Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, September 2, 2021:

COVID-19 LATEST

CDC TRAVEL WARNING: CDC officials have asked unvaccinated people not to travel this long weekend due to rising cases. The U.S. is now seeing on average 160,000 new virus cases per day. Those who are vaccinated should travel with precautions. CNN
FEWER HOSPITALIZATIONS: Hospital admissions in the U.S. are declining for the first time since late June, a sign that Delta variant cases may be reaching their peak, at least for now. The seven-day average of new admissions fell 2.4% over the past week, the first drop since June 27. It could be driven by falling numbers in recent hotspots like Florida and Texas. BLOOMBERG
MODERNA BOOSTER: Moderna says it has filed data with the FDA for clearance of a third-dose booster shot. The company says the booster, which is about half the dose of its existing vaccine, raises antibody levels against the delta variant by more than 40-fold. BLOOMBERG

EXTREME WEATHER

IDA’S REMNANTS: Remnants of Ida are teaming up with a stalled front to produce heavy rainfall and flooding across the Northeast. Tornadoes ripped across Pennsylvania, and New York City saw historic flooding so intense that service on every subway line was suspended. At least eight have been reported dead. Conditions are expected to ease later today after the last remnants linger a bit more over Massachusetts and Maine.  THE WEATHER CHANNEL
TROPICAL STORM LARRY: Larry is the 12th storm of the 2021 hurricane season so far, and while its trajectory is not yet confirmed, forecasters say it could strengthen and become a major hurricane soon. Larry is already fueled by 75 mph winds.  ACCUWEATHER

U.S.-TALIBAN COORDINATION?

It’s possible the U.S. will look to coordinate with the Taliban on counterterrorism strikes against ISIS or other militant groups, said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. He didn’t elaborate, and it’s unclear whether there are any immediate plans for U.S. forces to work with the Taliban. Military commanders had coordinated daily with the Taliban over the past few weeks to facilitate evacuations. AP

TEXAS ABORTION LAW

Texas on Wednesday enacted the strictest anti-abortion law in the U.S. after the Supreme Court declined to act on a request by abortion-rights groups to block the proposed law. The law bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The passage is seen as a conservative victory, and Democrats including President Biden voiced outrage. Biden said his administration is going to “protect and defend” Roe v. Wade. REUTERS

AMAZON HIRING SPREE

Amazon plans to hire 55,000 people to fill corporate and technology roles across the globe. This is one of new CEO Andy Jassy’s initiatives as he is pushing the company to keep up with retail demand, as well as the cloud and advertising. 55,000 is about one third of Google’s headcount, and close to all of Facebook’s.  REUTERS

APPLE DRIVER’S LICENSE

Eight states are partnering with Apple to roll out a feature allowing users to add their driver’s license or state ID to their Apple Wallet. The aim is to make it easier to pass through airport security. Arizona and Georgia will be the first to adopt the feature, followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah, but a timeline has not been laid out. CNBC

PURDUE PHARMA DISSOLVED

Purdue Pharma, maker of the highly addictive painkiller OxyContin, has been dissolved as part of a wide-ranging bankruptcy settlement. The company’s owners, members of the Sackler family, will have to turn over $4.5 billion dollars to help aid in the opioid crisis. However, the agreement also largely absolves the Sackler family of any liability. NY TIMES

US OPEN: GAUFF VS. STEPHENS

Sloane Stephens secured a 6-4, 6-2 victory over 17-year-old Coco Gauff. It’s Stephens’ second straight victory this week over a fellow American opponent. She will now advance to the next round as she tries to repeat her 2017 U.S. Open title. YAHOO SPORTS

JOE ROGAN HAS COVID-19

Comic and popular podcast host Joe Rogan posted a video online saying he’s tested positive for COVID-19 and has taken ivermectin, a deworming drug meant to treat horses for parasites. Ivermectin is not an FDA approved COVID treatment, but has been touted by anti-vaxxers as an alternative to shots. Rogan said he took a number of other drug treatments including the antibiotic azithromycin, and says he’s feeling better. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

LEFTOVERS: SPOTIFY ON DELTA

Spotify is taking over the audio section of Delta’s in-flight entertainment. It will offer popular playlists and 42 select podcast series, and while passengers won’t have access to the entire Spotify catalogue, they can listen to playlists of charting music, mood-based playlists, and podcasts like “The Journal” and “Crime Junkie.” ENGADGET
Note: The Need2Know Podcast will return Tuesday, September 7! 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!
Updated Friday, September 3, 2021 at 9:10 am ET to note the Need2Know podcast will return Tuesday, September 7, not Monday.