In our news wrap Friday, the White House confirmed the arctic storm has set back COVID-19 vaccine shipments, the U.S. is once again part of the Paris climate accord, the U.S. began allowing the first of thousands of asylum seekers from Mexico, President Biden appealed to the world’s democracies to tackle new challenges, and U.S. Capitol police force suspended six officers after the Jan. 6 attack.
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In the day's other news: The White House confirmed that the arctic storm has set back COVID vaccine shipments.
Extreme conditions delayed delivery of six million doses and closed vaccination sites in some places. But, in a virtual briefing, presidential adviser Andy Slavitt said he is confident of catching up.
Now, as weather conditions improve, we're already working to clear this backlog; 1.4 million doses are already in transit today, and we anticipate that all the backlogged doses will be delivered within the next week, with most being delivered within the next several days.
President Biden toured a Pfizer vaccine manufacturing facility today in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Earlier, he pledged a total of $4 billion to help buy vaccines for poor countries.
The United States is once again part of the Paris climate accord. That became official today, following an executive order by President Biden. His administration has promised to set a new target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. President Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris accord last fall.
In another break with Trump policy, the U.S. has begun allowing in the first of thousands of asylum-seekers from Mexico. They had been waiting there for months or even years while their cases are decided. The policy change affects some 25,000 migrants. Initially, a few hundred a day are being processed.
President Biden appealed to the world's democracies today to tackle new challenges, or risk becoming relics. He addressed the Munich Security Conference via video link, and called for action on economic troubles and the pandemic.
He also pledged a new American approach to NATO in his first major global appearance since taking office.
Pres. Joe Biden:
I know the past few years have strained and tested our transatlantic relationship, but the United States is determined, determined to reengage with Europe, to consult with you, to earn back our position of trusted leadership.
The president charged that Russia is working to undermine NATO and that China is using coercion and economic abuses to gain dominance.
The U.S. Justice Department is alleging a broader conspiracy among the far-right Oath Keepers militia in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Six more people were indicted today. They allegedly plotted to use military-style tactics in a bid to block Congress from certifying President Biden's election.
The U.S. Capitol Police force has suspended six officers in the wake of the Capitol attack. Today's announcement says that they are among 35 officers being investigated for how they responded to the assault by extremist Trump supporters. Social media videos appear to show some officers escorting rioters into the Capitol.
Ride-sharing giant Uber has lost a major court fight in Britain. The country's Supreme Court ruled today that Uber drivers are, in fact, workers, entitled to minimum wage and benefits, rather than independent contractors. Last year, Uber defeated an attempt in California to treat drivers as full-fledged employees.
And on Wall Street today, stocks barely budged. The Dow Jones industrial average gained just one point to close at 31494. The Nasdaq rose nine points, and the S&P 500 lost seven.