Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, December 9, 2020:


VACCINE RACE: The FDA has released its first analysis of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine data as it prepares to consider an emergency authorization. The analysis found that the vaccine provides significant protection against COVID-19 after the first of two doses, and works well regardless of a person’s age, weight or race. One epidemiologist said the FDA basically gave Pfizer an “A+ report card.”  Separately, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine appears to be 70 percent effective, according to the first peer-reviewed study of that drug, which is much cheaper and easier to make and transport than the others. And the UAE has approved a Chinese vaccine after preliminary data showed it was 86 percent effective. NY TIMES

THANKSGIVING WAVE: The approvals cannot come soon enough. The first signs of the suspected post-Thanksgiving wave are appearing, with the U.S. now averaging 200,000 daily cases over the last week. One silver lining: the states that got the fall surge earliest, like North Dakota and New Mexico, are showing decreased case numbers. But nearly 40 other states are still seeing rising caseloads. COVID TRACKING


The White House has reengaged with Congress on a stimulus deal, offering a $916 billion compromise bill that would include some help for state and local governments to satisfy Democrats, a liability shield for businesses to satisfy Republicans, but no enhanced unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work. Instead, the offer on the table includes a direct payment of $600 to every American and enough money to extend regular federal unemployment benefits. WASH POST


The Army has suspended or fired 14 leaders at Ft. Hood, the giant military base in Texas, following a review that began in the wake of the brutal murder of Spc. Vanessa Guillen. The secretary of the Army said the investigation found a culture that was “permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Ft. Hood has seen more than 150 non-combat deaths in the last five years. TEXAS TRIB


DoorDash goes public on the New York Stock Exchange today after pricing its IPO at $102 per share, higher than expected. The delivery company, which is not profitable, is valued at about $38 billion. Airbnb is set to follow with its IPO tomorrow on the Nasdaq. BLOOMBERG


The CEO of AT&T is defending the decision by the company’s WarnerMedia unit to break the theatrical window for all of Warner Bros.’ movies next year. John Stankey told an investor conference that the studio had to change its business model in 2021 because what the industry has been doing during the pandemic is just not working. The comments came after Tenet director Christopher Nolan slammed Warner, calling HBO Max “the worst streaming service” amid reports that much of Hollywood felt blindsided and furious by the decision.​​​​ WSJ


Apple has announced a pair of noise-cancelling headphones that will go on sale next Tuesday. The price tag: $549. The AirPods Max have many of the same features as the popular AirPods Pro, but they go over the ear and come in five colors. They’re also $200 more expensive than similar high-end headphones made by Bose or Sennheiser. SEE THEM


The annual Big 10 rivalry game between Michigan and Ohio State that was scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled. Michigan has too many positive COVID tests to field a team. This is the first season since 1917 that won’t feature a matchup between the Buckeyes and Wolverines. SI


...William Shakespeare, the second person to get the approved Pfizer vaccine in the UK. The 81-year-old Shakespeare, who goes by Bill, is even from the same county in England as his more famous name twin: SEE PIC

… Paul McCartney, in an old photo with his bandmate John Lennon, posted by McCartney on the 40th anniversary of Lennon’s murder: SEE PIC


Olivia Jade Giannulli, the daughter of Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli, broke her silence on the college admissions scandal, saying in an interview on Red Table Talk that she was “the poster child of white privilege” who still “deserves a second chance.” Both of Giannulli’s parents are currently in prison for their roles in the scandal, and Giannulli said she hasn’t spoken to either of them since they’ve been incarcerated. CBS NEWS


After years of disputes over the official height of Mt. Everest, China and Nepal have finally agreed on exactly how high the world’s tallest peak is: 29,032 feet above sea level, or about three feet taller than previously thought. Everest straddles the border between China-controlled Tibet and Nepal and the two countries have been getting politically closer, united over their shared worsening relations with India. CHEDDAR

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!

More In Culture
Load More