CDC panel to vote on who should receive COVID-19 booster shot
A committee that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is scheduled to vote Thursday on who should be eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized a third Pfizer-BioNTech shot six months after the second dose for those 65 and older, younger people at high risk for severe disease, and workers whose jobs put them at extra risk for infection. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to quickly sign off on whatever the panel decides, making boosters available to more people within a few days.
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The search continues for Brian Laundrie after Gabby Petito's death was ruled a homicide
The search for Brian Laundrie, the fiancé of homicide victim Gabby Petito, will continue Thursday across a vast, alligator-infested Florida wetland, after a coroner confirmed that human remains found in a Wyoming national park were those of 22-year-old Petito. Police in North Port, Florida, have been searching the Carlton Reserve since the family of Laundrie said last week that he vanished while camping in the 25,000-acre wilderness area. Relatives said Laundrie left Sept. 14 to go hiking in the reserve. They filed a missing person report three days later saying they had found his car but did not find him. Since then, searchers have used dogs, drones and ATV vehicles to aid the difficult manhunt. He still has not been found.
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WNBA playoffs tip off Thursday
The WNBA playoffs tip off Thursday night with two single-elimination games. The No. 6-seeded Chicago Sky will host No. 7 Dallas Wings (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2), and then the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury will host No. 8 New York Liberty (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The winners advance to the single-elimination second round, which takes place Sunday, when the lowest remaining seed will take on No. 3 Minnesota Lynx and the highest remaining seed plays No. 4 Seattle Storm, the reigning WNBA champions. The top-seeded Connecticut Sun and No. 2 Las Vegas Aces earned playoff byes until the best-of-five semifinals, which start on Sept. 28. The WNBA Finals tip off on Oct. 10.
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Rare Gilgamesh Dream Tablet scheduled for return to Iraq
A rare and ancient tablet which contains one of the world's oldest works of literature will finally be returned to Iraq. In 2014, U.S. arts and craft store chain Hobby Lobby purchased the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet artifact for over $1.6 million. The tablet originated from now modern-day Iraq and features the poem of mythological hero Gilgamesh. In July, after discovering the auction house that sold the artifact did so under false pretenses, the U.S. Justice Department said it should not be owned by Hobby Lobby and it should be in Iraq instead. Hobby Lobby had planned to display the tablet in its Museum of the Bible, a museum founded by owners of the chain, Steve and Jackie Green. The formal handover ceremony of the tablet is scheduled for Thursday at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
Previous coverage: Hobby Lobby must return rare tablet bought for $1.6 million
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Yet another rookie quarterback to start as the Texans turn to Davis Mills
Rookie Davis Mills will start at quarterback for the 1-1 Houston Texans Thursday night against the 2-0 Carolina Panthers (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network) with Tyrod Taylor out with a hamstring injury. Taylor left the game in the first half of Houston's loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Mills, a third-round pick from Stanford, took over and threw a touchdown and an interception. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson remains on the team, but was not an option to fill in for Taylor, head coach David Culley said. Watson has been listed as inactive/not injury-related following his trade request and after 22 women filed lawsuits alleging sexual assault or harassment. Davis will become the fourth rookie quarterback to start a game in 2021 after Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (New York Jets) and Mac Jones (New England Patriots). The the Chicago Bears' Justin Fields will be the fifth when he starts Sunday in Cleveland.
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Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID booster panel, Brian Laundrie search: 5 things to know Thursday