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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, September 28, 2021:


The federal government is on the brink of shutting down after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have both funded the government and suspended the federal borrowing limit. Democrats say they’ll try to pass that spending bill again before the Thursday deadline. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her rank-and-file that they have to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill this week and not wait for the other bigger spending bill, as some progressives have demanded. That sets up a nailbiter vote on the infrastructure package, probably also coming on Thursday. NPR


Thousands of healthcare workers across New York state are at risk of imminently losing their jobs after the deadline passed for the state’s vaccine mandate. Gov. Kathy Hochul took executive action to allow for medically trained National Guard troops to fill in for those who have refused to get vaccinated. They could be fired today in one of the first big tests of state employer mandates. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court is allowing NYC’s vaccine mandate for school employees to go forward next week. In Washington, both President Biden and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got their booster shots, with McConnell calling it an “easy decision.” NY TIMES


R. Kelly was found guilty in his federal racketeering and sex-trafficking trial. The disgraced R&B singer now faces the possibility of life in prison. Jurors took two days to return a guilty verdict on all counts at the six-week trial in Brooklyn, in which eleven of Kelly’s victims described a decades-long scheme of exploitation and abuse at the hands of one of the most popular artists in the country. He will be sentenced next May. AP


The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued its first public safety alert in six years, on the subject of an “alarming” rise in fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills. The DEA has seized close to 10 million counterfeit pills so far this year, more than in the previous two years combined. Two out of every five of those pills contained lethal amounts of fentanyl, which is much more powerful, cheaper to make, and easier to distribute than heroin. NPR


Two top officials at the Federal Reserve are resigning after coming under scrutiny for stock market trades they made while the Fed was intervening to shore up financial markets last year. Robert Kaplan, head of the Dallas Fed, will leave his post next month. He reportedly bought and sold at least $1 million worth of individual stocks in 2020. The announcement came after Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Fed, said he’d take an early retirement due to health issues. Rosengren was an active trader of real estate investment trusts while setting Fed policy on mortgage-backed securities. BLOOMBERG


Facebook says it is “pausing” development of an Instagram app specifically tailored for kids. Instagram head Adam Mosseri wrote in a statement that he thinks an app for children as young as 10 is still the “right thing to do” but that the company wants time to work with "parents, experts, policymakers and regulators.” The news of the halt follows a recent report that Facebook’s own data found that the app had become toxic for teen girls. CHEDDAR


Netflix has revealed some new viewership data that’s more comprehensive than anything the streamer has released in the past. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos shared two slides at a conference, one showing how many viewers watched at least two minutes of a show or movie in its first four weeks of release -- the metric that Netflix has previously used. The other slide showed total time spent watching a show or movie in that same window, which is new. Season 1 of Bridgerton was the most-watched show on both metrics, while Extraction and Bird Box were the most-watched movies. Sarandos said the South Korean hit Squid Game is on track to be Netflix’s most popular show ever. VARIETY


Saturday Night Live is losing one of its most familiar faces, but it’s not the exodus many fans had feared. Beck Bennett is leaving the show after eight seasons, along with newer cast member Lauren Holt. But Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant and Kenan Thompson are all sticking around for at least another year despite rumors they wouldn’t be coming back. SNL is also adding three new featured players for its 47th season: Aristotle Athari, Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson, who is known for dead-on Trump impressions like this one: WATCH


...Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, making his acting debut in the trailer for the upcoming P.T. Anderson movie, Licorice Pizza: WATCH

...David Letterman, crashing the Brooklyn Nets’ media day, where he asked Kevin Durant why people call him “K.D.” Durant was unimpressed: WATCH


The man who shot and nearly killed President Reagan 40 years ago will be entirely freed by next summer. Lawyers for John Hinckley Jr. struck a deal with federal prosecutors to grant the would-be assassin an unconditional release from court supervision in June. Hinckley was released from prison in 2016 and has been living with restrictions in Virginia, where he runs a booth at an antique show. Meanwhile, the fate of Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted of assassinating RFK, remains in the hands of Gavin Newsom after California’s parole board recommended his release last month. POLITICO
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