theNewsWorthy: Friday, February 22nd, 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...

Jussie Smollett Latest:
  Actor Jussie Smollett is out of jail – but not out of trouble. The Empire actor appeared in court yesterday and was released on a $100,000 bond. Smollett is facing a felony charge for allegedly filing a false police report. Prosecutors say he lied about the attack to promote his career and paid two men more than $3,000 to stage the attack. If Smollett is found guilty, he could face up to three years in jail. His lawyers say he's innocent and has integrity.
Read more: AP, Deadline, Variety

North Carolina New Election:  State officials unanimously agreed: a new election will be held in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district because of suspected election fraud. Even Republican Mark Harris – who originally won in November – called for a new election. Harris is facing evidence and testimony that blames his campaign for funding the illegal scheme, but he says he didn’t know about any of it. The state has not yet announced when the new election will take place, and it’s unknown whether Mark Harris will run again.
Read more: ABC News, NYT

Democrats vs. Nat'l Emergency:  Democrats plan to file a resolution today to block President Trump’s national emergency declaration. The resolution would need a majority vote in both the House and Senate before heading to the president for approval (and then Trump could just veto it).
Read more: The Hill, AP

Roger Stone Instagram Post:  President Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone has been placed under a strict gag order and can no longer publicly discuss his criminal case. He posted a photo on Instagram of the judge’s face with what looked like the crosshairs of a gun in the background. Stone later took the picture down and said it was “misinterpreted.” Stone was charged as part of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
Read more: PBS, FOX News, NBC News

Sin City Snow:  Las Vegas saw its first measurable snowfall in a decade. Half an inch of snow was measured at the airport. Even parts of southern California got a dusting, like in Malibu.
Read more: Weather Channel, CNN, LA Times
Apple Credit Card:  Apple and Goldman Sachs are teaming up to offer a new joint credit card. The companies plan to offer extra perks on Apple’s Wallet app. Employees will reportedly test the new card in the next few weeks before it launches later this year.
Read more: 9to5Mac, WSJ
YouTube Deletes Channels:  YouTube says it’s taking action against disturbing content after a popular YouTuber and a report in WIRED accused the site of having a “predator problem.” Inappropriate comments have been made on videos of children, so companies like Walt Disney, Nestle and AT&T have paused advertising on YouTube. YouTube responded by deleting hundreds of channels and suspending the comments on millions of videos.
Amazon Computer Classes:  Amazon is offering free computer classes to 1,000 high schools across all 50 states as a part of the Amazon Future Engineer program. The program's goal is to offer these courses to 100,000 underprivileged kids.
Read more: TechCrunch
World’s Biggest Bee:  People are buzzing about the world’s biggest bee – it’s alive! The so-called Wallace’s giant bee hasn’t been seen in the wild in decades, so people thought it was extinct. That is, until a photographer spotted one in Indonesia last month. It’s about the size of a thumb. See it here.
Read more: Gizmodo, BBC
Academy Awards:  The Oscars are this Sunday, and for the first time in three decades, there will be no host. Instead, a bunch of different celebrities – including Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Poehler and Jennifer Lopez – will present the awards. There will be big performances, too, like Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga singing “Shallow” from A Star Is Born. Queen will perform in support of Bohemian Rhapsody, which is up for five awards, including Best Picture. The Academy Awards are this Sunday at 5pm PST / 8pm EST on ABC.
Read more: THR, Reuters, ABC News, GMA, Variety