Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Friday, December 11, 2020:


APPROVAL: The FDA is poised to grant the first emergency approval of a coronavirus vaccine as soon as today after an advisory panel signed off on the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. The independent committee voted 17-4 to approve the vaccine for people 16 and older. The FDA doesn’t have to follow that advice, but it almost always does. If and when the emergency authorization comes, healthcare workers and nursing home residents could start receiving the first doses within days. CNN

RELAY RACE: The supply-chain and logistics industry is about to face its biggest challenge since WWII. Airlines like United, Delta and American have been working on plans to transport doses of the vaccine across the country on passenger jets. The FAA is lifting restrictions on how much dry ice can be used onboard so the cargo can be kept cold. UPS and FedEx have been building massive freezer farms at airports to take the hand-off. Walmart says it is prepping all of its in-store pharmacies to be ready to deploy the shots whenever they arrive and CVS and Walgreens are mobilizing thousands of their pharmacists and nurses to begin vaccinations at nursing homes. NY TIMES


The attorneys general of four battleground states -- Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin -- are asking the Supreme Court to reject an unprecedented lawsuit brought by the Texas AG to overturn the election results in those states. That lawsuit has been endorsed by 17 Republican state attorneys general, along with 106 Republican members of Congress. It has virtually no chance of succeeding, but it’s the most coordinated attempt yet to overturn the will of the voters on behalf of President Trump. SCOTUSBLOG


President-elect Biden’s administration is going to have lots of familiar faces. Biden has chosen Denis McDonough, President Obama’s former chief of staff, to run the VA. Susan Rice, the national security adviser under Obama, is the pick to run point on domestic policy. Tom Vilsack, the secretary of agriculture for all eight years of the Obama administration, has agreed to reprise that role in the Biden administration. Vilsack is perhaps the most controversial pick yet due to his record on racial-equity policies at the USDA. OC REGISTER


India has been home to massive organized protests over the past few weeks. The country’s farmers -- who make up nearly 40 percent of the Indian workforce -- have been in the streets of Delhi to protest new agricultural laws imposed by the government that they say will further harm an industry that’s already been devastated by the pandemic and extreme weather. A national strike by farmers last month is thought to have been the largest organized strike in human history. QUARTZ


The two most expensive cities in America are cheaper than they have been in at least a decade, at least when it comes to finding a place to live. Rents in Manhattan and San Francisco were down 22 and 35 percent, respectively, in November from a year earlier. Incentives are everywhere, and they’re helping juice demand -- but still not enough to make up for the surplus in supply. Boston, L.A., and D.C. are also experiencing major price drops, while smaller markets like Cleveland, Indianapolis and St. Louis are actually seeing rental prices climb. BLOOMBERG


Airbnb shares rocketed up 115 percent on their first day of trading. The home-rental company’s public offering is the biggest of the year, eclipsing that of DoorDash a day earlier. Airbnb was privately valued at about $18 billion in the spring, as investors assumed it would be a big loser in the pandemic. The opposite happened, and the 12-year-old company is now worth $100 billion. At the same time, nearly 950,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week (not adjusting for seasonality) and Congress has left for the weekend, still deadlocked on a stimulus bill. MARKETWATCH


Disney is not messing around. The Mouse House announced a slew of new projects in the pipeline, including 10 Star Wars shows and a new Star Wars film to be directed by Patty Jenkins (the first woman to direct a movie in the Star Wars universe). The company is also working on 15 other movies, from a live-action Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto to another Sister Act installment with Whoopi Goldberg. Disney’s Pixar unit is also producing new Toy Story, Cars and Up spinoffs that will premiere directly on Disney+, which is approaching an astonishing 90 million subscribers after just one year. Its price will go up to $8 in March. FULL LIST


Time magazine has named President-elect Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris as its 2020 persons of the year. They edged out the other finalists: Dr. Fauci and frontline healthcare workers, the racial justice movement and President Trump. The announcement was made by Bruce Springsteen in a primetime special on NBC: SEE THE COVER


Taylor Swift dropped her ninth studio album overnight, a follow up to this past summer’s folklore. Swift says the new album, titled evermore, is a companion piece to the earlier record that she recorded during lockdown. The first single is called willow: WATCH THE VIDEO


If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that this year has ... sucked. Big time. But it hasn’t been all doom and gloom. Cheddar put together some of the best moments of the year, from a civil rights landmark in Northern Ireland, to the WWII vet who never stopped walking for charity: CHECK THEM OUT

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!

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