5 things to know for October 15: Covid, Capitol riot, Lebanon, United Nations, China

La Niña has arrived and is here to stay through the winter. Depending on where you are, a wetter or drier season could be in store.

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1. Coronavirus

FDA advisers are set to meet today to consider authorizing a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. They’ll also discuss whether a mix-and-match strategy of using a booster from a different vaccine maker is safe or even beneficial. The same advisers voted yesterday to recommend emergency use authorization of a Moderna vaccine booster for those at high risk of Covid-19 — the same groups authorized to receive a booster dose of Pfizer’s vaccine. Third doses of the Moderna and Pfizer shots are already authorized for some immunocompromised people. Some experts, however, note that while antibodies may wane over time, the initial two-dose regimen for both vaccines is still holding up against severe infection.

2. Capitol riot

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection is moving forward to hold Steve Bannon, the architect of former President Trump’s national populism, in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena. It’s an aggressive attempt to hold Trump’s inner circle accountable but may have the unintended effect of further politicizing US democratic institutions, CNN’s Stephen Collinson writes. The move sets up a legal battle between Bannon and the federal government that could take years, as criminal contempt cases have historically been derailed by appeals and acquittals. In other news, a New York judge has ordered Trump to sit for a video deposition next week involving an alleged assault during a 2015 demonstration outside Trump Tower.

3. Lebanon

Lebanon saw its worst violence in more than a decade after a protest yesterday descended into deadly street battles. Supporters of two Shia Muslim parties — Hezbollah and the Amal movement — were calling for the removal of a popular judge in charge of an investigation into Beirut’s August 2020 port blast when snipers on rooftops fired at the crowd. At least six people were killed. Hezbollah and Amal accused right-wing Christian party The Lebanese Forces of being behind the sniper attacks. The party rejected those claims. The epicenter of the clashes is near the birthplace of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and some activists say the latest fighting has prompted feelings of “deja vu.”

4. United Nations

The US is officially a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council again, three years after the Trump administration withdrew over what it called bias against Israel and a failure to hold human rights abusers accountable. The council has long been criticized for including countries accused of grave human rights abuses, and yesterday was no different, with Cameroon, Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates elected to the council despite their domestic records. The Biden administration has said that while the council has its flaws, rejoining will help push it to “live up to its mandate.” Reelection of the US is the latest effort to restore the nation’s standing on the global stage.

5. China

China is about to send off the first female astronaut to work on its new space station. Wang Yaping, 41, will be part of a three-member team heading today for the space station, where she’s expected to become the first Chinese woman to conduct a spacewalk. Her impending departure comes at a landmark moment for female astronauts and China’s rapidly expanding space program. The country aims to complete the station and have it fully crewed by December 2022 — an ambitious target that it seems to be on course to hit.


Gary Paulsen, author of the young adult novel ‘Hatchet,’ has died

His final novel “Northwind” is set to publish in January. He was 82.

Jonah Hill asks fans not to comment on his body

How about we all just mind our own business while we’re at it?

Prince William has some thoughts about billionaires who are into space

It’s safe to say we won’t catch him trying to leave this planet anytime soon.

Butterball is recalling more than 14,000 pounds of turkey

Consumers have said they found pieces of blue plastic in their ground turkey.

McDonald’s is testing out its McPlant burger in these cities

Calling all vegetarians: It’s finally our time.


$25.4 million

Remember that Banksy painting that self-destructed moments after it sold at auction three years ago? It sold again, this time for a record sum.


“He is on the mend, in good spirits, and is incredibly thankful to the doctors, nurses, and staff providing him with excellent care.”

Angel Urena, a spokesperson for Bill Clinton, on the former President’s medical condition. Clinton was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, his doctors told CNN.


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