theNewsWorthy: Tuesday, July 24th, 2018
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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...
SECURITY CLEARANCE QUESTIONS
Is President Trump stopping abuse of power or just going after his critics? It depends on who you ask.
President Trump is thinking about revoking security clearance from some former national security officials, saying they’ve used their security clearance to politicize issues or even make money by working for media organizations. Others say this new plan is just Trump’s way of punishing the people who speak out against him, including ex-CIA director John Brennan. He was one of the most vocal critics about the president’s meeting with Russia last week. Now he’s on the list of people possibly getting their security clearance taken away.
Others on the list, like former FBI director James Comey, are saying they don’t even have that security clearance anymore, anyway. Fox News reports Senator Rand Paul first brought the idea to the president.
Read more: NYT, Reuters, Fox News
TRUMP VS. IRAN
There’s a war of words of sorts on Twitter between the presidents of the U.S. and Iran. President Trump warned Iranian President Rouhani on Twitter to “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE U.S. AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.”
He was responding to a tweet from the Iranian president on Sunday that said, “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
There’s plenty of history here. Remember, just this year, President Trump backed out of the Iran nuclear deal, meant to stop Iran’s nuclear program by getting rid of sanctions. Well, Iran’s president was not happy. Cue the threats ever since.
Read more: TIME, Fox News
TRUMP VS. CA
A new report says the Trump administration is going after California’s car emissions standards. Expect to hear about it this week.
Bloomberg reports the new plan would strip California’s control of its unique regulations and also affect the state’s mandate on the sale of electric cars. Under the current Clean Air Act, California is the only state that is able to enforce stricter emissions guidelines. Other states can follow suit, but they aren’t allowed to set their own standards.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are on board with the government’s newer proposal. California is likely not on board, and is expected to fight it in court. Stay tuned.
Read more: Bloomberg, The Hill, Reuters
UBER DRIVER LIVE-STREAMED PASSENGERS
A St. Louis Uber and Lyft driver was reportedly filming his passengers without their knowledge. Well, worse than that – he was live-streaming his passengers online.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the driver was making a couple hundred bucks a day as a driver, plus about $3,500 dollars over five months through subscriptions and tips on Twitch. Twitch is best known for videogamers live-streaming themselves playing video games. I guess that’s not all you can live-stream.
Technically, USA Today says, it wasn’t illegal. Only one person has to know about a recording under Missouri state law, as long as there’s not a reasonable expectation of privacy. Still, both Lyft and Uber have now fired him, and his Twitch channel has disappeared. And get this, he was earning money while he was trying to become… a police officer.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, USA Today
POLICE LIP-SYNC COMPETITION
Police officers in Norfolk, Virginia, published a video of themselves lip-syncing to the song “Uptown Funk.” The New York Times reports the video is part of a nationwide lip-syncing challenge throughout police departments.
The video went viral and raked in more than 70 million views on Facebook, but the reason for them isn’t quite as happy. These videos have sprung up as part of a joint police effort to try to improve their public image. Many people believe recent deadly shootings were unjustified and don’t trust the police.
Departments across the country are hoping to show themselves in a new light. But, the Times reports, these kinds of videos can only do so much to patch up deeply-rooted distrust of the police for some.
Read more: NYT
OLYMPIC SWIMMER SUSPENDED (AGAIN)
Oops. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte just went from gearing up to compete, to being suspended and not able to participate in the national championships in California this week. USA Today reports it’s all because of an injection of mostly B vitamins that are available at most pharmacies.
He posted a picture of himself online that showed him getting an IV of B vitamins. Well, apparently that kind of infusion is against the rules if he didn’t get the proper permission.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says any injection of more than 100 milliliters is not allowed.
Lochte said he just did it because his wife and child were sick, and he was trying to stay healthy. But he now fully accepts that it was technically against the rules and hopes others learn from his mistake.
His suspension is set to last for another year. And if his suspension sounds familiar, it is. He’s the same swimmer who was involved in a gas station incident during the 2016 Olympic Games.
Read more: USA Today
NIKE PAY RAISES
Nike plans to give more than 7,000 employees a pay raise. It’s all part of an effort to deal with unequal pay.
CNBC reports Nike reviewed payment packages and decided that about 10 percent of men and women who work for Nike will have their paychecks adjusted to better reflect their job function. The company also made some improvements when it comes to company culture, trying to be more inclusive.
Why did this come up? Well, this past spring, some of Nike’s female employees passed around a survey revealing pay gaps between men and women at the company. Nike’s CEO publicly apologized and says the company will be making more positive changes.
Read more: CNBC, WSJ
AIRPORT'S 3D SCANNERS
Could that liquid ban at airports become a thing of the past? Maybe. American Airlines plans to start a trial run of 3-D scanners that may make it possible.
The test will happen at some terminals in New York’s JFK Airport. The Verge reports the technology can allow authorities to get a 360-degree angle on a bag to show a more detailed view of everything inside. A TSA official even said the new scanner could make it so travelers can keep liquids and gels in their bags. The new tech may also make security checks go faster.
It could become the norm in just about five years – at least that’s the plan. CNN reports that Heathrow Airport will be running tests on these scanners for the next six months to a year as well.
Read more: The Verge, CNN
Crank up the bass of your Amazon Alexa. Well, at least you now can if you want. Amazon is now letting listeners can do a little mixing of their own to get the sound of the Alexa audio just the way they want it.
Digital Trends reports Alexa has added a feature that lets the user change the bass and treble of audio content by six decibels in either direction. Just like any other voice command, the Amazon Echo responds to a simple, “Alexa, turn up the bass.”
Read more: Digital Trends
CHICK-FIL-A MEAL KITS
It’s the first major restaurant chain to launch its own meal kit. Chick-Fil-A is getting in on the prepared meal kit game with pre-measured ingredients for you to cook at home, similar to competitors like Blue Apron and HelloFresh.
CNBC reports the new so-called “Mealtime Kits” will go on sale in late August at many of the Chick-Fil-A stores around Atlanta, at least to start. The kits will have one of five different recipes that aren’t available in the restaurants, like chicken parmesan and chicken enchiladas.
Read more: CNBC
ARTS FUND FOR PUERTO RICO
The creator of the Broadway show Hamilton now has plans to create a multi-million dollar fund to benefit the arts in Puerto Rico.
Mashable reports the fund will support the existing arts scene plus help build up theaters and galleries that were damaged during Hurricane Maria. He’s even bringing a production of Hamilton to the University of Puerto Rico in January.
Read more: Mashable
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