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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, May 24, 2022:


President Joe Biden said during a news conference in Tokyo that the U.S. would intervene with military force if China invaded Taiwan, declaring the burden to protect Taiwan is “even stronger” after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The comments come in contrast to the U.S. policy of maintaining “strategic ambiguity” when it comes to backing Taiwan. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act does not require the U.S. military to defend Taiwan, but it does ensure that island nation has the resources to defend itself. White House officials essentially walked back Biden’s comments, stating there has been no change in policy. CHEDDAR

Next time you don’t know the answer to a question, just say you are maintaining strategic ambiguity.


With the goal of expanding its own economic influence in Asia while balancing China’s dominance, the United States announced the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with a dozen Asian countries. The partnership, which includes Australia, India and the Republic of Korea, establishes new international rules on the digital economy, supply chains, decarbonization and regulations applying to workers. The collaboration essentially replaces the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. ditched on former President Donald Trump’s order in 2017, allowing China to capitalize on economic opportunities the U.S. left behind. NY TIMES


Speaking remotely to a World Economic Forum audience in Switzerland, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for “maximum sanctions” against Russia. Normally a major presence at the conference, Russian is now blacklisted there. Zelenskyy also disclosed that 87 people died in an attack last week in the Chernihiv region of northern Ukraine, marking one of the deadliest attacks since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Meanwhile, a Russian diplomat resigned from the Kremlin in a rare show of opposition to the war; in a letter to colleagues, he wrote, “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.” And in the first war crime trial of the war, a Ukrainian court sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing an unarmed citizen. CNN


Starbucks is leaving Russia, joining a growing list of mega corporations like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola in exiting the market following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The Seattle coffee giant is set to close its 130 stores in Russia but will continue to pay nearly 2,000 employees for six months and help them transition to new jobs. Starbucks, which has been in the Russian market since 2007, had suspended its business there since March 8, and though the company hasn’t disclosed the financial impact, its Russian cafes accounted for less than 1% of its annual revenue. CHEDDAR

Fun fact: There are almost twice as many Starbucks in Manhattan than in Russia.


Five states are holding primary elections today, including Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Minnesota, and the national attention is primarily focused on high-profile GOP races. In Georgia, Trump-backed former U.S. Sen. David Perdue is running against incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, and Marjorie Taylor Greene is testing her Republican loyalties in seeking re-election to the state’s 14th Congressional District. In Arkansas, former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is a front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, and in Texas’ attorney general race, Republican voters will decide a runoff that features the last Bush still in public office, George P. Bush. AP



As new information about the monkeypox virus continues to emerge, a World Health Organization leader said the latest outbreak of the virus appears to have been caused by sexual activity at two recent raves in Europe. Departing from the disease’s typical pattern of infection by animals like wild rodents and primates, most of Europe’s known cases have been transmitted among men who have sex with men, said health officials who also cautioned that anyone can be infected through close contact. As of yesterday, the WHO has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries, including Canada, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S. and Australia. AP


Pfizer announced that a full three-dose series of its Covid vaccine is 80% effective in preventing symptoms of the virus for children under the age of 5. Pfizer will submit this data to the FDA this week in hopes of authorizing vaccines for the 18 million kids under 5 — the only group in the U.S. still not eligible for Covid vaccination. The jabs would give young children just one-tenth of the dose adults receive. Rival biotech firm Moderna has already submitted data for its two-dose vaccination for children under 5. If the FDA approves either request, the CDC would then decide whether all kids under 5 should receive the shots or only those at high risk. AP


Schools in America’s sixth-largest city have reinstated a mask mandate for all students and staff, as Covid cases have risen 42% in Philadelphia in the last two weeks. The city has been at the forefront of bringing masks back; last month, Philadelphia became the first major American city to reinstate an indoor mask mandate, though its health department lifted the order four days later as case counts dropped. It’s possible the school mask mandate could be short-lived as well, with Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite noting the district will be flexible in its response to fluctuating Covid conditions. PHILLY VOICE



Employees at Raven Software, a division of Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard, have voted to unionize. The small group of quality assurance testers in Wisconsin voted 19-3 in favor of unionization, creating the first labor union at a major U.S. video game company. Activision Blizzard, which is being purchased by Microsoft for nearly $69 billion, has been under intense scrutiny since a lawsuit was filed last year over an alleged “frat boy” culture. The company also recently settled a separate lawsuit over allegations that management ignored sexual harassment and workplace discrimination against female employees. CHEDDAR


If you’ve eaten a burrito, you’ve probably had one that’s fallen apart, leaving a myriad of ingredients on your plate rather than wrapped in a tortilla where they belong. A group of students at Johns Hopkins University have the solution: burrito tape you can eat. For an assignment in a product design course, the engineering students came up with an edible adhesive to hold burritos together called “Tastee Tape.” Student Tyler Guarino joined Cheddar News to discuss the development of the burrito tape and the team's motivation to solve the problem that all burrito-eaters face. CHEDDAR


Why CVS Receipts Are Intentionally, Ridiculously Long

Ever walk into a CVS to pick up some gum or Chapstick, only to get hit with a ridiculously long receipt? It’s no secret that most CVS purchases come with these comically long receipts, but what might surprise you is that they are part of a marketing plan that's paying off big time for CVS. Cheddar’s John Tejada explains. YOUTUBE
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!