peter hotez 11 27 2021
Expert explains how we'll know if vaccines work against Omicron variant
02:14 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

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    Economic disaster averted: Yesterday, President Joe Biden signed the debt limit increase passed by Congress earlier this week, avoiding a catastrophic default.

    Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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    1. SCOTUS

    Countries are shutting their borders and restricting travel following the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant. Rising reports of the Omicron variant have led Japan and Israel to ban all foreign nationals from entering, and at least 44 countries, including the US, have imposed travel restrictions from several African nations. The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa, and a growing number of countries, including Canada, are reporting cases. While there’s obviously widespread concern – even stock markets are bracing for a virus-related hit – the bottom line is there’s not a lot we know for certain right now. Dr. Anthony Fauci has told President Biden it could take about two more weeks to have definitive information about the Omicron variant’s transmissibility, severity and other characteristics.

    NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins Full Interview_00000316.png
    NIH Director on Omicron: 'There's no reason to panic' but go get boosted
    05:51 - Source: CNN

    2. Coronavirus

    The US and its allies restart Iran nuclear talks today to discuss a mutual return to the deal by the US and Iran. But the meeting of countries involved in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not starting on an optimistic note. Iran on Friday announced yet more advances in its uranium enrichment, which reduces the amount of time it would need to develop a nuclear weapon. The recently elected hard-line government in Tehran is also sending a new set of negotiators who have emphasized the need for complete US sanctions relief. The US, however, says it’s not prepared to offer any incentives to talk. The US special envoy for Iran says there are two options for Iran going forward: continued nuclear escalation or a return to diplomacy under the deal. 

    The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, 1200 Kms south of Tehran, where Iran has began unloading fuel into the reactor core for the nuclear power plant on October 26, 2010, a move which brings the facility closer to generating electricity after decades of delay. AFP PHOTO/MEHR NEWS/MAJID ASGARIPOUR        (Photo credit should read MAJID ASGARIPOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
    Here's why there's rising tension between the US and Iran
    01:30 - Source: CNN

    3. Kentucky

    It could be a big week in the investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House select committee investigating the attack, says a decision could come this week over whether to refer former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for criminal contempt charges for defying a subpoena this month. Also now on the subpoena clock are other allies of former President Trump, including Republican operative Roger Stone, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and key figures from the “Stop the Steal” movement. Judges from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will also soon hear Trump’s latest effort to stop the National Archives from turning over to the House documents from around January 6.

    Rep. Adam Schiff on Meadows Charges_00003304.png
    Schiff: Decision likely this week on Meadows contempt charges
    01:39 - Source: CNN

    4. Afghanistan

    Simmering tensions between Taiwan and China just got hotter after Taiwan’s air force scrambled yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense zone. Taiwan has complained for more than a year of repeated missions by China’s air force near the democratically governed island, and last month, China’s military sent a record number of warplanes into the air around the country. These latest Chinese military activities are considered “gray zone” warfare by Taiwan, designed to wear out Taiwan’s forces by making them repeatedly scramble and also to test their responses. China claims Taiwan as its own, despite never having controlled it. Last month, some Taiwanese leaders warned that China could attempt an invasion of the island in the next few years. 

    nancy mace nr 1128
    Republican lawmaker explains her tweet about Taiwan
    02:17 - Source: CNN

    5. Facebook

    Some big news that may have gotten lost in the long holiday weekend: A jury last week found all three White men charged in the killing last year of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, guilty of murder. Travis McMichael, who shot and killed Arbery, was convicted on all nine counts, including malice murder and four counts of felony murder. His father, Gregory McMichael, and the third defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., were also convicted on counts of felony murder. All three men could face life in prison. The trial in Georgia was a lightning rod for simmering tensions over racial injustice and the US justice system. Several controversies loomed over the proceedings, including the racial makeup of the nearly all-White jury.

    Left to right: Travis McMichael, William "Roddie" Bryan and Gregory McMichael
    Watch moment men found guilty of killing Ahmaud Arbery
    05:26 - Source: CNN

    BREAKFAST BROWSE

    Betty White is turning 100 and we’re all invited

    The 95-year-old legend has lived “The Good Life” indeed.

    Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga go Cheek to Cheek_00000827.jpg
    Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga team up
    01:43 - Source: CNN

    New Zealand politician cycles to hospital in labor, gives birth

    And this is NOT the first time she’s done this

    Craft beer might get even more expensive

    And not in the satisfyingly snobby “look-how-much-I-paid-for-this-musty-hop-water” kind of way. 

    supply chain shortage still
    Supply chain crunch has Americans in a scramble. Find out why
    03:20 - Source: CNN

    US Customs officials seize nearly 4,000 bongs at DC airport

    No bongs allowed! 

    A Maryland woman just claimed her third $50,000 lottery prize

    There’s lucky, and then there’s THIS

    IN MEMORIAM

    Virgil Abloh, the acclaimed menswear designer for Louis Vuitton and founder and CEO of Off-White, died yesterday of cancer. He was 41. Abloh was a powerful Black presence in fashion and designed for some of the world’s biggest stars. 

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Virgil Abloh attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
    Virgil Abloh, menswear designer for Louis Vuitton, dies of cancer
    01:18 - Source: CNN

    TODAY’S NUMBER

    10,350

    That’s how much Japan is adding to its already record annual military spending in a rush to bolster air and maritime defenses as it grows more concerned about threats posed by China and North Korea.

    screengrab japan ground self defense blake
    See what Japan's largest military drill in 30 years looks like
    02:32 - Source: CNN

    TODAY’S QUOTE

    “What I’ve been able to accomplish, I hope it inspires women, young girls, men … I would hope that they see representation. And representation matters.”

    Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, at a recent court hearing. Maxwell’s trial is set to get underway today. In addition to two sex-trafficking charges, she is charged with enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity for allegedly grooming and recruiting underage girls from 1994 through 1997.

    SMR Maxwell
    Documents unsealed in case against Ghislaine Maxwell (July 2020)
    02:13 - Source: CNN

    TODAY’S WEATHER

    Travel hazards cyber monday 2021
    Potential travel delays for this Cyber Monday
    01:55 - Source: CNN

    Check your local forecast here>>>

    AND FINALLY

    T
    hat would make a LOT of pumpkin pie

    And you thought holiday dinners were tough! (Click here to view.)