High US inflation will likely dog the economy until the latter part of 2022, predicts Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Then it will decrease to acceptable levels again.
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The FDA's vaccine advisory group is set to discuss Covid-19 vaccines for younger children this week, and Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's optimistic kids ages 5 to 11 -- about 28 million in all -- could start getting shots in the first two weeks of November. Pfizer and the FDA released company data that showed the vaccine was 90.7% effective against symptomatic disease for children in this age group. Pfizer's vaccine is already authorized for children 12 to 15 and is approved for people age 16 and older. If authorized by the FDA, it would be the first Covid-19 vaccine available for younger children. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico has become the most vaccinated place in America, with about 73% of its 3.3 million residents fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
This will be a critical week for President Biden's domestic agenda as both the bipartisan infrastructure package and the Democratic-led spending bill may come to fruition. The House could vote on the infrastructure package on Wednesday or Thursday. The spending bill is a little trickier, since closed-door negotiations are still going on. Democrats hope to agree on a framework for a trimmed-down package of social, health care and education programs but remain insistent on items like free pre-kindergarten education and a Medicare extension. The spending bill also must appeal to House progressives, who will otherwise blockade a vote on the infrastructure bill. And Biden wants some sort of climate initiative set in these bills before his trip this week to the G20 summit in Rome and the United Nations climate summit in Scotland.
Swedish and Pakistani ministers have warned that Afghanistan will swiftly collapse if the international community does not come to its aid. Many countries and international institutions have halted development assistance, reluctant to legitimize the Taliban rulers who took over in August. However, they have increased humanitarian aid. Sweden's development minister said economic free fall could provide an environment for terrorist groups to thrive. Pakistan's information minister, however, said direct engagement with the Taliban is the only way to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. In the US, the Biden administration is making massive changes to the resettlement program to find homes for the 55,600 Afghans evacuated from US military bases.
Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and his wife have been arrested and taken to an undisclosed location, the prime minister's economic adviser told CNN, in events that bore the hallmarks of an apparent coup. Multiple government ministers and officials have also been arrested, the country's Information Ministry said, and military forces have stormed Sudan's state broadcaster. Internet in Sudan is also severely throttled, according to a monitoring site. Military and civilian groups have been sharing power in the east African country since the toppling in 2019 of longtime President Omar al-Bashir. However, the uneasy alliance has caused political and social unrest, and a failed coup last month by forces loyal to Bashir only increased tensions. After September's attempt, military leaders demanded major changes to the coalition and a replacement of the country's cabinet.
5. Extreme weather
Several severe weather patterns will batter the US this week. A "bomb cyclone" -- a sudden low pressure event that intensifies storms -- is ramping up heavy rain across the West, even prompting evacuations in some parts of wildfire-scarred California. Heavy rain can cause dangerous debris flows in such areas. That same system could cause other problems. Several feet of snow are forecast for the Sierra Nevada mountain range, creating nearly impossible driving conditions. In the Midwest, tornadoes, large hail and damaging wind have been reported in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and the threat will continue today. The East Coast by midweek could also be facing a nor'easter that could bring serious flooding.
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My favorite character was the dune.
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The civil trial against the organizers of the "Unite the Right" rally is set to start today to determine whether they had predetermined the event would turn violent. Meanwhile, jury selection continues in the criminal case against the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery in 2020.
That's how many arrests at the southern US border were recorded last year, the highest figure on record. Now in Texas, immigrants and immigration attorneys say people are having their rights violated in a statewide attempt to arrest more migrants.
"They've got to do more to police hatred, vitriol, bullying on the platform, and we're seeing that coming out in spades through all of these different revelations."
Facebook Oversight Board member and PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel, who says Facebook needs to facilitate more transparency. The social media giant is under scrutiny from multiple angles for content moderation issues.
Wurtz to live by
A short message for this Monday morning. Go forth and thrive! (Click here to view.)
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