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News Wrap: White House blocks Fauci from congressional testimony

In our news wrap Friday, the White House confirmed it has blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying at a congressional hearing next week on the COVID-19 response, saying he is busy dealing with the pandemic. Also, Canada is banning the use and trade of assault-style weapons, effective immediately. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his order covers more than 1,500 models and variants of firearms.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: Wall Street gave up its gains for the week, after profits sank at a series of big companies.

    The Dow Jones industrial average lost 622 points, to close at 23723. The Nasdaq fell 284 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 81.

    The White House confirmed this evening that it has blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying at a congressional hearing next week. A House subcommittee is holding a hearing on the response to COVID-19.

    In a statement, the White House said that Fauci and other top officials are busy dealing with the pandemic.

    In the presidential race, the Democrats' presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, denied today that he sexually assaulted a staffer 27 years ago, when he was a U.S. senator.

    Tara Reade has said that Biden assaulted her and that she filed a complaint in 1993. The former vice president flatly rejected the claim in an interview.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    No, it is not true. I'm saying unequivocally it never, never happened. And it didn't. It never happened.

    She has a right to say whatever she wants to say, but I have a right to say, look at the facts, check it out, find out whether any of what she says, has asserted are true.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Biden also said he does not believe that an official record of any such complaint exists.

    We will take a closer look at this later in the program.

    President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is not leaving federal prison early, after all. His attorney had said that he'd be released today to home confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic. But a number of reports say the plan was canceled.

    Cohen pled guilty to tax fraud and lying to Congress involving hush money payments for women who claimed sexual affairs with Mr. Trump.

    The Trump administration has again suspended hearings for asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico, citing concerns about COVID-19. The new order extends through June 1. By one Justice Department estimate, some 25,000 people are in migrant shelters in Mexico, waiting for U.S. asylum hearings.

    Canada is banning the use and trade of assault-style weapons, effective immediately. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today his order covers more than 1,500 models and variants of firearms. They include weapons used by a gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia last month.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

    These weapons were designed for one purpose, and one purpose only, to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The order grants a two-year amnesty for owners of the banned weapons.

    There's word that North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has resurfaced for the first time in weeks. The North's state media, and the South Korean news agency Yonhap say that he toured a fertilizer plant today. Kim's absence from public view had fueled rumors that he was in ill health.

    And back in this country, something happened at the Trump White House that had not happened for more than a year. The press secretary held a briefing. Kayleigh McEnany took the job last month. She pledged today never to lie to reporters.

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