In our news wrap Friday, smoke from wildfires outside Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv has elevated its air pollution levels to the highest in the world. The fires erupted earlier this month, burning close to the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant. Also, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen will be released early from federal prison as part of an effort to prevent COVID-19 from spreading among inmates.
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In the day's other news: Stocks surged higher on Wall Street, amid optimism about progress in the fight against the coronavirus.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 705 points to close at 24242. The Nasdaq rose more than 117 points, and the S&P 500 added 75.
President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen will be released from federal prison as part of an effort to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among inmates. Cohen will serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement. He pleaded guilty to charges that include campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. Cohen will be quarantined for 14 days before he's released.
In Ukraine, smoke from wildfires outside Kyiv has elevated the capital city's air pollution levels to the highest in the world. The fires erupted earlier this month, around the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant. Strong winds fanned the smoke toward Kyiv, but officials there didn't detect a spike in radiation.
A U.S.-Russian crew returning from the International Space Station was greeted today with extra precautions because of COVID-19. Masked personnel helped the three-person team out of the capsule when it landed in Kazakhstan, after more than 200 days in space. The workers who met the crew had been monitored for a month and were tested for the virus.
And NASA announced today that it will be launching astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time in a decade. Liftoff is set for May 27 from the Florida Space Coast. NASA retired its space shuttle program in 2011. Unlike previous launches, they will be using a rocket owned and operated by Elon Musk's private company SpaceX.