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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Friday, February 11, 2022:


Inflation was up 7.5 percent in January compared to a year ago. That's the biggest spike since 1982, and it covers everything from food to shelter to electricity. The hotter-than-expected report stirred up a fresh round of debates over what this means for the economy. President Joe Biden on Thursday said that while inflation was causing "real stress at the kitchen table," it would likely subside by the end of the year. Some economists argued that the Fed needs to ramp up interest rates sooner rather than later in order to reign in prices, while others urged caution, pointing out that pandemic-related supply chain constraints are still largely to blame. Whatever you believe, Wall Street didn't like it one bit, with the Dow Jones dropping more than 600 points on the news. CHEDDAR


The Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would put an end to the practice of forcing employees into arbitration proceedings in the case of sexual assault and harassment complaints. The bill voids existing arbitration clauses and opens the door for employees currently under contract to take their cases to court. Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who settled a lawsuit after facing sexual harassment from the network's former CEO Roger Ailes, spoke at a press conference after the bill passed, saying it would help end bad behavior. ABC

They should probably put an end to NDA’s, too.


The Biden administration has given the go-ahead to states to start building a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations. The goal is to place at least one station every 50 miles along interstate highways. The bipartisan infrastructure bill put aside $5 billion for the effort, which requires states to submit plans to the federal government by this fall. This is the most significant federal effort to accommodate the rising number of EVs on roads. AP


The CDC is proposing new guidelines for opioid prescriptions that roll back previous recommended limits designed to combat a nationwide addiction crisis. The guidelines still recommend that doctors first try other methods for dealing with acute and chronic pain, such as therapy or less powerful painkillers like ibuprofen, but notes that opioids serve an important medical purpose. The change is a relief to many pain management specialists who believed the previous recommendations, which were codified by many states, made it too difficult to prescribe opioids when they were really needed. NY TIMES


Super Bowl LVI is shaping up to become the most gambled-on game in history. A record 31.4 million Americans plan to bet on the Rams-Bengals matchup. That's up 35% from 2021. As for the sheer number of dollars on the table, the jump is even bigger, with an estimated $7.61 billion being wagered. That's up 78% from last year. What's fueling the betting bonanza? A total of 30 states have legalized the practice since the Supreme Court effectively cleared the way in 2018 and proliferating apps are making sports betting easier than ever. FANNATION

Check out the Cheddar Bets special on the big game Friday at 4p ET!


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers picked up his fourth MVP award last night. Now football fans are waiting to see whether he stays with the team for another season or decides to pivot and either move on or hang up his cleats altogether. Rodgers had a messy year. His on-field stats were stellar, but he found himself in the middle of controversy after testing positive for COVID-19. He received a ton of criticism for his cagey answers about his vaccination status (he was not vaccinated) and refusing to follow the league's protocols for unvaccinated players. If Rodgers sticks around and wins one more MVP award, he'll tie former QB Peyton Manning for the most ever. ESPN


New finance met old finance on Thursday with the news that Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, plans to invest $200 million in Forbes. The deal marks a symbolic win for the crypto industry, which is increasingly stepping out of the shadows with buzzy sponsorship deals and corporate partnerships. The 104-year-old magazine plans to use the funds to merge with a publicly-traded SPAC, in the first quarter.  WSJ


South Korea has gotten widespread praise for its COVID response, but surging omicron cases is pushing the country to ditch its famous contact tracing program. Instead, it's opting for a more targeted approach as daily infections spiked to 50,000 on Wednesday. It's also urging those with more mild symptoms to treat themselves, in order to free up limited medical resources for high-risk groups. The pivot is a clear sign that, globally at least, the pandemic is still going strong, and is bringing record-high cases in some countries. REUTERS


Limitless energy sounds like a science fiction pipe dream, but researchers in the UK say they're one step closer to achieving that goal in the form of a nuclear fusion reactor. While the concept has been around for decades, scientists have struggled to make it work practically. Now a donut-shaped reactor in the English village of Culham has doubled the previous record for nuclear fusion with over five seconds of sustained energy. That's no drop in the bucket. Nuclear fusion creates a lot of heat, and controlling that process is extremely difficult. If the technology is able to improve, however, it could be a gamechanger in the fight against climate change. CNN

This means nothing to us until there are flying cars.


Whether you're a metaverse skeptic or believer, large corporations are wasting no time in taking advantage of its marketing potential. Miller Lite is opening the first branded bar in the metaverse as a way to advertise during the Super Bowl. The specific location will be in Decentraland, a hotbed for NFTs. The bar will look like a classic tavern and offer an "immersive, communal experience" as well as "virtual beer" options. Real beer, of course, is strictly BYOB. CHEDDAR


One thing we love: The soundtrack from Disney's "Encanto," with so many magical little earworms. 

One thing we hate: The driver laying on his horn outside before 7am. 

One thing we ate:  Stir-fried veggies for lunch. Remote work has definitely opened up the door to hot lunch, and healthier eating too. How did I not realize this earlier? (h/t to Need2Know reader George for this suggestion!)

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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