theNewsWorthy: Thursday, May 23rd, 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...
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Trump-Pelosi Battle: President Trump is refusing to work with Democrats until they stop investigating him. He and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were supposed to meet yesterday to continue a bipartisan plan on infrastructure, but the meeting lasted for only three minutes before Trump walked out. He said Pelosi accused him of being a part of a “cover up.” Pelosi thinks Trump bailed because he doesn't know how to pay for the infrastructure plan.
Read more: AP, NYT, The Hill, CNN
Trump’s Financial Records: President Trump’s financial records are two steps closer to becoming public, even as the president fights to keep them private. First, New York State just passed a bill that means Trump’s state tax returns can be released to Congress (assuming the governor signs it). Second, a federal judge ruled a bank must comply with a subpoena to release his records. It’s the second federal judge to rule against the president on this issue within a few days. The Trump family lawyers are expected to appeal.
Read more: WSJ, The Hill, Bloomberg, NBC News
American Taliban Released: John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban,” is set to be released from prison today. He was sentenced to 20 years behind bars on terror-related charges, and is getting out about three years early. He was captured in Afghanistan right after the 9/11 attacks and was part of the attack that killed the first American of the war in Afghanistan. Some experts say he's the first of dozens of U.S. citizens convicted of terrorism-related charges who have served their time and will soon be released.
Read more: The Atlantic, NYT, FOX News, Washington Post
India’s Election: India is hosting the world’s largest election ever: 900 million people were eligible to vote, and today, the official results will come in. Exit polls predict Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win again and start a new five-year term.
Read more: CNN, BBC, The Guardian, NYT
Harriet Tubman on $20 Bill: Harriet Tubman was supposed to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill as soon as next year, but now the plan has been delayed. The new design won’t be revealed until at least 2028. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made the announcement this week, saying U.S. currency redesigns are only for counterfeiting issues. Some lawmakers say this sends a sad message to women and communities of color, and that symbols and representation matter. President Trump has said he thinks it's just about being politically correct.
Read more: CNBC, The Hill, MarketWatch
Send Your Name to Mars: Want to go Mars? You can -- well, at least your name can. NASA is giving people the chance to have their names put on the rover that will be sent to Mars next year. The names would be etched on microchips, and would include a souvenir boarding pass. It’s meant to get people excited about the historic mission. So far, one million names have been submitted.
Read more: CNN, NASA
23andMe & Airbnb: 23andMe and Airbnb are working together to plan your next trip. The genetic testing company just announced that the results of your DNA test will now come with suggestions for Airbnb rentals and experiences in the countries your ancestors are from. It’s part of popular trend called “heritage travel.” AncestryDNA and Go Ahead Tours already offer something similar.
Read more: Vox, Quartz
Human Composting: Washington is now the first state to legalize “human composting.” As strange as it sounds, it’s an eco-friendly way to bury loved ones. The process involves wood chips, straw and other materials and takes about four weeks. It speeds up the process of decomposition. Family members can keep the soil in an urn or use it to plant flowers or trees. The law allowing it goes into effect next May.
Read more: Seattle Times, USA Today, CNN
Delivery Robot: Self-driving cars and two-legged robots could soon be working together to deliver your packages. Ford is working with a robot company and hoping to sell full-service driverless vans to companies like Domino’s and Postmates. The idea is to have a self-driving car drive to the destination, and a robot walk the package to the front door.
Read more: Reuters, Business Insider, TechCrunch
“Vertical” Theme Park: The world’s first vertical theme park is set to open soon in China. More than 25 rides and virtual reality experiences will be packed into a 10-story building. The rides will be based on popular Lionsgate movies, including Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent. The theme park is set to open this summer.
Read more: Daily Mail, AP