Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 |
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Fourth COVID vaccine cleared for use in US
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended that a newly authorized vaccine from Novavax be used as an option for adults seeking a primary immunization against the coronavirus. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC’s director, signed off on the recommendation of a panel of vaccine experts that had unanimously endorsed the vaccine Tuesday afternoon. The decision removes the final regulatory hurdle for the fourth COVID-19 shot authorized in the United States. Novavax received significant federal funding to develop its shot but fell far behind in the vaccine race. Even so, it is hoping the shot will appeal to Americans who have declined to be vaccinated.
House passes same-sex marriage bill amid concern about court reversal
The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would recognize same-sex marriages at the federal level, with a strikingly bipartisan coalition supporting a measure that addresses growing concerns that a conservative Supreme Court could nullify marriage equality. Forty-seven Republicans joined Democrats in backing the bill, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would codify the federal protections for same-sex couples that were put in place in 2015, when the Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges established same-sex marriage as a right under the 14th Amendment. The measure faces an uncertain path in the Senate.
Trump electors targeted in Georgia criminal inquiry
Prosecutors in Atlanta have informed 16 Trump supporters who formed an alternate slate of 2020 presidential electors from Georgia that they could face charges in an ongoing criminal investigation into election interference. The revelations were included in court filings released Tuesday in an investigation being led by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County. They showed that while much attention has been focused on the House hearings in Washington into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, it is a local prosecutor in Atlanta who may put Trump and his circle of allies in the most immediate legal peril.
Trump, Pence rivalry intensifies as they consider 2024 runs
Former Vice President Mike Pence is becoming increasingly brazen in his willingness to counter former President Donald Trump. The two will hold dueling rallies in Arizona on Friday as they stump for rival candidates who offer dramatically different visions of the Republican Party in a critical battleground state. Days later, they will once again cross paths as they deliver major speeches on the same day in Washington. The encounters mark a more confrontational phase in their fraught relationship. They could soon find themselves competing against one another in the 2024 GOP presidential primary if they both ultimately choose to run.
Frequent lockdowns may have contributed to Uvalde tragedy
Nearly two months after a deadly shooting a Texas elementary school, a Texas House of Representatives committee report found that nearly 400 officers from local, state and federal agencies responded to the 77-minute rampage in which 19 kids and two teachers died. According to the report, frequent lockdowns contributed to a “diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts.” Nearly 50 security alerts and lockdowns were called in Uvalde since February, many of which are attributed to “bailouts”—- a local term for people fleeing from law enforcement after crossing into the U.S., according to the report.
Europe’s heat wave shatters British records and drives wildfires
For the first time on record, Britain suffered under temperatures above 104 degrees on Tuesday, as a heat wave moved northwest, leaving a trail of raging wildfires, lost lives and evacuated homes across a Europe ill-equipped to cope with the new reality of extreme weather. While the heat’s effects cascaded from Greece to Scotland, the greatest damage was in France. More than 2,000 firefighters battled blazes that have burned nearly 80 square miles of parched forest in the Gironde area of the country’s southwest, forcing more than 37,000 people to evacuate in the past week. Spain, Italy and Greece also endured major wildfires.
Kharkiv tried to return to normal. Russian shelling wouldn’t let it.
Just 25 miles from the Russian border, Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second biggest city and has been one of the hardest hit in the war. Ukrainian forces repelled Russian troops trying to capture the city and eventually pushed many of them back into Russia. The relief was ephemeral. Five months into the war, Russian rockets and artillery still slam into the city. Military analysts have said the attacks are a way to force Ukraine to keep troops from joining the larger fight in the eastern Donbas region. But President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia was gathering forces to attack Kharkiv again. And the city is bracing for it.
Putin finds a new ally in Iran, a fellow outcast
President Vladimir Putin left Russia for a rare international trip Tuesday and received a handsome reward: a meeting with a world leader who voiced a full-throated endorsement for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Traveling to Iran, Putin worked to solidify an Iranian-Russian alliance that has been emerging as a significant counterweight to U.S.-led efforts to contain Western adversaries. He met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, who issued a declaration of support for Putin’s war in Ukraine. It was a signal to the world that the long-fraught relationship between Moscow and Tehran may be becoming a true partnership.
Outbreaks in China prompt lockdowns and fears of more economic woes
More than a dozen Chinese cities are grappling with a spate of COVID-19 outbreaks driven by omicron subvariants, prompting widespread lockdowns and mass quarantines that could worsen China’s slumping economy. Just days after China’s economy reported its worst quarterly performance in more than two years, officials have shown no sign of abandoning the zero-COVID policy that has upended social and economic life in the country. About 264 million people in 41 cities are under full or partial lockdowns or living under other measures, analysts at Nomura, the Japanese bank, wrote in a note Monday. Last week, the figure was about 247 million in 31 cities.
By wire sources
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