theNewsWorthy: Friday, March 29th, 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...
More Mueller Talk: It’s been one week Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned over his final report to Attorney General William Barr. Turns out: the full report from the Russia investigation is at least 300+ pages long, and Democrats are not happy they’ve only seen a four-page summary from the AG. They’ve set a Tuesday deadline to see the report for themselves (but that likely won't happen). On the other hand, President Trump was happy to talk about the report at a rally in Michigan last night.
Read more: WSJ, FOX News, NYT
Special Olympics Funding: President Trump announced funding is back in the proposed budget for the Special Olympics. Originally, the Trump administration said all federal funding for the organization should be cut, but critics called it cruel to take money away from disabled children. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had said private nonprofits should get donations elsewhere.
Read more: NYT
WOW Air Shuts Down: WOW Air suddenly shut down, canceling all flights on the spot and stranding travelers. The budget airline ran out of Iceland and was known for super cheap fares between the U.S. and Europe (although there were plenty of fees). The airline spent months trying to negotiate a sale of the business, but the deal fell through. WOW is telling travelers to book with other airlines or try to get their money back from the credit card companies.
Read more: CNBC, AP
Jussie Smollett Fine: The city of Chicago is demanding Jussie Smollett pay $130,000 to cover all of the overtime officers worked looking into his alleged attack, which police later said was all staged. The city says Smollett has one week to pay up or face additional fines. Trump weighed in, calling the case “outrageous” and tweeting that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now reviewing the case. Smollett’s attorney, on the other hand, says it’s the mayor and police chief who owe the actor an apology because he's innocent.
Read more: Fox News, CNN, AP, Variety
Lyft IPO: Lyft will make its debut on Wall Street today. The company is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq, becoming the first public ride-sharing company. Lyft’s initial public offering values the company at more than $20 billion, with shares priced at $72 per share. It’s the first of many expected public offerings from tech companies this year, including rival Uber.
Read more: CNET, CNBC, WSJ
Facebook Discrimination?: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is charging Facebook with violating the Fair Housing Act. HUD accuses Facebook of letting landlords and real estate brokers decide who sees their ads based on religion, sex and race. Of course, it’s illegal for landlords to discriminate. HUD says it’s the online version of “slamming a door in someone’s face.” Facebook says it has already been working to make changes. Speaking of Facebook ads: there's a new ad library out this week that lets you see all active ads from any Facebook Page -- whether it's a company or President Trump. It also shows how much money was spent on political issues.
Read more (HUD charge): Reuters, AP, WSJ
Read more (ad library): TechCrunch, Ad Library
Netflix Fastest Growing: Netflix is the number one fastest-growing U.S. brand in 2019, according to a new study by Brand Finance. Netflix’s brand value has more than doubled over the past year, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the most valuable. The same consulting firm says Amazon is the most valuable U.S. brand in 2019.
Read more: PR Newswire, Variety
Olympic Breakdancing: Breakdancing could become an Olympic sport, along with skateboarding, climbing and surfing. The International Olympic Committee’s executive board recommended adding those four sports to the lineup. A final decision won’t be made until next year, but if approved, the new sports will be in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Read more: BBC, ESPN/AP