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Moderna, Steve Bannon, “Succession”: your Thursday night briefing

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Have a good evening. Here is the latest at the end of Thursday.

1. More booster shots may soon be on their way for millions of Americans.

An FDA advisory group voted to recommend a third injection of the Moderna vaccine for people 65 and older as well as young adults at high risk due to their medical conditions or work, the same groups that have become eligible for a Pfizer-BioNTech recall last month. The third injection of Moderna would be half a dose.

Regulators are not obligated to follow the panel’s recommendations, but they usually do. The committee will vote on Johnson & Johnson’s request to authorize its booster tomorrow.

2. Beirut has been rocked by the worst sectarian fighting in years.

Six people were killed and dozens injured in clashes between militias that briefly turned Beirut’s neighborhoods into a war zone. The violence erupted during a demonstration led by two Shiite Muslim parties – Hezbollah and the Amal Movement.

3. House Committee investigating the Capitol Riot to vote next week to recommend that Stephen Bannon face criminal contempt charges for failing to comply with a subpoena.

The move would escalate what is shaping up to be a major legal battle between the select committee and Donald Trump over access to witnesses and crucial documents that could shed light on what precipitated the pro-Trump mob attack. . Bannon, a former senior Trump adviser, had informed the panel that he would challenge the subpoena under a directive from Trump.

The committee yesterday issued a subpoena to a former Justice Department official under Trump who was involved in Trump’s frantic efforts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. In a related case, a federal judge charged with Senior Washington, DC prison officials for contempt of court for unduly delaying medical treatment of an accused in custody for the Jan.6 attack.

4. LinkedIn announced it would end service in China after the platform censored posts to continue operating, but was still under government control.

Citing “a much more difficult operating environment and stricter compliance requirements”, the decision completes the divide between American social networks and China. LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would offer a new app for the Chinese market focused solely on job postings.

Twitter and Facebook have been stuck in the country for years, and Google left over a decade ago.

In other business news, The S&P 500 had its best day since March, breaking recent malaise with a 1.7% gain after positive earnings and inflation reports.

5. Robert Durst was sentenced to life in prison for the execution-style murder in 2000 of a close confidant.

Durst, 78, whose life story inspired both a Hollywood movie and an HBO documentary, will not be eligible for parole. A jury found him guilty of first degree murder in Los Angeles last month for shooting Susan Berman, a journalist and screenwriter who served as his publicist, to prevent him from telling investigators what she knew about the disappearance in 1982 of his first wife. The case had been in the making for decades.

In another case, South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been accused of defrauding millions from his housekeeper’s sons after her death. Murdaugh has suffered a dramatic fall since his wife and son were shot in an unsolved murder in June.


In the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, state-owned energy companies are increasing production of oil and natural gas while American and European companies are reducing their supply due to climate concerns. The huge change means that it could take decades for global fossil fuel supplies to decline, unless there is a sharp drop in demand for these fuels.

Separately, ahead of a crucial climate summit in Glasgow, countries are coming together this week to try to stop a collapse in biodiversity that many scientists say could equate climate change with an existential crisis.


7. Throughout the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have sued the San Francisco Giants. Now a place in the National League Championship Series is on the line.

Rivals for more than a century, the teams will face off tonight in San Francisco for a win-win match. The first real playoff clash between these rivals since 1889 lived up to expectations, and it’s the only divisional series that has forced teams to go the distance. The first pitch is at 9:07 p.m. EST and we’ll have live updates here.

Sign up for our playoff briefing for the latest news and analysis from our journalists.


8. The new season of “Succession” shows that being rich isn’t like it used to be.

Unlike “Dynasty,” “Dallas,” and other old-time soap operas about hapless superriches, the niche feel of “Succession” is “an acquired bitter taste, like expensive imported licorice, with twisted pleasures but little wish fulfillment, “writes our TV reviewer. . The HBO drama returns on Sunday after a two-year hiatus caused by a pandemic.

Our film reviewer recommends “The Last Duel” by Ridley Scott, based on the true story of a lady, knight and squire in 14th century France, with a #MeToo twist. Starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodi Comer, the film may be the first medieval feminist revenge saga to hit the big screen.


9. Hungry sea otters improve the sex life of seagrass, a new study found.

Sea otters that dig for clams dislodge the roots of seagrass and stimulate sexual reproduction in vegetation. In turn, this sexual activity stimulates the genetic diversity of eelgrass and improves the resilience of the ecosystems in which both otters and eelgrass live. The results highlight the importance of restoring extinct predators in marine ecosystems.

In other animal news, most scaleworms are built like tiny armored tanks to crawl along the seabed. But scientists have found that some have developed less muscle mass and elongated appendages that move through the water like oars.


10. And finally, four unique talents.

T Magazine’s 2021 Greats issue celebrates four talents – an actress, artist, playwright and fashion designer – who helped create and change culture. All of these people share the belief that a fundamental part of artistic creation is engagement with the world as a whole.

Inspired by the punk scenes of New York City, fashion designer Anna Sui has created an inimitable aesthetic of her own. Actress Juliette Binoche has spent decades of her career examining vulnerability and how to convey it. The work of visual artist and writer Glenn Ligon is united in his investigation of what it means to be American. And playwright Lynn Nottage is constantly on a mission to reform her industry.

Have an exceptional night.


Bryan Denton has compiled photos for this briefing.

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