First Thing: Covid booster shot vote ‘not the end of the story’, says Fauci

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<span>Photograph: Reuters</span>
Photograph: Reuters

A decision not to recommend booster vaccine shots for most Americans is “not the end of the story”, the White House chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said on Sunday, two days after a scientific panel appeared to turn the Biden administration’s plan for combating coronavirus on its head.

Fauci also said he did not believe a million coronavirus deaths in the US was an inevitability, despite the Delta variant-fuelled surge that last week brought the grim milestone of one in 500 Americans having fallen died of Covid.

The near-unanimous vote on Friday by scientific advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration to recommend against a routine third shot of the Pfizer vaccine was seen as a rebuke to Joe Biden, who announced the “third jab strategy” as a main plank of his six-pronged anti-Covid plan.

Meanwhile, the comedian Chris Rock said he had tested positive for Covid-19 and sent a message to anyone still on the fence: “Get vaccinated.”

  • Is the vote binding? No, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider it before making a final decision.

  • Did they recommend anyone get the booster shot? Yes, they voted that those over 65 and at high risk of contracting severe Covid-19 should receive it.

  • Do people want another dose? Studies have shown that most vaccinated Americans want a booster shot.

Ted Lasso and The Crown triumph at the Emmys while no actors of color win

Olivia Colman poses with her Emmy award.
Olivia Colman poses with her Emmy award. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The 73rd Emmy awards mostly stuck to the predicted script on Sunday, celebrating favorites Ted Lasso, The Queen’s Gambit, and The Crown, in an awards-stuffed return to a (mostly) normal ceremony that celebrated diversity yet handed all the acting awards to white performers.

It was a big night for The Crown, Netflix’s lavish drama on the royal family, which left with a clean sweep of the drama categories, including acting wins for Olivia Colman, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies. It was also named best drama for the first time, a milestone for Netflix.

Ted Lasso’s heartwarming British-set Apple TV+ comedy, based on a 2013 sketch promoting the Premier League on ESPN in the US, took home four awards, including best comedy and acting nods for Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, and its star and co-creator Jason Sudeikis.

  • There was little diversity to be found in the list of winners, with no actor winners of color, despite efforts by the ceremony to ensure representation during the ceremony.

  • The night did, however, mark strong progress for women behind the scenes – the first Emmy awards in which women swept the comedy and drama directing categories.

FBI finds remains ‘consistent with description’ of missing Gabby Petito

Police camera video shows Gabby Petito talking to an officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches national park on 12 August.
Police camera video shows Gabby Petito talking to an officer after police pulled over the van she was traveling in with her fiance, Brian Laundrie, near the entrance to Arches national park on 12 August. Photograph: AP

FBI agents searching in Grand Teton national park in Wyoming on Sunday discovered “human remains consistent with the description” of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who went missing during a cross-country “van life” trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. Petito’s last known contact with family members was from the Wyoming park.

In a brief public statement on Sunday evening, Charles Jones, an FBI agent based in Denver, announced the discovery and said: “I would like to extend sincere and heartfelt condolences to Gabby’s family.

“As every parent can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We ask that you all respect the privacy as they mourn the loss of their daughter.”

  • Laundrie, whom law enforcement had described as a person of interest in her disappearance, is now also missing after going hiking in the Carlton reserve, Florida.

  • On Friday, authorities and Petito’s family appealed to Laundrie and his family after they refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Biden to embark on a legislative push for multitrillion-dollar plan

Joe Biden during an event with business leaders in Washington.
Joe Biden during an event with business leaders in Washington. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In what could be the most consequential stretch of his presidency, Biden is about to embark on a legislative push with almost no room for error in order to advance a once-in-a-generation expansion of the social safety net.

In the coming weeks, Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill will attempt to steer the president’s multitrillion-dollar economic vision through Congress and into law. With a narrow window for action, they will have almost no room for error.

If they fail, the party will face voters in 2022 with little to show for two years in control of Congress. If successful, Democrats will deliver a legacy-defining legislative victory, echoing the New Deal under Franklin D Roosevelt.

  • What are they trying to push through? They are tying a $1tn bipartisan infrastructure deal to a $3.5tn party-line package that contains Democratic policy priorities.

  • How are they attempting it? Democrats are trying to secure their spending package using a special process, reconciliation, which will shield it from being blocked by Senate Republicans.

In other news …

Justin Trudeau after getting off his plane on the last campaign day before the election, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Justin Trudeau after getting off his plane on the last campaign day before the election, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Photograph: Carlos Osorio/Reuters
  • As Canadians head to the polls on Monday, the prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, will be watching nervously to see if his gamble to call an election will win his party more power in parliament – or leave him with even fewer seats.

  • A lawyer for three women from Texas arrested after a brawl outside a popular New York City restaurant over the requirement that guests show proof of vaccination has said race was a factor in the case.

  • A group of disgruntled Republicans has questioned if the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, used political influence to pull a TV ad criticising his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • French anger at the Australian government’s decision to scrap its $90bn submarine program with France continues to boil over, with the country’s recalled ambassador saying it felt “fooled” by the announcement.

Don’t miss this: the psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk on how to recover from our deepest pain

Dr Bessel van der Kolk’s 2014 book The Body Keeps the Score has become a pandemic hit, topping bestseller lists this summer and becoming a meme on social media. The thesis centres on trauma: the urgent work of the brain after a traumatic event is to suppress it, through forgetting or self-blame, to avoid being ostracised. But the body does not forget and physiological changes occur as a result. It is engagingly written and plainly not a textbook. Nevertheless, it is a searching, complex account of trauma, not pop-psychology for the general reader. So, how do you account for its incredible popularity?

Climate check: ‘Millions at risk of trafficking and slavery’ because of climate crisis

Flooding in Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh.
Flooding in Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh. Desperate to cross to India for jobs, many victims of traffickers are forced into sweatshops or prostitution. Photograph: Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Millions of people forced to leave their homes because of severe drought and powerful cyclones are at risk of modern slavery and human trafficking over the coming decades, a report warns. The climate crisis and the increasing frequency of extreme weather disasters including floods, droughts and mega-fires are having a devastating effect on the livelihoods of people already living in poverty and making them more vulnerable to slavery, according to the report.

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Last thing: how a leading thriller writer helped reveal plagiarism of Emmy prize winner

In 1994, in front of a TV audience of 21 million, George Stevens Jr and his film editor, Catherine Shields, were handed three coveted statuettes for their film George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin at the 46th Primetime Emmy awards. Now for the first time, the former BBC producer Paul Woolwich and his collaborator, the renowned novelist Robert Harris, have revealed the full story behind an unprecedented decision to quietly strip these trio of awards after the realisation that their work on a 1994 documentary had come from a BBC Newsnight film already broadcast in Britain in 1985.

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