Morning Briefing Oct. 5, 2021: President Biden visiting Howell today, Canada invokes treaty to keep Line 5 operating

Here are this morning’s top stories

In this Sept. 24, 2021 photo, President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 response and vaccinations in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Patrick Semansky, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Live stream: President Biden visits Howell, Michigan today

President Joe Biden will appear with Democratic Rep. Elise Slotkin on Tuesday when he visits a union training center in Howell, Michigan.

See the schedule and watch live here.


Canada cites US treaty in Line 5 pipeline dispute with Michigan

Canada invoked a treaty with the United States and asked a judge Monday to suspend litigation over Michigan’s effort to shut down a Great Lakes oil pipeline.

Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau made clear that his government is backing Enbridge, the Calgary-based company that operates Line 5.

Canada said it requested negotiations with the U.S. about the pipeline. It cited a provision in a 1977 treaty that says no public authority in either country can take steps to interfere with the flow of hydrocarbons.

Read the report here.


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Closer look: How laws, new and old, could restrict abortion rights in Michigan

The right to abortions has been widely debated among Americans and lawmakers alike for decades -- a debate that has essentially reached a boiling point today, given a new Texas law and forthcoming Supreme Court ruling that could impact national abortion regulations.

In Michigan, Democratic lawmakers are concerned about what might happen if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade, as an old law on the books would prohibit abortions in the state.

Read more here.


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Senior living centers struggling with staff shortages

Like most industries across the U.S., senior and assisted living facilities are facing -- and struggling with -- staff shortages.

As assisted care facilities operate with fewer staff than needed, some are being forced to turn away new tenants.

See the story here.


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TikTok challenges: Students face criminal charges, disciplinary consequences after attempts

School educators and administrators are becoming more troubled by students attempting TikTok challenges.

The level of concern for educators from high school down is palpable. Not only is an inordinate amount of time and resources being sucked out of the school day for policing and prevention, but TikTok has become the latest portal for people to schedule so-called challenges that are leading young people down the path to criminality.

See more here.


J&J seeks US clearance for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

Johnson & Johnson asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to allow extra shots of its COVID-19 vaccine as the U.S. government moves toward expanding its booster campaign to millions more vaccinated Americans.

J&J said it filed a request with the FDA to authorize boosters for people 18 and older who previously received the company’s one-shot vaccine. While the company said it submitted data on several different booster intervals, ranging from two to six months, it did not formally recommend one to regulators.

Learn more here.


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GM to build massive EV battery development lab in Warren

General Motors says it’s building a huge new electric vehicle battery lab in Michigan where scientists will work on chemistry to cut costs 60% over current vehicles and allow people to travel 500 to 600 miles (800 to 965 kilometers) per charge.

Structural steel already is in place for the 300,000-square-foot (28,000-square-meter) lab on the grounds of GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich.

Read more here.


Weather: Gloomy start, but getting back on track

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 8,704 new cases of COVID-19 and 62 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,901.3 cases over a two-day period.

Of the 62 deaths announced Monday, 19 were identified during a review of records.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,039,337, including 21,139 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,030,633 cases and 21,077 deaths, as of Friday.

Testing has increased to around 30,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 10.28% as of Monday, slightly lower than the previous week due to the increasing test volume. Hospitalizations have been steadily increasing for several weeks.

The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 3,362 on Monday -- the highest it has been since early May. The 7-day death average was 32 on Monday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.1%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 88,300 on Monday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Monday, with 68.3% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 59.3% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:


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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.