Get the Need2Know newsletter in your inbox every morning! Sign up here! 

Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Monday, February 7, 2022:


It was an eventful weekend in Beijing as the Winter Olympics began in earnest. Snowboarder Julia Marino bagged the first medal for Team USA in the women's slopestyle finals, taking the silver behind New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. Fellow snowboarder and three-time gold-medalist Shaun White announced that he plans to retire after this year's games. Severe wind conditions on the slopes have delayed two days' worth of skiing events. Nils van der Poel of Sweden won the 5,000-meter speed skating race in record time. Russian figure skating phenom Kamila Valieva landed a quad jump for the first time ever at the Winter Games. And athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 are reporting that China's "quarantine hotels" are not providing adequate food and lack basic amenities such as internet connection and training equipment.


Remember a month ago when trying to get an at-home COVID test was nearly impossible? Well, just as the omicron wave is beginning to crest, CVS and Walgreens are removing all buying limits on over-the-counter rapid test kits. The caps were put in place in late December amid a nationwide supply crunch. Now pharmacies have plenty of inventory. The federal government's initiative to deliver tests to all Americans for free likely helped as well — though it's unclear if the Biden administration is taking steps to ensure supply for future surges. NY TIMES

We can store them next to all the toilet paper we bought at the beginning of the pandemic.


The Biden administration is doubling down on the urgency of the crisis in Ukraine, even as government officials from the country continue to play down the threat. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday said that Russia could invade the country "any day," adding that war would come with an "enormous human cost to Ukraine" and would have a "strategic cost" for Russia. Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, meanwhile, downplayed the threat of invasion, saying not to believe the "apocalyptic predictions." AL JAZEERA


Delta Air Lines is calling on the Justice Department to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to passengers who engage in behaviors that affect flight safety, such as refusing to wear a mask. The company urged the agency to add anyone who has been convicted of disrupting a flight to the national "no-fly" list, which it said would help prevent future incidents.  While the measure may sound harsh, it's just the latest effort to deal with what airlines are calling a surge in unruly behavior on flights. The TSA is also already exploring additional penalties. AP

Anyone who has ever disrupted a flight should permanently get the middle seat.


Economists rejoiced on Friday after the government's monthly jobs report showed U.S. employers adding 467,000 jobs in January. Many were expecting a much more dour reading, given the latest surge in coronavirus cases, but instead, the report highlighted how companies are pushing ahead with hiring and even raises as they banked on the omicron variant having only a short-term impact. The economy wasn't completely immune to the latest COVID wave, however. Remote working ticked upward, and the number of people out sick soared. CHEDDAR


Queen Elizabeth issued a surprise announcement over the weekend as she marked 70 years on the throne. The 95-year-old monarch confirmed that Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will assume the role of "Queen Consort" once Prince Charles, her husband, accedes the throne. She praised her daughter-in-law’s “loyal service” and stressed the importance of a loyal spouse to a monarch (The Queen's own spouse, Prince Philip, died last year at 99). The note also settled any speculation over whether Elizabeth would abdicate the throne early. The Queen reiterated her Coronation pledge and committed to continuing to serve. DAILY MAIL

You don’t want to know where Meghan finished on this list.


The Biden administration has announced that in the coming weeks it will reveal the details of a new economic strategy for the Asia-Pacific region designed to serve as a counterweight to China's growing influence. After the Trump administration put the kibosh on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017, the U.S. has been exploring alternatives that won't aggravate labor groups. This means avoiding traditional market-opening tools such as tariff cuts, which some argue are a drain on American jobs, but can also be crucial in securing economic partnerships. WSJ


A four-bedroom home on Florida's Gulf Coast is likely to become the first property in the U.S. to be sold as a non-fungible token or NFT. Real estate technology company Propy plans to mint the property rights onto a digital token, which will then be auctioned off online. The home’s current owner, Leslie Alessandra, is stoked about the possibilities of NFTs in real estate, saying they could allow homeowners to transfer property rights as quickly as a Venmo transaction. TAMPA BAY TIMES


A wave of consolidation is reshaping the video game industry. Tech giants such as Microsoft and Sony are gobbling up game publishers such as Activision Blizzard and Bungie in an effort to expand their offerings amid increasing global competition and pressure from investors to grow. Cheddar spoke with industry experts who are watching this trend play out, and they argue that this is just the beginning, with $150 billion in deals expected in 2022. CHEDDAR

We’ll take one of those deals.


Direct-to-consumer brands, such as Casper and Peloton, have transformed how companies reach their customers. Now this trend is extending into an unexpected business: cremation. As more and more Americans opt for cremation over burial, companies are cropping up to provide direct-to-consumer service. With much of the funeral industry stuck in the pre-digital era, a new wave of cremation startups could transform end-of-life decisions. NY TIMES

Need2Know Podcast Note: The Need2Know podcast is taking a break for now. We're looking forward to bringing you more context and analysis on the big stories of the day in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out our archive on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

More In Culture
Load More