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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, January 12, 2022:


The pandemic hit another bleak milestone on Tuesday, with the highest ever number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. The seven-day average reached 140,576 people, according to government data analyzed by the Wall Street Journal. The latest wave, likely stoked by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, has come with record case numbers but fewer patients who require critical care. It's also come up against severe staffing shortages in the medical industry, which has placed further strain on the country's hospital systems. WSJ


In-person classes will resume today in Chicago, following a weeklong standoff between the city's school system and the teachers union. Teachers had refused to teach in person due to concerns about the spread of the COVID. The union voted to suspend these work actions on Tuesday, but not without setting a threshold for when schools would return to remote learning that looks at factors such as staffing shortages and the number of students in isolation. The situation in Chicago is just one of the most high-profile conflicts between teachers and administrators, as the latest surge raises tensions over school reopenings. CHICAGO TRIBUNE

What’s worse, a student who doesn’t want to be in school or a teacher?


Days after the U.S. marked one year since Capitol Hill riots, the Biden administration's Justice Department has announced that it's forming a new domestic terrorism unit. The agency said the unit will include counterterrorism attorneys who will exclusively pursue cases against those accused of planning or committing crimes in the name of domestic political goals. The added prosecutorial might comes as the FBI continues to identify and arrest individuals suspected of playing a role in last year's riots.  WASH POST


In a speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called for ending the filibuster in order to pass a sweeping voting rights bill, which aims to protect voters amid a slew of new state-level restrictions. While Biden's support for ending the controversial Senate procedure is significant, there's still no clear path for Democrats to meet the 60-vote threshold to actually get rid of it. Republicans are unified in opposition to the change and they're joined by Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Biden, meanwhile, framed the vote as a test of American democracy. "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?...This is the moment to decide." CHEDDAR


Fed Chair Jerome Powell used his nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to make clear that 2022 will indeed be the year that the Federal Reserve winds down its pandemic-era easy money policies. This means rate hikes and a full stop on monthly asset purchases are almost certainly on the horizon. The tougher language from Powell — who hasn't hesitated during the pandemic to keep the money printer humming —  signaled that the central bank is serious about taking on inflation, even as he maintained that recent price increases will likely moderate as supply chain issues are resolved this year. CHEDDAR

Everyone knows you gotta print money to make money!


The World Economic Forum's new Global Risks Report painted a pretty dire picture of world affairs: Cyber threats, orbital collisions, and, of course, the pandemic all made the list, but environmental concerns stood above the rest. Based on a survey of 1,000 world leaders and experts, the report ranked climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as the top three most severe risks facing the world. NPR


A federal court has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission's antitrust suit against Meta is strong enough to proceed. This is the agency's second try, after a federal judge dismissed a previous version of the case. The agency, now headed by antitrust warrior Lina Khan, went back to the drawing board, and now the same judge has given the case the thumbs up. Next comes the discovery phase, which allows the FTC to dig through Meta's records. AXIOS

They also need to investigate why our posts get so few likes.


The late poet and activist Maya Angelou will be the first Black woman whose likeness will be featured on a U.S. quarter. The U.S. Mint announced that the quarter went into circulation on Monday, joining a sea of coinage stamped with presidents and founding fathers. But Maya Angelou will be joined by other female icons soon. The Mint's American Women Quarters Program plans to circulate coins featuring astronaut Sally Ride, actress Anna May Wong, Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller, and suffragette Nina Otero-Warren. CNN


After two years of cancellations, one of the biggest music festivals in the U.S., Bonnaroo, has announced the lineup for its upcoming summer show.  Headliners include Stevie Nicks, J. Cole, Tool, and The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks). TENNESSEAN


Local authorities in eastern Wisconsin on Tuesday rescued 34 people who were stuck on an ice chunk that broke away from the shore and floated out into Green Bay. The people, many of whom were ice fishing, were stranded for 90 minutes, but no injuries were reported. The sheriff's office speculated that the break was potentially caused by a passing barge. GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE
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