How vaccine makers plan to address the new COVID-19 omicron variant

Updated November 28, 2021 at 12:14 PM ET A new strain of COVID-19 first discovered in South Africa was declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on Friday. Here's how the pharmaceutical industry plans to address the latest coronavirus curve ball. Vaccine makers are already pivoting their efforts to combat the new variant: testing higher doses of booster shots, designing new boosters that anticipate strain mutations, and developing omicron-specific boosters. In a statement...

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Carrie Meek, the grandchild of a slave and a sharecropper's daughter who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction, died Sunday. She was 95.

Meek died at her home in Miami after a long illness, family spokesperson Adam Sharon said in a statement. The family did not specify a cause of death.

A foiled succession plan, sensational allegations, and a family feud at the pinnacle of power — these are the ingredients in what promises to be a riveting race to succeed outgoing Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.

The no-holds-barred contest scheduled for May 2022 has already produced what some observers see as an unsettling alliance: the offspring of two presidents pairing off in an unprecedented bid to run the country.

Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees' victory over the Greeks and rededication of the Second Temple. The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the menorah, and it is a time of year to celebrate love, family and tradition.

In northern Minnesota, not much can beat the pristine view ­­– and the rush – of climbing a fire tower. Reaching 100 feet into the sky, there were once nearly 150 of these steel lookouts guarding the state's fire-prone forests.

Today, only a handful of climbable towers exist and they remain on the front lines of fire prevention through education and an innate human desire to perch above the treetops.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or phrase in which the only consonants are B and R, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Updated November 28, 2021 at 12:14 PM ET

A new strain of COVID-19 first discovered in South Africa was declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on Friday. Here's how the pharmaceutical industry plans to address the latest coronavirus curve ball.

Vaccine makers are already pivoting their efforts to combat the new variant: testing higher doses of booster shots, designing new boosters that anticipate strain mutations, and developing omicron-specific boosters.

Legendary Native American musician Joanne Shenandoah, a trailblazer popular with both mainstream and Native audiences, has died. A multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer who collaborated with such musical icons as Robbie Robertson and Neil Young (as well as with this writer), Shenandoah won a Grammy award and was among the most lauded musicians in the history of the Native American Music Awards. According to her sister Vicky Schenandoah, who confirmed with NPR by phone, she died late Monday night at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz. following a long illness. She was 64.

Amir Peay had high hopes when he salvaged the abandoned 140-year-old James E. Pepper Distillery near the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. After years of planning and renovations, it was finally ready to produce whiskey on site in 2017. But Peay's hopes were dashed a few months later, as the European Union imposed tariffs on American whiskey.

More loggerhead turtle nests were counted on South Carolina beaches this year than in 2020, according to state Department of Natural Resources data.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports officials counted more than 5,600 sea turtle nests this year, with data still being tallied. The final 2020 count was 5,560.

That remains below the state's two biggest years, with 6,446 nests counted in 2016 and 8,774 in 2019.

The state’s first nest was reported on May 5 on Seabrook Island. The town of Kiawah Island said its last nest was counted Oct. 10.

NC database on police use of force won't be public

2 hours ago

Incidents in which police officers kill or injure someone in North Carolina are going to be recorded statewide for the first time in a database. But the information will not be made available to the public.

WRAL reported Sunday that the General Assembly authorized the database earlier this year as part of legislation on policing. The database will be for law enforcement agencies to use in an effort to weed out problem officers.

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Julyan Davis has evolved into a novelist in part through stubbornness but, as he sees it, also by necessity. Davis is far from blind, but degenerating eyesight has prompted visits over the past decade to ophthalmologists.

“An ophthalmologist some years ago, I guess he skipped the semester on diplomacy, but he said ‘What do you do for a living?’ I said I’m an artist, and he said ‘Oh that’s a shame.’” Davis recalled. “I said ‘What do you mean?’ and he said ‘Just down the road, it might be a problem with your eyes.’ So that kind of inspired me to focus on the writing, sort of as a backup career.”

Davis has earned his living and public profile over nearly 30 years in Asheville as a painter. His first published novel is titled “A History of Saints.” Davis is reading from his book Dec. 1 at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, where he has presented his paintings for many years.

Matt Peiken | BPR


On a recent Friday night, the avant garde musical duo Okapi performed for a handful of people at Revolve in Asheville. The only illumination came from two table lamps and a few candles behind them and a string of tiny footlights along the cement floor.

Three years ago, Scott Gorski and Lindsey Miller struggled to get gigs. Today, the bass and cello duo might be Asheville’s busiest touring outfit.

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