theNewsWorthy: Thursday, February 21st, 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...
(Scroll down to read more about our Thing to Know Thursday topic …)
Vatican Meeting: The Vatican is holding its first summit on child sexual abuse. The unprecedented conference starts today and could be a defining moment for Pope Francis. The themes of the meeting are responsibility, accountability and transparency. Nearly 200 bishops from more than 100 countries will review the church’s rules and procedures for handling sexual abuse complaints.
Read more: ABC News, BBC, CNN
Coast Guard Terror Plot: U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson is accused of planning a terrorist attack. He’ll appear in court today. Hasson allegedly had a hit-list that included well-known journalists, Democratic politicians and civilians. Police say the self-identified white nationalist stockpiled weapons and ammunition for the planned attack. Also, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracks white supremacists and extremist groups, and a new report this week indicates the number of hate groups is on the rise: 2018 was at an all-time high.
Read more (Terror Plot): NYT, AP
Read more (Hate Groups Report): CBS News, SPLC
Escaping ISIS: An Alabama woman named Hoda Muthana joined ISIS, but now says she wants to come back to the U.S. Muthana has said she was “brainwashed” and “deeply regrets” traveling to Syria in 2014 to marry an Islamic State fighter. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claim she’s not a U.S. citizen and has no legal standing to return, but her lawyer disagrees.
Read more: Washington Post, The Guardian, NYT
Supreme Court Unanimous: The U.S. Supreme Court justices voted unanimously on an Indiana case involving the Eighth Amendment, which limits how much personal property the federal government can take from suspects after a crime is committed. The ruling means the same limit should apply to states. The Court sided with a man who had his $42,000 Land Rover seized by police after selling about $200 of heroin.
Read more: The Washington Post, WSJ
Winter Storm: This week’s winter storm has caused school closings, flight delays and travel troubles, but for most spots, today should be the last day of major issues. The Midwest and East Coast were hit hard this week: 2,000 flights were canceled and 3,000 more were delayed. Minnesota even set a new record: the state is having its snowiest February ever.
Read more: CNN, CBS News, AccuWeather
Pinterest Bans Vaccine Searches: Pinterest has taken a big step to stop the spread of false health information. The social network blocked all vaccination-related search results – whether for or against them.
Read more: WSJ, CNBC
Samsung Galaxy Fold: Samsung’s first foldable smartphone is here, and it’s called the Galaxy Fold. The phone unfolds into a tablet-sized screen, opening like a book. It’s not cheap, though: the Galaxy Fold is selling for nearly $2,000. It’ll be available April 26. Other highlights from the launch event include a smart-watch, four new models of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Buds wireless headphones.
Read more: Engadget, The Verge, WSJ
Fastest-Growing Job: A new report says the fastest growing six-figure job in America is: App Developer – the person who develops, builds and updates web and mobile apps. App developers can expect to see more openings over the next several years than any other job with an average salary of at least $100,000. That said, it’s not the fastest growing job on the market overall.
Read more: Money Mag, Projections Central
Nike Self-Tying Shoe: People are having some issues with Nike’s new smart sneakers, which were released last week. Apparently, only one shoe will tie. The Nike Adapt BB sneaker is controlled and tightened by an app, and the problem is likely software related.
Read more: Quartz, CNET, THE Verge
Southwest Problems: It’s been a rough week for Southwest Airlines. The airline has had to cancel hundreds of flights since last week because of mechanical issues. More than 40 planes had issues Tuesday alone, which is more than twice the average of a typical day. On top of that, Southwest is blaming the partial government shutdown for a loss of $60 million in revenue.
Read more: CNBC, CNN
Jussie Smollett Suspect: Actor Jussie Smollett is officially charged with a felony for allegedly filing a false police report. The Empire actor is expected in court today. Smollett said he was attacked in Chicago back in January. Police originally said it was a hate crime, but now say they believe he lied about the attack. Smollett and his lawyer have insisted the attack really happened.
Read more: NBC News, Variety
Game of Thrones HBO Blood Drive: HBO is partnering with the American Red Cross for a Game of Thrones-themed blood drive. Why? Winter is here... The Red Cross had to cancel more than 350 blood drives during the polar vortex, causing the organization to miss out on more than 11,000 blood donations. The partnership, #BleedForTheThrone, will have blood drives in 43 states starting next month.
Read more: CNN, Gizmodo