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FDA backs Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine as safe, effective

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FDA backs Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine as safe, effective

The Food and Drug Administration backed Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine as safe and effective on Wednesday as the agency weighs whether to clear the shot for emergency use.

FDA staff affirmed J&J’s finding that the vaccine was 66 percent effective overall at preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19.

While not as strong as Pfizer and Moderna’s two-dose vaccines, that efficacy rate could still make J&J’s shot a helpful weapon in the battle against the pandemic.

New Jersey-based J&J’s clinical trial of nearly 44,000 people also produced no significant safety concerns that would prevent the FDA from granting an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, agency officials said.

The FDA released its analysis of the shot before a Friday meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a panel of experts that will recommend whether to clear the J&J vaccine for emergency use.

The FDA granted emergency approvals for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in December following positive recommendations from the advisory panel.

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A sixth person has died following a shooting earlier this week at the hands of a former NFL player who also killed four members of a South Carolina family, local officials said Saturday.

Robert Shook, 38, an air conditioning technician from Cherryville, North Carolina, has died from injuries sustained in the Wednesday shooting while he was working at the home, according to York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.

Authorities say Phillip Adams killed Rock Hill physician Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara; two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and another air conditioning technician, James Lewis, who had been working with Shook at the Lesslie home.

Adams later shot himself to death. His brain is now being examined for possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military.

Adams, 32, played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State, and though he rarely started, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury and never played for the 49ers again. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three games in 2012.

Whether he suffered long-lasting concussion-related injuries wasn’t immediately clear. Adams would not have been eligible for testing as part of a broad settlement between the league and former players over such injuries, because he hadn’t retired by 2014.

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UK won’t welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

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UK won't welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

At least one Brit doesn’t think Prince Harry should rush home for his beloved grandfather’s funeral.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage yanked up his welcome mat in a tweet slamming Harry and wife Meghan Markle for their terse statement on the death of Prince Philip Friday at age 99.

“For a couple that do public emotion as a career, this third person and one sentence statement shows their contempt for this great man and the monarchy,” Farage tweeted Friday.

“The British public will not welcome Harry and Meghan back, even for the funeral,” he added.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Saturday that Prince Harry, 36, will indeed make the trip home for the first time in a little more than a year to attend Prince Philip’s funeral — and that Markle won’t be with him.

The heavily pregnant Markle, 39, who is due to give birth to the couple’s daughter this summer, will stay home in California on her doctor’s advice — even though she flew to New York for a baby shower while seven months pregnant with son Archie in February 2019.

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Phone found laying on the bottom of lake for a year still works

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Phone found laying on the bottom of lake for a year still works

Somebody called in a miracle

A man who dropped his phone into a lake in Taiwan while paddle-boarding a year ago has successfully recovered it — and it still works thanks to its waterproof protective casing, the BBC reported Friday.

The man, identified only as Chen, thought his phone was gone forever when it sank to the bottom of Sun Moon Lake. A severe drought in Taiwan has dried up the iconic waterhole and Chen’s phone was found by a worker in the mud.

The drought, Taiwan’s worst in 56 years, has been less fun for most other residents however as the government has imposed severe water rationing.

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