It's officially fall, y'all 🍁

·6 min read

Summer is officially over. Policing talks have collapsed in Congress, marking the end of negotiations spurred by George Floyd's death. And the United States plans to send half a billion more vaccines around the world.

👋 Hey! It's Laura, it's Wednesday, and I've got a whole bunch of news for you.

But first, it's my chicken money, and I want it now! 🤑 It could be your chicken money, too, if you bought any chicken in the past decade. Turns out, there might have been some seriously fowl price-fixing on poultry. Here's how to claim.

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How 1961 changed the course of US history: Reporters across the USA TODAY Network and civil rights veterans retraced crucial moments in 1961 that set in motion a new era of civil rights that continues to inform social justice movements today. This is their fight, in their words.

It's the first day of fall 🍂

Farewell, flip-flops. Hello, fall leaves, pumpkin spice stuff, bonfires, cozy sweaters ... shall I go on? In short, it's fall! Right now! Our long, hot summer is finally coming to an end Wednesday with the autumnal equinox, which marks the beginning of fall. At a precise moment each September, usually on the 22nd or 23rd, the sun is directly above the equator, marking the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. South of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, it's known as the vernal or spring equinox and marks the beginning of spring. The exact time of the equinox is 3:20 p.m. EDT. Although the first day of fall is Wednesday, don't turn your clocks back just yet! Daylight saving time ends Nov. 1, and clocks are turned back at 2 a.m. by one hour on that day.

  • Asking the important questions: Are fall and autumn the same? And why do we call it fall?

  • Pumpkin patch? Halloween party? Experts weigh in on COVID-19 risks.

  • Just because you pumpkin spice can doesn't mean you pumpkin spice should: The flavor is back with more weird products, including seltzer, ramen – even toilet paper.

Autumn colors dominate the view near Echo Lake in Idaho Springs, Colo.
Autumn colors dominate the view near Echo Lake in Idaho Springs, Colo.

Policing talks collapse in Congress

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, who had been meeting for months behind closed doors trying to reach an agreement on a policing bill, emerged without a deal, according to sources familiar with the talks. The end of negotiations is a setback for President Joe Biden, who made signing policing legislation a focus of his administration. According to a Senate aide, the negotiations had not made improvements in months. The talks were spurred by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last year after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee.

What everyone's talking about

US shares 500M more vaccines with the world

The United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world – to 1 billion doses – aiming to vaccinate 70% of the global population within the next year, President Joe Biden announced. The additional vaccines are part of an agreement to supply doses to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and 55 member states of the African Union, areas that don’t have widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer said the doses will be provided at a not-for-profit price. Deliveries of the vaccine to these areas started in August, and more than 1 billion doses are expected to be delivered to these areas by September 2022, the company said. The first doses as part of this program arrived in Rwanda on Aug. 18. Since that time, more than 30 million have been shipped to 22 countries.

👉 More COVID-19 news: Shortage of monoclonal antibody drugs hits states; Jesse Jackson released after breakthrough infection: Catch up on the latest.

A nurse fills a syringe at a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 23.
A nurse fills a syringe at a pop-up vaccine clinic in the Arleta neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 23.

DHS vows swift inquiry into agents on horseback at Texas border

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas vowed a swift investigation into the treatment of Haitian migrants on the Texas border by agents on horseback, telling a House panel that the inquiry would be completed within days. Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee that an undisclosed number of agents had been placed on administrative duty as investigators examine confrontations in which some mounted agents appeared to use their reins as whips against migrants who have been surging into Del Rio, Texas. Images of the mounted agents driving migrants back across the Rio Grande prompted national condemnation. Mayorkas said the actions were "met with our nation's horror because they do not represent who we are as a country." The humanitarian needs of thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexican border near Del Rio remained acute Wednesday as the Biden administration continued expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexican law enforcement took a harder line. About 8,600 Haitians are camped in Del Rio.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19.

Real quick

Difficult manhunt continues for Brian Laundrie

The search for the fiance of homicide victim Gabby Petito reconvened Wednesday across a vast, alligator-infested Florida wetland, one day after a coroner confirmed that human remains found in a Wyoming national park were those of Petito, 22. Police in North Port, Florida, have been searching the Carlton Reserve since the family of Brian Laundrie said last week that he vanished while camping in the 25,000-acre wilderness area. Searchers used dogs, drones and ATV vehicles to aid the difficult manhunt. Survival expert Mark Burrow said black bears, coyotes, bobcats, panthers and clouds of gnawing insects populate the reserve. Petito and Laundrie left in July on a cross-country adventure that was supposed to end in Oregon late next month. Laundrie returned alone to their Florida home Sept. 1. A nationwide search led to a campground near Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park, where Petito's body was found. The death was determined to be a homicide, though the cause is pending final autopsy results.

A Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy and a Sarasota County worker direct a truck carrying excavating equipment into the Carlton Reserve during a search for Brian Laundrie, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Venice, Fla. Laundrie is a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito.
A Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputy and a Sarasota County worker direct a truck carrying excavating equipment into the Carlton Reserve during a search for Brian Laundrie, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Venice, Fla. Laundrie is a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: First day of fall, policing talks in Congress, COVID-19 vaccines, Border Patrol inquiry, Brian Laundrie search. It's Wednesday's news.

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