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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)

A previous version of this briefing listed an outdated start time for the Jan. 6 hearing tomorrow.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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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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