theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, July 25th, 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...


The Trump administration is planning to give $12 billion to farmers. Why? The looming trade war.
Remember that farmers, who are some of the president’s most loyal supporters, have been hit hard by the president’s decision to put tariffs on goods coming into the U.S. and from the tariffs other countries put on U.S. goods in retaliation, AKA the trade war. Now, Bloomberg reports, the Trump administration is giving farmers $12 billion in aid to deal with it.
The money will include direct payments to farmers as well as food programs. The president is basically saying, “Hang in there, the tariffs are for a reason, if you can be patient.” But even some Republican lawmakers representing farmers are not happy with this plan. They say this seems more like welfare for farmers. They’d rather see an end to the trade war so it can go back to business as usual.
We’ll likely hear more about the plan later this week, when President Trump travels to Iowa, which is the number one state in soybean production. Farmer sign-ups are expected to start later this year.
Read more: Bloomberg, LA Times


President Trump says North Korea has started to dissolve a “key missile site.” CNN reports images of a satellite launching station there show it’s shut down. Some analysts told the Washington Post this marks a crucial step in making good on the promise that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made in his meeting with Trump last month. Other experts say, Not so fast; North Korea could easily build more.
President Trump tweeted he has faith Kim Jong-un will uphold the agreement to get rid of North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Stay tuned.
Read more: TIME, CNN, Washington Post, FOX News


It turns out President Trump’s former lawyer has more secret recordings. Reports say there are now at least 12 tapes of Michael Cohen’s conversations, and the FBI got a hold of them.
Remember, the New York Times found out the details of one of those conversations with President Trump. The two talked about whether to pay a former Playboy model to stay quiet about an alleged affair. Well, ABC News reports the other recordings aren’t necessarily with the president; many of them are with members of the media.


CNN is now in possession of a recording that reveals Trump talking with Cohen about buying the rights to the Playboy model's story about the affair.

It’s all part of the FBI’s investigation into whether Cohen broke campaign finance laws or took part in illegal lobbying or bank fraud. At this point, though, he has not been charged with a crime.
Read more: ABC News, Fox News


The East Coast got a serious dose of rain this week, and it’s not over yet. NBC News reports severe downpours in mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states caused at least two deaths, while a flash flood warning swept North Carolina to Pennsylvania. It’s caused plenty of flight cancellations and delays, too.
Western states, on the other hand, went through another day of extreme heat. Some areas of Phoenix dealt with temperatures as high as 115 degrees.
Read more: NBC News, Conde Nast Traveler


A couple international stories to know about today. First, CNN called them the worst wildfires to hit Greece in more than a decade. The wildfires in Athens this week left at least 74 people dead and sent thousands of others scrambling to escape. Some even got into boats on the water. The New York Times reports strong winds caused the fires. They affected tourist areas, including some resorts and farms.
Also, in Laos, hundreds of people are missing because of a dam collapse and major flooding from it. NPR reports thousands of people tried to escape on boats and rooftops. We don’t know the full extent of the damage yet.
And finally, cyclists at the Tour de France were accidentally hit with pepper spray. They had to temporarily stop the race altogether because of it. Police used pepper spray on farmers who were protesting by blocking the road. The race is now back on.
Read more: NYT (Athens), CNN (Athens), NPR (Laos), CNN (Tour de France)


Pop star Demi Lovato went to the hospital for a possible heroin overdose. Us Weekly reports the singer was given a drug that treats overdoses of narcotics. TMZ says Lovato’s family members are now saying she’s “awake and responsive.”
Lovato just released a new single last month called “Sober,” where she says she was sober for six years and relapsed.
Read more: US Weekly, TMZ, E! News


Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is shutting down. The Hill reports she plans to focus on her role in Washington instead. Ivanka Trump is now a senior White House advisor.
The brand had already faced some backlash since her dad became president. Department stores like Nordstrom stopped carrying her clothes and shoes. And the Washington Post reports the Canadian department store Hudson’s Bay recently said it was getting rid of Ivanka Trump products because of their performance.
Read more: The Hill, WSJ, Washington Post


Ford is putting billions of dollars behind self-driving cars: at least $4 billion between now and 2023. TechCrunch reports some of the money will go to a Pittsburgh-based startup working on them. There are even plans to transform a million square feet in Detroit into a hub for Ford’s electric and autonomous cars.
Read more: TechCrunch, CNBC


If you have a new MacBook pro computer, listen up. Apple wants to fix an overheating issue for 2018 models. The company says it found a bug causing the problem. Now, Business Insider says an update is going out to all 2018 MacBook Pros. Reviewers and bloggers first noticed the issue.
Read more: TechCrunch, Business Insider


Google Docs is about to get a grammar checker; it doesn’t have it as of now. Mashable reports the new grammar check should be able to fix even fairly complicated grammar problems and is rolling out to business accounts first. Google says it has plans to bring grammar check to everyone’s Google Docs after that.
Read more: Mashable


Have you heard of the Impossible Burger? The meat-like veggie burger from the company Impossible Foods is known to “bleed” like a real burger. Well, it’s now officially FDA-approved. The federal agency says, Yep, it’s safe.
Digital Trends reports the company had voluntarily handed over some info to the FDA last year and caused some controversy. At the time, the agency said it didn’t have enough info to call the veggie burger safe. Now that’s changed.
Read more: Digital Trends



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