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National and International Newscast, April 28


SARAH YOKUBAITIS, BYLINE: From Columbia Radio News, I’m Sarah Yokubaitis.


NEW ECONOMIC NUMBERS

The Commerce Department announced today that the American economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter of the year. The US gross domestic product declined one point four percent, annualized. It’s the weakest quarter since the early months of the pandemic. The decline is due to the recent Omicron variant wave and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Consumer spending was up by point seven percent.


UKRANIAN AID ANNOUNCED

In a speech at the White House today, President Biden asked Congress for thirty three billion dollars in aid for the Ukrainian war effort. It’s more than twice the size of previous aid packages and indicates that the war is not expected to end anytime soon.


(((President Joe Biden: “The cost of this fight is not cheap, but caving to

aggression is going to be more costly if we allow it to happen.")))


The majority of the package will be weapons, along with additional humanitarian aid. President Biden also asked Congress to make it easier to seize assets such as yachts and airplanes from Russian oligarchs.


MODERNA SEEKS APPROVAL FOR CHILDREN'S VACCINE

Moderna has requested an emergency use authorization for its covid vaccine for children five and under. The drug maker has asked the government to approve a series of two shots, each with a fourth of the adult dose. They’re the first drug maker to seek authorization for a children’s covid vaccine. A decision is not expected until at least June.


FDA BANS MENTHOL

The Food and Drug Administration announced today that it will ban menthol flavored cigars and cigarettes. Public health experts say the law could save hundreds of thousands of lives. The ban is expected to primarily affect Black smokers. More than 85 percent of all Black smokers use menthols, and African American men have the highest rates of lung cancer in the country. The ban will take at least a year to go into effect.


STOCKS

The NASDAQ rose today following strong earnings reports from Apple and Facebook. The Dow jumped 600 points.


Sarah Yokubaitis, Columbia Radio News



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