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In our news wrap Friday, a Wall Street rout ended a month marked by its worst losses in decades as worries over inflation and interest rates drove a sell-off, U.S. consumers prices jumped 6.6 percent in March, China reaffirmed its "zero-COVID" strategy, a powerful bomb exploded at a mosque in Afghanistan's capital and Major League Baseball suspended Los Angeles Dodgers' Trevor Bauer.
In the day's other news: A Wall Street rout ended a month marked by its worst losses in decades. Worries over inflation and interest rates drove the sell-off.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 939 points. The Nasdaq fell 537. The S&P 500 gave up 155. All told, the S&P lost nearly 9 percent in April. It's down 13 percent since January, its worst start to a year since 1939. The Nasdaq fell 13 percent this month. That's the most since 2008. And the Dow lost nearly 5 percent.
A closely watched gauge of inflation underscored today what U.S. consumers see for themselves. The Commerce Department reported that prices jumped 6.6 percent in March compared with a year ago. As with other recent inflation measures, that's the highest in 40 years. Consumer spending rose just over 1 percent, due mostly to higher prices.
In China, President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party's ruling Politburo have reaffirmed a zero-COVID strategy. The statement today came amid growing outbreaks in Beijing and Shanghai. But officials said the policy is preventing needless deaths.
Li Bin, Vice Minister, Chinese National Health Commission (through translator):
China is a country with uneven regional development and insufficient medical resources. If the COVID-19 response loosens to let the virus run free, it will definitely lead to a huge number of infections in a short period of time and a large number of severe and mortal cases.
Medical resources will risk being depleted.
Meanwhile, Beijing conducted a third round of mass testing. And food had to be delivered through fences in one blocked-off neighborhood.
A powerful bomb exploded at a mosque in Afghanistan's capital today. The leader of the mosque in Kabul said that at least 50 people were killed. The Taliban government put the official death toll at 10. Taliban officials arrived, and ambulances evacuated dozens of wounded.
Shaken survivors told of a blast that tore through worshipers.
Mohammad Bashir, Survivor (through translator):
A number of Taliban members were inside the mosque too. And while we were worshiping and standing to finish our service, the explosion erupted. And I was covered with small pieces of victims' body parts.
This was the latest in a series of mosque attacks, many of them claimed by the Islamic State group.
In Israel, there's been more violence at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Early today, Palestinian youths started throwing stones inside the complex. Israeli police then moved in, firing rubber bullets. Palestinian medics said that dozens were wounded. By midday, calm returned, and Friday prayers were peaceful, as tens of thousands of Muslims marked the last Friday of Ramadan.
Back in this country, a federal court in Virginia sentenced Islamic State member Alexanda Kotey to life in prison in the murders of four Americans in Syria in 2014 and 2015. Kotey's terror cell was known as the Beatles for their British accents. Their victims included journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Peter Kassig. Three of the four were beheaded.
Major League Baseball suspended Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer today for two seasons. A San Diego woman alleges that Bauer beat and sexually abused her. He denies it. And Los Angeles prosecutors have said there's not enough evidence to pursue charges. Bauer said he will appeal the suspension.
And, in London, former tennis great Boris Becker was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for hiding personal wealth. The 54-year-old German declared bankruptcy in 2017. Later, a British court found that he illicitly transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": new polling data suggests a struggle for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart break down the week's political headlines; a new novel imagines a world in which our memories can be accessed and reviewed by ourselves and by others; plus much more.
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