theNewsWorthy: Tuesday, January 15th, 2019


(in less than 10 minutes!)

Today's episode is brought to you Blinkist, where you can read or listen to books in just 15 minutes. Go to to start your free 7-day trial. 

Want more? I got you.

All the news stories mentioned in today's episode are listed with links below, so you can spend as much -- or as little -- time as you want perusing the latest happenings...

Shutdown’s Impact Cont'd:  The longest government shutdown in history is affecting more Americans each day. This week, airports have been hit hard: TSA screeners have been calling out sick, and union officials say it will continue as employees consider quitting in search of new jobs. Airports in Atlanta and Houston were forced to close several security lines yesterday. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is suing the government, claiming that back-pay won’t make up for the damages now. NASA employees are expected to protest today. The FDA will resume food inspections with the help of unpaid staff. Senators met last night to discuss, but there was no progress. Meanwhile, President Trump spoke at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention, reassuring farmers he was fighting for them.
Read more: AP, The Hill, Bloomberg, Business Insider, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, NBC News

U.S. Attorney General Confirmation Hearing:  Today is the first day of William Barr’s confirmation hearing before the Senate. If confirmed as the U.S. Attorney General, he’ll become the nation’s top law enforcement official. Barr served as the Attorney General during the George H.W. Bush administration. Barr’s nomination seems to have support from enough people in both parties: he plans to show Republicans he supports Trump when it comes things like crime and immigration, while appealing to Democrats by allowing the special counsel’s Russia investigation to continue.
Read more: The Washington Post, WSJ
Rep. King Removed:  Republican Rep. Steve King from Iowa is facing backlash for a quote in The New York Times where he questioned why the term “white supremacist” was offensive. King was stripped of committee assignments in the House as lawmakers across party lines condemned the statement. King claims the comment was “completely mischaracterized.”
Read more: FOX News, NYT

PG&E Bankruptcy: California’s biggest utility company plans to file for bankruptcy. Gas and electric provider PG&E is expected to file by the end of the month, and the company announced its CEO is stepping down. A PG&E power line was found to be the likely cause of the state’s deadliest wildfire in November; the company’s liability costs could exceed $30 billion. PG&E says customers will not be affected by the bankruptcy.
Read more: Reuter, CNN

Drone Rules:  The FAA may relax some restrictions placed on drones. Assuming certain safety precautions are met, new proposed rules could mean some drones are allowed to fly overnight – and over people – without special permission. The FAA plans to also introduce new restrictions, like more operator training. The goal is to help the drone industry grow and make sure the U.S. stays a leader in tech. Comments on the changes will be fielded over the next 60 days before being finalized.
Read more: Bloomberg, The Hill

NBC Streaming:  NBC is planning to launch its own unique video streaming service. Customers who pay for cable TV already will have free access to the service, which will include ads. Cord-cutters can also sign up, but for $12 per month. The streaming service will launch in 2020 and will have hours of NBC shows, like Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation.
Read more: CNBC
Social Media Tests:  Changes are coming to a few popular social media sites. YouTube is adding an option to swipe left or right to the next or previous clip. The hope is to give you more control, though it may also keep users on the app longer. Twitter is testing new features, and a test version of the app will be released to a few thousand users. It’ll offer things like color-coded replies and a new way of organizing responses. Facebook is testing sharing events to Facebook stories.
Read more (YouTube): TechCrunch
Read more (Twitter): Engadget, TechCrunch
Read more (Facebook): Mashable
White House to Big Brother’s House:  Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci will be on the new season of Celebrity Big Brother. He’ll compete against celebs like Dina Lohan and Joey Lawrence for a $250,000 prize. Scaramucci will be the second former White House employee to appear: last year, aide Omarosa Manigault Newman was on the reality show. The season starts next Monday on CBS.
Read more: The Hollywood Reporter, CNN
Hamilton in Puerto Rico:  Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit Hamilton is now in Puerto Rico. The 17-day run is raising money and awareness for the island, which is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017. The show is expected to bring in $15 million for a fund that supports local artists.
Read more: People, NYT