5 things to know for Oct. 25: Rishi Sunak, Student loans, Shooting, Ukraine, Shampoo
People who experienced fever, chills or muscle pain after receiving Covid-19 vaccines tend to have a greater antibody response than those who had no symptoms at all, a new study shows. But if your arm wasn’t sore after the shot, don’t worry — the vaccine still elicits robust immune responses regardless of side effects, researchers say.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Rishi Sunak
Britain is welcoming a new prime minister today after Rishi Sunak won the latest Conservative leadership contest. Sunak is taking over during a rough period for the country’s economy following a disastrous six-week tenure led by Liz Truss. Truss delivered her farewell speech today, calling it a “huge honor” to lead the country. She went on to claim that “in just a short period this government has acted urgently and decisively” to help working families. Truss’ policies, however, caused the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades. Sunak will now lead a divided party and will immediately face demands to call for an election and seek his own mandate. The ultra-rich former banker is also the first person of color to lead the UK.
2. Student loans
The Biden administration is arguing it should be allowed to carry out its student loan debt relief plan while litigation over the policy plays out. In a new brief filed with the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering a legal challenge to the program brought by six Republican-led states, the administration defended the policy and argued that there were serious flaws with the challengers’ case. A district court threw out the Republican states’ case last week, finding that the states had not shown that they would suffer direct harm from the policy. After an appeal from the challengers, the 8th Circuit on Friday put an administrative hold on the policy, barring the Biden administration from canceling any loans under the program for now. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has encouraged borrowers to still apply for relief despite the hold. A reply from the Republican-led states is due today.
3. St. Louis shooting
A 15-year-old girl and a 61-year-old woman were killed Monday in a shooting at a high school in St. Louis. Officers arrived at the school four minutes after the first 911 call and it took them eight minutes to find the gunman, Police Commissioner Michael Sack said. After a two-minute gun battle, the suspect was reported down and later died at a hospital. The gunman was identified as a 19-year-old who graduated from the school last year and had no prior criminal history, police said. When the shooter stormed the campus, he was armed with a long gun and nearly a dozen high-capacity magazines — enough ammunition for a “much worse” situation, Sack said.
A group of 30 liberal House members is calling on President Joe Biden to shift course in his Ukraine strategy and pursue direct diplomacy with Russia to bring the monthslong conflict to an end. In a letter sent to Biden on Monday, the group Democrats praised the president’s efforts at supporting Ukraine while avoiding direct US involvement on the ground. But they suggest a more forceful attempt at bringing the war to an end through diplomacy is needed. The letter comes at a critical moment in the war as Russia increasingly targets civilian infrastructure — with a particular focus on cutting power supplies to Ukrainian citizens ahead of winter.
5. Shampoo recall
Several brands of dry shampoos have been recalled due to the potential presence of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer. The consumer products company Unilever issued the voluntary recall for certain Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI and TRESemmé aerosol dry shampoos. The affected products were produced prior to October 2021 and were distributed at retailers nationwide, the FDA said in an announcement. Benzene is a human carcinogen that, with exposure, could cause cancer, according to the recall notice. The FDA said consumers should stop using the affected aerosol dry shampoo products immediately. Last year, Procter & Gamble also recalled more than 30 aerosol spray haircare products, similarly warning that they could contain benzene.
Brittney Griner appeal hearing
Brittney Griner is set to appeal her case today in a Russian court, nearly three months after the US basketball star was convicted of smuggling drugs into the country and sentenced to nine years in prison. The Moscow court that will hear the appeal can choose to leave Griner’s verdict in place, overrule it and send it back to the lower court, or reduce Griner’s prison term. Griner will attend the hearing via video conference from her detention center.
Adidas is cutting ties with Kanye West
After West targeted Jews in a series of antisemitic remarks, a growing number of brands are distancing themselves from him by the day — including Adidas.
The last solar eclipse of the year can be seen today
But those in the US will have to miss out on this one … It will be visible in parts of Greenland, Iceland, most of Europe, northeast Africa, and parts of Asia.
Mariah Carey is doing limited engagement holiday shows
All I want for Christmas is… to be at this concert. Carey announced she’s performing her iconic holiday songs at two shows this winter.
Henry Cavill confirms his return as Superman
He’s back! The British actor will return to the role of Clark Kent in the DC Comics extended cinematic universe.
Ancient Korean silk paintings get a mind-bending contemporary spin
These artworks put a modern spin on historical painting styles. Take a look.
Leslie Jordan, beloved comedian and actor known for his work on “Will and Grace,” has died, his agent announced. He was 67. Jordan was involved in a car accident on Monday in Hollywood and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner who identified him and a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Jordan was a fan-favorite for his recurring role as Karen’s friend Beverley Leslie on “Will & Grace.” He also appeared in “American Horror Story” and “The Cool Kids.” His star shone even brighter during the height of the pandemic when his social media presence took off on Instagram, garnering him millions of followers.
That’s the level mortgage rates are expected to fall to by late 2023, according to a new forecast from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is currently 6.94%. While the forecast is a positive sign for prospective homebuyers, financial analysts are cautioning that rates will still face plenty of volatility in the coming months as the Federal Reserve is expected to continue to raise interest rates this year.
“I understand not everyone’s going to be born in perfect circumstances, but I would like to see everybody have a shot.”
— Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, defending his state’s abortion ban Monday during a fiery governor debate. The hourlong debate produced a handful of notable moments as DeSantis and Democrat Charlie Crist went toe-to-toe on abortion, the response to Hurricane Ian, the state’s ongoing culture wars and DeSantis’ possible 2024 presidential run. When asked what week abortion access should be cut off in Florida, DeSantis said he was “proud” of the state’s 15-week ban that he signed into law earlier this year. The law includes exemptions for a fatal fetal abnormality or when a pregnancy is a “serious risk” to the mother. It does not allow exemptions for rape, incest or human trafficking.
Peaceful piano for an 80-year-old elephant
For the next few minutes, relax and watch this pianist play Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” for a gentle elephant. (Click here to view)
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