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5 things to know for October 8: Virus, debt ceiling, Capitol riot, submarine, Ghana

By Dominic Rech, CNN

An annual list of the world’s coolest neighborhoods has been revealed, based on local intel from more than 38,000 city-dwellers. Has your community made the cut? Here are the top 10. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are seeking US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. If authorized, this would be the first Covid-19 vaccine for younger children. What does that means for children and their parents? Here are some questions and answers. The move towards vaccinating this age group comes as the US appears to be turning a corner in the pandemic with fewer hospitalizations and increased vaccinations. One expert acknowledged the progress but said he felt “we’re still in two Americas” — a reference to differing vaccination rates regionally — and another expert warns gaps in those rates still could hinder the country’s progress. Globally, the true effects of the pandemic are still being registered. People with learning difficulties died from Covid-19 at a rate nine times higher than the general population during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK, according to a new study. And despite the reopening of some of the world’s major business hubs, Hong Kong is still stuck in limbo, after it prioritized opening to China over the rest of the world.

2. Debt ceiling

The Senate voted 50-48 Thursday evening to extend the nation’s debt limit through early December after Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to avert economic disaster following weeks of partisan deadlock over the issue. Eleven Senate Republicans broke ranks to vote with all Democrats to overcome a filibuster so that the debt ceiling deal announced earlier in the day could move forward. The House will next have to approve the extension before it can be sent to President Joe Biden for his signature. An aide familiar with negotiations told CNN that the deal is to increase the ceiling by $480 billion, which is how much the Treasury Department told Congress it would need to get to December 3. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the debate over the US debt ceiling amounts to “flirting with a self-inflicted crisis” but that everyone “breathed a sigh of relief” after Democrats and Republicans reached a deal. However, it does not resolve the underlying partisan stalemate over the issue. It merely delays the fight until another day.

3. Capitol riot

Former President Donald Trump indicated that he will try to assert executive privilege to prevent a House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol from getting information from certain witnesses. A source familiar with the former President’s legal strategy confirms to CNN that an attorney for Trump sent letters to some of the subpoena targets, informing them of his plan to defend executive privilege. While the letter instructed the subpoena targets to not comply with congressional investigators, according to The Washington Post, it is up to each witness to decide whether to follow Trump’s direction. Rep. Pete Aguilar, a member of the committee, told CNN that it is not Trump’s place to decide what information is covered by executive privilege. “The former President, it is not his role to claim privilege. That is the current occupant in the White House,” Aguilar said. Meantime, the committee issued a new round of subpoenas, targeting two leaders of the “Stop the Steal” group, Ali Alexander and Nathan Martin, who are also affiliated with the planning of the Washington, DC, rally that was a precursor to the attack.

4. South China Sea

A US nuclear powered submarine struck an object underwater in the South China Sea on Saturday, according to two defense officials. A number of sailors on board the USS Connecticut were injured in the accident, the officials said. None of the injuries were life-threatening, according to a statement from US Pacific Fleet. It’s unclear what the Seawolf-class submarine may have hit while it was submerged. “The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational,” the statement said. “The incident will be investigated.” The submarine was operating in one of the world’s most difficult undersea environments, one filled with noise from ships above and a seabed with constantly shifting contours that can surprise any submarine crew, according to analysts. The Navy said the sub arrived at a US naval base on the island of Guam on Friday under its own power.

5. Ghana

In the coming weeks, Ghana’s parliament is set to debate a draft bill — framed in the guise of “family values” — that seeks to introduce some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws on the African continent. The prospect of it passing is pushing the country’s LGBTQ community into the shadows. LGBTQ Ghanaians have been left asking how things got so bad, so quickly, and Western diplomats say they have been caught by surprise. But what one Ghanaian activist calls a “homophobe’s dream bill” has deep roots in Ghana’s religious community. It also found key inspiration from a US ultra-conservative group with Russian ties.


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The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said. It is the 102nd time the prize has been awarded.



That’s the number of years a Black man had spent on death row before his conviction was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals. The court said Jesse Lee Johnson did not receive an adequate defense, after he was convicted in 2004 of killing Harriet Thompson at her home in 1998.


“It’s appalling. I have never seen anything like it. I felt like I was at ‘Inglourious Basterds’ movie.”

Police found a collection of more than 8,000 items of Nazi memorabilia on Tuesday at the house of a pedophile suspect in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It contained a variety of items from the Third Reich period, such as official’s uniforms, flags, insignias, coins, medals, images of Adolf Hitler, guns and ammo from the Nazi regime, according to Rio de Janeiro Police Chief Luis Armond.


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100-hour tiramisu

It’s Friday. Treat yourself to some dessert (and this aesthetically pleasing video on how to make it.)

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