Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, December 2, 2020:


The UK has approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine, jumping ahead of the U.S. to become the first Western country to give the go-ahead for a shot that could amount to the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the vaccine will be made available to the most vulnerable people early next week. In the U.S., the CDC is expected today to formally recommend that healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff -- some 24 million people in total -- be the first to get vaccinated once approval comes down from the FDA. BBC


Attorney General Bill Barr says the Justice Dept. has not uncovered any evidence of widespread voting fraud that would change the results of the election. He is the most prominent Trump ally and member of the administration to dispute the president’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him. Barr has also revealed that he appointed a special counsel last month to investigate the origins of the Russia probe. AP


President Trump has reportedly been discussing whether to grant preemptive pardons to his children, Eric, Ivanka and Don Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The president is said to be concerned that the Justice Dept. under President-elect Biden could target his three eldest children. Those pardons, if granted, would not extend to the ongoing investigation by the Manhattan DA into the Trump Organization, as that is not a federal matter. Separately, the Justice Dept. is investigating whether an unnamed federal convict offered a bribe to White House officials in exchange for a presidential pardon. According to heavily redacted court documents, nothing tied Trump directly to the alleged scheme and no one has been charged. NY TIMES


China has successfully landed a probe on the moon. It's the first mission by any country since the 70's to bring back lunar rocks. The Chang’e 5 had an uneventful trip and will now spend a couple weeks collecting dirt before it lifts off for home later this month. This is China’s third time successfully landing an unmanned probe on the lunar surface. XINHUA


MCDONALD’S: The McRib is back, and it’s free if you shave. McDonald’s is making the cult-favorite BBQ sandwich available at all of its locations in the U.S. starting today and will give away 10,000 McRibs to customers who post pics of their clean-shaven or “baby smooth” faces and tag #Shave4McRibSweepstakes. It’s a partnership with No Shave November, the charity that promotes cancer research. CNN

STARBUCKS: Any first responder or frontline healthcare worker can score a free tall brewed coffee, hot or iced, at any Starbucks all this month. The offer extends to all hospital workers, mental health professionals and active-duty military. DELISH

SLACKFORCE DONE is buying Slack for $27 billion, the largest acquisition ever for the cloud giant and one of the largest ever for the software industry. Slack is a workplace productivity tool that was popular long before the pandemic but has become essential for many companies in the WFH era. The deal puts Salesforce head-to-head against Microsoft, which has its own similar product called Teams, in yet another software arena. CHEDDAR


It’s not every year that you get a marquee NFL matchup in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. Today’s Steelers-Ravens matchup is still on, despite two more positive COVID tests on the Ravens. Baltimore has had 10 straight days of positive tests as they prepare to take on the undefeated Steelers. Both teams are in Pittsburgh, and kickoff is set for 3:40 pm ET on NBC, followed immediately by the Rockefeller Center tree lighting. ESPN


Spotify has released its year-end “Wrapped” lists for 2020. The year’s most-streamed artist is Bad Bunny, followed by Drake and J Balvin. Billie Eilish is the most-streamed female artist, followed by Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. And The Joe Rogan Experience, which Spotify shelled out $100 million to acquire, is the year’s most-streamed podcast. Rogan becomes exclusive to Spotify this month. BILLBOARD


Elliot Page, the Oscar-nominated star of Juno and Umbrella Academy, has come out as transgender. Page, who acted in films as Ellen Page, writes in a statement posted to their social media: “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” READ IT


In a development that could literally only happen this year, Denmark has started the process of digging up and exhuming thousands of dead mink from ditches because they have been rising up out of the ground. Danish officials recently had to cull millions of mink when it was discovered the animals were carrying a mutated strain of COVID-19 that could be passed to humans. But the furry mammals were exterminated using a gas that caused their bloated carcasses to swell and, in some cases, rise from their graves. USA TODAY

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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