An FDA panel recommended Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine be the fourth allowed for use in the USA. Matthew McConaughey urged an end to gun violence during a speech at the White House. And do male mice really hate bananas?
👋 What’s up? Besides gas prices. Laura Davis here, comin’ in hot with bad jokes and Tuesday’s news.
But first, why are gas prices up again? Another week, another record high. We’re breaking down what’s driving the surge in prices – and it might not be what you think.
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New COVID-19 vaccine could be coming soon
A federal advisory committee recommended Tuesday that a fourth COVID-19 vaccine be authorized for use in the USA, this one from Novavax, a Maryland-based company. The vaccine, which was supported by $1.8 billion in taxpayer funding, relies on a more traditional approach than those from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which have been used by more than three-quarters of Americans. Before the vaccine can become available, the head of the FDA must agree with the advisory panel that the benefits of Novavax’s vaccine outweigh its risks. Then, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel and the CDC’s director must sign off. That process is likely to take a few weeks at least. Novavax said it has millions of doses available and ready to be shipped once it receives authorization.
Matthew McConaughey urges end to gun violence in White House speech
Actor Matthew McConaughey used the megaphone of the White House and his own star power Tuesday to urge leaders in Washington to address gun violence in honor of the young victims of the mass shooting in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. After meeting with President Joe Biden, McConaughey choked up as he shared the victims’ stories and pressed for action. “This moment is different. We’re in a window of opportunity right now that we have not been in before, a window where it seems like real change – real change – can happen,” he said. McConaughey was born in Uvalde, the town where he said he was taught “to revere the power and the capability of the tool that we call a gun” and where 19 children and two teachers were massacred at an elementary school last month.
What everyone’s talking about
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2022 midterms: Seven states hold primary elections
Voters in seven states make their choices Tuesday in primary elections that will set fall matchups for House and Senate seats, governorships and a host of other offices. California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota hold primaries. The races aren’t likely to offer huge drama, but congressional contests in several states feature politicians facing ethical hurdles or former President Donald Trump’s disapproval. The roster of those running includes a California congressman who voted to impeach Trump, a party switcher in New Jersey who angered Trump by supporting an infrastructure bill and the last Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation. Based on the results of primaries in May, many voters are concerned about the economy, abortion rights and gun control, and immigration and the border generally take a back seat. Here’s USA TODAY’s cheat sheet on what races to watch.
Why do bananas stress out male mice?
They’re tasty. They’re healthy. But apparently, bananas are pretty stressful for male mice. Scientists at McGill University accidentally discovered that bananas create stress in male mice because of a compound inside the fruit, according to an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances. Jeffrey Mogil, E. P. Taylor chair in pain studies at McGill University, said his team was doing experiments with male and female mice when a student noticed the male mice were doing something odd: When late-pregnant or lactating female mice were near the male mice, the males showed signs of stress and ran around their cages more than normal. Where do bananas come in? A compound called pentyl acetate is found in the urine of late-pregnant and lactating female mice, Mogil said, and a similar chemical compound is found in bananas. When the scientists tested the mice with banana oil, sure enough: stressed-out mice. Read more from the study here.
👉 Tuesday’s Ukraine news: US officials sail away with $325M Russian-owned superyacht; Zelenskyy says Ukraine troops “not capable of advancing” without more long-range weapons. Read the latest from Ukraine.
Now trending: Instagram adoption scams
Social media platforms are a relatively new frontier for those seeking to adopt – particularly now that the demand for newborns exceeds the supply. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter are taking on the liaison role traditionally played by adoption agencies. They live outside the bounds of most oversight and regulation, which can lead to financial scams, emotional damage and a lack of support services for birth mothers and adoptive families alike. A USA TODAY investigation found breakdowns at every point in the adoption process, including flawed home studies and a lack of mental health services. Keep reading: How social media has influenced the way people adopt kids.
A break from the news
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