News Wrap: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill limiting all-night, mail-in voting

In our news wrap Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a measure banning all-night and drive-thru voting and limiting mail-in ballots, dismissing the lawsuits being filed. The U.S. COVID death toll reached 650,000 out of nearly 4.6 million worldwide. Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that imposing punishment for abortions is unconstitutional. California firefighters made gains against the Caldor fire.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 reached 650,000, out of nearly 4.6 million worldwide.

    That word came is hard-hit Idaho imposed crisis standards for overwhelmed and understaffed hospitals. Doctors in Coeur d'Alene and other locations are permitted to allot scarce resources to those COVID patients who are deemed most likely to survive, and non-COVID patients will have to wait.

  • Dr. Robert Scoggins, Kootenai Health:

    We're having to make some tough decisions, delaying surgeries that we normally would do that day or the next day. We're having to delay those until we have staff and beds available. It's nothing I have ever experienced in our — in my career.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Infections in Idaho have skyrocketed, while the state's vaccination rate is among the lowest in the nation.

    More lights are coming back on in Louisiana, nine days after Hurricane Ida. By late today, crews had restored power to some 700,000 customers out of 1.1 million who lost it. Meanwhile, President Biden surveyed storm damage in New York and New Jersey.

    We will take a closer look after the news summary.

    In Texas, a Republican bill to overhaul state elections is now law, despite protests that it will suppress minority turnout. GOP Governor Greg Abbott signed the measure today banning all-night and drive-through voting and limiting mail-in balloting. He dismissed lawsuits already being filed.

  • Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX):

    I'd be astonished if a law like this was not challenged in court. I feel extremely confident that, when this law makes it through the litigation phase, it will be upheld in a court of law, because exactly what we have said.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Abbott also defended a new law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. It took effect last week.

    The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled today that imposing criminal punishment for abortions is unconstitutional. The decision directly affects Coahuila state along the Texas border, but it also sets a precedent; 28 Mexican states penalize abortion, while four allow it in most circumstances.

    The plight of Syrian refugees is raising new alarms. Amnesty International reports that Syrians who've returned home have been jailed, tortured and even killed by security forces. The group criticizes nations that claim it's safe for the refugees to go home and then pressure them to leave.

    Mass demonstrations unfolded across Brazil today, in support of embattled president Jair Bolsonaro. In Brasilia, the capital, tens of thousands turned out with flags and banners as Bolsonaro helicoptered in. He blasted judges for jailing some of his key supporters on charges of supporting violence.

  • Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian President (through translator):

    We don't want disruption. We don't want to fight with any branch, but we can't accept anybody efforts to distort our democracy. We can't accept anybody who puts our freedom at risk.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Bolsonaro has said that he might reject the results if he loses his reelection bid next year.

    Leaders of three major branches of Christianity appealed for action on climate change today in their first ever joint statement. Pope Francis, along with the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, a leader of Orthodox Christians, came together today. They urged an upcoming U.N. climate summit to — quote — "listen to the cry of the Earth."

    Back in this country, thousands of firefighters in Northern California have made more gains against the giant Caldor Fire. Their progress in the Lake Tahoe region is being bolstered by cooler temperatures, higher humidity and easing winds. The fire is now about 50 percent contained.

    And on Wall Street, stocks mostly gave ground. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 269 points to close at 35100. The Nasdaq managed to add 10 points, inching to another all-time high. The S&P 500 slipped 15.

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