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5 things you need to know this morning: Aug. 4, 2021

Start your day off right with five things you need to know this morning.

Five things you need to know

1. Gun-wielding Missouri couple pardoned

An American couple that stood outside their home with guns as a large crowd of people gathered nearby has been pardoned. The duo's subsequent prosecution became a cause célèbre for many conservatives during mass protests and riots in 2020.

2. Barbie doll made of professor who helped create AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

A new Barbie doll based on a scientist who helped produce the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been created. Professor Sarah Gilbert said the doll struck her as "very strange" at first but now hopes it can help inspire girls to work in science.

3. Study identifies 6 countries that might survive global collapse

There are six countries that have a good chance of surviving a global collapse. That's according to a new study by the Global Sustainability Institute. The research concluded that New Zealand is the best of the six locations.

4. Obama scales back controversial 60th birthday bash

Former US President Barack Obama has scaled back controversial plans for an extravagant 60th birthday bash amid intense pressure from critics. Hundreds of people were invited to the celebration at the Obamas' multimillion-dollar holiday mansion in Massachusetts, but many expressed dismay that it was going ahead amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

5. Offspring drummer dropped from tour over refusal to take COVID-19 vaccine

A drummer in the rock band The Offspring has said he was dropped from a tour because he refused to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Pete Parada said his doctor warned him not to get vaccinated because he has an autoimmune disorder. He said he has now been deemed "unsafe to be around" by his colleagues.

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