News Headlines 5/4/21

PFIZER COVID-19 VACCINE EXPECTED TO BE APPROVED FOR  KIDS AGES 12 TO 15 BY NEXT WEEK: The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in kids ages 12 to 15 by next week, the New York Times first reported on Monday (May 3rd). Pfizer’s vaccine is already approved for those ages 16 and older, and the side effects seen in these minors are similar to those experienced by adults. This expected expansion of eligibility for at least one vaccine for those as young as 12 comes as vaccinations in the U.S. have begun to fall, even as variants continue to spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the average number of doses per day was down 27 percent last Tuesday from a high of 3.26 million doses on April 11th. Still, the average number of new cases per day in the U.S. has fallen below 50,000 for the first time since October.

AT LEAST 20 KILLED IN COLLAPSE OF ELEVATED SECTION OF MEXICO CITY SUBWAY: At least 20 people were killed and some 70 injured in the collapse of an elevated section of Mexico City’s subway, causing a subway car to plunge toward the ground on a busy roadway late last night (May 3rd). Rescuers were searching in the wreckage for any other victims as a crane held up the dangling subway car. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said that a “support beam gave way” as the subway car was passing over it. The collapse took place on the Mexico City Metro’s newest line, which was built between 2006 and 2012. There had been allegations of poor design and construction on it.

BIDEN RAISES REFUGEE ADMISSIONS CAP FROM TRUMP-ERA HISTORIC LOW: President Biden yesterday (May 3rd) raised the cap on the number of refugees allowed into the U.S., quadrupled from the historic low set during former President Donald Trump‘s administration. Biden raised the cap to 62,500 refugees this fiscal year, the increase coming weeks after he came under criticism for a delay in upping the number. The increase also paves the way for Biden to increase the cap to 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year, according to AP.

FUNERAL HELD IN NORTH CAROLINA FOR ANDREW BROWN JR.: The funeral was held yesterday (Mary 3rd) for Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by North Carolina deputies on April 21st as they were serving drug-related search and arrest warrants at his house in Elizabeth City, sparking days of protests. The Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy, during which he called for the release of the police body camera footage of the shooting. Declaring, “I know a con game when I see it,” Sharpton said, “Let the world see what there is to see. If you’ve got nothing to hide, then what are you hiding?” A judge ruled last week that the video would not be made public for now to avoid interfering with an ongoing state investigation. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Brown’s family, also spoke, saying, “[B]ecause Andrew cannot make the plea for justice, it is up to us to make the plea for justice.” Additionally, relatives of George FloydEric Garner and Daunte Wright, other Black men killed by police, spoke at the service.

  • Brown’s family has said an independent autopsy they commissioned found Brown was shot five times, including once in the back of the head, and they say a portion of bodycam video they privately viewed showed Brown was trying to drive away when he was shot.