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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, November 30, 2021:


President Biden called the Omicron variant “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” while the WHO warned that it posed a “very high” risk around the world. The CDC has updated its booster guidance to say that everyone 18 and up should get boosted --rather than may get boosted -- to help protect against the new variant, though it’s still unclear what level of protection the vaccines offer against Omicron. Moderna’s CEO told the Financial Times that the current vaccines will likely show a “material drop” in efficacy against Omicron, given the variant’s high number of mutations. Stock futures are tumbling this morning on that report. FT


The Supreme Court takes up the biggest abortion rights case in decades this week when justices hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The case concerns a new Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, before the “fetal viability” standard -- generally considered to be 23 or 24 weeks -- enshrined in Roe and reaffirmed under Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The conservative Court will be charged with answering the narrow legal question of “whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” NBC NEWS


Prosecutors in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell opened their case by telling jurors that Maxwell was “involved in every detail of [Jeffrey] Epstein’s life” and “preyed on vulnerable young girls” by procuring them for Epstein under the “ruse” of a massage, starting in the 1990s. (The prosecution is being led by Maurene Comey, daughter of James). Maxwell’s defense likened her to “Eve in the Garden of Eden,” arguing that she’s being made a scapegoat to take the blame “for what a man did.” NPR


Barbados has ended British rule, becoming the first part of the Commonwealth in almost 30 years to declare itself a republic. The Caribbean island nation officially removed Queen Elizabeth as its head of state overnight, to coincide with the 55th anniversary of its independence today. Prince Charles was on hand for the ceremony, as Buckingham Palace has said it respects the decision while emphasizing enduring friendship between the two countries. Rihanna was there too, as she was made a national hero during the ceremony: SEE PICS


Jack Dorsey has stepped down as CEO of Twitter, a company he co-founded in 2006. Twitter’s chief technical officer Parag Agrawal will take over effective immediately. Dorsey ran Twitter twice, first with its founding and then when he returned in 2015. He’s been criticized for being a “part-time CEO” since he also runs the payments company Square. Dorsey didn’t say what spurred his decision to step down, just that he was “ready to move on.” CHEDDAR


CNN anchor Chris Cuomo had a bigger role than previously known in advising his brother, Andrew Cuomo, as he responded to sexual harassment allegations that eventually led the former NY governor to resign. According to documents and text exchanges released by the NY AG’s office, Chris Cuomo offered to reach out to his own sources to determine whether more women were coming forward with allegations against his brother. He also dictated statements for the then-governor to say, and shared a “lead” on at least one of the accusers. CNN, under growing calls to fire its primetime star, says it’s reviewing the material. NY TIMES


Tiger Woods has given his first wide-ranging interview since that car crash in February that caused serious injuries to his leg. Woods told Golf Digest that he acknowledges the “unfortunate reality” that he’ll never be a full-time golfer again, but hopes to play in the PGA Tour again at some level. He also revealed that in the immediate aftermath of the accident, doctors were seriously considering amputating his leg: READ THE EXCLUSIVE


Another high-profile trial is underway in Chicago, where the actor Jussie Smollett is going on trial for allegedly making false reports to police in claiming that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in early 2019. Prosecutors say that attack was entirely ginned up by Smollett himself, who allegedly paid two brothers to stage the incident as a way to bolster his career by playing into “the pain and anger of racism.” Smollett has maintained that he did nothing wrong. The trial is expected to last two weeks, and while Smollett could conceivably be sentenced to jail, it’s seen as unlikely. TODAY


…Hollywood power couple Tom Holland and Zendaya, stepping out together at an awards event in Paris: SEE PICS


How would you feel about being trapped inside a bar with an Oasis cover band for three days? That’s what happened to a group of several dozen Brits, who had gathered at the Tan Hill Inn in Yorkshire last Friday to hear the tribute band Noasis perform. A blizzard trapped them in the remote pub through the weekend, until a plow finally made its way through the area on Monday. The stranded drinkers said they passed the time doing trivia, watching movies, singing karaoke, and listening to a lot of Oasis covers. NME

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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