuliani says the lawsuit amounts to intimidation.

    In Russia today, President Vladimir Putin condemned mass protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Over the weekend, demonstrators clashed with police in more than 100 Russian cities. Activists say that at least 3,700 people were detained.

    During a video call with students today, Putin branded the protests illegal.

  • Vladimir Putin (through translator):

    All people have the right to express their point of view within the framework of the law. Everything that goes beyond the framework of the law is not only counterproductive, but also dangerous.

  • Judy Woodurff:

    Navalny's supporters are calling for more demonstrations this coming Sunday.

    The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, is also facing protests over his handling of the COVID crisis. Thousands of Brazilians took to the streets in several cities over the weekend, riding in socially distanced motorcades. They demanded that Bolsonaro be impeached. More than 217,000 Brazilians have died in the pandemic. They are second only to the U.S. toll.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed lawsuits accusing President Trump of illegally profiting from his businesses and a Washington, D.C., hotel while in office. The court ruled the cases are moot because he is no longer in office. The suits allege that Mr. Trump violated the constitutional ban on taking payments from foreign officials through his business ventures.

    The Biden White House says that, from now on, its daily briefings will include an American sign language interpreter. Press Secretary Jen Psaki was joined by one today on a YouTube stream of the event. Previous presidents used interpreters occasionally.

    And on Wall Street today, stocks had a mixed Monday, searching for direction. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 37 points to close at 30960. But the Nasdaq rose nearly 93 points, and the S&P 500 added 13.

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