theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, January 30th, 2019


(in less than 10 minutes!)

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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...

Polar Vortex:  Parts of the U.S. are facing the coldest weather in decades. Cities like Chicago, Des Moines and Minneapolis will be colder than Antarctica today and tomorrow. Schools are closing, and some states have declared emergencies ahead of the sub-zero temperatures. Tens of millions of Americans will be affected and are being warned to avoid exposure if possible. President Trump tweeted about the record-breaking cold, asking “what[...] is going on with global warming? Please come back fast, we need you!” National Weather Service meteorologists say that climate change causes more extreme weather on both ends of the spectrum.
Read more: USA Today, CNN, The Washington Post
Read more (Climate Change):  VOA, Quartz

Intelligence Chiefs Contradict Trump:  Top U.S. intelligence leaders told Congress the biggest threats to national security include North Korea (unlikely to give up nuclear weapons), Russian and Chinese cyberattacks, and ISIS. Officials also claim the Iran nuclear deal is actually working, meaning Iran is less of a threat. Much of the report conflicts with what President Trump has said. The report did not mention any concern regarding the U.S.-Mexico border.
Read more: AP, NYT, NBC News

State of the Union Rebuttal:  Democrats have decided: Stacey Abrams will give the rebuttal to President Trump’s State of the Union address next Tuesday. She plans to give her speech to the nation from her hometown of Atlanta. Abrams made headlines last year when she ran for governor in Georgia; she lost in a very close and disputed race. Had Abrams won, she would have been the first black female governor in the country. Top Democrats say she’s a great leader who can relate to working-class people.
Read more: TIME/AP, CBS News, FOX News

FBI on Vegas Shooting:  After completing its investigation, the FBI did not find a clear motive behind the shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 and injured hundreds more. Investigators say Stephen Paddock put in a lot of effort into keeping his life private, although he may have wanted to attain "infamy" from the attack.
Read more: Las Vegas Review-Journal, CNN, AP
PG&E Bankruptcy:  PG&E – California’s largest utility company – has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s the largest public company to file for bankruptcy in the U.S. within the past decade. The utility provider faces $30 billion in liabilities after its equipment was found to have caused some of the state’s recent deadly wildfires. PG&E serves 16 million customers, who can expect higher bills as the company tries to recoup some of the losses.
Read more:  WSJ, AP
Cancer Cure?:  An Israeli biotech company is claiming it can develop a cure for cancer within a year’s time. The treatment uses peptides (chains of amino acids) to target and kill cancer cells. So far it’s been tested on mice -- not humans. Even if it works, it’ll take years of testing before it gets approval in the U.S.
Read more: CNBC, Jerusalem Post
Kids & Screen Time:  A new study links kids’ screen time with slower development. According to Canadian researchers, 2-year old children who spent more time in front of screens did worse on a development test a year later than children who spent less time with screens. There were similar results at 3 and 5 years old. Critics say the study did not look at factors like family income and the child’s sleep habits, which might impact development even more.
Read more: JAMA, The Guardian
Apple Health App:  Apple and health insurance provider Aetna are working together on a new Apple Watch app. It'll do things like remind you to get a flu shot or refill prescriptions. The program is open to anyone covered by Aetna and is set to launch this spring.
Read more (Health App): TechCrunch

Apple FaceTime Bug: Apple is also working to fix a security bug: it allows one person calling another on FaceTime to hear – and maybe even see – the other person before the call is answered. The group FaceTime feature has been disabled for now, and a fix it is expected soon.
Read more (FaceTime Bug): WSJ, The Verge
Airport Robot Valets:  Could robots be the future of valet parking? London’s Gatwick airport will be testing robot valets for three months. Travelers leave their cars at a drop-off area, and the robot acts like a forklift, lifting cars up and parking them. Since robots don't need to get in and out of the cars, the airport can fit more cars in the same lot.
Read more: CNN, MIT Tech Review
#4PercentChallenge:  A new campaign in Hollywood is calling on people to commit to hiring or working with at least one female director in the next 18 months. Times Up’s #4PercentChallenge comes on the heels of a study that found only four percent of the top 1,000 films of the last decade were directed by women. Universal Pictures is the first studio to take on the challenge, and other stars like Tessa Thompson, Reese Witherspoon, Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams have also committed.
Read more: The Hollywood Reporter, Mashable