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Pfizer, Flooding, Jeopardy: Your Monday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.


A health care worker prepares a dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in Miami.Credit…Saul Martinez for The New York Times

1. The F.D.A. granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older, potentially signaling the start of widespread vaccination requirements.

Already, the Pentagon announced the country’s 1.4 million active duty service members must get vaccinated. A host of universities in states like Louisiana, Minnesota and New York will require vaccines as a result of regulatory approval. New York City and New Jersey also will now require the shots for school employees.

President Biden said he hopes the development will motivate many of the roughly 85 million unvaccinated Americans who are eligible for shots to get them. A recent poll showed that three of every 10 unvaccinated people said that they would be more likely to get vaccinated after approval, but some experts believe that number is exaggerated.

Regulators are still reviewing Moderna’s vaccine for full approval. A decision could take several weeks. Johnson & Johnson is expected to apply soon.


Heavy rains caused flash flooding in and around Humphreys County, Tenn.Credit…Houston Cofield for The New York Times

2. At least 21 people, including twin toddlers, died in flooding in Tennessee. Another 10 people are thought to be missing.

The catastrophic flash floods swept through a rural area of rivers, creeks and rolling woods about 75 miles west of Nashville. More than 3,000 homes in the region remained without power, and schools were shut down for the week. In neighboring North Carolina, at least five people were killed after floods wiped out homes in the western part of the state.

In the Northeast, the remnants of Tropical Storm Henri continued to bring heavy rains and flooding to portions of southern New England and to the northern Mid-Atlantic.

A study last year showed that official numbers vastly underestimated U.S. flood danger. Our map includes county-by-county risk comparisons nationwide.


Afghans gather outside the airport in Kabul.Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

3. The Pentagon deployed helicopters and special forces in Kabul for evacuations.

Defense officials said that the military has helped to evacuate 37,000 people since Aug. 14, when Kabul fell to the Taliban. But that is still just a fraction of the American citizens, foreign nationals and Afghan allies who are seeking to leave the country, with just eight days before an Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Many thousands of Afghan refugees have been fleeing over land, making their way across the 1,400 miles of Iran to Turkey. But they are finding a harsh welcome at the Turkish border.

Tomorrow, President Biden is likely to hear grumbling from NATO allies in an emergency videoconference call among the leaders of the Group of 7. They have complained that despite his promises of consultation, there has been little discussion of the Afghanistan fiasco.


Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in just after midnight.Credit…Johnny Milano for The New York Times

4. New York gets a new governor as the outgoing one strikes a defiant tone.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on his last day in office, continued questioning the fairness of a state attorney general report that found he sexually harassed 11 women.

The prerecorded farewell address of the three-term Democrat was broadcast on his last day in office, after the report, which he called “a political firecracker on an explosive topic,” ultimately led to his resignation.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be sworn in as governor at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, becoming the first woman to hold the state’s highest office.


The economy is not back yet. Rising coronavirus cases mean companies are delaying reopening offices, and many factories remain shut.Credit…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

5. Delays continue to snarl global trade.

Supply-chain bottlenecks are pushing inflation higher, delaying deliveries and exacerbating economic uncertainty. And they may get worse heading into the holidays.

Demand for goods remains strong as households use money saved during months stuck at home, but coronavirus outbreaks continue to shut factories around the world. “We’re sitting on $2 million in inventory for one $30 part,” the general manager of an Orlando, Fla., tricycle maker said.

The New York City economy has also been upended by the Delta variant. Covid-19 cases have risen sharply in the city since early July to the highest level since April. The unemployment rate is 10.5 percent, twice the national average.


The mob that stormed the Capitol in January.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

6. A Capitol Police officer who fatally shot a rioter during the Jan. 6 attack was cleared.

An extensive investigation by the Police Department found that the lieutenant, who has not been publicly identified, acted lawfully and potentially saved lawmakers and aides from serious harm or death.

Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, was among a throng of Trump supporters that began smashing its way through the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby during the attack.

A video shows her trying to climb through a hole in the glass when she was shot in the shoulder. She later died at a hospital, and has since become a martyr-like figure for some on the far right.


Veronica Polivanaya, working at home in San Francisco, is glad to be back in the office a few days a week.Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

7. There’s a silent minority of workers who want to get back to the office.

Among those craving the routines of cubicle life: social butterflies, managers, new hires eager to meet colleagues, and people working from noisy homes.

“Some people just dislike the screen — their physicality and their proximity to others is a big part of what work looks like,” said a Harvard Business School professor who has studied remote work for decades.

In a national survey conducted in mid-August for The Times, 31 percent of about 950 workers said they would prefer to work from home full time, 45 percent said they wanted to be in a workplace full time and the remaining 24 percent preferred a hybrid model.

Many workers are already back in offices. Just 13 percent of Americans worked from home at some point in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated.


The actress Mayim Bialik will guest-host 15 episodes “Jeopardy!”Credit…Carol Kaelson/Reuters

8. The sitcom star Mayim Bialik will host “Jeopardy!” while the show regroups.

Sony Pictures Entertainment named Mike Richards, the executive producer of the game show, as the successor to Alex Trebek earlier this month. But he stepped down as host on Friday amid a furor over sexist and offensive comments that he made on a podcast several years ago.

Bialik, who is best known for her roles on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Blossom,” was one of several personalities who had competed against Richards to succeed Trebek, who died last year after 37 years as host.

She will tape 15 episodes in all as a guest host. The company said it had resumed its search for a permanent host.


Credit…Sally Deng

9. Your everyday behavior may help predict your risk for dementia.

A spate of experiments is underway to explore that possibility, reflecting the awareness that the foundation of dementia can begin long before symptoms emerge.

One study found that driving behavior and age could predict preclinical Alzheimer’s 88 percent of the time. Another showed that older people later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were significantly more likely to have delinquent credit card payments and subprime credit scores.

Other researchers are looking at phone conversations and writing tests to see whether there is a correlation with dementia. Any of these findings might one day be used for early screening, and therefore intervention and treatment.


The T. Rex very likely did not eat blindly, according to a study. It had keen senses that may have allowed it to recognize different parts of its prey.Credit…Sven Kaestner/Associated Press

10. And finally, was T. Rex a picky eater?

The jaws of the Tyrannosaurus were powerful enough to crush bones. But a new study shows the dinosaur may have used nerve endings in its jaw to eat the more nutritious parts of its prey selectively.

The authors of the report acknowledged that their findings were limited. However, the revelation that it possessed sensitive mandibular sensors indicates T. Rex was not just a run-of-the-mill carnivore.

“They were not blockheads that were chomping down on anything they saw moving,” one paleontologist familiar with the report said.

Have an appetizing evening.

Shelby Knowles compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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