5 things to know for October 27: Covid-19, Congress, social networks, climate, Myanmar

By AJ Willingham, CNN

There is only 100 days before the Winter Olympics in Beijing, but the continuation of the Covid-19 epidemics and growing calls for a boycott are hampering preparations.

Here’s what you need to know to Get operational and get on with your day.

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1. Coronavirus

FDA Vaccine Advisors Voted Yesterday To Recommend Pfizer’s Emergency Use Clearance Vaccine against Covid-19 in children aged 5 to 11. Members agreed that the benefits of immunizing young children appear to outweigh the risks, and some were reassured that the dose for young children is much lower – one-third the amount – than a adult dose. Now the FDA itself must decide whether to allow it before the matter goes to CDC advisers next week and finally the CDC director. This agency separately suggested that some immunocompromised people may benefit from a fourth The Covid-19 mRNA vaccine was injected at least six months after a third. But there aren’t any strict guidelines, so the CDC says people should see their doctors. Meanwhile, in Brazil, a panel investigating the government’s handling of the pandemic has voted in favor of the charges against President Jair Bolsonaro. They allege his government let Covid-19 run rampant in a failed attempt at collective immunity.

2. Congress

Democrats are almost hammering the tongue in their expense bill, which would allow him and the bipartisan infrastructure bill to move forward. President Biden has made it clear that the universal preschool and subsidized childcare components must remain, even if other priorities have been reduced. Paid family leave will also remain in the bill, although it has been reduced to four weeks from 12. The party is very keen on an infrastructure vote this week, as funding for major roads runs out on Sunday. Corn progressives say they need more than just a frame for the expenditure bill to vote on the infrastructure bill. It creates a potential clash with President Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats who could thwart Biden’s broad national agenda.

3. Social networks

The scope and impact of the internal document cache known as Facebook Papers are more and more as more records are released and more media join the reporting consortium. Among claims that Facebook knew its platform was being used to sow violence, extremism and political discord, some documents reveal struggled with his campaign to tackle Covid-19 disinformation. While Facebook has publicly touted its efforts, some within the company have questioned if its systems could adequately manage task. The whole problem has escalated calls for more regulation of the platform and social media in general. To this end, frames from TikTok, Snap and YouTube were toasted by Senators yesterday on steps their platforms are taking to protect their young users, weeks after a Facebook executive was asked about the same issue.

4. Climate

World leaders prepare for the COP26 climate summit which kicks off this weekend in Glasgow. Biden wants some sort of American climate measures in place to back up his pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but negotiations in Congress – and rising gas prices – complicate matters. The Australian Prime Minister yesterday unveiled a new climate plan, announcing that his country would aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. But it could be too little, too late. The plan comes after months of pressure from international allies and is arguably the weakest climate plan among developed G20 countries. In fact, a group of Torres Strait Islanders living off the northern coast of Australia filed a complaint against the Australian government yesterday, claiming he had failed to protect them from climate change.

5. Burma

Myanmar’s fallen civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi testified in court yesterday for the first time ever since she and the rest of the country’s leaders were overthrown in a military coup this year. If she is found guilty of the charges against her, she could spend years in prison. A gag order on his legal team, imposed by the junta, prevented his testimony from being made public. Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders’ summit in Brunei began yesterday – without a representative from Myanmar. The group refused to recognize junta leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing due to the military’s failure to end coup-related violence in the country and allow humanitarian aid.


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