Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, December 1, 2020:


The U.S. is now reporting more than one million new coronavirus cases and 10,000 deaths a week. Hospitalizations are approaching the 100,000 milestone. Californians are preparing for the possibility of a full stay-at-home order in the coming days as ICU beds in the state fill up. New York hospitalizations are at a level not seen since May. Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial White House pandemic adviser, has resigned. SFGATE


Dr. Fauci came on Cheddar to reveal the early plans for vaccine distribution: once the doses arrive in each state, it will be up to governors, aided by local health officials, to determine who gets them first. Herd immunity is conceivable by May, he said, but only “if everyone decides they want to get vaccinated.” Moderna has applied for emergency authorization of its vaccine, which shows a stunning 100 percent efficacy in preventing severe cases of the disease. If it’s authorized, the first shots could be administered before Christmas. CHEDDAR


Wisconsin and Arizona have certified their votes as expected, affirming President-elect Biden’s wins in those crucial states. President Trump continues to fundraise off his attempt to overturn the results, raising some $170 million since Election Day -- the vast majority of which will go into his new PAC to fund future political ambitions, if you read the fine print. Meanwhile, Congress is back in D.C. for a lame-duck session. Lawmakers have two goals, one of which is in reach: pass a spending bill by Dec. 11 to prevent a government shutdown (in reach) and agree on a new stimulus package (not in reach). NY TIMES


Archaeologists working in the Amazon rainforest have discovered tens of thousands of prehistoric paintings across miles of cliffside in a remote area of Colombia. They’re calling the discovery the “Sistine Chapel of the Ancients.” The paintings are believed to have been created about 12,500 years ago, an estimate based on the fact that many of the pictures are of ice-age animals, like the mastodon, that are long extinct. The discovery took place last year but has been kept secret as part of a British documentary project. LONELY PLANET


The Dow just had its best month since 1987. The market ended November on a down note but still notched the biggest monthly gains in nearly 34 years. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq were each up more than 10 percent for the month, mostly thanks to the positive vaccine development news. CHEDDAR


The artificial-intelligence group DeepMind has solved a problem that has confounded biologists for 50 years. DeepMind created an algorithm called AlphaFold that has been able to accurately predict how proteins are formed, thought to be the first time an A.I. has successfully solved a major riddle of science. Researchers have been able to map the structure of proteins in the lab, but the process is expensive and takes years. AlphaFold does it in a couple days. The breakthrough has major implications for everything from understanding disease and creating designer vaccines, to building proteins that can break down waste in an environmentally-friendly way. MIT TECH REVIEW


The NFL’s mantra for the rest of the season: the show must go on, whatever the cost. The Steelers-Ravens game has been postponed for the third time. Kickoff is now scheduled for tomorrow at 3:40pm ET on NBC, early enough that it won’t interfere with NBC’s broadcasting of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting. The Ravens will have to play with around a dozen players on the COVID reserve list. The scheduling change will affect at least two Week 13 games and with no bye weeks remaining, there are only so many more changes that can feasibly happen. RINGER


Felicity Huffman has landed her first TV gig since becoming a convicted felon. The actress, who served 11 days in prison last year for her role in the college-admissions scandal, will star as the “unlikely owner of a minor league baseball team” in a still-unnamed comedy series that has been ordered to pilot by ABC. DEADLINE


… First Lady Melania Trump, unveiling the White House’s annual Christmas decorations. This year’s display includes ornaments that pay tribute to essential and frontline workers: SEE PICS

… Rihanna having dinner in NYC with A$AP Rocky, reported to be her new beau: PEOPLE


A new monolith (or the same monolith?) has been spotted in Romania, near the site of an ancient fortress. The three-sided metal structure appears nearly identical to the one that was discovered and then went missing in the Utah desert, though it has some new, apparently human-made, carvings on its face: SEE PICS

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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