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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, December 28, 2021:


The CDC is halving the isolation guidelines for asymptomatic Covid patients, from 10 days to five. The new guidelines are regardless of vaccination status. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the U.S. is about to see a wave of new Omicron cases and the change is meant to minimize disruptions when people test positive. The agency also softened the quarantine period for people who've been exposed, down from 14 days to five days for unvaccinated or un-boosted Americans. People who have received boosters do not need to isolate but should wear masks in public for 10 days and get tested five days after their exposure. AP


Dr. Fauci says a vaccine mandate for air travel should be “seriously” considered, as major U.S. carriers canceled another 1,000 domestic flights into the week. The White House has so far balked at instituting such a mandate over logistical and legal concerns, and Fauci later clarified that he doesn’t expect one to be coming anytime soon. POLITICO


Four people are dead and three more injured, including a police officer, in what authorities describe as a “killing spree” that took place across the Denver metro area. The unidentified suspect was killed by police after opening fire at multiple locations. A motive is unknown. DENVER POST


Remember the time capsule that conservationists were hoping to find buried underneath the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond? It looks like they found it. Excavators first discovered a different small time capsule while removing the statue’s pedestal early this month, but it turned out to be a bust – just various mementos from the men who built the memorial. Now they’ve found another waterlogged box that could be the elusive capsule of Confederate memorabilia from 1887 that is rumored to contain a rare photograph of Abraham Lincoln in his casket. The box could be opened as soon as today. TIMES-DISPATCH


The news business had an historic year to cover in 2020 that brought a record number of eyeballs to newspapers, websites and television networks. 2021, not so much. According to year-end Nielsen numbers, ratings at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were down 38, 34 and 25%, respectively. The broadcast evening newscasts fared a little better, but still saw viewership decline by 12-14%. Traffic was down at the big national papers, too, with the Washington Post’s digital readership crashing 44% and the New York Times dropping 34%, according to Comscore. To the extent there’s been a success story in media this year, it’s the Times, which recently passed 8 million subscriptions after expanding into more non-news content like cooking and games. AP


DoorDash will start requiring all of its corporate employees, from engineers to the CEO,  to perform one food delivery or “dash” every month, as a way to “learn first-hand” how the product works. The delivery app instituted the WeDash program before the pandemic on a voluntary basis, and will bring it back as a mandatory service project beginning in January – reportedly to some internal displeasure. If employees can’t do deliveries, they will be given other tasks like shadowing customer service. SFGATE


Mark Zuckerberg has purchased another 110 acres of land on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, adding to a real estate portfolio that includes more than 1,300 acres. Zuckerberg is paying $17 million for a former sugar plantation reservoir that failed in 2006 in an accident that killed seven people. The Facebook founder has faced criticism in the past from locals who accused him of “colonizing” the island. STAR-ADVERTISER


The best-selling album of 2021 belongs to Morgan Wallen, the country star who was essentially run out of the music industry after a video surfaced of him using a racial slur. His album, Dangerous, sold just over 3 million copies this year, including streaming. That’s more than double the sales of Adele’s 30, which sold 82% fewer copies than her previous record: SEE CHART


… a shirtless and jacked Jeff Bezos, canoodling with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez while on vacation in St. Barts: SEE PICS

…a new trailer for The Batman, focused on the relationship between Robert Pattinson’s Batman and Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman: WATCH


What was everyone talking about his year? In the spirit of the holidays, Cheddar presents the 12 days of the top terms we were saying, screaming, texting, and posting this year. So, we can all remember what there is to celebrate and how far we've all come: SEE LIST

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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