In our news wrap Thursday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the statue will be removed from Richmond's well-known "Monument Avenue," and said that the state can no longer showcase a cause that sought to preserve slavery. Also, business closings and cutbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic have claimed another 1.9 million jobs, according to the latest jobs report.
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In the day's other news: Amid the nationwide protests demanding racial justice, the state of Virginia is taking down a famous statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Governor Ralph Northam announced that the statue will be removed from Richmond's well-known Monument Avenue.
He said the state can no longer showcase a cause that sought to preserve slavery.
Gov. Ralph Northam:
I believe in a Virginia that studies its past in an honest way. I believe that, when we learn more, we can do more.
And I believe that, when we learn more, when we take that honest look at our past, we must do more than just talk about the future. We must take action.
The Lee statue is going into temporary storage.
Business closings and cutbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic have claimed another 1.9 million jobs. Today's report means that more than 21 million American workers are currently receiving jobless benefits. The number peaked two weeks ago, at nearly 25 million.
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voiced fresh fears today that protests drawing thousands into the streets will lead to new coronavirus outbreaks. Robert Redfield told a congressional hearing that demonstrators need to find out if they're infected.
Those individuals that have partaken in these peaceful protests or have been out protesting, and particularly if they're in metropolitan areas that really haven't controlled the outbreak, we really want those individuals to highly consider being evaluated and get tested.
Meanwhile, the British medical journal The Lancet retracted a sharply negative study on using hydroxychloroquine to fight the coronavirus. The data had come under growing criticism.
And the United Nations warned that the pandemic is disrupting vaccinations for measles and polio, and putting millions of children at risk around the world.
In Hong Kong, thousands of people defied a police ban to mark the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. They held a candlelight vigil to remember hundreds, and possibly thousands, of protesters killed by the Chinese military on June 4, 1989. Police did little to stop them. We will have more on Hong Kong right after the news summary.
A U.S. Navy veteran headed home from Iran today in a prisoner deal. Michael White had been held since he was convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader in 2018. In return for White's release, U.S. officials agreed not to seek more prison time for an Iranian-American doctor who violated sanctions on Iran.
Back in this country, the National Basketball Association has agreed to restart its regular season in late July. Competition was halted in March by the COVID-19 pandemic. Remaining regular season games will take place at Walt Disney World in Florida.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained about 12 points to close at 26281. But the Nasdaq fell 67 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 10.