Johnson & Johnson, Texas, NASA: Your Friday Night Briefing

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Have a good evening. Here is the last one at the end of Friday.

1. A recommended FDA panel Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters for millions of Americans.

The decision of the independent expert panel likely means that the 15 million adults who received the vaccine in a single injection will be eligible for an additional injection two months after their initial dose. If the FDA and CDC accept the recommendation, as expected, boosters could be offered as early as the end of next week. Here’s what you need to know about Johnson & Johnson boosters.

The vote concludes a series of recommendations over the past month to support recalls for the three vaccines used in the United States, adding momentum to a recall program that the Biden administration has called crucial to its fight against the pandemic.

2. The Biden administration will ask the Supreme Court to block Texas’ new abortion law while it is challenged in court.

Last month, in a separate case brought by abortion providers, the Supreme Court allowed the law to come into force. The new challenge will allow judges to take a fresh look at the law, which bans most abortions after about six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. There is no exception for rape or incest.

The move comes a day after a federal appeals court restored the law, temporarily reinstating a ban on proceedings that had been blocked by a lower court.


3. A British lawmaker was fatally stabbed while meeting with voters, shake up the country’s political establishment.

David Amess, 69, a longtime Conservative Party member in the House of Commons, was killed in the town of Leigh-on-Sea, about 40 miles east of London. Amess, a hardline EU critic and Brexit supporter, was due to hold a meeting with voters in a church. Police said a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder. They said the investigation would be carried out by counterterrorism agents, suggesting it would be treated as an act of terrorism.

Amess is the second lawmaker to be killed in such an attack in just over five years. In 2016, Jo Cox, a Labor lawmaker, was killed by a right-wing extremist during a meeting with voters.

4. Rents fell briefly during the pandemic. Now they are skyrocketing.

The national median rent has risen 16.4% since January, according to an industry measure, spurred by the frenzy of the housing market. As buyers bid on prices, many people who would otherwise have bought their first home saw the price rise, increasing the demand for rentals.

Separately, Retail sales rose in September, the second consecutive month of gains, as consumer spending rose despite rising prices and supply chain disruptions. The increase was larger than economists expected.


5. Nikolas Cruz plans to plead guilty to 17 counts of premeditated murder for the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, said his lawyers.

Lawyers have spent years interviewing witnesses and making other preparations for a long and emotionally draining trial. After a plea hearing next week, the next step would be a phase of punishment before a jury, during which Cruz’s lawyers attempt to avoid the death penalty and instead plead for a life sentence.

Cruz, a former student who was 19 at the time of the shooting and had a history of mental health and behavior issues, used a semi-automatic rifle he had legally purchased to kill 14 students and three faculty members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.


6. An explosion in an Afghan mosque left more than 40 dead and dozens injured. It was the second week in a row that an attack struck a Shiite place of worship in the country during Friday prayers.

7. Emails from a sprawling NFL investigation reveal the clubby nature of the league.

For nearly a decade, Bruce Allen, the president of the Washington football team, sent emails to Jeff Pash, the NFL’s top lawyer, in which he casually joked about Native Americans and racial diversity and politician, complained about the league’s initiatives to improve player safety, and thanked Pash for understanding the thorny issues his team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, face.

The exchanges were part of a mine of 650,000 emails collected as part of a league investigation into workplace misconduct at the Washington front office. The emails prompted Jon Gruden to step down as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

At baseball : Tonight is Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. The Boston Red Sox will face the Houston Astros at 8:07 p.m. EST.

8. When Nike released this shoe last year, it sold out online within minutes. How did it get so hard to buy sneakers?

Gone are the days when sneakerheads would camp overnight in front of stores for the next hot outing. Now online shoppers with specialized sneaker bots can deplete a store’s inventory in seconds. For most customers, bots are the bane of online shopping. For sneaker brands and retailers, the relationship is more complicated. Still, some e-commerce sites are starting to fight back.

In other highly coveted collectibles, the Birkin bag is getting an update. The iconic Hermès tote, with multi-year waiting lists and limited editions, can now be worn in three different ways thanks to a new puzzle-like design. The price to pay: $ 14,400.


9. Preserving culinary traditions requires adapting to the realities of everyday life.

It was Genevieve Ko’s experience trying to capture wok hei, which gives a dish scorched smoke, without using a wok. To mimic the effect, she used a hot skillet on the stovetop to make caramelized, tender veggies in under 10 minutes. The method allowed Geneviève to find her way back to the Chinese cuisine of her childhood.

10. And finally, a vast odyssey through the solar system.

NASA is preparing to launch a probe towards asteroid clusters along Jupiter’s orbital path. Known as the Trojan swarms, they represent the last unexplored regions of asteroids in the solar system. Scientists believe Trojans may hold secrets about how the planets ended up in their current orbits and how life might have emerged on Earth.

The space agency has never gone this far to study asteroids, and it will do so with the help of a robot named Lucy (a nod to the 3.2 million year old skeleton that revealed the secrets of human evolution). Over 12 years, Lucy will fly nearly seven Trojan asteroids. The hope, said a planetologist, is that Lucy will reveal something totally unexpected about how the solar system evolved.

Have an adventurous weekend.


Bryan denton photos compiled for this briefing.


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