US expected to recommend COVID booster shots for all Americans 

In news likely to resonate with most Americans as they begin their day Tuesday, Biden administration officials are expected to recommend COVID-19 booster shots for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received the second shot, a source confirmed to USA TODAY late Monday. The news, which will be announced as soon as this week, comes as the delta variant rages across the country. It also comes amid anxieties about the Pfizer vaccine’s waning immunity and the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of booster vaccines for immunocompromised people. Data published by Israel’s Ministry of Health shows protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine dropped off after six months. “It gets down to the 40 to 50% effectiveness range, whereas it used to be 95%,” said Dr. Eric Topol, an expert on the use of data in medical research. Booster shots will begin as early as mid-September once the FDA formally approves vaccines.

As chaos reigns in Afghanistan, Taliban announces ‘amnesty’

The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government Tuesday, trying to calm nerves across the tense capital city of Kabul. Senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Muttaqi is said to be in Kabul negotiating with political leadership, the Associated Press reported. The talks are aimed at bringing non-Taliban leaders into the government. The movement comes a day after President Joe Biden said he made the right call to pull American troops out of Afghanistan even though he said the Taliban’s swift seizure of Kabul unfolded faster than expected. “I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said Monday during a speech at the White House. Critics said Biden may have explained why the U.S. is leaving Afghanistan well, he failed to address how the U.S. is leaving as American troops have scrambled to evacuate thousands from the U.S. Embassy and images from Kabul’s airport bring the fall of Vietnam in 1975 to mind.

3 named storms swirl in Atlantic Basin, including in quake-damaged Haiti

Tropical Storm Fred brought heavy rains over the Southeast early Tuesday while earthquake-damaged Haiti reeled under a drenching from Grace, a depression that regained tropical storm status overnight. Fred’s maximum sustained winds had weakened after its landfall late Monday and were at 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. Thousands of Florida Panhandle residents were reported without power. In Haiti, thousands are reeling from the effects of Grace Tuesday as the storm slammed the tiny nation already devastated by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Officials warned rainfall could reach 15 inches in some areas before the storm left. The death toll from Saturday’s temblor stood at over 1,400, with thousands more injured. Over 7,000 homes were destroyed along with hospitals, schools and churches. The third storm to watch for is Tropical Storm Henri, which formed Monday near Bermuda and is the eighth named storm of the Atlantic season.

Hundreds of Nashville students quarantining after the first week of school

More than 1,000 students and staff are in quarantine Tuesday after the first week of school in Nashville, Tennessee, where more than 250 cases of COVID-19 were recorded. In total, 980 students and 95 staff are in quarantine or isolating. The situation in Nashville schools is happening as the nation is seeing hospitalizations for those under age 50 hit all-time highs. “We’re seeing a lot of people get seriously ill,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s lead adviser on the pandemic, said Sunday on CBS. “The hospitalizations are on the brink of actually overrunning the hospitals, particularly intensive care units.” The U.S. has had more than 36.89 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 622,000 deaths, according to Tuesday morning’s Johns Hopkins University data. 

Check your freezer: Frozen shrimp recalled for possible salmonella

A nationwide recall in effect Tuesday for frozen shrimp sold at Whole Foods, Meijer and more stores for possible salmonella contamination. According to a recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website, there have been nine reports of salmonella-related illnesses linked to frozen shrimp products from Avanti Frozen Foods. Affected products include “various sizes of frozen cooked, peeled, deveined, shrimp (with some packaged with cocktail sauce) sold in various unit sizes,” which were distributed nationwide from November 2020 to May 2021. The recall dated Aug. 13 is an expansion of one from late June, and the company said it “has been initiated out of an abundance of precaution and will cover a large amount of product that has not been associated with any illness.” 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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