Five national stories of the week

<p>Prepared doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table April 7, 2021, at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. <strong>Jaden Whiteman, DN</strong></p>

Prepared doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sit on a table April 7, 2021, at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital. Jaden Whiteman, DN

Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

Moderna announces its COVID-19 vaccine works in kids as young as 12, a key impeachment witness sues former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, activists plan a festival in Minneapolis in honor of George Floyd, the agency that grants citizenship eyes improved services without a plan to pay for it and the western fire season starts much drier than it did in 2020 make up this week's five national stories.

Moderna says its COVID-19 shot works in kids as young as 12

Moderna announced Tuesday its COVID-19 vaccine strongly protects kids as young as 12, a step that could put the shot on track to become the second option for that age group in the U.S. With global vaccine supplies still tight, much of the world is struggling to vaccinate adults in the quest to end the pandemic. But earlier this month, the U.S. and Canada authorized another vaccine — the shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech — to be used starting at age 12.

Key impeachment witness sues Pompeo over $1.8M in legal fees

Gordon Sondland, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the European Union and a pivotal witness in 2019 impeachment proceedings, sued former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday in an effort to recover $1.8 million he racked up in legal expenses. Sondland alleges in the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, that Pompeo had committed to reimburse his legal expenses after he was subpoenaed by House Democrats to testify in an impeachment case that accused then-President Donald Trump of withholding military aid from Ukraine while demanding an investigation into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

'Turning mourning into dancing': Festival to remember Floyd

The intersection where George Floyd took his final breaths is to be transformed Tuesday into an outdoor festival on the anniversary of his death, with food, children’s activities and a long list of musical performers. Floyd, 46, who was Black, died on Memorial Day 2020 after then-Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for about 9 1/2 minutes. Chauvin, who is white, was convicted last month of murder and faces sentencing June 25. Three other fired officers still face trial.

Citizenship agency eyes improved services without plan to pay

Less than a year after being on the verge of furloughing about 70 percent of employees to plug a funding shortfall, the U.S. agency that grants citizenship, green cards and temporary visas wants to improve service without a detailed plan to pay for it, including granting waivers for those who can’t afford to pay fees, according to a proposal obtained by The Associated Press.

Grim western fire season starts much drier than record 2020

As bad as last year’s record-shattering fire season was, the western U.S. starts this year’s in even worse shape. The soil in the West is record dry for this time of year. In much of the region, plants that fuel fires are also the driest scientists have seen. The vegetation is primed to ignite, especially in the Southwest where dead juniper trees are full of flammable needles. A climate change-fueled megadrought of more than 20 years is making conditions that lead to fire even more dangerous, scientists said.







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