theNewsWorthy: Friday, April 19th, 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...

Mueller Report Highlights: After two years of an investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report is now available. It details some questionable behavior by the president, but as expected, there are no major bombshells and no criminal charges. The report confirms that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. The investigation found several connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, but no "coordination" or conspiracy that amounts to a crime. The report also details how Trump tried unsuccessfully to stop the investigation. Mueller did not charge Trump with obstruction of justice, but the report does not exonerate him either. President Trump is happy about it and says it's time to move on, but House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler says there is more to investigate and wants to hear directly from Mueller.
Read more: The Hill, NYT, The Atlantic, FOX News, Reuters, Read the Report

Notre Dame Fire Cause, Competition:  The fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral was most likely caused by an electrical short circuit, investigators told some media (though it’s still not official). At this point, investigators can’t get inside the building because of safety concerns. They believe an accident caused Monday’s fire, which destroyed the spire and part of the roof. There's now a new international competition for architects to redesign the roofline and create a new spire. French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants to rebuild it in time for Paris to host the Summer Olympics in 2024.
Read more: AP, Bloomberg, The Guardian

Economy:  There were concerns about the U.S. economy late last year, but things are looking a little better now: the number of people who filed for unemployment last week is down to the lowest level since 1969. It’s been decreasing for the past five weeks. At the same time, retail sales went up nearly two percent in March, which is the biggest increase since 2017.
Read more: ABC News, CNBC, Reuters

Food Stamps Online:  A new program in New York is testing the use of food stamps to buy groceries online. Both Walmart and Amazon are participating. Food stamps are part of a government program to provide free food to 40 million Americans. The online program is expected to expand to other states, including Alabama, Iowa, New Jersey and Washington.
Read more: Reuters, CNN
“Bubble Boy” Cure:  Scientists may have found a cure to a rare immune disorder known as “Bubble Boy” disease (from a 1970s documentary about a boy who spent most of his life in a plastic bubble to protect him from infection). People born with the disease have little to no immune protection, so even a common cold can be deadly. A new study shows scientists were able to cure eight babies by using a form of the HIV virus for gene therapy.
Read more: CBS News, BBC
Airplane Maps:  When it comes to in-flight entertainment, those real-time tracking maps you can pull up on the screen are the most popular, and they’re about to get an upgrade. Travelers will soon be able to get more details about places their flying over, like the top rides at Disneyland, but that also means companies will pay to sell to you. The update is expected on some flights as soon as next year.
Read more: WSJ
Privacy Problems:  Facebook is admitting another privacy mistake: the company "unintentionally" uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users over the last few years. Facebook now says it's changing that new member policy and deleting the data it already has. Facebook also updated information about a past problem on Instagram: "millions" of Instagram users may have had their passwords stored in plain text (not secure). Affected users should receive a notice from Instagram.
Read more (Facebook): Business Insider, CNET
Read more (Instagram): Quartz, Facebook
No More Instagram Likes?: Instagram is thinking about a new format that would stop you from seeing the number of "likes" each post gets (only the creator could see the number). The goal is to help followers focus on what is shared, rather than its popularity. For now, it's just an internal test. It's not clear yet if it'll actually roll out to the public.
Read more: TechCrunch
CBD Burger:  Carl’s Jr. is adding a CBD-infused burger to the menu, at least at one restaurant in Denver, Colorado. The burger will be available for one day only – April 20th – and will cost $4.20. "The Rocky Mountain High Cheeseburger Delight" will be topped with a sauce infused with hemp-based CBD oil. CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants; it has some effects on the body but not the same as getting high from marijuana.
Read more:  Business Insider, USA Today
Easter & Passover: Two different religious holidays are happening this weekend: Easter and Passover. Easter is this Sunday; the Christian holiday is celebrated with traditions like the Easter Bunny, candy and decorating eggs. The Jewish holiday of Passover starts at sundown tonight. It lasts for eight days in the U.S. and involves certain symbolic meals, including eating matzah instead of bread.
Read more (Easter):
Read more (Passover):