Boy Scouts’ bankruptcy creates rift with religious partners

NEW YORK (AP) — As the Boy Scouts of America moves through its complex bankruptcy case, it’s encountering criticism from major religious groups that help it run thousands of scout units.

The churches fear an eventual settlement could leave many of them unprotected.

The Boy Scouts sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 to halt individual lawsuits and create a compensation fund for thousands of men who claim they were molested as youngsters by scout leaders.

In July, the BSA proposed a deal that would bar further lawsuits against the national organization and its local councils.

But the deal did not cover the more than 40,000 organizations, including churches, that have charters to sponsor scout units.

CDC panel tackles who needs booster shot of COVID vaccine

Influential government advisers are beginning to debate just which Americans should get an extra dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine — even though regulators haven’t yet cleared the extra shots.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to rule soon on Pfizer’s bid for extra doses, after its advisers last week dramatically scaled back the Biden administrations plans for boosters for everyone.

Instead that panel backed another dose just for seniors and others at high risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the final word on who would qualify, and convened its own advisers Wednesday to start deliberations.

Apple, Google raise new concerns by yanking Russian app

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple’s and Google’s cooperation with the Russian government’s efforts to suppress an app opposed to the ruling regime is escalating concerns about whether Big Tech’s pursuit of ever-higher profits has trampled their commitment to protecting civil rights.

The debate is being spurred by last week’s abrupt removal of an voting app organizing opposition to Russia President Vladimir Putin.

Both Apple and Google expunged the Smart Voting app from their respective app stores in Russia  after being repeatedly warned that it was breaking that country’s laws.

That galled supporters of free elections and raised worries other government leaders will resort to similar tactics.

Biden doubles US global donation of COVID-19 vaccine shots

President Joe Biden says the U.S. is doubling its purchase of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world.

At a virtual “vaccine summit” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, Biden embraced a goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population within the next year.

Biden encouraged well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control around the world.

World leaders, aid groups and global health organizations are growing increasingly vocal about the slow pace of global vaccinations and the inequity of access to shots between residents of wealthier and poorer nations.

The U.S. purchase of another 500 million shots brings the total U.S. vaccination commitment to more than 1.1 billion doses.

FBI: Coroner identifies remains as Gabby Petito

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — The FBI says a county coroner has confirmed that human remains found in remote northern Wyoming along the border of Grand Teton National Park are those of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who disappeared while on a cross-country road trip with a boyfriend who is now being sought by authorities in Florida.

Teton County Coroner Brent Blue determined her manner of death was homicide, but did not disclose a cause of death pending final autopsy results, officials said Tuesday.

Petito’s body was found Sunday near an undeveloped camping area that’s surrounded by woodlands and brush, located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Jackson, Wyoming.

The FBI also requested for anyone with information about boyfriend Brian Laundrie’s role in Petito’s death to contact the agency.

Biden pledges ‘relentless diplomacy’ on global challenges

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Joe Biden has used his first address before the U.N. General Assembly to summon allies to quickly address the festering issues of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses.

He’s also insisting the U.S. is not seeking “a new Cold War” with China.

The president says the end of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan last month set the table for his administration to shift attention to intensive diplomacy at a moment with no shortage of crises facing the globe.

He pledged on Tuesday to double U.S. financial aid to poorer countries to help them switch to cleaner energy and cope with the “merciless” effects of climate change.

Options shrink for Haitian migrants straddling Texas border

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border are narrowing.

The United States government is ramping up expulsion flights to Haiti on Tuesday and Mexico has begun busing some away from the border.

U.S. officials say more than 6,000 Haitians and other migrants have been removed from an encampment around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

They also defended a strong response that included immediately sending migrants back to their impoverished Caribbean country and faced criticism for the use of horse patrols to stop them from entering the town.

Stocks wobble a day after biggest drop since May

Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in morning trading on Wall Street Tuesday following a sharp pullback a day earlier.

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about as much.

Health care stocks made solid gains, along with technology companies.

Uber jumped 9.3% after raising its outlook.

European markets were also higher, and Asian markets mostly rose.

Chinese markets remained closed for a holiday.

Homebuilder Lennar fell 1.7% as supply chain problems hurt home deliveries.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was stable at 1.31%.

US launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from Texas

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) — The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and trying to block others from crossing the border from Mexico.

It’s a massive show of force that signals the beginning of what could be one of America’s swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

Three flights with 145 passengers each arrived in Port-au-Prince, and Haiti said six flights were expected on Tuesday.

In all, U.S. authorities moved to expel many of the more 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after crossing from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

(AP) – Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older.

But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now.

Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults getting the regular-strength shots, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.

The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience, he said.

“I think we really hit the sweet spot,” said Gruber, who’s also a pediatrician.