Here are the top stories for Wednesday, March 24th: Biden taps Harris to tackle immigration surge; COVID outlook improves, Fauci still cautious; Virginia bans capital punishment; Giant container ship blocks Suez canal.
NED BARKER: This is AP News Minute. President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the White House effort to tackle the surge in young migrants at the southern border. Meantime, a delegation of White House officials and members of Congress traveled to Texas to tour a facility that’s now in use to deal with the growing problem.
The US outlook for the coronavirus pandemic appears to be improving, as vaccinations rise and deaths continue to fall. But America’s top epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, isn’t ready to say the US has turned the corner, pointing to the level of new cases, which are hovering at about the same level they were last summer.
Virginia governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation making the Old Dominion the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty. It’s a dramatic shift for Virginia. Historically, it has had the second highest number of executions in the US.
Tugboats continue to try to free a giant container ship the “Ever Given,” that ran aground and is blocking the Suez Canal. 10% of World Trade goes through the Canal. And all traffic has been halted. Ned Barker– the Associated Press, with AP News Minute.