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Moderna asks FDA for authorization for a 2nd booster for all adults
Moderna said late Thursday that it asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of a second booster of its coronavirus vaccine for all adults, a significantly broader request than Pfizer and BioNTech filed for their shot this week. The request is likely to intensify the latest round of an ongoing scientific debate over how long protection from the two most-used vaccines in the United States lasts in the face of new variants. On Tuesday, Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, asked for emergency authorization for a second booster for those 65 and older. The request was based heavily on data from Israel, where such shots are authorized for a somewhat broader group.
Europe’s rising caseloads could foreshadow a 2nd omicron surge in the US
Experts warn that another coronavirus wave may be imminent in the United States, fueled by a more contagious omicron subvariant that is spreading rapidly in Europe, although they said the trend was more a cause for caution than alarm. The subvariant this month began its second sweep through Europe, where past virus surges have been a harbinger of what was to come in the U.S. Many countries thought they were free of the worst of COVID and raced to lift restrictions in February and March, but the subvariant, BA.2, is contributing to the new surge. Some countries are again approaching record levels of caseloads or have even exceeded them.
Bus shooting in Florida leaves 2 dead and 2 injured
A gunman fatally shot two people and wounded two others aboard a public bus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday afternoon near the city’s police headquarters, authorities said. The bus driver was being credited with quick thinking in driving straight to police headquarters — even ramming a car blocking the way, authorities said. Shortly after the bus came to a stop in the parking lot, a suspect surrendered as paramedics attended to the victims. The two people who were wounded were taken to a hospital after the shooting, police said on Twitter. One was in critical condition and the other was in fair condition.
US will punish China if it gives military aid to Russia, Blinken says
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said the United States would punish China if President Xi Jinping chose to give military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine. Blinken is the most senior U.S. official to explicitly warn China against giving military aid to Russia. He said that because of China’s ties to Russia, it had a special responsibility to try to persuade President Vladimir Putin to end his war. The White House announced Thursday that President Joe Biden and Xi would talk Friday as part of “ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication.”
Peru’s top court reinstates pardon for Fujimori
Peru’s top court issued a ruling Thursday to release former President Alberto Fujimori from prison, where he has served less than 15 years of a 25-year sentence for committing human rights abuses during his dictatorship in the 1990s. Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal reinstated the 2017 pardon of Fujimori that a lower court had annulled on the grounds that it had been granted illegally. Peruvian Prime Minister Aníbal Torres said the government would respect the court’s decision but criticized the ruling. Fujimori’s lawyer told broadcaster Radio Programas del Peru that he expected Fujimori to be released within one or two days.
In a first, a Cardinal testifies in a Vatican criminal trial
The first cardinal to face a criminal trial in a Vatican courtroom told the court in the papal city-state Thursday that he was ready to clear his name against charges of embezzlement and abuse of office. The cardinal, Giovanni Angelo Becciu, is facing charges alongside nine others accused of defrauding the Vatican. The case primarily focuses on a London real estate investment that prosecutors say lost the Vatican millions while enriching middlemen. It was a scene that only became possible after Pope Francis changed the law of the city-state to sweep away privileges that cardinals and bishops had previously enjoyed regarding criminal offenses.
By wire sources
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