News Wrap: Secretary of State Antony Blinken tests positive for COVID

In our news wrap Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for COVID-19, Beijing shut down dozens of subway stations and bus routes as it tries to stem a COVID outbreak, Wall Street shot higher after Fed chair Jerome Powell played down talk of even larger rate hikes, and Ukrainian refugees are crowding into a shelter in Mexico City hoping to gain entry into the United States.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Geoff Bennett:

    In the day's other news: Wall Street shot higher after Fed chair Jerome Powell played down talk of even larger rate hikes.

    Manger indexes rallied nearly 3 percent or more. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 932 points to close back above 34000. The Nasdaq rose 401 points, the S&P 500 up nearly 125.

    A barrage of Russian missiles hammered cities across Ukraine late into the night, as the war ended its 10th week. The missiles blasted power plants for railroad stations and other supply line targets to disrupt deliveries of Western weapons to Ukrainian forces.

    Meantime, the president of the European Commission called for a total ban on Russian oil by the end of the year. We will get details on all of this later it in the broadcast.

    Ukrainian refugees are crowding into a shelter in Mexico City, hoping to gain entry to the U.S. At least 500 people are already there, with more arriving daily. The Biden administration has pledged to admit 100,000 Ukrainians, but says they will not be allowed to come through the Southern border. Volunteers say the shelter is dependent on Mexican support.

  • Anastasiya Polo, Shelter Coordinator (through translator):

    We are so thankful to Mexico government. They provided all this camp for us for refugees. They provide food. We have military kitchen here. We have medicine.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    In all, the United Nations estimates more than 5.5 million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia's invasion.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken has tested positive for COVID-19, the latest top U.S. official to catch it. The State Department says he is fully vaccinated and boosted and has only mild symptoms. The White House says President Biden had not seen Blinken for several days and is not considered a close contact.

    In China, Beijing shut down dozens of subway stations and bus routes today trying to stem a COVID-19 outbreak. The closures amount to 10 percent of the capital's subway system, and there's no word on when the stations will reopen. Beijing is also testing residents three times a week and isolating infected areas, but has not yet imposed the sweeping lockdowns seen in Shanghai and elsewhere.

    The U.S. has condemned North Korea's latest ballistic missile test. South Korea and Japan say the weapon flew for nearly 300 miles today before landing in the sea outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. Last week, the North vowed a rapid development of its nuclear weapons program.

    And back in this country, fire crews in Northeastern New Mexico braced for a new wave of high winds as they try to save the small town of Las Vegas. Tanker planes have been dropping water and fire retardant there, but the fire has grown to 250 square miles, the largest burning anywhere in the U.S.

    The governor warned last night that firefighters will struggle just to hold their own.

  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM):

    When the wind is this dangerous and this unpredictable and we have got gusts up to 70 miles per hour, on many days, there is no way that you can actively pursue putting the fire out.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    The fire is only 20 percent contained. It already destroyed 170 homes, and the number of homes under evacuation orders more than doubled overnight to more than 15,000.

    And a 23-year-old man is in jail in Los Angeles after police say he attacked comedian Dave Chappelle during a performance last night. They say the man had a fake gun with a knife blade inside when he ran on stage and tackled Chappelle. It came just over a month after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

    Rock joined Chappelle on stage after last night's attack, and jokingly asked, "Was that Will Smith?"

    And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has rolled out this year's inductees, a list headlined by Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, and Eminem. Parton initially resisted the honor, saying she hadn't earned it. But she was voted in anyway. The Hall of Fame called her a — quote — "living legend who expanded horizons for countless other artists."

    And still to come on the "NewsHour": medics deliver lifesaving care on the front lines of Russia's war against Ukraine; the results of Ohio's primary election and what it could mean for the upcoming midterms; and anti-abortion and abortion rights advocates begin to reckon with the Supreme Court's expected decision to overturn Roe v. Wade; plus much more.

Listen to this Segment