5 things to know for October 14: Covid-19, social security, Norway, Taiwan, John Deere

Here is what you need to know

By Harmeet Kaur

A resident gets a shot at a Covid-19 vaccine clinic in Brownsville, Texas.

1
Coronavirus

Some who were once vaccine-hesitant seem to be changing their minds. One clinic in a heavily Latino part of South Texas is working to overcome barriers such as transportation, language and a dearth of trusted information sources by ensuring that patients get facts about the shot and keep their appointments. So far, 35 states have fully vaccinated more than half their residents, while five more have fully vaccinated more than two-thirds. Meanwhile, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down with controversial podcast host Joe Rogan to try to communicate just how important vaccines are. These efforts come amid some good news: Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations are expected to decline over the next four weeks.

2
Social Security

Let’s start with the good news: The roughly 70 million people who get Social Security, including retirees and people with disabilities, will see their monthly payments soar starting next year. Benefits are set to jump 5.9%, increasing monthly payments by $92 to an estimated average of $1,657 for 2022. It’s the largest increase in about four decades. But as large as it appears on paper, this hike might not be the boost it seems, as rising prices due to inflation will likely offset the increase.

3
Norway

Five people were killed and two were injured in a bow and arrow attack yesterday in Norway. A 37-year-old man has been arrested and charged, and he is believed to have acted alone. Authorities said it’s too early in the investigation to have figured out the suspect’s motive. The attack came on the eve of a new government after last month’s parliamentary elections unseated the long-ruling Conservative Party. Police officers across Norway have now been ordered to carry firearms as a precaution — a rarity for the country.

4
Taiwan

China’s military said this week it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the province directly across the sea from Taiwan. It’s the latest in an increase of military activity in the Taiwan Strait after China this month sent a record number of warplanes into Taiwan’s defense zone. Though so far it hasn’t appeared that combat is imminent, Western analysts say Beijing’s actions are intended to send a message. Taiwan, a democratically ruled island that China claims as its own territory, has complained of stepped-up military and political pressure from Beijing to force it to accept Chinese rule.

5
John Deere

About 10,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike against the farm and construction equipment maker John Deere this morning. Union and management negotiators had been trying to reach a deal after rank-and-file members rejected a proposed six-year contract with the company. This strike against John Deere is the nation’s largest private-sector strike since the UAW’s six-week strike against General Motors two years ago. It continues a recent trend of workers flexing more muscle as the dynamics of the labor market tip more toward them and away from employers.