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In our news wrap Tuesday, stocks fell as Wall Street was shaken up by Russia's incursion into eastern Ukraine, the federal civil rights trial stemming from George Floyd's death wound down in Minnesota, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a new case involving religion and the rights of LGBTQ people, and Hong Kong ordered compulsory COVID-19 testing for its entire population.
In the day's other news: Stocks plunged early on worries about the Russian incursion into Eastern Ukraine. They recovered partially, but major indexes still lost 1 percent or more.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 482 points to close at 33596. The Nasdaq shed 166 points. The S&P 500 slid 44 and is officially in a correction, down more than 10 percent from its all-time high in January.
In Georgia, three white men convicted of murdering a Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in 2020 were found guilty today of federal hate crimes. The jury concluded that Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor William Bryan targeted and shot Arbery because he was Black.
In Washington, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland welcomed the verdict, but said it goes only so far.
Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General:
The only acceptable outcome in this matter would have been Mr. Arbery returning safely to his loved ones two years ago.
His family and his friends should be preparing to celebrate his 28th birthday later this spring, not mourning the second anniversary of his death tomorrow.
We will return to this verdict after the news summary.
The federal civil rights trial stemming from George Floyd's death wound down today in St. Paul, Minnesota. Three former police officers are charged with violating his rights. In closing arguments, prosecutors charged that they chose to do nothing as Floyd lay pinned and pleading to breathe. Defense attorneys said that it was a tragedy, but not criminal, and that the men were victims of poor training.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new case involving religion and the rights of LGBTQ people. It involves a Colorado Web site designer who cited her religious beliefs in refusing to work with same-sex couples. She challenged a state anti-discrimination law, but a lower court found that it did not violate her First Amendment rights.
On the pandemic, Hong Kong ordered compulsory COVID testing today for its entire population starting in mid-March. It's driven by an Omicron surge that threatens to overwhelm health care services. Under the order, Hong Kong's 7.5 million people have to be tested three times over seven days.
But, on the streets today, there were doubts.
Leung Chun-Kit, Resident of Hong Kong (through translator): I don't think that the government is prepared to do the universal testing. It is such a waste of time. I think the government should consider increasing the hospital manpower and facilities to better support the health workers.
Since the year began, the densely populated city has reported nearly 54,000 cases and 145 deaths. Researchers project nearly 100 deaths a day by late March.
And back in this country, the U.S. women's national soccer team has reached an equal pay settlement with the U.S. Soccer Federation. In all, 28 players will split $22 million in damages. Another $2 million will benefit retired players and aid in boosting the sport.
The federation also committed to equalizing future pay for women. They have received far less than the men, despite winning four World Cups since 1985.
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