Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, September 8, 2021:


A major earthquake struck near Acapulco, Mexico overnight, killing at least one person and causing damage to the resort city and its airport. The 7.0 quake was felt 230 miles away in Mexico City, where the power is currently out for 1.6 million people. A tsunami warning was triggered but has since been lifted. NBC NEWS


WUHAN LAB DOCS: Newly released documents related to U.S.-funded coronavirus research in China appear to contradict Dr. Fauci’s repeated assurances that the federal government did not fund “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan lab that’s at the center of the investigation into the origins of Covid. The documents reveal two unpublished grant proposals from an American health organization funded by the NIH that was doing research into bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. One proposal directs $600K for research designed to make the bat viruses more infectious. Fauci has said, under oath, that the research did not qualify as “gain-of-function.” INTERCEPT

GAIN OF WHAT? Gain-of-function is a term used to describe techniques that enhance a pathogen at the genetic level, making it potentially more transmissible. It’s a controversial form of research that scientists do to help test theories and find treatments for new diseases. In the U.S., the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, led by Fauci, oversees and funds all gain-of-function research. WASH POST


The Taliban announced an interim government for Afghanistan that is made up of all men and includes at least one high-ranking member of an American-designated terrorist organization. That’s going to make it effectively impossible for the U.S. or other Western countries to formally recognize the Taliban and a sign that the group is not intending to follow through on its assurances that it would form an inclusive or “unity” government that represents the country. Taliban fighters also violently put down a women’s protest in Kabul for the second time in a week. CNN


Mexico’s supreme court ruled unanimously that it was unconstitutional to criminalize abortion, setting the stage for the nationwide legalization of the procedure. Mexico becomes the most populous country in Latin America to decriminalize abortions, coming after a sustained Mexican women’s movement that helped turn public opinion in the world’s second-largest Catholic country. AXIOS


El Salvador has officially adopted Bitcoin as legal currency, the first country to do so and a landmark moment for the legitimization of cryptocurrencies. The rollout was rocky, with the government briefly shutting down its official Bitcoin app because of technical glitches. The price of the digital coin also fell more than 10%, from above $50,000 to below $43,000 as some of the major exchanges like Coinbase were also hit with tech issues. REUTERS


Apple’s fall iPhone event is on the books for next Tuesday, Sept. 14. The virtual event is being billed with the tagline “California Streaming.” The tech industry is widely in agreement that Apple will debut the iPhone 13 and a major update to the Apple Watch, as well as the release of iOS 15. New AirPods could be announced, too, though that’s less of a sure thing. 9TO5MAC


Britney Spears’ father has filed to end the conservatorship that controls his daughter’s life. In a petition to the court, Jamie Spears’ legal team wrote that Britney "is entitled to have this court now seriously consider whether this conservatorship is no longer required." Britney herself has not formally filed to end the conservatorship but she did ask the judge to remove her father as the guardian of her estate. VARIETY


It’s been a while since there has been a bonafide blockbuster new album -- maybe Taylor Swift’s Folklore last summer -- and then all of a sudden we got two in the last 10 days. Kanye West’s Donda became the rapper’s 10th album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, with 23 songs in the top 100. Donda was also briefly Spotify’s second-most-streamed debut after Drake’s 2018 album Scorpion. That only lasted a week, before Drake broke his own record with Certified Lover Boy, which is now the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history. BILLBOARD


…the first glimpse of the upcoming Matrix sequel. A teaser website offers users a choice between clicking on the red pill or the blue pill and depending on what you click and the time of the day, you’re served up different footage: TRY IT

...John Mulaney, announcing on Late Night with Seth Meyers that his girlfriend, Olivia Munn, is pregnant: WATCH astonishing view of the Earth from space, snapped by a French astronaut aboard the ISS: SEE IT


With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 coming up on Saturday, there are moving new retrospectives being published every day looking back at the victims of that attack and where their families are now. Among those being profiled is Kevin Villa, the son of Yamel Merino-Jager, a paramedic who was killed in the World Trade Center that day. Villa became well known in the days following the attack when he was photographed crying over his mother’s casket. He was known as the “boy in the yellow raincoat.” Two decades later, Villa is now older than his mom was when she died. READ HIS STORY

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