Boosters, Hong Kong, Boston Marathon: Your Monday Evening Briefing

, Boosters, Hong Kong, Boston Marathon: Your Monday Evening Briefing, The Habari News New York
, Boosters, Hong Kong, Boston Marathon: Your Monday Evening Briefing, The Habari News New York

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.

1. Boosters are complicating efforts to persuade the unvaccinated to get shots.

The number of eligible people in the U.S. still weighing whether to get a Covid vaccine has sharply dwindled, leaving mostly hard-core refusers.

In a September vaccine survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71 percent of unvaccinated respondents said the need for booster shots indicated that the vaccines were not working.

Experts in vaccine behavior fear that the country is bumping up against the ceiling of persuadable people, one that is significantly lower than the threshold needed for broad immunity from Delta and, possibly, future variants.

In other coronavirus news:

2. A lawsuit is seeking to hold hospitals responsible after one of their doctors addicted vulnerable women to pain medications and assaulted them over many years.

Ricardo Cruciani was finally charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania, registering as a sex offender and surrendering his medical license in a plea agreement in 2017. He is free on $1 million bail while facing criminal charges in New York and New Jersey.

Former patients are saying he got away with offenses for years because hospitals looked the other way. The doctor was able to secure positions at hospitals in three states over the course of a decade.

The New Jersey lawsuit, as well as civil suits filed in New York and Pennsylvania, claim that hospitals ignored reports that Cruciani was sexually assaulting patients, allowing him to quietly change jobs and continue his predatory behavior.

3. An exodus of residents is the latest sign of resistance to Hong Kong’s political upheaval.

Last year, Hong Kong experienced its biggest population loss since the government began keeping records in the 1960s. Public hospital doctors and nurses have quit in large numbers. Emigrants withdrew $270 million from the city’s retirement plan. And schools are seeing a sharp drop in enrolled students.

Government officials have brushed off concerns about a general exodus, but even they have acknowledged the blow to schools. Mainland-China-style “patriotic education” has been a driver of the departures.

“They prefer their children to have more freedom of speech and to have more balanced education,” John Hu, an immigration consultant, said of parents.

4. A pledge to reduce methane emissions.

Thirty-two countries joined the U.S. in a pact developed with the E.U. to reduce methane emissions 30 percent by 2030. It is part of an effort to set new targets to slow global warming before a major U.N. climate summit in Glasgow next month.

Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide but is much more potent in the short term in its ability to heat the planet.

Separately, Chevron announced an “aspiration” to reach net zero carbon emissions for its operations by 2050 in a response to growing public and investor concern about climate change.

In other economic news, three economists based at U.S. universities won the 2021 Nobel in economics for their work on unintended experiments.

5. New York City is giving its kindergartners $100 in a college savings account.

A trial program started several years ago is now open to every public school kindergartner. Roughly 70,000 students are receiving an account with $100 already invested.

By the time they are ready to leave high school, the average account is projected to be worth roughly $3,000. Though far short of tuition for a four-year college, researchers suggest that even small sums can significantly increase a child’s likelihood of pursuing higher education.

Across the country, there were more than 922,000 such programs in 36 states at the end of 2020, up 30 percent from the previous year.

6. Two first-time champions from Kenya marked the Boston Marathon’s return for the first time since April 2019.

, Boosters, Hong Kong, Boston Marathon: Your Monday Evening Briefing, The Habari News New York

In the women’s competition, Diana Kipyokei, 27, won the 26.2-mile race in her major marathon debut in a time of 2 hours 24 minutes 45 seconds. Her previous biggest victory was the Istanbul Marathon. Benson Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:09:51. He had won the Prague and Toronto marathons, but lacked a signature victory before today.

In other marathon news:

  • Shalane Flanagan successfully continued her quest to run all six major marathons with a time of under three hours over six weeks. Having finished Berlin, London and Chicago, she completed Boston in 2:40:34. She will run a virtual version of the Tokyo Marathon at home in Oregon in a week, then the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.

  • Rick Hoyt, a quadriplegic man with cerebral palsy, was an iconic presence at the Boston Marathon for years, with his father Dick Hoyt pushing his wheelchair along the course route. Dick Hoyt died in March at 80, and now Rick, 59, has announced his retirement from the event.

  • Marcel Hug of Switzerland won his fifth Boston Marathon wheelchair event in 1:18:11, the day after finishing second in the Chicago Marathon.

7. A new spy novel by John le Carré and a geopolitical thriller by Hillary Rodham Clinton hit bookstores.

“Silverview,” le Carré’s 26th and apparently last completed novel, arrives less than a year after his death. As our reviewer Joseph Finder writes, if it feels “less than fully executed, its sense of moral ambivalence remains exquisitely calibrated.”

Clinton teamed up with the mystery writer Louise Penny for “State of Terror,” hot on the heels of her husband’s latest spy novel, also co-written with a big-name novelist. The ambitious, apocalyptic plot is overstuffed, but the book is a “romp” (and better than Bill’s), writes our reviewer Sarah Lyall.

8. Superman comes out.

DC Comics is ushering in a new Superman, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. Jonathan Kent is concerned about the environment, does not shy away from politics and will soon begin a romantic relationship with a male friend.

Though Superman is not the first comic-book L.G.B.T.Q. hero, comics experts said that there was something particularly momentous about the choice.

Tom Taylor, who writes the series, said, “The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity.”

9. “A lot about ‘Jeopardy!’ just needs to be very neutral to pleasant.”

That was Mayim Bialik, the sitcom actor, neuroscience Ph.D. and blogger who has been temporarily hosting the game show and wants the job permanently.

But her willingness to share her opinions publicly — on parenting, shaving, Israel, vaccines — is a big departure from the late Alex Trebek, who started as host in 1984 and cultivated the image of a neutral narrator.

So the effort to find a suitable replacement for Trebek is once again a public conversation. Bialik said that her superiors at “Jeopardy!” had not asked her to tone down her outspokenness but that she was thinking about it.

10. And finally, the case of the (potentially costly) missing apostrophe.

In a Facebook post last year, Anthony Zadravic of Australia seemed to accuse his former employer of not paying “his employees” pensions. Court documents suggest that he meant to add an apostrophe; writing “his employee’s” would have implied that it was only his own pension that was missing.

In deciding to proceed with the employer’s defamation case against Zadravic, the judge in the case wrote: “To fail to pay one employee’s superannuation entitlement might be seen as unfortunate; to fail to pay some or all of them looks deliberate.”

Have a flawless evening.

Angela Jimenez compiled photos for this briefing.

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