News Headlines 7/12/21

PFIZER TO MEET WITH TOP U.S. HEALTH OFFICIALS TODAY ABOUT BOOSTER: Pfizer is set to meet today (July 12th) with top U.S. health officials to discuss its request for federal authorization for a third dose booster of its Covid-19 vaccine, The Washington Post first reported Sunday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that they don’t think booster shots are needed right now, after Pfizer had said boosters would be needed within 12 months. Dr. Anthony FauciPresident Biden‘s chief medical adviser, said yesterday that it’s too soon for the government to recommend a booster, but, quote, “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that booster shots will eventually be needed.

CONFIRMED DEATHS IN SURFSIDE CONDO COLLAPSE NOW AT 90, RECOVERY WORK MAY BE DONE IN TWO WEEKS: The confirmed death toll in the Surfside, Florida, condominium collapse rose to 90 Sunday (July 11th) with the discovery of four new victims. There are still some 31 people listed as missing. Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said yesterday that the recovery work at the site where the 12-story Champlain Towers South once stood could be over in as early as two weeks, saying, “We were looking at a 14-day to 21-day timeframe,” while adding, however, that it’s a “sliding scale.” Meanwhile, an Israeli search and rescue team that arrived soon after the building collapsed on June 24th left Sunday to return home. Members of the crews that have been working at the site lined both sides of the street to say goodbye to the Israeli team.

PROTESTS IN CUBA OVER FOOD SHORTAGES, HIGH PRICES: Thousands of protesters demonstrated in the Cuban capital of Havana and in other parts of the country Sunday (July 11th) in one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Cuba in decades, protesting food shortages and high prices amid the pandemic. Police initially walked behind the demonstrators, but broke up the Havana protest after a couple of hours when a few marchers threw rocks. Cuba shut down internet service during the afternoon, blocking marchers’ attempts to broadcast the protest live from their  cellphones. U.S. official Julie Chung, acting assistant secretary for state for Western Hemisphere affairs, tweeted support for the demonstrators, saying, “Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages.” Cuba’s director general for U.S. affairs, Carlos F. de Cossio, responded in his own tweet, “US State Department and its officials, involved to their necks in promoting social and political instability in #Cuba, should avoid expressing hypocritical concern for a situation they have been betting on.”

HAITIAN MAN WHO’D BEEN LIVING IN FLORIDA ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH ASSASSINATION: Haiti’s national Police Chief Leon Charles announced the arrest yesterday (July 11th) of a Haitian man who appears to have been living in Florida in connection with the assassination of President Jovenel Moise last week, with him accused of flying into Haiti on a private plane last month and working with  the masterminds and of the assassination and the people who allegedly carried it out. Charles identified the suspect as Christian Emmanuel Sanon, and said the alleged assassins were protecting him as the supposed president of Haiti. He alleges that Sanon was in contact with a firm that provides security for politicians and recruited the suspects. The original mission of the men was to protect Sanon, but they later were given a new one to arrest Moise. Charles said that after Moise was killed, one of the suspects called Sanon, who got in touch with two people believed to be the plot’s masterminds. He didn’t identify them or say if police know who they are. AP reports that Sanon identifies himself as a doctor in a YouTube video called, Leadership for Haiti, and has lived in Broward and Hillsborough Counties in Florida as well as in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Fox News Sunday that a team of agents from the Homeland Security Department and the FBI were heading to Haiti to help with the investigation, and that they were still analyzing the request from Haiti to send troops.