Vaccine Recommendation, NASA Breakthrough, and a Nightmare on Elm Street Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Oct. 27, and we're covering the next step in making COVID-19 vaccines available to children, a milestone for a NASA telescope, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Panel Supports Kids' Vaccines

A federal advisory panel recommended yesterday making the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine available for children aged 5 through 11. The recommendation would make the shots available for roughly 28 million children ahead of the holiday travel season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also approve the decision; a panel is scheduled to meet next Tuesday. Doses would be one-third of those administered to adults. 


To date, more than 77% of the US population aged 12 and older have received at least one shot–including more than 96% of those aged 65 and older. Newly reported cases in the US are averaging about 70,000 per day, down more than 45% over the past month. See current stats here.


In related news, Pfizer said the company would ramp up production to provide 4 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine next year in an effort to address unequal distribution in poorer countries. 

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Astronomers have made the first-ever observation of a planet located outside the Milky Way, according to data published yesterday. To date, roughly 4,800 exoplanets (planets that orbit stars other than the sun) have been observed, but all have been located within our galaxy. The newly discovered planet, tagged as M51-ULS-1b, is located in the Whirlpool Galaxy (see photos), more than 23 million light-years away from Earth. For context, the Milky Way has a radius of just over 50,000 light-years. 


The find represents a milestone for NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, which detected a change in the brightness of x-rays as the planet traversed its host star. Because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs most x-rays, Chandra is a satellite telescope circling the Earth in a 64-hour orbit. Astronomers hope to discover similar planets combing through previously recorded data. 


Separately, take a second to check out one of our favorite visualizations on the size of space.

UN Climate Report

Global average temperatures are projected to rise by 2.7 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by the end of the century, according to a United Nations report released yesterday. The analysis is based on current policies from 120 countries, including a number of updated pledges by industrialized nations, and comes ahead of next week's international climate summit in Scotland. 


The projection exceeds the 1.5 degree Celsius benchmark targeted in the Paris climate accord. A previous assessment released in August found temperatures had risen by almost 1.1 degrees compared to the average between 1850 and 1900, only 2%-3% of which came from natural drivers. Yesterday's report found updated policies by a number of nations would cut emissions by an additional 7.5% by 2030 compared to policies from five years ago. 


See how the greenhouse effect works here, and see what an average increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius means for different parts of the world here.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

Brought to you by The Ascent

> Jorge Soler homers in first inning to lead Atlanta Braves to 6-2 victory over Houston Astros in Game 1 of MLB World Series (More)


> Queen Elizabeth II, 95, to miss next week's COP26 climate conference in Scotland after recent overnight hospital stay (More)


> Soccer legend Carli Lloyd retires after 16-year international career as USA tops South Korea 6-0 in her final match (More) | NFL to expand Rooney Rule in effort to increase diversity in hiring head coaches and general managers (More)

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Science & Technology

> Internal Facebook documents show its algorithm began valuing emoji reactions five times higher than likes beginning in 2017, amplifying controversial content (More) | Why is everyone talking about the Facebook Papers? (More)


> Almost 500 ancient Mayan sites discovered in southern Mexico using laser mapping; find suggests the Olmec Civilization may have predated the Mayans in the region (More)


> Madagascar lemurs found to replicate musical rhythm; study marks the first observation of such behavior in the animal kingdom beyond humans and songbirds (More)

Business & Markets

> Representatives from YouTube, Snap, and TikTok defend child safety practices in Congressional hearing before Senate Subcommittee (More)


> US consumer confidence index increases for the first time since June (More)


> Google sees quarterly ad revenues of $65B, grow 41% to the largest increase in 14 years; profits nearly double over last year to $21B (More) | Microsoft exceeds revenue and earnings expectations as its cloud business grows 50% over last quarter (More

Politics & World Affairs

> Iran hit with cyberattack that froze activity at gas stations across the country; no group has claimed responsibility as of this morning (More)


> Democrats debate tax on the unrealized capital gains of those with a net worth over $1B; plan has drawn criticism for being complicated and potentially unconstitutional (More) | What are unrealized gains and losses? (More)


> FBI reports hate crimes rose 16% between 2019 and 2020, with the total number of incidents hitting a two-decade high (More)



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Clickbait: ... and we could all use a few more cat photos in our lives.


Historybook: Ivan the Great dies (1505); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is founded (1682); President Teddy Roosevelt born (1858); New York City subway opens (1904); American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath born (1932).


"The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people."

- President Teddy Roosevelt

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