US Domestic News Roundup: Biden, Harris urge vaccinations as U.S. looks likely to miss July 4 target; 'So happy': Honduran asylum-seeker celebrates rejoining family in U.S. and more
California power grid operators, who have so far been able to keep the lights on, issued their latest "flex alert" for Friday, asking homeowners across the state to conserve energy in the late afternoon and evening when demand surges. U.S. companies rush to change their calendars for new Juneteenth holiday U.S. companies scrambled to put in place policies that would allow employees to take a day off after President Joe Biden signed a bill late on Thursday to recognize June 19, or "Juneteenth", as a federal holiday.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Biden, Harris urge vaccinations as U.S. looks likely to miss July 4 target
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday urged Americans to get COVID-19 shots, as the country looks likely to miss the White House's goals for vaccination next month as a new coronavirus variant triggered serious concerns. "Act now, act now," Biden said in remarks at the White House, urging the unvaccinated to talk to their family and friends who have had shots and to their doctors.
'So happy': Honduran asylum-seeker celebrates rejoining family in U.S.
There was one word that rolled off migrant Andy Molina's tongue as he spoke about plans to soon reunite with his wife and son in the United States after two years of separation: "happy."
The 27-year-old from Honduras and his 10-year-old daughter Eleana Victoria spent more than a year in Mexico while waiting to be able to apply for asylum in the United States, held back by a Trump-era program that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for court cases.
'Apocalyptic' heat wave scorches U.S. Southwest again
An extreme heat wave that has already shattered temperature records across the U.S. Southwest threatened on Friday to push power systems to the brink of failure as residents cranked up air conditioners. California power grid operators, who have so far been able to keep the lights on, issued their latest "flex alert" for Friday, asking homeowners across the state to conserve energy in the late afternoon and evening when demand surges.
U.S. companies rush to change their calendars for new Juneteenth holiday
U.S. companies scrambled to put in place policies that would allow employees to take a day off after President Joe Biden signed a bill late on Thursday to recognize June 19, or "Juneteenth", as a federal holiday. Juneteenth has been a holiday in some U.S. states, but the move has pressured more companies to declare the day a holiday. With Juneteenth, the first new federal holiday created in nearly four decades, falling on a weekend, some companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp, have allowed U.S. employees a floating day off.
Bidens announce death of 'first dog' Champ
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Saturday announced the passing of their German shepherd Champ, who they called a "constant, cherished companion" for 13 years. "In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion. We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always," the Bidens said in a statement.
U.S. administers more than 317 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
The United States has administered 317,117,797 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 379,003,410 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Those figures are up from the 316,048,776 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by June 18 out of 377,935,390 doses delivered.
Cheers and quiet reflection as U.S. crowds mark Juneteenth
Marching bands sparked loud cheers and quieter reflections about racial justice from crowds gathered on Saturday to mark Juneteenth as a new U.S. federal holiday commemorating the end of the legal enslavement of Black Americans. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday signed a bill making Juneteenth the 11th federally recognized holiday, just over a year after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis ignited nationwide protests for racial justice and for ending police brutality.
NHC says Claudette weakens to tropical depression
Tropical storm Claudette which formed in the Atlantic, producing heavy rainfall, has weakened to a tropical depression on Saturday evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Claudette is about 95 miles (150 km) west of Montgomery Alabama, with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 km/h), the NHC added.
U.S. bishops vote to draft Communion statement that may rebuke Biden for abortion views
A divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops announced on Friday that they had voted to draft a statement on Holy Communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who support abortion rights. The 168-55 decision to draft a teaching document on the Eucharist, a holy sacrament in the Roman Catholic faith, came after two hours of debate at the virtual assembly of the United States Catholic Bishops' Conference on Thursday, in which the bishops weighed the merits of reaffirming church teachings against the possibility of sowing partisan division.
One dead after driver crashes into crowd at Pride Parade in Florida
One person died and another was injured after a pickup truck ran into a crowd of spectators at a Pride parade in south Florida on Saturday, local authorities said. Police have apprehended the truck driver responsible for the crash at the festival in Fort Lauderdale, Mayor Dean Trantalis told https://bit.ly/35FiWwq Miami television station WSVN.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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