theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, February 6th, 2019
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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...
State of the Union Recap: President Trump used last night’s State of the Union address to call for unity between political parties, saying it’s time to "heal old wounds" and “break decades of political stalemate.” He discussed bipartisan issues, but he also continued to push for funding to build a wall along the southern border. Trump also announced plans for a second meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un at the end of this month. Stacey Abrams gave the official response. She also called for bipartisanship, but pushed back against Trump, saying he used federal workers who went without pay during the shutdown as political pawns.
Read more: CBS News, WSJ (full text), The Hill, AP Fact Check
Pope Talks Sexual Abuse: For the first time, Pope Francis publicly acknowledged that some priests and bishops have sexually abused nuns. The pope said members of the Catholic church have been suspended for abusing nuns and the problem of sexual abuse is being dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Read more: AP News, Washington Post, NBC News
Measles Outbreak: A recent measles outbreak is now impacting ten states. There are 50 cases in Washington state, where the governor has declared a state of emergency. New York has reported more than 170 cases since September. Health officials say the low vaccination rate may be to blame for the rising number of people infected.
Read more: CNN, NBC News, WHO
T-Mobile’s Promise: T-Mobile is trying to sweeten the deal to get approval for a merger with Sprint. The network has promised not to raise prices for the next three years if the $26 billion merger is allowed to go through. Some critics worry the merger would mean less competition and higher prices. If the two combine and build new customer care centers, it could create thousands of jobs. The Justice Department and the FCC have yet to approve.
Read more: Reuters, USA Today
Charlotte Russe Chapter 11: Well-known clothing store Charlotte Russe filed for bankruptcy. The company plans to close 20 percent of its stores; it received a $50 million bankruptcy loan to continue running the remaining stores for now. The drop in sales and in-store traffic is a familiar problem in the retail industry.
Read more: WSJ
Amazon’s Retail: Amazon is planning to tear down an abandoned mall in Akron, Ohio in order to build a warehouse, and some are calling it symbolic of what's happening in the industry. Rolling Acres Mall once held 140 retailers before closing in 2013. Amazon plans to build a nearly 700,000 square foot fulfillment center in place of the mall. Construction is set to start in September, and the new warehouse could bring hundreds of jobs back to the area.
Read more: Business Insider
Crypto Conundrum: A cryptocurrency company owes its customers $190 million in assets, but there’s just one problem: the only person who could access the accounts has died. Gerald Cotten – the CEO of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Quadriga CX – died suddenly last year, taking all of the passwords with him. The company will have to go to court.
Read more: CNBC, MarketWatch, Bloomberg
Google Checkup: Google wants to help you protect your data with a new Chrome extension. Password Checkup monitors users’ website logins to detect if the username and password combos have been shared on any hacker sites. But Google isn’t the only company to offer this: Firefox has something similar, and there are a number of websites that can check if your online accounts have been compromised.
Read more: VentureBeat
Fortnite Virtual Concert: A virtual concert hosted inside the world's most popular video game saw an estimated 10 million Fortnite players logged in and watching at the same time. EDM star Marshmello gave the 10-minute performance. Some say this is a preview of what future VR and AR concerts could be like. Fortnite has more than 200 million registered players worldwide.
Read more: WIRED, Business Insider
Facebook Unsend: Have you ever sent a Facebook message and wished you could take it back? Now you can with Facebook Messenger’s delete button. Within ten seconds of sending a message, users have the option to “remove for everyone,” which will pull the message from friends’ inboxes.
Read more: TechCrunch
No Host for the Oscars: The Oscars have made it official and announced what we already knew: there will not be a host this year. The Academy Awards ceremony hasn’t gone without a host since 1989. Kevin Hart was supposed to host this year, but he dropped out after controversy about his old tweets. The Oscars are February 24 at 8 p.m. EST.
Read more: BuzzFeed News