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Monday's Mini-Report, 11.29.21

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Pandemic: "President Joe Biden urged vaccinated Americans to get their Covid booster shots and once again pleaded with those who have yet to be vaccinated to get their first dose in remarks Monday amid growing concerns about the potential threat posed by the new omicron variant."

* The question on the minds of many: "Administration officials have said it could be several weeks before they know whether the variant has the ability to erode the protection offered by the vaccine and what level of severity and transmissibility it has. In the meantime, public health officials have said they believe the surge in antibodies created by a booster shot could offer one of the best defenses for the time being."

* This ruling came from a Trump-appointed judge: "A federal judge in St. Louis halted enforcement Monday of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for most health care workers in Kansas and Missouri, a week before the deadline for staff to get their first shot under the rules."

* SCOTUS: "The Supreme Court on Monday brushed aside an appeal from a group of Massachusetts health care workers who said their hospital's Covid vaccine requirement violated their religious freedom or would present a risk to their health."

* Pfizer's alternative to this is supposed to be more effective: "The pharmaceutical company Merck said on Friday that in a final analysis of a clinical trial, its antiviral pill reduced the risk of hospitalization and death among high-risk Covid patients by 30 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 50 percent."

* A story we've been following: "Donations are pouring in to help a man who was freed from a Missouri prison after a judge found that he was wrongfully convicted in 1979 in a triple killing. The GoFundMe fundraiser to benefit Kevin Strickland had surpassed its $430,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon, and donations kept coming. By Thursday evening, it had raised more than $950,000."

* Omarova deserved to be treated better than this: "Five Democratic senators have told the White House they won't support Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, effectively killing her nomination for the powerful bank-regulator position."

* People in Trump's inner circle sure do turn to the Middle East for money with great regularity: "As a White House adviser in the Trump administration, Jared Kushner took a special interest in the petroleum-rich monarchies of the Persian Gulf.... Now, in a move that has raised eyebrows among diplomats, investors and ethics watchdogs, Mr. Kushner is trying to raise money from the Persian Gulf states for a new investment firm he has founded."

* This story manages to get a little worse: "The National Rifle Association said it had found additional examples of excessive benefits paid by the nonprofit gun rights organization in recent years to CEO Wayne LaPierre, including $44,000 in private jet flights, according to a new tax filing."

See you tomorrow.