theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, February 20th, 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...

Trump vs. California: The Trump administration says it plans to cancel – and get California to return – a total of $3.5 billion in federal funds. The money was designated for California’s high-speed rail project. Now, the federal government says the state isn’t making enough progress, but California's governor says it’s all political. He thinks it's retaliation against California for leading a lawsuit against the Trump administration (a total of 16 states are now suing over Trump’s national emergency declaration).
Read more: AP, LA Times

Trump Investigations:  President Trump is pushing back against a NYT report that cites sources claiming he made an effort to “undermine multiple investigations.” Trump allegedly asked acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker if his own appointee could take over a federal investigation involving him, which some say could be an obstruction of justice. 
Also of note: Trump nominated Jeffrey Rosen as the next Deputy Attorney General to take the place of Rod Rosenstein, who is expected to step down next month.
Read more (Trump Investigations): NYT, NBC News
Read more (Deputy AG Nominee): The Hill
Bernie Sanders 2020: Sen. Bernie Sanders has officially entered the 2020 presidential race. It will be the second time Sanders is running for the Democratic nomination (he lost to Hillary Clinton back in 2016). Within four hours of the announcement, Sanders’ campaign had raised $4 million, a new record for first-day donations in the 2020 race.
Read more: NBC News, CNN, BusinessInsider

RBG is Back:  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back at work as of yesterday. She was away from the bench for eight weeks while she recovered from cancer surgery. The absence was the 85-year-old’s first time missing arguments in court in her 25-year tenure.
Read more: AP, The Hill

West Virginia Teacher Strike:  Teachers in West Virginia are back on the picket line today, although the strike is expected to end by tomorrow. Within a few hours since teachers started striking, it looked like the bill they were fighting against was rejected. Still, teachers said they would walk-out one more day just to make sure there weren’t any last minute changes. This was the second teachers strike in West Virginia within a year. The first one last March inspired other teacher strikes across the U.S.
Read more: ABC News, Time

FDA Warning: The FDA is warning customers about “young blood” transfusions. Some companies have been giving blood plasma from younger people to older patients and claiming it can treat diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. The FDA says it isn’t true and advises that the procedure can be dangerous.
Read more: TechCrunch, NBC News
Samsung Galaxy S10 Launch:  Samsung will officially announce the Galaxy S10 today. An ad for the new phone accidentally aired in Norway, giving consumers a sneak peek: the commercial shows an ultrasonic fingerprint reader, a triple camera system and a reverse wireless charger. We’ll find out the details for sure when the event starts at 11:00 a.m. PST. You can watch the livestream here.
Read more: The Verge, Forbes
Biggest Contract:  The San Diego Padres just made sports history by offering Manny Machado a 10-year, $300 million deal. It’s the biggest free agent contract in American sports history. Machado has to pass a physical before it's all finalized.
Read more: ESPN
USA Gymnastics New Prez: USA Gymnastics appointed Li Li Leung as its new President and CEO. The organization is still trying to bounce back after the Larry Nassar scandal and a bankruptcy filing. Leung has a long history in sports, as a gymnast and the former Vice President of the NBA. She starts next month.
Read more: NPR, WaPo, TIME/AP
Michael Jackson Doc:  HBO has released a trailer for Leaving Neverland, a documentary that follows two men who claim they were sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson’s estate is not happy with it and says the movie takes “allegations and treats them as fact.” The two-part documentary airs March 3 and 4 on HBO.
Read more: ENews, Fortune
Ariana Grande’s Record: Ariana Grande just tied a record set by The Beatles. She’s the first artist to hold the #1, #2 and #3 spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs chart all at the same... well, since The Beatles did it in 1964. Grande’s  “7 Rings,” “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored” and “Thank U, Next” are the top three songs.
Read more: Billboard