The Justice Department was able to recover much of the $4.4 million ransom payment after seizing a virtual Bitcoin wallet used by the hackers.
Infrastructure talks between President Biden and the top Republican Senate negotiator are now over. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said that the president broke off their negotiations today after being unable to reach a deal over his proposed $1.7 trillion jobs and infrastructure package.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president is now shifting his strategy by reaching out to a bipartisan group of senators and crafting an alternate proposal.
The Senate is poised to pass sweeping bipartisan legislation to boost the U.S. tech industry amid growing international competition, mainly from China. The roughly $250 billion bill will invest in semiconductor manufacturing, artificial intelligence research, robotics, and a range of other technologies. It is being hailed as the country’s biggest investment in scientific research in decades.
The Biden administration is also forming a task force to address disruptions in the semiconductor, construction, transportation, and agriculture sectors. It aims to boost domestic manufacturing to limit dependency on countries like China. We will take a closer look at this and the Senate’s technology bill after the news summary.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased pandemic travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories today, including Japan, ahead of the Summer Olympics.
Meanwhile, Pfizer expanded testing its COVID vaccine in children younger than 12, giving them lower doses of the shot.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported a record high surge in job openings, as more businesses reopened. They were up 998,000 in the month of April to 9.3 million. Also in April, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to nearly $69 billion, as stronger economic growth led to more sales of American exports.
And trading was light on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 30 points to close at 34600. The Nasdaq rose 43 points, and the S&P 500 added a fraction of a point.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the vice president discusses the administration’s immigration agenda in Central America; calls for free tuition at the nation’s community colleges grow louder; and a songwriter helps hospital workers process the pandemic through music.