Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Monday, February 1, 2021:


A snowstorm that blanketed the Midwest is now a full-blown nor’easter targeting the Northeast and mid-Atlantic today. Significant accumulations are expected from D.C. to Boston through tomorrow -- as much as 36 inches in some areas north and west of NYC. The storm is moving slowly, which will add to the snowfall totals. Coastal regions are expected to feel the brunt of the impact with widespread forecasts of 12 to 18 inches. FORECASTS & WARNINGS


New cases and hospitalizations are now down significantly across the country, though the baseline remains extremely high. The U.S. averaged about 1.4 million vaccine doses a day last week. The Pentagon is offering active-duty troops to help with the distribution of vaccines at the request of FEMA, which is planning to set up 100 large vaccination sites around the country. Johnson & Johnson is expected to file for emergency authorization of its shot as soon as this week after early data showed it offered strong protection. J&J said its vaccine was extremely effective in preventing severe illness, including against the South Africa variant. VACCINE TRACKER


A group of 10 Republican senators is proposing a $600 billion pandemic relief package as a counter to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion bill. The Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins, are requesting Biden meet with them in recognition of his “calls for unity.” The White House responded that Biden is happy to talk to them. The GOP proposal would lower the stimulus checks from $1,400 to $1,000 per person, keep the enhanced unemployment benefit at $300 but end it in June, rather than September, and take out the $15 federal minimum wage hike. POLITICO


For Vladimir Putin, the problem that is Alexei Navalny is not going away. For a second weekend, tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets to show their support for the imprisoned opposition leader. The Kremlin came out in force, with police arresting thousands of protesters -- including Navalny’s wife -- in more violent crackdowns. While in the past, the heavy police response did a fairly good job at quelling protests, it is becoming less effective. By coming back to Russia knowing he’d be arrested, Navalny appears to have given the various anti-Putin movements a singular focus. VOX


The Reddit army of day traders has switched its collective focus to commodities, sending silver futures soaring 13 percent to an eight-year high. Unlike GameStop, which had a market cap of about $1.5 billion before it was targeted, the global value of silver is about $1.5 trillion, meaning the price will be more difficult to manipulate. And unlike stocks, commodities are driven less by speculation than they are the fundamentals of supply and demand. YAHOO FINANCE


The Reddit-fueled buying frenzy also spilled over into the crypto market over the weekend. Bitcoin surged to approach $40,000 after Elon Musk gave it a boost on Twitter, while Dogecoin, a digital currency that started as a joke, was up seven-fold before being cut in half in 24 hours. The volume was so heavy that the exchange Coinbase briefly went down and Robinhood temporarily restricted crypto trading. BLOOMBERG


The Detroit Lions are reportedly trading quarterback Matt Stafford to the L.A. Rams, in exchange for quarterback Jared Goff and a handful of draft picks. It’s the first big deal in what is expected to be a busy offseason trading season, especially for QBs. Deshaun Watson of the Texans is arguably the most eligible player on the market after he reportedly requested a trade, though Houston said they don’t want him going anywhere. CBS SPORTS


…Pete Davidson and Machine Gun Kelly, embracing so enthusiastically that they fell off the stage during the “goodbyes” at the end of SNL: WATCH

 ...Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the giant pandas at the Smithsonian National Zoo, enjoying their first significant snow in two years: WATCH


The first results are in for Hollywood’s big experiment, an attempt to answer the question: Will people go see a new movie at the theater when it’s available on demand? The Little Things, the Denzel Washington-Rami Malek thriller from Warner Bros., made $4.8 million at the box office as it simultaneously dropped on HBO Max, free of charge for subscribers (Warner did not say how many people streamed it). A Denzel movie doing less than $5 million its opening weekend would be a disaster in normal times, but it’s actually one of the stronger openings of the pandemic -- suggesting that there’s still appetite for the movie theater experience. VARIETY


A Michigan couple is in the process of adopting their own children because the state won’t recognize their surrogate. Tammy and Jordan Myers had a gestational surrogate carry their new twins, Eames and Ellison, due to health reasons, but Michigan has an old law on the books that doesn’t recognize surrogacy contracts. In fact, paying a woman to act as a surrogate is technically a felony in the state. The Myerses have applied to adopt their babies, going through background checks and home visits, even though both the surrogate and a fertility doctor have written affidavits confirming they are the parents. FOX 17

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