Need2Know: Impeached Again, Pet Food Recall & Blockbuster NBA Trade

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden dribbles against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
January 14, 2021
Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, January 14, 2021:

TRUMP IMPEACHED AGAIN

President Trump has made history as the first American president to be impeached twice after the House charged him with inciting a violent insurrection, the most serious charge ever lodged against a sitting president. The vote was 232-197, with 10 House Republicans breaking with the president for the most bipartisan impeachment in modern history. Maj. Leader Mitch McConnell said he wasn’t planning to bring the Senate back for a trial until Jan. 19 at the earliest, meaning that President Trump will almost certainly serve out his term. Hours after the vote and under extreme pressure from his remaining advisers, the president released a recorded video from the Oval Office urging his supporters to stand down from further violence. AP

FORTRESS D.C. 

Washington, D.C. is virtually locked down ahead of next week’s inauguration. National Guard troops have been streaming into the city, sleeping on the marble floors of the Capitol amid reported intelligence that IEDs could be used to target the building around the inauguration. Airbnb and HotelTonight have cancelled all short-term rentals in the D.C. area for next week. Facebook has reportedly seen a spike in activity indicating potential acts of violence on or around the inaugural in cities across the country as the FBI has warned that last week’s siege could be a “significant driver of violence.” POLITICO

COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Preliminary trial data from Johnson & Johnson shows its coronavirus vaccine is safe and generates a good immune response in both young and old patients. The J&J vaccine is crucial to get into the global supply because it’s just one shot and doesn't need to be frozen. Approval could come next month. Meanwhile, President-elect Biden will announce details of his administration’s plan to speed up the vaccine rollout today. It’s now a race against time: researchers in Ohio have identified two new variants of the coronavirus, similar to the strain in the UK only they are thought to have originated in the U.S. One of them is now the dominant strain in Columbus. CBS NEWS

IRAN WATCH

Iran has started assembly of a key component of nuclear warheads, according to UN weapons inspectors. In a confidential report leaked to the Wall Street Journal, the UN’s atomic agency says the Iranians have been putting together the equipment that can produce uranium metal, which makes up the core of a nuclear weapon. Iran responded that it’s doing so for civilian use, but the country has been methodically ramping up its nuclear capabilities for the last 18 months. WSJ

PET FOOD RECALL

The FDA is expanding a pet food recall after more than 70 dogs died and 80 others got sick. The recall is for brands listed under the labels: Sportmix, Pro Pac, Splash, Nunn and Sportstrail, all of which are manufactured by Oklahoma-based Midwestern Pet Food. The culprit is suspected to be a byproduct of corn mold that can be lethal to animals in high doses. Here’s the full list of recalled products along with their packaging: SEE IT

IPO RUSH

The tech IPO rush didn’t end in 2020. Affirm, the buy-now-pay-later service that has partnerships with many popular ecommerce retailers, soared in its market debut on the Nasdaq. The stock had priced at $49 per share and started trading at $91 before closing its first day up nearly 100 percent. Affirm’s stated goal is to become “a viable alternative to credit cards.” The company’s CFO spoke to Cheddar moments after the first trade: WATCH
PROGRAMMING ALERT: Watch Cheddar at 3 p.m. ET today to see the CEO of Petco and co-founder of Poshmark discuss their upcoming IPOs. WATCH LIVE

NBA UPDATE

The Houston Rockets are trading All-Star James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal involving a number of draft picks and swaps. The bottom line: three of the best offensive players in the NBA -- Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant -- will play for Brooklyn. Meanwhile, the season is not off to a good start. The league is tightening its COVID protocols amid a growing number of positive tests. Players and staff have to spend at least the next two weeks at home with exceptions made for games, practice and essential activities. When on the road, they can’t leave the hotel or interact with other hotel guests. ESPN

'INSECURE' ENDING

HBO will end Insecure after the upcoming fifth season. The Emmy-nominated comedy from Issa Rae will go into production on its final episodes later this month. Rae, for her part, will stay busy: she’s launching a record label, producing a movie with Jordan Peele and has another HBO series in the works. DEADLINE

SPOTTED...

...Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, getting wheeled back into the House chamber after it was stolen by a rioter last week: SEE PIC

LEFTOVERS: THIN MINTS TO YOUR DOOR

It’s almost Girl Scout cookie season, and boy do we need it. Because of the pandemic, the Girl Scouts of America are partnering with GrubHub this year to offer Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils and the rest via contactless delivery or pickup, starting Feb. 1. GrubHub will waive the fees for the organization, and the future entrepreneurs will get “hands on experience in managing e-commerce” to track and fulfill orders. FOOD & WINE
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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