News Wrap: Texas judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal workers

In our news wrap Friday, a federal judge in Texas blocked nationwide enforcement of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers. Anti-abortion groups held their annual rally in Washington, D.C., buoyed by hopes of an abortion rights rollback. Rebels in Yemen say a Saudi coalition airstrike killed at least 70 inmates at a prison. Rock star Meat Loaf's fans are mourning after his death Thursday.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The top American and Russian diplomats have had a high-stakes meeting over Ukraine and agreed to keep talking.

    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russia's foreign minister sat down for 90 minutes in Geneva today. Neither indicated there had been progress. We will get all of the details after the news summary.

    A federal judge in Texas today blocked enforcement nationwide of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers. The U.S. Justice Department said that it will appeal, and the White House said 98 percent of federal employees already have their shots. That came as the CDC reported booster shots are 90 percent effective against hospitalizations in patients with the Omicron variant.

    Anti-abortion forces staged their annual rally in Washington, D.C., today, buoyed by hopes of a sharp rollback of abortion rights. Thousands protested the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion 49 years ago. And they looked to a Mississippi case that could overturn Roe.

  • Fmr. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL):

    Today, we march to the Supreme Court, which this year has an opportunity to give the American people, for the first time in 50 years, the ability to recognize that equality begins in the womb.

    Hopefully, next year will be a new era of building a culture of life, because Roe will be gone.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Afterward, the crowd marched to the Supreme Court. The justices are expected to issue their much-anticipated ruling by the end of June.

    In the Middle East, Islamic State fighters launched some of their biggest attacks in several years. More than 100 gunmen assaulted a prison in Northeastern Syria, where some 3,000 ISIS militants were being held. At least 23 of the attackers died.

    And in Iraq, ISIS gunmen stormed an army barracks north of Baqubah, killing 11 soldiers as they slept.

    Rebels in Yemen say that a Saudi coalition airstrike killed at least 70 inmates at a prison today. Dozens more were wounded in the air raid. It was part of the war's most intensive air campaign since 2018. The assault began after the rebels backed by Iran launched their own air attack on the United Arab Emirates.

    Back in this country, federal agents have arrested a Texas man for allegedly posting threats about killing officials in Georgia after the 2020 presidential vote. It is the first case brought by a U.S. Justice Department task force. The Texas suspect could get five years in prison if he is convicted.

    On Wall Street today, stocks finished their worst week in many months. There were a mix of reasons, but the main factors were worry over rising inflation and over how much the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to get it under control.

    The Dow Jones industrial average lost 450 points to close at 34265. The Nasdaq fell 385 points. The S&P 500 dropped 84. For the week, the Dow lost 4.6 percent, the most since October 2020. The Nasdaq fell 7.6 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 5.7 percent. Both were the biggest losses since March of 2020.

    And fans across generations are mourning rock superstar Meat Loaf, after his death on Thursday. His 1977 debut album, "Bat Out of Hell," sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and remains one of the top-selling albums in history.

    Here he is singing the title track in a music video in 1979.


  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meat Loaf was 74 years old.

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