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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, February 1, 2022:

Wishing everyone a happy Lunar New Year as we welcome the Year of the Tiger!


MODERNA APPROVED: The Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, which was given emergency authorization a year ago and has already been distributed to millions of Americans. Public health experts are hoping the news boosts public confidence in the shots, but it's unclear whether the regulatory distinction will have an effect, as the previous approval of the Pfizer vaccine did not bring a bump in vaccination rates. AP

PFIZER UNDER 5: Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech could request emergency-use authorization from the FDA as early as today for use of its shot in kids six months to five years old. Initially, the request will be for a two-dose regimen while they continue studies on a third shot. If it moves through the emergency-use authorization process smoothly, it could be available for young kids in March. NY TIMES

TRUDEAU POSITIVE: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined at an undisclosed location. The announcement came as demonstrations over the government's lockdown measures rattled the capital and other parts of the country, including a key U.S. border crossing near Montana. The protests began with truckers forming convoys to protest vaccine mandates but has since spread into a wider backlash, which is politically dividing the country. Trudeau, for his part, said "Canadians were shocked and frankly disgusted by the behavior displayed by some people protesting in our nation's capital." AP


A federal judge has rejected the plea deals that prosecutors made with two of the three men facing federal hate-crime charges for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery's family urged the judge to reject the deals because they would have transferred the men out of Georgia state prison to federal prison, where they preferred to serve their time. Travis and Gregory McMichaels now have until Friday to decide whether to plead guilty without the deal. NY TIMES


Stocks recovered for the second trading day in a row on Monday, but the rally didn't stop the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composition from closing out January as their worst month since March 2020, when the pandemic first roiled the market. Losses were concentrated in high-value tech stocks, which have benefited from two years of near-zero interest rates. Now that the Fed is signaling multiple rate hikes in 2022, investors are getting ready for a new normal — a process that some predict could lead to continued volatility in the coming weeks and months. AP

“Continued Volatility” is our middle name.


Six historically black universities and colleges on Monday received bomb threats for the second time in a single month, spurring lockdowns and evacuations across the campuses. The FBI says it is working with local law enforcement to address potential threats. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives is also investigating the reports. It's unclear what the motivations are behind the bomb scares, or how serious they are. However, no bombs were found after the previous round of threats on January 4. NPR


Three years after placing a moratorium on executions, California Governor Gavin Newsom said he plans to dismantle the largest death row in the United States at San Quentin State Prison, and that all inmates will be moved to other prisons within two years. This stops short of ending the death penalty in the state, which would require the state legislature to pass a law, but those condemned to death will be moved into the general population and are not expected to face execution anytime in the near future. California's last execution took place in 2006. AP


Big conglomerates are gobbling up game companies like Pac-Man, and the latest deal to make headlines is Sony's planned purchase of Bungie, creator of the Destiny and Halo franchises, for $3.6 billion. The Japanese electronics company is following in the footsteps of Microsoft, which just last week announced a deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 billion. The buying spree likely won't stop there either. The gaming sector is on track to spend $150 billion on mergers and acquisitions this year, according to Drake Star Partners. CHEDDAR

Video Games: Making America less productive since the 1970’s.


BORIS JOHNSON: The pandemic has been a learning process for everybody — no less so for heads of state with a penchant for partying. On Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized for several Downing Street gatherings in 2020 and 2021 that went against his own government's lockdown measures. The “partygate” scandal has led some to call for Johnson's resignation, but the embattled prime minister insisted that he can be trusted. “I get it, and I will fix it,” he said. ABC

“Okay, no more parties. Starting NOW.”

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Whoopi Goldberg received immediate backlash yesterday for insisting on The View that the atrocities of the Holocaust weren't about race, but "about man's inhumanity to man." Hours after the show Goldberg tweeted that she should have said it was about both. The comments came during a discussion of the graphic novel Maus, which uses animals to depict the Holocaust and was recently pulled from a Tennessee school district's reading list.  Goldberg was dismissive of her co-hosts' arguments that the Holocaust was about white supremacy because the Nazis didn't consider Jews and other targeted people to be of the same race. PEOPLE


Streaming platforms are struggling to retain users after putting out hit programs. According to data from subscriber-measurement company Antenna provided to the Wall Street Journal, new customers are dropping off in large numbers within a few months of a major film or show release. The trend highlights how increasing competition in the industry is putting pressure on streamers to speed up the release of new programming in order to nab new customers. WSJ

Re-attaching the cord now...


…Rihanna on Monday revealed that she and her boyfriend A$AP Rocky are expecting their first child together and even showed off her bejeweled baby bump. SEE IT

They need to set up a baby registry A$AP


Second-grader Dillon Helbig of Idaho brought a whole new meaning to the word "self-publish" when he slipped his 81-page, illustrated, Christmas-themed adventure story into the stacks of a community library in Boise. Helbig has since admitted that it was a "naughty-ish" thing to do, but that hasn't stopped the book from attracting a waitlist of dozens of people. WASH POST

“Naughty-ish?” We’ll let Santa be the judge of that.

Need2Know Podcast Note: The Need2Know podcast is taking a break for now. We're looking forward to bringing you more context and analysis on the big stories of the day in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out our archive on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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