Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Monday, March 22, 2021:


The AstraZeneca vaccine is 79 percent effective and offers complete protection against the worst outcomes across age groups, according to the results of its first large U.S. clinical trial. AstraZeneca is applying for an emergency approval, though the shot may not even be needed here. Still, the findings could shore up confidence in this vaccine in places where it’s the only game in town. Meanwhile, the U.S. hit 3 million doses a day on both Saturday and Sunday, new records coming as cases are now back on the rise in at least 20 states. In eligibility expansions, Michigan is making vaccines available as of today to all residents over 50 or anyone with comorbidities, and pharmacies in New York state are now offering appointments to eligible residents. AP


Miami Beach is under a state of emergency due to the crush of Spring Breakers who have flocked to South Beach in recent weeks. The mayor declared an extraordinary 8 p.m. curfew on Saturday, closing the causeways and sending in SWAT teams with pepper balls to clear huge crowds of maskless revelers from the main party strips on Ocean Drive and Collins Ave. The police response is being heavily criticized by local Black leaders who noted that the crowds were majority Black. More than 1,000 people have been arrested, more than half of whom were people from out of state. CBS MIAMI


The feds will start sending some migrants who arrive at the southern border to hotels in Texas and Arizona managed by a non-profit group as a way to cut down on overcrowding at detention facilities. At the current pace, as many as 2 million migrants will reach the border this year and the Biden administration is facing a growing crisis that could overshadow its recent political victories. The surge is at least partially the result of the White House saying it would let unaccompanied minors into the country, breaking with the past administration. There are some 15,000 unaccompanied children in the government’s custody, nearly twice the previous record. WASH POST


The war in Afghanistan turns 20 later this year. But before that, there’s a tentative deadline of May 1 for the U.S. to withdraw its remaining troops from the country, a deadline that President Biden has said will be “tough” to meet. He sent his secretary of defense on an unannounced trip to Kabul over the weekend, and the secretary of state is going to Brussels this week to meet with NATO allies to discuss the state of America’s longest war. FP


Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern are merging to create the first railroad network that will connect the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The $29 billion deal, if approved, will link the railways of North America at a time when the industrial economy is expected to boom post-COVID and after a revised trade pact under the Trump administration that encourages trade across the continent. BARRON'S


Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of the Texas Roadhouse restaurant chain, has died at 65. Taylor’s family said he took his life after an “unbearable” battle with post-COVID symptoms, including severe tinnitus. Taylor was known as a maverick businessman and philanthropist who had just funded a clinical study for members of the military suffering from the same ear-ringing condition he had. Taylor also donated his entire annual salary to his restaurant’s employees in the early days of the pandemic. MY SAN ANTONIO


Abilene Christian and Oral Roberts are your top Cinderella stories after the first weekend of March Madness. Abilene shocked No. 3 Texas and Oral Roberts pulled off not one but two upsets -- beating No. 2 Ohio State in the first round and following it up with a comeback against No. 7 Florida. The Golden Eagles are only the second-ever 15 seed to make it to the Sweet 16 round. In other upsets: Loyola Chicago took Illinois off the board, Syracuse beat West Virginia, and Oregon State took down Oklahoma State. ESPN


Director Chris Columbus has confirmed that an R-rated cut of the 1993 comedy Mrs. Doubtfire exists, but not an NC-17 cut. Columbus was responding to a viral tweet that noted Robin Williams improvised so much on the set of the film that the editors had to cut out a ton of material that would have run afoul of its PG-13 rating. Columbus says he’s open to doing a doc about the making of Mrs. Doubtfire and showing the footage. VARIETY


… Sandra Oh, speaking at the “Stop Asian Hate” rally in Pittsburgh, one of the many protests that took place around the country against anti-Asian hate in the wake of the shootings in Atlanta: SEE PICS


The NCAA has made vast improvements to the weight-training facilities at the women’s college basketball tournament in San Antonio after a viral TikTok showed the level of amenities compared to those at the men’s tournament. The NCAA apologized for the glaring disparity, though many coaches and players say it’s emblematic of the general inequalities between men’s and women’s college sports. ESPN

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

More In Culture
Load More