theNewsWorthy: Thursday, August 16th, 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...
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Jury deliberations start today in the Paul Manafort trial.
The 12 jurors will all have to all agree about the outcome and decide if President Trump’s former campaign manager is guilty of bank fraud and tax evasion.
Over the last couple of weeks, prosecutors have argued that Manafort lied and hid money. Manafort never testified, though. In fact, Manafort’s defense lawyers didn’t call any witnesses, but they did question the credibility of the key witness on the other side.
It’s the first trial stemming from the special counsel’s Russia investigation, but the charges are not connected to Manafort’s time as Trump’s campaign manager.
Stay tuned for the verdict…
Read More: CNN, FOX News
President Trump is following through on a threat to strip the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.
Brennan has not been a fan of President Trump, and he’s let that be known. He’s even called President Trump’s actions “treasonous.” Trump says he’s doing this because of Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior,” and because Brennan has become too partisan.
But critics say Trump is abusing his power as president to punish people who speak out against him. Brennan himself says he definitely won’t back down.
Read More: The Washington Post, Reuters
PAPERS PUSH BACK
Today, a bunch of news organizations are coming together to push back against President Trump’s attacks on media.
The Boston Globe is leading the effort, and says more than 300 news organizations are on board. They’ll be running coordinated opinion pieces today. They’ll focus on free press as well as the Trump's attacks on journalists, and how he’s called the press “fake news” and “the enemy of the people.”
It includes well-known papers, like The New York Times, whose headline to the readers is “A Free Press Needs You.”
Others, like The Wall Street Journal, are not joining in, saying the president enjoys a right to freedom of speech, too.
Read More: Boston Globe, Associated Press, Poynter, FOX News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal
DRUG OVERDOSES RECORD
There’s a new record-breaking number, and it’s not the good kind.
The CDC says more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year – about a 10 percent increase from 2016.
Why is it happening? The New York Times reports analysts point to two main reasons: 1) a growing number of Americans using opioids; and 2) drugs are becoming more deadly.
Last year, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Some critics have said it’s not enough.
Read More: The Hill, New York Times, Center for Disease Control
Los Angeles will be the first US city to have body scanners in subway and bus stations.
CNN says, commuters won’t have to worry about waiting in long lines. Instead, these body scanners will just be hanging out, scanning you as you walk by, and looking for any weapons or explosives.
The devices can scan up to 2,000 bodies an hour.
TSA and LA Metro teamed up to test this first, and the devices will now be used across the LA Transit system starting later this year. Other cities have started testing these scanners, too.
Apparently, they don’t emit any radiation, but they will notice objects that block your natural body waves. It still seems like an employee or security guard would have to stop someone if the scanner picks up on anything suspicious.
Read More: CNN
CREDIT CARD READERS
The time it takes for a machine to read the chip in your credit card just got cut in half.
The Verge reports that Square, the company whose card readers you often see attached to iPads, can now read cards in just two seconds flat. That’s down from 4.2 seconds in 2016.
The company says the industry average is 8-13 seconds.
Read More: The Verge
FOUR DAY SCHOOL WEEK
Many students are heading back to school this week, and students in one of the largest districts in Colorado won’t be showing up to class on Mondays. As in, any Mondays. They’re moving to a four-day school week.
Why? To save money.
The superintendent told the local NBC station the district will save about $1 million per year, partly because they’ll run fewer school buses. The district will offer child care on Mondays instead (for $30 per child per day).
Read More: NPR, NBC 9 News
NEW GIRL SCOUT COOKIE
There’s a new Girl Scout cookie coming in 2019: Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies. And the new cookie option is gluten-free. USA Today says it’s not the first gluten-free option: there’s also Toffee-tastic.
The official start of the Girl Scout cookie-selling season is January 2nd.
Read More: USA Today, Today Show
THING TO KNOW THURSDAY:
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