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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, November 24, 2021:


If you’re hitting the road for the holiday weekend, gas prices have dipped a bit in recent days -- though the national average is still more than a buck higher than it was last Thanksgiving (prices are expected to fall further after President Biden said he’d release a record 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve). If you’re flying, get ready to be a guinea pig in the airline industry’s biggest stress test of the pandemic, with travel nearing pre-Covid levels in the U.S. The good news: the country is looking at a largely quiet weather pattern for the busiest travel day of the year: FORECAST


Covid is now as bad as it’s ever been in some parts of the country, with at least 15 states reporting ICUs that are fuller than they were last Thanksgiving. The surge is hitting states with decent-to-good levels of vaccination, like Michigan, which has the highest per-capita case rate in the country despite a vaccination rate that’s around the national average. Even highly-vaccinated New England states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are getting hit, mostly due to unvaxxed patients from rural areas. BLOOMBERG


A sixth victim -- an 8-year-old boy -- has died following the Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha, Wis. The news of the death came after prosecutors charged Darrell Brooks with five counts of intentional homicide for allegedly driving his SUV through that parade. He is being held on $5 million bail. JOURNAL SENTINEL


A federal jury in Ohio found that CVS, Walmart and Walgreens are liable for helping to fuel the opioid epidemic by creating an oversupply of the addictive painkillers. It was the first jury verdict in an opioid case and the first time that retail pharmacies have been held accountable in the public health crisis. The plaintiffs in Ohio successfully used a “public nuisance law” against the retailers, which will be encouraging to other plaintiffs using that same legal strategy in thousands of other opioid lawsuits that are winding their way through the courts. NY TIMES


Dollar Tree is about to become Dollar-Twenty-Five Tree. The discount retailer has announced it will shift its baseline price for most items nationwide from a buck to $1.25 starting in April, as a way to mitigate historically high costs. The company says it’s not in response to “short-term or transitory market conditions” but acknowledged the inflationary environment pushing up prices everywhere. CBS NEWS


The Nasdaq’s bull run looks to be slowing down, with some of the high-growth "stay-at-home" stocks that became household names during the pandemic seeing a prolonged selloff. Shares of Zoom closed down 14% on Tuesday after a series of Wall St. firms cut their price targets. DoorDash is off 15% over the last month. Robinhood is 60% from its all-time high. Peloton is down close to 20% over the last week -- more than 70% since the start of the year -- as it sees demand for its bikes slow after red-hot sales during the lockdowns. MOTLEY FOOL


Beatles fans, your weekend plans are set: Peter Jackson’s hotly anticipated three-part documentary is rolling out on Disney+, with the first part dropping tomorrow. The Beatles: Get Back features unseen footage of John, Paul, George and Ringo as they prepare for the band’s last live performance. Jackson got access to 60 hours of video and 150 hours of audio that had been locked away in London for half a century. DEADLINE


Grammy nominations are in, after the Recording Academy changed its nominating process over criticism that the awards often feel hopelessly out of touch with the zeitgeist. Jon Batiste, the composer and bandleader for Stephen Colbert, leads the pack with 11 nominations. Olivia Rodrigo, Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X, Kanye West and Billie Eilish are also among those up for album of the year. Jay-Z got a couple nods for songwriting and collaborations, making him the most-nominated artist in Grammy history. As for snubs: BTS, Kacey Musgraves and Drake were all left out of the song, record and album of the year categories: COMPLETE LIST


…Elon Musk’s little boy, X AE A-Xii, making a rare cameo during a SpaceX presentation: WATCH

...a new Baby Yoda float, set to make its debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tomorrow: SEE IT


Did you know that plumbers refer to the day after Thanksgiving as Brown Friday? Now you do. According to Roto-Rooter, who would presumably know such things, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year for plumbing and drainage problems. The combination of large gatherings, meal prep, kitchen overload and generally just lots of people washing dishes, doing laundry, taking showers and flushing toilets puts extra strain on the sewage system. One easy way to avoid becoming part of Brown Friday: never pour cooking or turkey grease down the drain. MLIVE

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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