This is VOA news. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd. President Joe Biden held his first news conference of his administration Thursday and pushed back against suggestions his administration is responsible for a surge of immigrants at the border. AP's Sagar Meghani has more. The president says it has nothing to do with him being a nice guy and rolling back harsh Trump administration actions. "That's not the reason they're coming," blaming it instead on an annual seasonal spike and issues in their home nations pushed repeatedly on immigration. At his first news conference, the president said his administration's expelling the vast majority of those trying to enter with a big exception. "The only people we're not going to let sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande by themselves with no help are children," and says the U.S. will move to quickly move hundreds of them out of cramped detention facilities where he says conditions are unacceptable. Sagar Meghani, Washington.
The U.N.-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide has announced supply delays from an Indian manufacturer in a major setback for the ambitious rollout aimed to help low- and middle-income countries fight the pandemic. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said Thursday that the delays come as India is facing a surge of coronavirus infections that will increase domestic demands on the Serum Institute of India, a pivotal maker behind the COVAX vaccine program. The move will affect up to 40 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccines being manufactured by the Serum Institute that were to be delivered for COVAX this month as well as 50 million expected next month.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 684,000, the fewest since the pandemic erupted a year ago and a sign that the economy is improving. This is VOA news.