U.S. regulators are extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They also said Wednesday anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially. The Food and Drug Administration announcement marks a big step toward expanding the U.S. booster campaign, which began with extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine last month. But it’s not the last word. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consult an expert panel later this week before finalizing official recommendations for boosters
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Nikolas Cruz has pleaded guilty to murder in the 2018 massacre that left 17 dead at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Cruz entered his plea Wednesday after answering a long list of questions from Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer aimed at confirming his mental competency. Cruz was charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for those wounded in the Feb. 14, 2018, attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A penalty trial will determine if the 23-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student will receive a sentence of death or life in prison. The judge hopes testimony can begin in January.
An Omaha woman has died, more than a week after she was shot at a Des Moines bar. Police say officers were called to a shooting at the High Dive Bar just before 1 a.m. Oct. 10 and found two people with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital. A 27-year-old man was treated and quickly released. A 26-year-old woman was hospitalized in critical condition and died Tuesday. Police didn’t release the names of those injured. The death was the eight homicide in Des Moines this year.
A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has voted unanimously to hold former White House aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. The longtime ally of former President Donald Trump defied a subpoena for documents and testimony. Trump is still defending his supporters who broke into the Capitol that day. He has aggressively tried to block the committee’s work by directing Bannon not to answer questions while also suing the panel to try to prevent Congress from obtaining former White House documents. The committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, says: “We won’t be deterred. We won’t be distracted. And we won’t be delayed,”
Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to block the release of documents to the Jan. 6 select committee of Congress, challenging President Joe Biden's decision. Trump claims in the lawsuit that the request “is almost limitless in scope,” and seeks records with no reasonable connection to that day. The Jan. 6 committee is seeking the documents as part of its investigation into how a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6 in an effort to halt the certification of Biden’s win.
Hundreds of people have been ordered to report for jury duty in Georgia for what could be a long, laborious effort to find jurors for the trial of three white men charged with fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery. Graphic video of the slaying of the 25-year-old Black man in 2020 sparked a national outcry. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan are charged with murder and other crimes. Prosecutors say Arbery was merely jogging in the defendants’ neighborhood outside the port city of Brunswick. Defense attorneys insist the three men committed no crimes.
President Joe Biden is entering a crucial two weeks for his ambitious agenda. Biden is racing to conclude contentious congressional negotiations ahead of both domestic deadlines and a chance to showcase his administration’s accomplishments on the world stage. Biden and his fellow Democrats are struggling to bridge intraparty divides by month’s end to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger social services package. That goal has been jeopardized by fractures among Democrats, leaving the fate of sweeping climate change promises in peril. There's also rising anxiety within the party in the leadup to a bellwether Virginia gubernatorial contest and looming Senate fights over the federal debt limit and government funding.
A group of 17 U.S. missionaries including children has been kidnapped by a gang in Haiti, according to a voice message sent to various religious missions by an organization with direct knowledge of the incident. The message from Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries said the missionaries were on their way home from building an orphanage. The one-minute message asked for prayers "that the gang members would come to repentance.” It says the mission’s field director is working with the U.S. Embassy, and that the field director’s family and one other unidentified man stayed at the ministry’s base while everyone else visiting the orphanage was abducted.
Hillary Clinton returned to the Southern California hospital where Bill Clinton is being treated for an infection. She returned around 8 a.m. Saturday in an SUV accompanied by secret service agents. President Joe Biden says Bill Clinton is doing fine and will be released soon. Biden said Friday that he'd spoken with the former president and he's not “in any serious condition." A spokesman for Clinton had said he was being held overnight Friday to receive antibiotics. Bill Clinton, who's 75, was admitted to a hospital in Orange County on Tuesday for what an aide says was a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream.
The lawyers for accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz say he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school. The guilty plea would set up a penalty phase where the 23-year-old Cruz would be fighting against the death penalty and hoping for life without parole. The lawyers on Friday said the guilty pleas will be entered next week. A jury will decide whether Cruz will get the death penalty, but that trial has not been scheduled. The news brings some closure to a South Florida community more than three years after an attack that sparked the nationwide March for Our Lives movement for gun control.