Friday, July 26th, 2019

Russia Report, Editing DNA & Apple’s Purchase 

All the news you need in less than 10 min:

Today's episode is brought to you by Babbel and UTEP Connect.

Story Summaries

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...

Russia Report: A new report from the Senate Intelligence Committee shows Russia started interfering with U.S. elections in 2014 and likely targeted the election systems in all 50 states. Some of the key recommendations for dealing with the situation were blacked out in the report. Meanwhile, Congress can't agree on how to deal with the issue. The House passed a bill to spend more money on election security, but the Senate is not onboard. Republicans say progress is already being made, but Democrats say that inaction is a “disgrace." Also, cybersecurity researchers say Russia isn’t the only country trying to impact U.S. elections in 2020: others like Iran are also trying to put out disinformation to sway voters.
Read more (Senate Report): NBC News, The Hill, Washington Post, NYT
Read more (Election Security Bill): AP, CNN
Read more (Iran Interference): Washington Post

Death Penalty Resumes: The federal government will start using the death penalty again for the first time in more than 15 years. Federal executions stopped in 2003 because of legal challenges. Attorney General William Barr says the federal government will now resume and he scheduled executions for five death row inmates for December and January. Though the death penalty is legal in 30 states, executions on the federal level are rare.
Read more: AP, CNN, NBC News

Automakers Climate Deal: Ford, Volkswagen, Honda and BMW have made a climate compromise with the state of California to make more fuel-efficient cars. The automakers have agreed with California to make cars that average about 51 miles per gallon by 2026. Trump wants to lower the gas mileage requirement to just 37 miles per gallon, while California and several other states want to keep the laws already in place. The automakers say they made the deal because it’s more important to have a clear set of rules across the country.
Read more: Washington Post, The Hill, Reuters

Europe Heat: Temperatures are expected to start dropping now, but earlier this week, Paris hit 108°F, shattering the city’s all-time high temperature set 70 years ago. London, the Netherlands and Germany also set heat records.
Read more: Weather Channel, AccuWeather, AP

Editing DNA: Scientists are about to use a new gene-editing technique inside patients for the first time. The CRISPR treatment will cut or edits DNA to try to cure an inherited form of blindness. It’s meant to be a one-time permanent treatment that could allow blind patients to get their vision. Researchers say it has potential to cure or treat many diseases caused by gene flaws, but it's early and the risks are not fully known. Testing starts this fall.
Read more: Fast Company, AP

Apple + Intel: Apple is set to buy most of Intel’s smart phone modem business, which could mean the company is one step closer to offering a 5G network. Apple will pay $1 billion for 2,000 of Intel’s employees as well as intellectual property and other equipment. The move may be a way for Apple to get the iPhone ready for 5G. It will also give Apple the opportunity to start building some of its device parts in-house. The deal is expected to close later this year.
Read more: TechCrunch, CNBC

Ford Scooters: Ford’s e-scooter company, Spin, is expanding with 15,000 scooters available in eight more cities starting next month. Then, Ford plans to bring Spin to 100 cities by next year. Spin is upgrading its scooters with the expansion, saying they’ll have a better braking system and battery life. Ford and Spin are preparing to compete with well-known scooter companies Bird and Lime.
Read more: The Verge, Venture Beat

Entertainment Roundup: The reboot of Will and Grace is coming to an end. The final season will air in 2020. Other shows with final seasons soon include Modern Family, How to Get Away With Murder and Empire. Also, Drake and SiriusXM have announced a partnership. SiriusXM will create a radio station dedicated to the rapper and his curated music later this year. At the movies, one of the most talked about films debuting this weekend has two of the world’s biggest movie stars: Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood might still come in behind The Lion King, which debuted last weekend.
Read more (Drake): Billboard, PR Newswire, AP
Read more (Will and Grace): Variety, People
Read more (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood): THR