In our news wrap Wednesday, the U.S. will reportedly buy 500 million more doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to donate to 92 countries and the African Union, the United Kingdom recorded its highest daily count of new COVID cases since February, and a government probe determined police did not forcibly clear racial justice protesters from area near the White House for a President Trump photo op.
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In the day's other news: There is word that the U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to donate to 92 low-income countries and to the African Union. About 200 million of those doses will be shared this year. The remainder will be distributed in the first half of 2022. President Biden is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow.
The United Kingdom has recorded its highest daily count of new COVID cases since late February, more than 7,500. The rise is due in part to the highly contagious Delta variant first found in India.
On a tour of a solar panel site, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the surge may complicate plans to reopen on June 21.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson:
Cases are going up, and, in some cases, hospitalizations are going up. And I think what we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout, which has been phenomenal, has built up enough protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage.
The Delta strain is also spreading quickly in the U.S., where it now makes up 6 percent of all infections. But vaccines have been effective in preventing symptoms.
We will hear some of the creative ways states are trying to increase vaccinations later in the program.
President Biden today revoked a series of Trump era executive orders that tried to ban the popular Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the U.S. He signed a new executive order that calls for a broad review of apps linked to foreign adversaries. It also directs the Commerce Department to analyze the risks that such apps pose to Americans' personal data and national security.
The Keystone XL pipeline project to route crude oil from Canada to the U.S. has been terminated. Its Canadian sponsor, T.C. Energy, pulled the plug on the partially completed venture today. Environmental groups cheered the decision, which was expected after President Biden revoked a key permit.
A government investigation has determined that police did not forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area near the White House last June so that President Trump could stage a photo for the press at a nearby church.
A new report from the Interior Department's inspector general maintained that the area was cleared due to prior plans to install new fencing. The demonstration was largely peaceful before police fired tear gas.
In Arizona, fire crews made some progress today against two massive wildfires burning east of Phoenix. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate since the fires are still mostly uncontained. More than 1,000 firefighters have been battling the wildfires amid the dry heat and drought since they flared up over the weekend.
A federal appeals court in Missouri has blocked enforcement of a law that bans abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy. The 2019 law also prohibited women from getting the procedure if their fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Missouri's attorney general says they plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Afghanistan, gunmen killed 10 people and wounded 16 others in an attack on a demining charity organization. Workers with the HALO Trust were clearing unexploded land mines when armed men attacked their camp in the northern province of Baghlan.
MAN (through translator):
The gunmen shot two people in the camp compound, and then shot at other people inside the room. I was shot in the forehead and fell to the ground. But I got up again and I escaped through the window.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
And stocks veered lower on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 152 points to close at 34447. The Nasdaq fell 13 points, and the S&P 500 slid eight.