Get the Need2Know newsletter in your inbox every morning! Sign up here! 
Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Friday, January 28, 2022:

RUSSIA SAYS NO WAR

In a radio interview today, the Russian foreign minister said, "We don't want a war," but also warned the country won't allow their interests to be "rudely" ignored. Just yesterday, Biden told Ukraine's leader military action could come in February. The New York Times notes Biden has been including European allies in every step of diplomacy here after missteps last year in the withdrawal from Afghanistan and a defense alliance with Australia that isolated France. NY TIMES

BIDEN'S PLEDGE

One day after Justice Stephen Breyer announced plans to retire at the end of the current term, President Joe Biden on Thursday affirmed that he's made no decisions yet on his replacement except one: whoever he appoints "will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court." This commitment to diversify the court tracks with Biden's other appointments to lower courts. "It's long overdue," Biden said. The president has already met with at least one candidate, Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer clerk. AP

MODERNA CLINICAL TRIALS

Moderna announced it has begun clinical trials for a booster designed specifically for the omicron variant. The news followed Pfizer and BioNTech's announcement earlier in the week that they were testing an omicron-specific vaccine as well. A UK study found that boosters currently available cut the risk of death by 95% in people aged 50 and up. As both trials get underway, scientists are reckoning with the possibility that coronavirus may never completely disappear, as achieving herd immunity could prove more difficult than many had hoped. Today Thailand acknowledged that, approving guidelines to declare the virus endemic disease.  CHEDDAR

GDP GROWS MOST SINCE '84 

An ongoing pandemic, widespread supply chain issues, and the highest inflation rate in decades didn't stop the U.S. economy from posting its biggest gains since 1984. The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that the gross domestic product grew 5.7% in 2021. The fourth quarter also saw strong gains as the economy ramped up between coronavirus waves and consumers returned to services. But with the impact of the omicron variant spilling into the new year, it's unclear if the first quarter of 2022 will keep up the steady gains. NY TIMES

VOLATILITY CONTINUES

Stocks were down at the close on Thursday after heavy losses erased an afternoon rally. If Wall Street's fortunes don't turn around before the end of the trading day, the market will post its fourth weekly loss. Market-watchers are still blaming the volatility on the prospect of multiple rate hikes in 2022 from the Federal Reserve. After two years of near-zero interest rates, the possibility of a stricter Fed has been a hard pill to swallow for investors. AP

CLIMATE > OIL & GAS

A federal judge is stopping new oil and gas drilling from getting underway in the Gulf of Mexico because the Department of the Interior didn't consider climate impacts when it entered into new leases. Leasing out 80 million acres for drilling was clearly at odds with Biden's climate agenda, but the administration was dealt a blow last year when another judgment required it to go through with the deals. CNN

NEIL YOUNG OFF SPOTIFY

On Thursday, #deletespotify was trending on Twitter after artist Neil Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify that he would remove his music catalog if it did not stop featuring content from controversial podcaster Joe Rogan, who the rock 'n' roller accused of spreading misinformation about vaccines. Spotify didn't go for it, however, and Young's music has since been taken down. Now Twitter users are showing solidarity with Young by deleting their Spotify accounts. THE VERGE

What was all that talk about the free world, Neil?

GLOSSIER LAYOFFS

Beauty brand Glossier has reportedly laid off one third of its workforce just six months after raising $80 million in funding. CEO Emily Weiss announced the layoffs in an email to staff that admitted the company had made "some mistakes" and "got ahead of ourselves on hiring." In other words, it grew too fast, and now employees are paying the price. Glossier has struggled  to keep up sales, and earlier in the pandemic laid off its entire retail staff. This time, the layoffs hit tech workers, as the company plans to shift their jobs to "external partners." TECHCRUNCH

MEME-STOCKS: ONE YEAR LATER

One year after retail investors took Wall Street by storm with a series of social media-fueled stock rallies targeting underperforming companies, the craze seems to be winding down even for its biggest beneficiaries. AMC and GameStop both saw their stocks tumble at the start of the year, while shares of Robinhood, which arguably made the retail investing boom possible with its easy-to-use app, were also down 37%. For what it's worth, it wasn't a total wash: AMC used its memestock gains to revitalize its business model. Another favorite of retail investors, dogecoin, is also down from its 2021 highs, but that hasn't stopped it from staying relevant amid a sea of canine-themed competitors. CHEDDAR

We were supposed to sell our GameStop stock?

LEFTOVERS: REAL FRIENDS SEND YOU TO SPACE

Kyle Hippchen won a first-of-its-kind sweepstakes to join a SpaceX mission to orbit the earth, but unfortunately he didn't meet the weight requirements. The news was crushing for Hippchen, who always dreamed of going to space, but he made the best of it by passing the opportunity on to his old college roommate Chris Sembroski. The two had attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the 1990s and kept up their friendship over the years despite living on opposite sides of the country. Pretty nice, huh? Ask yourself: what have you done for your friends lately? AP

They’re such good friends he wants him off the planet.

**LOVE **HATE **ATE

One thing we love:  A lovely bouquet of flowers to remind us of the warm spring days to come

One thing we hate: When work emails start flooding in moments before you're about to log off.

One thing we ate:  Fresh bagels. That crusty outside and soft, pillowy dough inside. You just can't beat it.
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!