In our news wrap Wednesday, some 6,000 people in Belarus have been detained after a third straight night of clashes between protesters and police. Demonstrators insist the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko is illegitimate. Also, at least three people died and six others were hospitalized after a passenger train derailed in Scotland. Severe storms had triggered flash floods in the area.
In the day's other news: COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. top 165,000 tonight, as states weigh how to handle the upcoming school year.
In New Jersey, an early hot spot in the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy cleared the way today for in-person classes. He signed an executive order allowing public and private schools from kindergarten to college to reopen, if they observe safety measures.
Gov. Phil Murphy:
We have held ongoing discussions with the leaders throughout our higher education system. And we believe they are ready for this step. Come the beginning of the school year in September, plans are in place to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
The U.S. budget deficit has hit a record of more than $2.8 trillion 10 months into the fiscal year.
The Treasury Department said that's largely due to federal stimulus aid to help keep the economy afloat during the pandemic.
It predicts that, by fiscal year-end, the 2020 deficit will more than double any on record.
Meanwhile, numbers out of Britain today reveal a pandemic-induced recession that is worsening. Government statistics show its economy shrunk by a fifth in the second quarter. That's the worst contraction in 65 years of record-keeping. Economists fear the U.K.'s downturn may be the deepest among the world's seven leading industrial economies.
To Scotland, where at least three people died and six others were hospitalized today after a passenger train derailed. It happened about 100 miles northeast of Edinburgh, where severe storms triggered flash floods overnight. Thick smoke billowed over the hilly field this morning. Emergency crews struggled to access the site to rescue passengers from overturned train cars.
In Belarus, some 6,000 people have been detained, after the third straight night of clashes between protesters and police. Demonstrators insist the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko is illegitimate.
Last night, police assaulted journalists and made widespread arrests. Today, Lukashenko called the protesters criminals.
Alexander Lukashenko (through translator):
The core of these so-called protesters are people with a criminal past and those who are currently unemployed. Those who don't have a job walk in the streets and avenues. That's why I'm kindly urging everyone who is unemployed to get a job.
Today, in Minsk, nearly 200 women marched against police brutality, and urged authorities to release those who were detained.
Violent tribal clashes in Sudan have killed at least 25 people and wounded nearly 90 more. The fighting began Sunday in Port Sudan in the Red Sea province. Authorities deployed troops and imposed curfews. Tensions between the Beni Amer tribe and the Nuba tribe date back to 2019, and stem from disputes over water and other resources.
Back in this country, an FBI investigation is under way after an Air Force helicopter was shot at from the ground as it flew over Virginia. The incident happened Monday during a routine training mission from Joint Base Andrews near Washington. It was forced to land at Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia. One crew member was hit in the hand and later released from the hospital.
Stocks soared on Wall Street today, led by a rebound in the technology sector. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 290 points to close at 27977. The Nasdaq rose 229 points, and the S&P 500 added 46.
Ford Motor is recalling more than half-a-million of its mid-size SUVs due to brake issues. The recall covers Ford Edge models from 2015 to 2018 and Lincoln MKX vehicles from 2016 to 2018. The automaker reported some front brake hoses can rupture and leak brake fluid, which could increase stopping distances.
And billionaire media mogul Sumner Redstone has died. From his family's drive-in movie chain, he built an empire that included CBS, Viacom, and Paramount Pictures, and helped to shape the modern-day entertainment industry. But his final years were marked by corporate battles and legal disputes with former girlfriends.
Sumner Redstone was 97 years old.
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