FDA to decide on vaccine boosters, missing woman Gabby Petito, iPhone 13: 5 things to know Friday

·5 min read

FDA to determine if COVID-19 vaccine boosters are widely needed

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee decides Friday whether third shots of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and protective against infections. At root is whether the extra shots are "luxuries" or an essential part of providing complete protection against the virus, said presidential adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci. He and other federal officials, including President Joe Biden, believe it is time to begin offering third shots to compensate for what appears to be fading protection. Others, particularly the director general of the World Health Organization, argue that Americans would benefit far more by getting initial shots to the unvaccinated around the world.

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Gabrielle Petito argued with her fiancé in Utah before vanishing

The past few days have seen a flurry of activity in the case of the missing 22-year-old Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito, who was last seen Aug. 30 in Wyoming: A plea from Petito's father for details on what happened to his daughter; body camera footage from Moab, Utah, police showing the couple trying to work out a manic episode in the desert; and police reports revealing simmering difficulties between the two on their cross-country trip. Petito's fiancé, Brian Laundrie, 23, is being called a "person of interest" in the case after he drove back to the couple's primary residence in North Point, Florida, on Sept. 1 without her. Laundrie hasn't been charged, and he's not cooperating. Laundrie's sister, Cassie Laundrie, told ABC's "Good Morning America" in part of an interview released in advance of its airing Friday that she was concerned. "Obviously me and my family want Gabby to be found safe," she said.

DC lawyer indicted in Russia review to make first court appearance

Justice Department special counsel John Durham, who has been examining abuses during the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, secured an indictment Thursday against a Washington attorney accused of lying to the FBI. The charge against Michael Sussmann, a prominent cybersecurity attorney whose firm is closely tied with Democratic Party interests, is linked to a 2016 contact with the FBI when he raised concerns about a secret channel of communications between a Russian bank and the Trump Organization. Sussmann's information, according to court documents, "misled the FBI concerning the political nature of his work." The timing of the charging decision is linked to a five-year statute of limitations consideration that would expire Sunday. Attorneys for Sussmann, who is expected to make his first court appearance Friday, have denied any wrongdoing by their client.

iPhone 13 available for pre-order

Consumers can pre-order the iPhone 13, the latest version of Apple's popular smartphone, starting Friday. Along with the typical upgrades to processing speed, display and battery life, the iPhone 13 adds a Cinematic Mode, which uses an automatic focus to shift between subjects in a video, similar to Portrait Mode for photos. Apple offers four models: a standard version with a 6.1-inch display, a Mini model and Pro and Pro Max models with larger screens and better battery life. Shipping begins Sept. 24, although depending on demand, it's likely eager consumers might have to wait longer for their new smartphone to arrive. The new phone also means the arrival of iOS 15, which launches as a free software update on Sept. 20.

Lil Nas X's debut album drops for the masses

Social media erupted this spring when Lil Nas X released the video for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)", which includes sexually explicit biblical and Satanic imagery. While some felt he went too far, fans celebrated the video's queerness. The artist released his full-length debut album, called "Montero," early Friday morning. USA TODAY's Melissa Ruggieri writes that while his 2019 EP "7" personified a quick cash-in to capitalize on the popularity of "Old Town Road," "Montero" showcases a young man who hurts and feels and seeks and celebrates — an honest portrait of Lil Nas X at 22."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vaccine booster meeting, Gabby Petito, iPhone 13: 5 things to know Friday