Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, May 19, 2021:


New York, the one-time epicenter of the pandemic, is taking its biggest step toward normalcy today when many COVID restrictions get dropped statewide. The CDC says more than 600,000 kids aged 12 to 15 have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine already, a strong number given that it was only greenlit last Thursday. Meanwhile, India recorded the single highest daily death toll of any country so far -- 4,529 -- though the real number is probably much higher. NBC NEWS


Despite growing international calls for a ceasefire, there are still no signs of an end to the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli military said it was expanding its airstrike campaign in the Gaza Strip as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel. President Biden is said to be privately encouraging Israel to wind down its bombardment even as the U.S. repeatedly blocked what would have been a unanimous statement from the UN Security Council condemning the war, reportedly because it made no mention of Hamas. AP


Congressional Republicans are coming together to oppose a 9/11-style independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is against it, saying he’d only support the commission if it also included unrelated “political violence” by groups like BLM and Antifa. His lieutenants are now telling rank-and-file lawmakers to vote no. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell had previously said he’s OK with forming the commission pending the “fine print,” but now says he’s “pushing pause” on the legislation. POLITICO


Democratic primary races in Pennsylvania’s two biggest cities delivered a pair of closely watched results. In Philly, the city’s progressive district attorney Larry Krasner easily beat a challenge from a former prosecutor who argued that Krasner’s lenient policies -- he has refused to prosecute low-level crimes like prostitution and drug possession -- had made that city less safe amid a 40 percent spike in homicides. Across the state, Pittsburgh Democratic voters sent that city’s incumbent mayor packing. Bill Peduto lost his re-election bid to Ed Gainey, who will almost certainly become the Steel City’s first Black mayor. NBC PHIL


“Customers clearly want to get out and shop.” That’s how Walmart CEO Doug McMillon accounted for the company’s blowout earnings report. The world’s largest retailer saw same-store sales rise by more than 6 percent in the quarter. Home Depot’s same-store sales were up 31 percent. Macy’s sales were up 63 percent. Taken together, the retail earnings show that U.S. consumers are shopping like it’s going out of style as the pandemic fades. Lowe’s and Target continued the trend when they reported today. YAHOO FINANCE


Fidelity will start offering its brokerage services to teenagers as young as 13, provided their parents are customers and give consent. The teen-friendly investing and savings accounts come with a debit card and the ability to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds and ETFs without fees. Online brokerages like Fidelity and Robinhood have seen a surge in interest from young investors stuck at home during the pandemic. WSJ


Jayson Tatum scored 50 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a win over the Washington Wizards in the first night of the NBA play-in tournament. The Wizards will play the Pacers tomorrow in an elimination game after Indiana blew out Charlotte in last night's other game. Boston will play Brooklyn in the first round. Over in the West, the slumping defending champion Lakers are bracing for Steph Curry and the Warriors tonight. ESPN


The global box office gets its first real post-COVID shot of adrenaline in the coming days when the latest Fast & Furious installment starts hitting theaters before it opens in the U.S. in late June. F9 is expected to bring in at least $150 million from Russia, the Middle East, and China this week. The ninth film in the franchise is sitting at a just-barely-fresh 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with critics saying it’s more ridiculous than ever. That could be just what audiences ordered after more than a year without much in the way of big-budget action movies. READ THE REVIEWS


...Emma Stone, rocking a pantsuit at the premiere of Disney’s Cruella, one of the first big red carpet events in Hollywood in over a year: SEE PICS

…Naomi Campbell, sharing the surprise news that she’s a mom. The 50-year-old supermodel posted a photo of her hands cradling a newborn’s feet, writing, “There is no greater love”: SEE PIC


A famous rock formation in the Galapagos Islands has collapsed into the Pacific Ocean. Darwin’s Arch, a natural archway that welcomes visitors traveling by boat to the uninhabited Darwin Island, fell to natural erosion, according to officials from Ecuador. The area is a well-known diving site for tourists who want to catch a glimpse of Galapagos sea turtles, and a diving crew apparently witnessed the collapse as it happened. SEE WHAT REMAINS

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!

More In Culture
Load More