Journalists win Nobel Peace Prize; Afghan mosque blast kills many, witnesses say

Today is Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

Here are today’s top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:


TOP STORIES

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Journalists from Philippines, Russia win Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO (AP) — The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia.

They were cited for their fight for freedom of expression.

Ressa in 2012 co-founded Rappler, a news website that has focused “critical attention on the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign,” the Nobel committee said.

Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993. “Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power,” the Nobel committee said.

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<p>People view the damage inside of a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on Friday.</p>

AP Photo/Abdullah Sahil

People view the damage inside of a mosque following a bombing in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on Friday.

Taliban official: At least 100 dead, hurt in Afghan blast

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion at a mosque in northern Afghanistan on Friday that targeted Shiite Muslim worshippers left at least 100 people killed or wounded, a Taliban police official said.

The official, Dost Mohammad Obaida, the deputy police chief for Kunduz province, said that the “majority of them have been killed.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which took place in the city of Kunduz, the capital of Kunduz province, but Islamic State militants have a long history of attacking Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority.

If confirmed, a death toll of dozens would be the highest since U.S. and NATO forces left Afghanistan at the end of August and the Taliban took control of the country.

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<p>Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Thursday in Washington.</p>

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to a policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Thursday in Washington.

US Senate avoids debt disaster

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has dodged a U.S. debt disaster, voting to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December and temporarily avert an unprecedented federal default that experts warned would devastate the economy and harm millions of Americans.

The party-line Democratic vote of 50-48 in support of the bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling by nearly a half-trillion dollars brought instant relief in Washington and far beyond. However, it provides only a reprieve. Assuming the House goes along with the Senate’s Thursday night vote, which it will, Republican and Democratic lawmakers will still have to tackle their deep differences on the issue once more before year end.

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<p>Flames burn up a tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sept. 19.</p>

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Flames burn up a tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sept. 19.

California fires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Northern California wildfires may have killed hundreds of giant sequoias as they swept through groves of the majestic monarchs in the Sierra Nevada, an official said.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Christy Brigham, head of resource management and science for Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

The lightning-caused KNP Complex that erupted on Sept. 9 has burned into 15 giant sequoia groves in the park, Brigham said.

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Click on the links below for full version of today’s top stories. Keep scrolling for a look back at this day in history and today’s celebrity birthdays:

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

<p>A woman wearing two masks on her face cycles past pedestrians waiting at a traffic junction in Beijing, China, on Friday.</p>

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

A woman wearing two masks on her face cycles past pedestrians waiting at a traffic junction in Beijing, China, on Friday.

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TODAY IN HISTORY

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …