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News Wrap: Stocks slump as COVID-19 restrictions return

In our news wrap Monday, stocks tumbled over worries that renewed COVID restrictions will slow economic recovery. President Joe Biden toned down his claim that Facebook is "killing people" with COVID misinformation, shifting blame to users. Over 200 fires are burning across Siberia, Russia, amid extreme heat. A Florida man will serve 8 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: As we mentioned, stocks tumbled over worries that renewed COVID infections — restrictions, rather, will slow the recovery.

    The Dow Jones industrial average lost 725 points, 2 percent, to close at 33, 962. The Nasdaq fell 152 points. The S&P 500 dropped 68.

    President Biden has toned down his claim that Facebook is killing people by letting lies about COVID-19 stay up. He made the accusation on Friday, and the company quickly rejected it. Today, the president said it's the users who are posting the false claims who are doing the damage.

  • President Joe Biden:

    Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It's killing people. It's bad information. My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally that somehow I'm saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Later, the White House said it is not in a war with Facebook, but with the virus.

    All remaining pandemic restrictions ended in England today, for the first time in 18 months. Partygoers in London ditched their face masks and flooded dance floors at midnight.

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the move, even though infections in his country are growing by 50,000 a day.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

    And so we have to ask ourselves the question, if not now, when? And though both deaths and hospitalizations, as I say, are, sadly, rising, these numbers are well within the margins of what our scientists predicted at the outset of the road map.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Johnson himself has been forced to quarantine after being exposed to COVID again.

    Meanwhile, in Japan, with four days before the Tokyo Olympics open, infections increased for the 30th day in a row.

    The U.S. and its allies formally accused China today of a sweeping hack of Microsoft e-mail software. It affected thousands of computers worldwide.

    And a media consortium reported a number of governments have used spyware to hack the phones of journalists, activists and officials around the world.

    We will discuss all of this after the news summary.

    Fire crews in Southern Oregon faced dangerous winds today battling a wildfire the size of Los Angeles. The Bootleg Fire is the largest of at least 70 burning in the Western U.S. Thousands of people are under evacuation orders.

    More than 200 fires are burning across Siberia in Russia amid extreme heat. Heavy smoke has blanketed the city of Yakutsk and dozens of smaller places. More than 2,000 firefighters are deployed, including with one fire that's burned 100,000 acres and threatens a power plant.

    The floods that ravaged Western Europe last week have killed at least 196 people. The cleanup and search for victims continued today in Western Germany. Officials or authorities said that the number of dead is likely to climb even higher.

  • Horst Seehofer (through translator):

    We are experiencing an inconceivable tragedy these days. This is an exceptional situation, which, even with all our efforts on the ground, can only be overcome with a great national show of strength.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    German officials promised an investigation, but denied that they were slow to issue warnings about the flooding.

    In Haiti, officials say that interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph will step down, apparently in a bid to avert a power struggle. He has led the government since President Jovenel Moise was assassinated on July 7. His successor, Ariel Henry, has international support.

    Fifteen nations and NATO have renewed calls for a cease-fire in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters have seized much of the country as the U.S. withdraws. Weekend talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government failed to produce any agreement.

    Back in this country, a Florida man was sentenced to eight months in federal prison in January's attack on the U.S. Capitol. Paul Hodgkins is the first of the rioters sentenced in a felony case. His penalty could set a guideline for others.

    And the U.S. Justice Department has formally barred federal prosecutors from seizing reporters' phone and e-mail records to investigate leaks. This follows disclosures that the Trump administration secretly obtained records on journalists and members of Congress.

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