theNewsWorthy: Thursday, February 14th, 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...
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Border Deal Update: Lawmakers in the Senate and then the House are expected to vote on the border deal today, and it looks like President Trump might sign it. If it all happens before the weekend, it'll prevent another government shutdown and fund the government until September. The bill would provide funding for $1.4 billion to cover 55 miles of border fencing. Trump has made it clear that he’s not happy with the deal, and some lawmakers say they haven’t had enough time to read the details. So it's still not guaranteed it'll pass. Stay tuned.
Read more: WSJ, The Hill, AP
Iranian Spy: A former Air Force intelligence specialist is accused of defecting to Iran and revealing highly-classified information. Monica Witt allegedly gave the Iranian government information about a secret program and identified another U.S. officer. She’s been indicted, but not caught; officials believe Witt is still in Iran.
Read more: CBS News, CNN
Ryan Adams Accused: Several women are accusing singer-songwriter Ryan Adams of sexual harassment and emotional abuse. Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore and six other women claim that Adams was manipulative and would retaliate if they declined his advances. One says she was just 14 years old at the time. Adams’ lawyer says he never did anything inappropriate with anyone he knew was underage.
Read more: NYT, EW
One Year Since Parkland: The community of Parkland, Florida is mourning and reflecting today, which marks one year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen students and staff members were killed; more than a dozen others were injured. The gunman is still awaiting trial. The school will have a half-day in order for students to serve breakfast to first responders, and a ceremony will be held near the school to honor the victims. Many survivors have been fighting for stricter gun laws in the U.S. and started the March For Our Lives movement.
Read more: NPR, TIME
Ex-Astronaut for Senate: Gun control advocate and former astronaut Mark Kelly announced he’s running for an Arizona Senate seat in 2020. His wife is former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in 2011.
Read more: TIME, Yahoo
Mars Rover Dead: NASA’s robotic rover Opportunity explored Mars for 15 years. Now, NASA has deemed its mission complete. A dust storm on Mars caused NASA to lose contact. The robot landed on Mars in 2004 and was expected to last only 90 days. Over the Opportunity’s 15 years, it took hundreds of thousands of photos and even found evidence of liquid water once on the surface.
Read more: Space.com, CNET
Ford Recalls: Ford is recalling 1.5 million pickup trucks because of transmission issues. F-150s from model years 2011-2013 with six-speed automatic transmissions are impacted. Some of those trucks may suddenly downshift into first gear, which could cause drivers to lose control. Five such crashes have been reported.
Read more: Reuters, NBC News
Google Data Centers: Google is planning to spend $13 billion on new data centers and offices this year. They’ll be built in Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Nebraska. Existing centers in Oklahoma and South Carolina will be expanded. Google says this will create tens of thousands of jobs.
Read more: CNBC, TechCrunch
Instagram Bug: A bug is causing some Instagram users to see drastic drops in the number of followers. IG says it should be fixed by 9:00 a.m. today. Some users reported losing thousands of followers. Celebs like Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez lost millions.
Read more: Twitter, TechCrunch, Business Insider
Movie Sequels: Disney released a trailer for Frozen II. Queen Elsa and friends will be back in theaters in November. Another upcoming sequel made headlines this week: Coming to America 2 is the sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy. It’s set to premiere next August.
Read more (Frozen 2): People
Read more (Coming to America 2): Variety
Million Dollar Mansion for $19: A $1.3 million mansion could be yours for just under $20. Of course, there’s a catch: you have to win an essay-writing contest (submission costs $19 each), and the contest has to receive at least 60,000 entries. A Canadian woman hopes to earn the listing price while ensuring the home goes to the right person. The essay question is, “Why would moving into a lakefront dream home change your life?”
Read more: Business Insider
Valentine’s Day: Today is Valentine’s Day💕, and Americans are set to spend $20 billion for the holiday. Although, according to the National Retail Federation, only about half of Americans actually plan to celebrate. Also, reminder: you won’t find those conversation candy hearts this year, but they’ll be back next year. The original maker went out of business, and the new owners say they didn’t have enough time to ensure quality for this year's holiday.
Read more: Bloomberg, USA Today. USA Today (holiday deals)