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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, October 7, 2021:

MALARIA VAX APPROVED

After a century of trying, the world has its first approved malaria vaccine. The World Health Organization gave the go-ahead for the drug made by GlaxoSmithKline to be rolled out for children in sub-Saharan Africa, where the mosquito-borne parasite still kills more than 200,000 babies and toddlers a year. The vaccine is not as effective as the Covid vaccines but experts say even a moderately effective shot could save tens of thousands of young lives every year. It’s also the first time a vaccine has been approved for a parasitic disease, which is much harder to inoculate against than viruses or bacteria. STAT

VAX MANDATES

President Biden is going to Chicago today to highlight the success of employer vaccine mandates like the one implemented by Chicago-based United Airlines, which says it has 99.5% of employees now in compliance. Other employers are reporting success with their mandates, too. Tyson Foods, the NYC public school system, hospitals in Maine and the NBA are among those with 90%+ vaccination rates. Los Angeles is the latest big city to require proof of vaccination for most indoor venues and events. NPR

DEBT CAN KICKED

Senate Republicans and Democrats are close to a deal to punt the standoff over the looming debt ceiling until later this year, which would avoid a federal credit default -- for now. Dems said Mitch McConnell “caved” and offered support for a short-term suspension of the debt ceiling. The procedural wheeling and dealing means that both parties will have until December to negotiate a longer-term deal on the federal borrowing limit, when they’re already facing a hard deadline to fund the government. Dems are also hoping to pass the president’s economic agenda by then. ABC NEWS

TEXAS ABORTION LAW

A federal judge has blocked Texas from enforcing its strict new abortion law, siding with the Biden administration after it sued to block the law from going into effect. The judge used unusually harsh language in his ruling, calling the restrictive law that bans nearly all abortions “an offensive deprivation” of a constitutional right. Texas plans to appeal the ruling. AP

WINTER IS COMING

Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to help stabilize global energy prices by sending more of its plentiful supply of natural gas to Europe ahead of the colder months. Energy prices have been extremely volatile lately, with the price of natural gas soaring 60% in two days before coming back down after Putin said he’s ready to step in. The U.S. is more insulated than many other countries from the price swings because we produce more of our own oil and gas, but prices are still high enough that it’s all but certain to hit consumers in the form of higher heating bills this winter. BLOOMBERG

TWITCH HACK

Twitch, the hugely popular game-streaming platform, is the latest victim of a massive data breach. An anonymous hacker posted what appeared to be essentially the entirety of Twitch, including its source code and the incomes of its top streamers. Some of those streamers acknowledged on Twitter that the data appeared to be accurate. VGC

MLB PLAYOFFS

October baseball doesn’t get much better than last night’s National League Wild Card game. The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor drilled a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to break a 1-1 tie with the Cardinals, sending L.A. to the playoffs and St. Louis back home, and ending an historic late-season run by the Cardinals. The Dodgers will meet their cross-state rival Giants in the NLDS: WATCH THE WALK-OFF

SQUID GAME ISN'T REAL

Netflix is editing out phone numbers that appear in Squid Game after real people in South Korea have been complaining that they’ve been inundated with prank calls, hang-ups and texts. In one early scene from the mega-hit series, a phone number on a business card is part of a major plot point in the show. But that number connects to a 26-year-old woman in Seoul who says her phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from as far away as Colombia asking if she’s the real “Squid Game”. The prank-call apocalypse highlights just how global a phenomenon the show has become. WSJ

SPOTTED...

...Daniel Craig, getting his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Craig said it was “an honor to be walked all over in Hollywood”: SEE PICS

…the first sign that the holidays are almost upon us. Netflix dropped the trailer for A Boy Called Christmas, the first in its slate of new Christmas movies: WATCH

LEFTOVERS: ZODIAC SOLVED?

A team of independent investigators say they have solved one of the most infamous cold cases in history: who was the Zodiac Killer? The Case Breakers, a group of more than 40 former cops, reporters and intelligence officers, claim that they have uncovered forensic evidence and deciphered codes that point to the Zodiac’s identity as that of Gary Francis Poste, who died in 2018. The Zodiac Killer terrorized San Francisco in the late ‘60s with a string of unsolved murders, taunting the police along the way with complex codes and riddles sent to the local newspaper. FOX NEWS
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