Booster Shots, Calif., Halle Berry: Your Wednesday Night Briefing

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Have a good evening. Here is the last Wednesday at the end of the day.

1. The battle for boosters is intensifying.

Researchers in Israel have reported that a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine can prevent both infections and serious illness in adults over the age of 60 for at least 12 days, in the latest burst of an acrimonious scientific debate on booster doses. Independent experts, including some US government scientists, were skeptical of the research, which included limited data collected over a short period of time.

Separately, the FDA also offered the first public preview of Pfizer’s request for a coronavirus recall, two days before an advisory committee met to consider the company’s request.

Regulators looked at data from about 300 adults who received a Pfizer-BioNTech booster six months after their second dose and found an enhanced immune response. But they also found that coronavirus vaccines without boosters were potently resistant to severe forms of Covid-19.

2. California Democrats nationalized the recall vote to keep Governor Gavin Newsom in office, offering a snapshot of the 2022 midterm elections.

The first-term Democratic governor continued in office by effectively describing Republicans “as Trump-loving extremists,” our political reporter wrote in an analysis. It is a strategy that can still prove effective when “executed with relentless discipline, an avalanche of money and an opponent playing to punch.”

In a grim victory speech, Newsom warned: “Trumpism is not dead.

Latino Californians, fueled by belated voter awareness and increased interest, appeared to give the governor the support he needed.

3. US and Britain to share technology to enable Australia to deploy nuclear powered submarines which could spread across the Pacific, challenging China’s territorial claims in the region.

The plan could see Australia carry out routine sailing patrols in areas of the South China Sea that Beijing now claims to be its own, and reach as far north as Taiwan.

The announcement is a major step for Australia, which until recent years has been reluctant to push back main Chinese interests directly. US officials have said Australia has pledged never to arm submarines with nuclear weapons; they would almost certainly carry conventional cruise missiles launched by submarines, which could further alter the balance of power in the region.

4. New Orleans’ biggest killer was not the wind and rain from Hurricane Ida. It was the heat.

The widespread power outage caused by the storm left vulnerable residents in stuffy apartments for days without air conditioning or refrigeration. At least 10 deaths in the city have been linked to high temperatures, and experts say there are likely more. Friends of those who have died wonder if more could have been done to protect older residents before they die, often alone, in stuffy homes.

Tropical Depression Nicholas triggered heavy rains over much of Louisiana this week, increasing the risk of severe flooding in an area already affected by Ida.

5. Pope Francis weighed in on calls to deny Communion to politicians like President Biden who supports the right to abortion.

FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted to the agency’s mismanagement of the case and apologized to the hundreds of girls and women who were abused by Nassar, the former US national team doctor. gymnastics.

Biles was joined by three of her former teammates, including McKayla Maroney, who said that when she finished speaking to an FBI agent about numerous horrific abuse cases in 2015, the agent replied: “C ‘ is all?” Nassar was able to assault more than 70 girls and women under the guise of medical treatment when the FBI failed to act, an Inspector General report found.

The agent who interviewed Maroney was fired two weeks ago. Nassar is now serving what amounts to life in prison for multiple sex crimes.

7. A new twist in a series of mysteries surrounding a prominent South Carolina family.

Police say Alex Murdaugh, who found his wife and son shot dead in June, asked a former client to kill him this month so his other son could collect a $ 10 million insurance payment . Murdaugh, a member of a powerful legal dynasty in South Carolina, survived a gunshot to the head. He concocted the plan after trying to quit abusing oxycodone and suffering from “massive depression,” according to his lawyer.

Murdaugh was kicked out of his family law firm a day before the shooting for embezzlement. No arrests have been made in the murders of Murdaugh’s wife and son, but their deaths have fueled scrutiny of the family’s long and tangled history in the region.

8. To space: A medical assistant, a community college professor, a data engineer and a high school dropout turned billionaire.

This crew of four is preparing for an extraordinary launch into space tonight in a SpaceX rocket. They will orbit the planet for three days at an altitude above the International Space Station – a much more ambitious and risky journey than the short-lived space frontier escapades of Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in July.

The Inspiration4 mission shows that an ordinary citizen (Jared Isaacman) with a few hundred million dollars to spend can now essentially rent a spaceship to circle the planet. Here’s how to watch the launch at 8 p.m. EST from the Kennedy Space Center.

9. “I understand the trauma of life that makes you want to fight.”

Halle Berry has been a fighter her entire life, whether for film roles or on behalf of other survivors of domestic violence. She considers herself an outsider, and in her directorial debut, “Bruised”, she also portrayed herself as such. Berry, 55, plays a humiliated mixed martial arts fighter desperate to make a comeback. It is his most physically demanding role to date.

As part of the fall premiere of Culture, we also took a look at the rich history of the noir western, a genre stretching back decades, when films were made for a separate audience. “The Harder They Fall”, with Idris Elba, Regina King and Jonathan Majors, opens a new chapter.

10. And finally, get ready for a longer life.

To increase our longevity, we should probably take 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day, or exercise for about 30 to 45 minutes most days, while doing sports such as tennis, cycling, swimming or jogging. , according to two new major studies on the relationship between physical activity and longevity.

The two studies, which have followed more than 10,000 men and women for decades, show that the right types and amounts of physical activity reduce the risk of premature death by up to 70%. Doing more may slightly improve your chances of long life, but at around 10.00 steps the benefits have leveled off.

Have an active night.

Bryan denton photos compiled for this briefing.

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