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Child Vaccine Data
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said yesterday top-line trial data showed its COVID-19 vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, appeared to be safe and effective in children aged 5 to 11. The study also showed children developed a robust immune response at one-third the dosage received by teenagers and adults.
The trial involved a relatively small 2,268 participants who received doses. An estimated 5.3 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in children, with about 460 known deaths (see data).
The data come as families across the country grapple with quarantines resulting from potential in-classroom exposures. A recent study found just 2% of close contacts ultimately tested positive after a classroom exposure. Health officials have signaled authorization of the vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 may come by the end of October.
Overall, the US is averaging about 1,950 COVID-19 deaths per day (see data), while the total number of patients hospitalized with the disease is at 84,000, down almost 15% from the beginning of the month.
Separately, US officials said they would replace a ban on foreign travelers coming to the country with a requirement they are fully vaccinated before arrival.
Mass Shooting in Russia
At least six people were killed and 28 injured after a gunman opened fire yesterday at Perm State University in Perm, Russia, about 800 miles east of Moscow. The suspect, identified as a student, had purchased the hunting rifle used in the attack in May. The shooting began around 11 am local time (2 am ET) with reports of some students locking themselves in rooms and jumping out windows. The suspect was shot by police and is currently hospitalized; the attack is not being probed as terrorism.
The attack was the second mass shooting — which is relatively rare in Russia — this year. In May, nine people died, and 20 were injured during a shooting at a school in Kazan. The Kazan school shooting prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to tighten gun laws in the country.
Separately, Russia’s ruling party received nearly 50% of the vote in the country’s parliament elections Monday, retaining majority control.
US officials accelerated the deportation of Haitian migrants camped outside a Texas border town yesterday, with multiple flights carrying hundreds of people back to their home country. An estimated 14,000 Haitian migrants are expected to be sent back over the next three weeks.
A surge in Haitian migrants began early last week, said to be fueled by rumors circulating among the community of an easy entry point into the US. Many have lived in South and Central America for years, following a large-scale exodus after a devastating 2010 earthquake. The group has congregated under the Del Rio bridge that connects the US and Mexico (see photos).
The wave of migrants comes amid a two-decade high in border arrivals. More than 1.5 million encounters have been recorded this fiscal year.
In related news, the Biden administration said it would raise the annual cap for refugees from 62,500 to 125,000 for fiscal year 2022.
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Prosecutors rest case in R. Kelly sex trafficking trial after five weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses (More) | Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to sexual assault charge that had been reinstated; trial expected for spring 2022 (More)
> Anthony “AJ” Johnson, actor and comedian known for “Friday” and “House Party,” dies at 55 (More)
> Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards reached 7.4 million television viewers, a 16% improvement over last year’s record-low ratings (More)
Science & Technology
> SpaceX’s Starlink, its satellite-based broadband internet service, to come out of beta next month; CEO Elon Musk says the company is currently serving about 100,000 users (More)
> MIT researchers discover bacterial enzyme that allows editing of RNA with precision similar to the use of CRISPR for DNA (More) | Sort of know what CRISPR is, but sort of don’t? Check out 1440’s CRISPR resource page (More)
> Doctors identify method to reverse the ability of malignant tumors to suppress antitumor immune cells in their vicinity (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets slide (S&P 500 -1.7%, Dow -1.8%, Nasdaq -2.2%) on fears the potential default of Evergrande, China’s largest property developer, could lead to global market troubles (More) | Evergrande overview (More)
> Twitter agrees to pay $809M to settle lawsuit alleging the social media giant misled investors with user engagement figures in 2015 (More)
> Royal Dutch Shell to sell its onshore production assets in Texas to ConocoPhillips for $9.5B, as oil giant Shell attempts to lower carbon emissions and shifts to renewable energy sources (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> US Supreme Court to hear challenges to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban Dec. 1; a lower court struck down the law in a 2019 ruling (More) | Texas doctor performs abortion in violation of new fetal heartbeat law, opponents file lawsuit (More)
> Democrats to include debt limit raise in short-term government funding bill; would require the support of 10 Republican senators (More)
> Paul Rusesabagina found guilty on charges of founding and supporting an alleged terrorist group in Rwanda; international rights groups decry verdict, calling it politically motivated (More) | Rusesabagina’s efforts to save victims of the country’s 1994 genocide were detailed in the movie “Hotel Rwanda” (More)
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Experiment of a Lifetime
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The Great Disconnect
Recode | Rani Molla, Emily Stewart. The ratio of job openings to new hires has never been larger — but potential employees say they still have trouble getting hired. Where is the disconnect? (Read)
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