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5 things to know for September 27: Covid-19, Congress, Germany, immigration, Huawei


By AJ Willingham, CNN

Switzerland voted yesterday by a commanding majority to legalize same-sex marriage, making it one of the last Western European countries to do so.

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

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1. Coronavirus

Pfizer/BioNTech will ask for authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 in a matter of days, bringing the US one step closer to vaccinating an age group that has become increasingly vulnerable. Nearly 26% of all Covid-19 recent cases nationwide were reported in children. Meanwhile, Pfizer booster shots are a go for people 65 and older, those with a high risk of severe illness with Covid-19 and those at high risk of exposure at work. About 20 million Americans are eligible for a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine, the White House’s Covid-19 coordinator said. Shots should be available at pharmacies, doctors’ offices and sometimes at mass vaccination sites. One other thing to consider: The booster shot recommendation is for those who got their last Pfizer dose at least six months ago. The FDA and CDC will continue to consider widening the recommendations, and Moderna has asked the FDA to consider booster doses for people who got its vaccine.

2. Congress

The House will not vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill today as planned. Instead, it will vote Thursday — the same day Congress needs to come to an agreement to avoid a lapse in government funding. So far, Democratic leaders have struggled to strike a deal among progressives and moderates on a topline figure for the infrastructure bill or for a solid outline of its programs. The House Budget Committee did, however, vote Saturday to pass the $3.5 trillion spending bill out of committee and send it to the House floor. That bill has also divided Democratic ranks, with moderates nervous about the extent of its provisions and progressives saying it doesn’t go far enough. As the bills linger, the future of President Biden’s sweeping economic agenda remains uncertain.

3. Germany

Preliminary results of Germany’s federal election are in, and the left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SPD) has narrowly won the largest share of parliamentary seats. The SPD will now begin negotiations to form a coalition and put together Germany’s next government. The question is, who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel — of the centrist-right, conservative party — as Germany’s next leader? It’s not clear yet, though SPD leader Olaf Scholz says voters wanted him to take the reins. Merkel will stay in her post until a government is formed. For reference, it took more than five months to form a government after Merkel’s election win in September 2017.

4. Immigration

The Del Rio Port of Entry in Texas reopened this weekend, signaling the effective end of a weeklong crisis there that saw a surge of thousands of Haitian migrants. Some of those migrants were deported back to Haiti, some crossed the border back into Mexico, some entered the US and about 3,900 Haitians have been moved from the Del Rio camp to Customs and Border Protection custody or other border sectors to be processed. Still others were expelled from the US under Title 42, a controversial Trump-era policy that allows border officials to quickly remove migrants as a pandemic public health precaution. Though the crush of refugees has dissipated, Haiti’s Prime Minister warned at the UN General Assembly that such migrations will continue “as long as there are pockets of wealth on the planet, while the majority of the world population lives in precarity.”

5. Huawei

Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive who spent nearly three years in house arrest in Canada, has returned home to China after reaching an agreement with the US on fraud charges. The deal to defer her prosecution until 2022 could bring to an end to a legal saga that has complicated relations between the US, China and Canada. Meng’s return inspired a swell of nationalistic pride in China, but the aftermath of her release did not sit as easily with Canada. Two Canadians detained by China for nearly three years were released directly after Meng gained her freedom. The imprisonment of Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur with business ties to North Korea, was widely seen as retaliation for Meng’s detention. China consistently denied that the cases were connected.


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That’s about how many lorry drivers and poultry workers will be offered temporary UK visas in an attempt to avoid supply chain disruptions ahead of the holidays, the UK government announced.


“The writing is on the wall. Why can’t they read it?”

Sandra Willis, a volunteer with Neighbor2Neighbor, a nonprofit that has offered Covid-19 vaccinations to teens. Even with ample opportunities in many places, teens remain the least vaccinated of any eligible age group in the United States.


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