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Monday briefing: What to know about omicron subvariant BA.5; Uber investigation; Steve Bannon; Elon Musk; and more

(Jordan Robertson for The Washington Post)
correction

A previous version of this briefing listed an outdated start time for the Jan. 6 hearing tomorrow. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time. This version has been corrected.

1

An omicron offshoot is driving a wave of coronavirus cases across the U.S.

  • How big is it? It’s hard to say because people are testing less. The CDC is reporting some 100,000 cases a day on average, but the true number could be as high as a million.
  • The subvariant: BA.5 is highly contagious. Antibodies from vaccines and previous infections offer limited protection against it.
  • In your state: Check the latest numbers here.

2

A new investigation uncovered an ugly story behind Uber’s global rise.

3

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon wants to testify at a Jan. 6 hearing.

4

A huge protest movement is boiling over in Sri Lanka.

  • The details: People have been angry for months over a terrible economic crisis. Things escalated this weekend after tens of thousands of protesters stormed the president’s home and office.
  • What now? The South Asian country’s president and prime minister promised to step down, but protesters said they won’t leave until that actually happens.

5

Twitter is preparing to take Elon Musk to court.

  • Why? The Tesla CEO wants out of his $44 billion takeover of the social media company, but Twitter thinks that violates the terms of their deal.
  • What’s next? Probably a lengthy courtroom battle. Twitter has hired a prominent law firm for the fight, which could begin as soon as this week.

6

A raging wildfire is threatening over 500 of the world’s largest trees.

A wildfire in Yosemite National Park threatens over 500 sequoia trees. (Video: The Washington Post)
  • Where? The southern part of California’s Yosemite National Park. The blaze doubled in size to just over three square miles this weekend.
  • At risk: A grove of giant sequoias, which only grow in the Sierra Nevada. They can live for about 3,000 years, but they’re struggling to survive climate change.

7

Archaeologists may have found pieces from the “Goonies” shipwreck.

  • What shipwreck? The Santo Cristo de Burgos, a Spanish galleon that disappeared in 1693. It inspired the cult-classic movie, where kids find a booby-trapped ship and long-lost treasure.
  • The actual discovery: A dozen timbers (and no booby traps) in caves on the Oregon coast, where items believed to have been from the ship have washed ashore for centuries.

And now … if you dread those Slack notifications: Here’s how to make your workplace chat app less chaotic.

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