In our news wrap Wednesday, the World Health Organization warned that its probe of COVID-19's origins has stalled and the trail is growing cold. Northern California's Caldor Fire rained more ash over the Lake Tahoe basin, leaving a thick yellow haze that closed schools for a third day. Graphic new video has emerged of a Louisiana state policeman beating a Black man during a 2019 traffic stop.
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In the day's other news: The World Health Organization warned that its probe of COVID-19's origins has stalled, and that the trail is growing cold.
In Geneva, agency leaders said it's still impossible to say if the virus leaked from a lab in China because Beijing refuses to share its own findings.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, World Health Organization:
We have heard from Chinese colleagues that some studies are under way from some public statements that they have made recently. So, again, we want the origins work to be — remain scientific, transparent, urgent, and inclusive.
At the same time, a number of reports said a U.S. intelligence review also proved inconclusive.
In other developments, New York state confirmed it's had nearly 12,000 more COVID deaths than previously acknowledged. And the Pentagon formally ordered that all U.S. troops be vaccinated as quickly as possible.
In Northern California, the Caldor Fire rained more ash over the Lake Tahoe Basin, leaving a thick yellow haze that closed school districts for a third day. The giant fire was within 20 miles of the resort region along the Nevada border, with thousands of firefighters trying to block its advance. Around its perimeter, the fire is threatening thousands of homes and buildings.
Graphic new video has emerged of a Louisiana state policeman beating a Black man during a traffic stop two years ago. The Associated Press obtained body camera footage of trooper Jacob Brown jumping from his vehicle and running at Aaron Bowman, who was already pinned down by other officers. Moments later, Brown struck bowman 18 times with a heavy-duty flashlight.
Bowman recalled the beating earlier this month.
I kept thinking I was going to die that night, because all I can do was breathe and try to keep myself from just going out, because he got my face mashed down in a puddle of water.
Bowman suffered multiple broken bones and later filed a civil suit. Trooper Brown resigned last month and faces state criminal charges.
The incident followed the death of another Black man, Ronald Greene, in police custody in Louisiana. Both cases are under federal investigation.
A select congressional committee demanded reams of records from federal agencies today, as they look into the January assault on the U.S. Capitol. The House panel is looking at then-President Trump's communications and actions before and during January 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the building. The committee also wants phone records of some members of Congress.
A federal judge has handed down the first sentence in a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Ty Garbin was given just over six years in prison today. He pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. Five more men face federal charges, and others are charged in state court. The FBI said they schemed to abduct Whitmer over COVID restrictions.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 39 points to close at 35405. The Nasdaq rose 22 points. And the S&P 500 added 10.