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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Friday, May 6, 2022:


In Mariupol, Russian forces are making a final push to destroy the last remnant of resistance at the Azovstal steel plant, hoping to give President Vladimir Putin the chance to claim a major win heading into Moscow’s “Victory Day” military celebration Monday. Nothing has changed in Ukraine’s east; in the city of Kramatorsk, Russian airstrikes cratered an apartment complex and an undergarment store, injuring over 25 civilians. Among many other developments, first lady Jill Biden is traveling to visit Ukrainian refugees in Romania — which has taken in 850,000 so far — and U.S. intelligence reportedly helped Ukraine sink Russia’s Moskva warship. WASH POST


Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked in an interview how Russia could be "de-Nazifying" Ukraine (a goal laid out by Russian President Vladimir Putin) if the country’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish. Lavrov responded by likening Zelensky to Adolf Hitler, falsely asserting that Hitler had "Jewish blood" and that some of "the worst" anti-Semites are Jews. Yesterday, Putin apologized for those incendiary remarks in a highly unusual move for the Russian leader. As Russia faces increasing international isolation, the apology likely boils down to an attempt to retain one of its few remaining allies: Israel. WASH POST


President Joe Biden named Karine Jean-Pierre as the next White House press secretary, becoming the first black woman and openly LGBTQ person to serve in the role. Jean-Pierre will take over after incumbent Jen Psaki’s last day on May 13. Before joining the Biden presidential campaign, Jean-Pierre was the chief public affairs officer of the progressive group and a former political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. She also worked in political affairs in the Obama White House and on his reelection campaign. CHEDDAR

Psee ya, Psaki!​​​​​​​


The FDA has limited its authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to a rare and potentially deadly clotting disorder that occurs in some J&J recipients, so the FDA recommends receiving alternatives like Pfizer or Moderna if possible. J&J’s single-shot vaccine has been commonly administered to populations like the homeless, who may struggle to get the repeat immunizations required in Pfizer's and Moderna’s two-shot regimens. In the U.S., 18.7 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered. CNN

Getting one shot was always too good to be true.


The World Health Organization reported that nearly 15 million people have died from causes related to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes deaths directly caused by the virus, as well as deaths attributed to the pandemic’s overwhelming effect on healthcare systems. India saw the most deaths at 4.7 million, followed by Russia at 1.1 million, Indonesia at over 1 million and the U.S. at more than 930,000. Because not all countries provided information on Covid-related deaths, the number likely is even higher. AP


As part of his bid to pay for his $44 billion buyout of Twitter, Elon Musk secured over $7 billion in equity commitments from investors, according to a new SEC filing. The largest equity commitment came from Oracle founder and major Tesla shareholder Larry Ellison, who contributed $1 billion. It was also announced that Musk is expected to temporarily serve as CEO of Twitter once the buyout closes. That’s still far from fruition, however, as Musk pledged to raise $20 billion in equity for the takeover, so he’s still less than halfway from his fundraising goal. AXIOS



E-commerce giant Shopify agreed to buy Deliverr, a firm specializing in e-commerce fulfillment, for $2.1 billion. The move by Shopify is part of an effort to rival the growing fulfillment services provided by its most fierce competitor, Amazon. Despite the Deliverr acquisition, Shopify stock plunged, as earnings and revenue reported well below analyst estimates. SHOP fell 16% yesterday alone and in the past year has plummeted nearly 65%, now at its lowest point since April 2020. Shopify wasn’t the only e-commerce company to take a major hit yesterday: Wayfair's share prices tumbled 26%. As brick-and-mortar stores reopen, e-commerce platforms are seeing dramatic losses following their Covid-era success. BLOOMBERG

“Sucks, doesn’t it?” —Every brick-and-mortar store.


Walgreens reached a $683 million settlement with the state of Florida in a lawsuit accusing the pharmacy chain of improperly selling millions of painkillers that contributed to the state’s opioid crisis. According to the lawsuit, of the roughly 4 billion opioid pills Walgreens sold in Florida from 2006 to 2021, more than half of those sales contained easily recognizable red flags for abuse, fraud and addiction, to which Florida accuses Walgreens of turning a blind eye. CVS paid a similar settlement of $484 million. Over the past two decades, the opioid epidemic has been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. TAMPA BAY TIMES


Police in Switzerland found over 1,100 pounds of cocaine from a container of coffee bean bags delivered to a Nespresso plant in the city of Romont. Staff at the plant alerted authorities after finding an undefined white substance, later confirmed as cocaine, while unloading bags of coffee beans that had just arrived from Brazil. Nespresso said none of its products were contaminated, noting the drug was in isolated packages, so there was no direct contact with the coffee beans. The cocaine is estimated to be worth over $50 million. THE GUARDIAN

Wait, is this why that cup of Nespresso made me so jittery?


Finished Ozark already and need something else to do with your life? Stay on the couch, because Cheddar’s digital team is back again with the finest streaming recommendations in the game. This week’s recs include a brand new Mike Myers comedy series, a documentary about a Broadway hit, and a new segment we’re rolling out: the Throwback Pick of the Week. CHEDDAR


One thing we love: Drew Barrymore, self-proclaimed Mrs. Cheddar.
One thing we hate: The bone-chilling iPhone alarm sound.
One thing we ate: Biscoff cookies on a plane. And the pretzels. And the beverage.
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!