Coronavirus Vaccine, G20, Halloween: Your Friday Evening Briefing

Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.

Jim Wilson/The New York Times

1. The F.D.A. authorized Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for children 5 to 11. The first shots could be available next week.

The move was eagerly awaited by families. About 28 million children in that age group would be eligible to receive one-third of the adult dose, with two injections three weeks apart. If the C.D.C. signs off, as is expected, the children could start receiving shots as early as Wednesday.

The Biden administration has promised that children’s shots will be easily accessible at pediatrician offices, community health centers, children’s hospitals and pharmacies, with 15 million doses ready to ship immediately.

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Abroad, children are driving Britain’s current coronavirus surge. They are now making up a third of new cases.

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

2. President Biden kicked off a trip to Europe with an effort to mend fences with France.

In Italy to attend a Group of 20 summit, Biden sought to end a diplomatic row with France over a scuttled deal for attack nuclear submarines. “What we did was clumsy,” Biden said, as he met with Emmanuel Macron, the French president.

After a meeting at the Vatican, Biden said that Pope Francis had told him that he should keep receiving communion, a show of support amid calls by some U.S. bishops to deny him the sacrament for his support of abortion rights.

At the G20, Biden will try to secure a global deal on a minimum corporate tax, aimed at ending tax havens. Biden will then travel to Scotland for the COP26 summit on climate change, which is seen by many as a make-or-break moment to save our warming planet from disaster.

In other global news, Queen Elizabeth was advised by her doctors to rest for two weeks, deepening anxieties about the health of the 95-year-old monarch.

Patrick Dodson for The New York Times

3. The Albany County sheriff said that his office did not coordinate with the county’s district attorney before filing a criminal complaint against Andrew Cuomo.

The move by the sheriff, Craig Apple, to file charges independently of the district attorney, was unusual, especially in such a high-profile and explosive case. It raised questions about the viability of the case.

It was still unclear on Friday whether the district attorney would prosecute the former New York governor, who is accused of groping a female aide’s breast last year. Cuomo was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. The once-powerful Democrat was summoned to be arraigned in Albany court on Nov. 17.

Center for Constitutional Rights

4. For the first time in public, a U.S. detainee described the torture that he endured at C.I.A. black sites, including forced feedings, waterboarding and sexual abuse.

Appearing in open court, Majid Khan, 41, a suburban Baltimore high school graduate turned Al Qaeda courier, gave a detailed account of the cruel “enhanced interrogation techniques” that agents used to extract information from terrorism suspects in the C.I.A.’s overseas prison network.

Separately, Oklahoma executed a death row inmate. Like other executions in the state, this one — the first in six years — did not go smoothly.

Kenny Holston for The New York Times

5. Local and statewide elections are being held around the country on Tuesday.

These elections will determine the governors of Virginia and New Jersey and the mayors and other leaders of New York City, Atlanta, Minneapolis and other places. They will also decide the fate of ballot measures on election rules, local taxes and other issues. Here are some of the Election Day basics.

Among the races to watch:

Looking to 2022, Letitia James, the New York attorney general, is running for governor. And Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican critic of Donald Trump, won’t seek re-election.

6. The number of legal abortions in Texas dropped by half in the month after the state enacted its ban, researchers found.

The Texas law bans abortions after cardiac activity can be detected, which is generally at about six weeks, a time when most women do not yet realize they are pregnant. No prior Texas abortion restriction has been followed by a drop so steep. The researchers at the University of Texas at Austin said they expected to see the number decrease in subsequent months.

On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two different challenges to the Texas law. In December, the justices will hear arguments on a Mississippi law that is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Here’s what is at stake in that case.

Illustration by The New York Times

7. Our critic at large examines how a lawn sign has become a liberal mantra.

“In This House, We Believe,” the sign begins. The classic version reads: “Black Lives Matter / Women’s Rights Are Human Rights / No Human Is Illegal / Science Is Real / Love Is Love.” The yard signs are often overtly sanctimonious and sometimes they end with a saucy twist.

What first appeared as a symbol of liberal objection to Donald Trump in 2016 is now a font of absurd memes and an emblem of a culture war between white women, Amanda Hess writes. “It is so effective as a sign that it has become a symbol of signage itself,” she writes. Go ahead and generate your own sign.

Josep Lago/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

8. Carmen Mola seemed to shatter a glass ceiling in the world of Spanish books. Then the author’s true identity was revealed.

The writer, acclaimed as a leading female voice in literature, produced a detective trilogy with an eccentric female police inspector as the protagonist. When Carmen Mola was awarded the Planeta Prize, worth more than a million dollars, a team of three men stepped forward to receive the honor. The revelation raised questions about how far their publishers had gone to promote the narrative that the writer was a woman.

In another mystery, did Luka Doncic, the N.B.A. star, have his mother sign his basketball cards? Collectors are brewing a big conspiracy.

Kathryn Gamble for The New York Times

9. Mozzarella sticks are having a moment.

Soft and springy in the middle, crispy and golden on the outside, the cheesy snacks are making appearances on high-end restaurant menus and viral TikTok “cheese pull” videos — driven, perhaps, by the desire for nostalgic comfort food during the coronavirus pandemic. As one restaurant owner put it, “the appeal of melted mozzarella is ubiquitous among all humans.”

Our Food reporter also visited bakeries in Miami that are preparing for Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, by baking pan de muerto. The sweet bread is placed on altars dedicated to family members during the Mexican celebration on Nov. 1 and 2. Here’s how to make your own.

PhotoQuest/Getty Images

10. And finally, do you believe in ghosts?

According to one study, about 9 percent of 1,035 adults surveyed this year said they feared ghosts and zombies (many more said they were afraid of government corruption, the coronavirus and civil unrest). Belief in paranormal phenomena has pervaded American culture and media for centuries. But researchers are now studying whether such beliefs are linked to an absence of religious affiliation.

If your child is celebrating Halloween this weekend, here’s how to not stress about too much candy. Despite a lack of evidence, warnings about dangers lurking in treats persist. If you’re staying in, here are five scary movies to stream and eight new knuckle-biting, nerve-ripping books.

Trick or treat!

Bryan Denton compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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