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It's flu vaccine time and seniors need revved-up shots

Doctors have a message for vaccine-weary Americans: Don't skip your flu shot this fall. And for the first time, seniors are urged to get a special extra-strength kind. There's no way to predict how bad this flu season will be. Australia just emerged from a nasty one. In the U.S., annual flu vaccinations are recommended starting with 6-month-olds. Because seniors don't respond as well, the U.S. now recommends they get one of three types made with higher doses or an immune-boosting ingredient. Meanwhile, the companies that make the two most widely used COVID-19 vaccines now are testing flu shots made with the same technology.

Madame Wu, restaurateur to Hollywood's elite, dies at 106

Sylvia Wu, whose famed Southern California restaurant drew Hollywood’s biggest stars for four decades, has died at age 106. Madame Wu’s Garden on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica became a dining destination shortly after it opened in 1959, popular for its cuisine and pagoda-style decor. Madame Wu herself was known for wearing a floor-length silk gown while alternately greeting Tinseltown’s elite and picking up the phone to take to-go orders. Mae West favored the cold melon soup, while Gregory Peck and Paul Newman enjoyed the shrimp toast and crab puffs. The LA Times says she died Sept. 19.

Amid crises, rural roots anchor Southern Baptists’ president

The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention is a staunchly conservative small-town preacher who touts biblical inerrancy, opposes women serving as pastors and supports abortion bans. Bart Barber also says he wants to be a unifier, a healer and a reformer as the United States' largest Protestant denomination reels from a major sex abuse crisis in which SBC leaders were found to have stonewalled victims for decades. Barber, 52, is a highly educated historian and expert on SBC polity. But he seems most at home on his Texas pastureland, communing with cows that he gives SBC-inspired names like Bully Graham, after the late Rev. Billy Graham.

Glitzy Valentino show sees Paris Fashion Week at fever pitch

Valentino’s fashion show in Paris saw black cars snared for blocks dropping off battalions of celebrities who, amid the commotion, just couldn’t find the entrance. Seated VIP guests were sweatily crammed in together Sunday inside the Le Marais’ Carreau du Temple venue as the show started an hour late. Outside, screaming members of the public braved the rain for hours to glimpse their favorite stars. The fever pitch was reminiscent of the French capital's pre-pandemic fashion scene. The Valentino show explored inside-out or back-to-front themes, with one beautiful nude skin-like top with matching nude pants speckled with diaphanous plumes.

Hermes unveils its Paris show, as Ukraine's designers unite

A giant glowing crystal rock evoked a glamorous alien planet for Hermes’ VIP guests at Saturday’s show at Paris Fashion Week. Earthen hues like browns, reds and yellows were used to to create designer Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s utilitarian, low key yet luxuriant universe for spring. Elsewhere, Ukraine’s top fashion designers used Paris Fashion Week to promote their war-battered industry. Designer Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood wove an aesthetic from yesteryear -- medieval and renaissance nobles and peasants -- into his drape-heavy silhouettes. And the late 1960s got a facelift in a collection from Elie Saab that featured babydoll dresses, miniskirts, psychedelia, crop-tops and jabot collars -- but never lost that floaty, contemporary Saab touch.

In Your Debt: 3 steps to lower the cost of your debt

With interest rates rising, the cost of borrowing is going up. This is especially the case for credit cards, as they have high annual percentage rates that vary as interest rates change. There are ways you can reduce the cost of your debt while you work to pay it off: crafting a new spending plan to free up money for debt payments, making more aggressive life changes and taking steps to lower your interest rate. However, there are details and trade-offs to each method that are helpful to know.

Loewe bowls over Paris Fashion Week; tribute to Miyake

Loewe’s ever-creative director became the toast of Paris Fashion Week with his subtly provocative, concept-driven runway show. The display had critics and VIP guests, including Karlie Kloss and Alexa Chung, bowled over.  Jonathan Anderson's triumph was the highlight of the season so far A giant bright red tropical flower, identified as an anthurium, was the centerpiece of this minimalist runway. The Japanese techno-fabric-loving house of Issey Miyake marked the end of an era, presenting its first collection since the death of the house’s eponymous founder last month. Meanwhile, U.S. Vogue’s Anna Wintour announced on Friday that next year’s Met Gala in New York will be a homage to the late Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Next year's Met Gala will celebrate the late Karl Lagerfeld

Vogue's Anna Wintour convened top Paris Fashion Week insiders Friday to announce that the theme of next year’s Met Gala will be the work of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Taking place on the first Monday in May — May 1, 2023 — the world’s most fashionable fundraiser will celebrate the German-born couturier who worked at Chanel, Fendi and Chloe and died in 2019, at 85. As ever, the Met Gala theme is borrowed from the accompanying exhibit at the Met’s Costume Institute. “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty” will present some 150 of his creations to explore the designer's “stylistic language.”

RVshare Campies Award Winners Revealed

(Broadry) — Looking for the top campgrounds across the country? RVshare recently launched its own Camper’s Choice Awards program, “The Campies”, to let campers nominate their favorite campgrounds in a variety of categories. Whether you are looking for a spot with Instagram-worthy scenery, a campsite with lightning fast WiFi, or the best place to bring along […]

Safety deposit boxes headed toward extinction at Chase

You’ll no longer be able to store your precious coins, jewelry and paperwork at JPMorgan Chase & Co., as the bank has stopped opening new safety deposit boxes for customers. A spokesman for the bank said Chase decided late last year to stop offering new deposit boxes to customers as a “business decision” but declined to share specifics. Customers who have a box with Chase will be able to keep the box as long as the branch stays open, but they will not be able to open a new one at another location.

In Ian's wake, worried families crowdsource rescue efforts

Desperate to locate and rescue their loved ones, social media users are sharing phone numbers, addresses and photos of their family members and friends online for anyone who can check on them after Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida. While authorities recommend that those in distress contact official emergency channels, strangers online are braving the conditions to step in and answer the pleas for help. And the family members are more than grateful. Heather Donlan says her social media post crowdsourced the person she holds responsible for saving her father's life.

In your debt: 3 steps to lower the cost of your debt

With interest rates rising, the cost of borrowing is going up. This is especially the case for credit cards, as they have high annual percentage rates that vary as interest rates change. There are ways you can reduce the cost of your debt while you work to pay it off: crafting a new spending plan to free up money for debt payments, making more aggressive life changes and taking steps to lower your interest rate. However, there are details and trade-offs to each method that are helpful to know.

AP-NORC poll: On game day, some see prayer as a Hail Mary

Prayer is not a fundamental part of most sports’ fans playbooks. But some still give it a shot anyway. A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research provides fresh details on those who believe in the power of prayer. Among professional sports fans, 23% say they have prayed about the outcome of a sporting event. Religious background is a factor: 35% of evangelical fans saying they have done so, compared with 21% of fans of other religious faiths. About 3 in 10 Americans say they feel God plays a role in determining which team goes home the victor.

Mexico nuns’ culinary innovations live on in storied cuisine

Chiles en nogada, the green, white and red stuffed pepper dish synonymous with Mexico's Independence Day celebrations, were invented in 1821 by a cloistered nun whose name has been lost to history. A hundred years earlier, a nun at a different convent came up with mole, the thick, rich brown sauce that takes days to make and is often served over chicken or turkey. The stories illustrate how nuns left an anonymous but indelible print on Mexican cuisine over the centuries, dreaming up some of the country’s most iconic dishes when called upon to serve special meals for important men while remaining unnamed and out of sight to the world.

Unpaid internships face new scrutiny as barriers to careers

Unpaid internships are facing new scrutiny from colleges, state lawmakers and student activists. Nearly half of all internships are unpaid, putting them out of reach for students who need wages to keep up with their bills, even if the work has nothing to do with their intended careers. Many students say they can’t afford to meet internship requirements, and shouldn’t be expected to work unpaid to make it in a given field. The people who can take unpaid internships have financial safety nets, and that means they tend to benefit students who are wealthier and white, perpetuating wealth gaps.

Dining in the dark: Brussels eateries tackle energy crunch

While European Union governments are still mulling over introducing a cap on gas prices, some businesses are more in a hurry for solutions to the continent's energy crisis. In Brussels, the epicenter of the EU, some restaurants owners have imagined how a future without gas and electricity would look like for gourmets. The guests at the dinner served at the Brasserie Surrealiste and cooked by Racines employees this week were the first to experience what it could be like: The cooks used no ovens, no stoves, no hot plates, no coffee machines and no light bulbs. Still, they produced some great food.

Lebanon's dwindling rain leaves farmers struggling for water

Lebanon is the most water-rich country in the Middle East, but its farming communities are struggling to keep their soil from drying. The small town of Harf Beit Hasna, up on a mountain in the north, has long survived by creating ponds to hold rain water. It relies on them completely to water their crops because the government never connected the town to the water system or provided other basic services. In the past, the pools were enough to grow profitable crops and livestock. But with rain dwindling, families struggle to grow enough to survive.

Woman braves Hurricane Ian flood to check on stranger's mom

As Hurricane Ian swept across southwest Florida, Christine Bomlitz grew anxious. There was still no word from her 84-year-old mother, who had been mistakenly skipped by an evacuation vehicle. The storm drifted away overnight, but her mom had no cell phone or landline. From Las Vegas, Bomlitz posted frantic pleas for help on social media. By Thursday afternoon, a Good Samaritan stepped in. Twenty-six-year-old Cheynne Prevatt waded into the chest-high floodwaters to check. She found the mother safe, and was able to facilitate a phone call and send a picture. By Thursday evening, a paddleboard arrived to take the mom to dry ground.

After Ian, the effects in southwest Florida are everywhere

Hurricane Ian was over southwest Florida for just a few hours. It’ll take months to clean up all the damage. Maybe longer. And local officials some of the destruction can’t be cleaned up at all. From trees getting ripped out of the ground to signs being ripped apart, traffic lights crashing onto roadways and some buildings simply being destroyed, the impact was everywhere and almost nothing was spared. The only difference between one place and the next was the severity of the problems.