theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, March 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...
Michael Cohen Investigation: Newly released documents show Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen started earlier than most people thought. The FBI reportedly started investigating Cohen back in July of 2017, nearly a year before they raided his home and office. Mueller quickly zeroed in on Cohen and issued several search warrants. Cohen later cooperated with investigators and is set to start his three year prison sentence in May.
Read more: AP, Washington Post, WSJ
Cyclone, Flooding: Cyclone Idai hit southern Africa, and now, a U.N. official says it could be one of the worst weather-related disasters the southern hemisphere has ever seen. More than 1.5 million people were affected. The cyclone hit Mozambique the hardest: the president there has said he’s worried the death toll could reach 1,000.
In the Midwest here in the U.S., Vice President Mike Pence toured damaged areas and is now promising that federal aid will be expedited to both Iowa and Nebraska to deal with the record-breaking flooding. Thousands of people have had to evacuate, and the floodwaters threaten millions of dollars in farmers’ crops and livestock.
Read more (Mozambique): NYT, AP, PBS (How to Help)
Read more (Midwest): AccuWeather, AP, PBS (How to Help)
First Postpartum Depression Drug: For the first time, the FDA has approved a drug specifically for postpartum depression. The treatment will give mothers immediate relief, working in as little as 48 hours. The drug is called Brexanolone, and it’s given through an IV.
Read more: NYT
Disney & 21st Century Fox: The Walt Disney Company is now officially the owner of 21st Century Fox. The company has been working on the $71 billion deal for just over a year. FOX News and FOX Broadcasting Company will split off and be its own company.
Read more: Entertainment Weekly, NBC News, FOX News
Levi’s IPO: The world’s biggest denim brand is going public: for the first time in more than three decades, investors can buy shares of Levi Strauss. It’ll be the second time in Levi’s 165-year history that the company will be publicly traded. The stock is expected to begin trading tomorrow.
Read more: CNBC, NYT
Baseball is Back: Baseball season is back, and even though the traditional Opening Day isn’t for another week, the first game is today. The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics begin the season in Japan. This will be the fifth time an MLB season has opened in Japan. Also, there’s another record-breaking contract in the works: Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are finalizing the largest contract in professional sports history. If the 12-year $430 million deal goes through, Trout will likely play for the Angels until he retires.
Read more (MLB Season): CBS Sports
Read more (Mike Trout): ESPN
Apple Business Chat: Soon you may not even have to get up from your seat to get a snack or drink while watching a basketball game. Apple teamed up with a sports stadium vendor to let customers send orders via text message. Apple Business Chat is being tested in Cleveland, but it could roll out to more stadiums in the future. Fans can scan the QR code on the back of their seats to access the ordering menu, pay with Apple Pay and get their orders delivered.
Read more: TechCrunch
Google Gaming: Google is getting into gaming with a streaming service it calls Google Stadia. Stadia users can stream and play games on their phones, laptops and some tablets using the Chrome browser, Chromecast and Pixel devices. The company didn’t say how much this new platform will cost, but they did say it’ll launch later this year.
Read more: The Verge, Ars Technica
Drinkworks Machine: Keurig Dr. Pepper and Anheuser-Busch InBev are moving forward with an idea for home bartending called Drinkworks. It’s like a K-cup machine for cocktails: it uses liquid-filled pods then adds water and carbonation to serve up drinks like a Moscow Mule. Right now, it can be pre-ordered for $299.
Read more: WSJ, MarketWatch
Powerball Drawing: More than half-a-billion dollars is up for grabs in tonight’s Powerball drawing. The jackpot has been growing for more than two months now. It’s the largest Powerball jackpot of 2019 and the eighth-largest jackpot ever. What are your chances of winning? About 1 in 300 million.
Read more: CNBC, ABC News
First Day of Spring: Happy first official day of spring! Winter is now over – at least in the northern hemisphere. Tonight, you may see the third and final supermoon of 2019. Supermoons are full moons that appear slightly bigger and brighter than normal.
Read more: AccuWeather, USA Today, Forbes