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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, October 20, 2021:

Ed. note: In Tuesday’s newsletter, we “slugged” the item about the murder trial of the men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery as the AHMAUD ARBERY TRIAL. Arbery is the victim, not the defendant in the case. We regret the poor phrasing.


About 20 Chicago police officers have been placed on unpaid leave for refusing to tell the department their vaccination status. In Washington, 127 members of the state police have been fired for defying that state’s vaccine mandate. Southwest is scrapping its plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave when the federal deadline goes into effect. The only In-N-Out Burger in San Francisco was temporarily shut down for refusing to check customers’ vaccination status, with the burger chain saying: “We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government.” Opponents of vaccine mandates were dealt another blow in the Supreme Court when justices declined to block a vax requirement for Maine healthcare workers. AP


Delta Airlines says its novel vaccination policy is working. CEO Ed Bastian told Cheddar that Delta’s policy of forcing unvaccinated employees to pay a $200 monthly surcharge to remain on the company’s health plan has been a success, with 90% of current employees fully vaccinated. Delta is the only major U.S. carrier to not mandate vaccines for existing employees, though it does have a mandate for new hires: WATCH THE INTERVIEW


What exactly did China send flying across the globe this summer? According to a report in the Financial Times last week, Beijing carried out a test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, launching a rocket that circled the planet before missing its target by about 20 miles. China has claimed it was just testing a spacecraft, but U.S. intelligence agencies were reportedly caught off guard by the hypersonic test -- whatever it was -- and fear that it shows China could be far more advanced in building next-generation weapons systems than anyone thought. DEFENSE ONE


The Haitian gang holding 16 Americans and one Canadian hostage outside Port-au-Prince is demanding a $1 million ransom for each person, or $17 million total. Those missionaries were kidnapped last weekend as they visited an orphanage after rebuilding homes that were destroyed in the August earthquake. Five of the hostages are children, including one baby. The Ohio Christian group that sent them is being advised by the FBI in the hostage negotiations. CNN


Procter & Gamble is warning that it will raise prices on more household items like razors and toothpaste, saying that supply chain and commodity costs are higher than the company had anticipated. P&G beat earnings expectations for the most recent quarter due in part to price hikes it had already made on products like Pampers diapers and Charmin toilet paper. WSJ


Zillow says it will stop flipping homes, at least through the end of the year, as it deals with supply and labor shortages that have hit the construction industry particularly hard. The real-estate website has a program called Zillow Offers in which it buys homes directly from sellers in cash, does the needed renovations, then lists them for sale -- the idea being that the service allows homeowners to avoid the hassle of selling themselves, for a fee. Zillow will focus on selling off its existing inventory before restarting the program. NPR


The NBA regular season is underway, but not without headaches stemming from a drama-filled offseason. Two of the league’s biggest stars are sitting out for different reasons. The Brooklyn Nets played without Kyrie Irving in the season opener against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks last night. Irving is the lone NBA player who is unable to play because of his refusal to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers open their season tonight without Ben Simmons, who has been suspended one game for “conduct detrimental to the team” after he was booted from practice. ESPN


Netflix added 4.4 million memberships in the last quarter, beating its own expectations in part due to the popularity of Squid Game, which premiered just before the quarter ended. Netflix’s surprisingly strong subs come as the company is in the midst of a rare PR debacle. Some employees are planning a walkout today in protest of Dave Chappelle’s most recent comedy special. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos is addressing the continued criticism over that special, saying he “screwed up” in the handling of employee concerns. VARIETY


...Ye, formerly Kanye West, wearing his new prosthetic mask while grabbing coffee with former Trump fixer Michael Cohen in NYC: SEE PIC

...Nicole Kidman, a dead ringer for Lucille Ball in the first teaser for Amazon’s I Love Lucy movie, Being the Ricardos: WATCH


Authorities have a new plan for trying to corral a pair of zebras that have been roaming suburban Maryland since they escaped a farm in August. Officials have recruited two female zebras from that farm to lure the fugitive zebras back with food and companionship. Two months ago, three zebras broke out of their enclosure on an exotic animal breeding farm. One later died in an illegal snare trap, but the other two remain at large. They’ve been spotted out and about by Maryland residents, with one man saying he was able to “stare into the zebra’s soul.” WASHINGTONIAN

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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