Friday, August 16th, 2019

srael Denies Entry, Amazon Donations & Woodstock Turns 50

All the news you need in less than 10 min:

Today's episode is brought to you by Blinkist.

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...

Israel Bans Lawmakers: Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were told they're not allowed into Israel only hours after President Trump said Israel would be weak for letting them in. Both congresswomen have been critics of Israel over what they say is mistreatment of Palestinians. Democrats aren’t happy with the outcome and pushed back on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for punishing lawmakers over their opinions.
Read more: NYT, WaPo, ABC News, CNN, The Hill, AP

Trump Buys Greenland?: Trump is apparently interested in buying Greenland for the U.S. The ice-covered, self-ruling Danish territory is the world’s biggest island. Sources told the AP that Trump has talked about it with aides, and has asked his staff to look into it. Some advisors think it could be a good economic play since Greenland has a lot of resources, but others say it’s not realistic. It’s not clear how the U.S. would go about it if Trump got serious. He's expected to make his first trip to Denmark next month, though reports say it’s not related.
Read more: WSJ, AP, FOX News

Cigarette Warning Labels: Federal regulators want all cigarette packs to come with bigger and more graphic warning labels. The new warnings would be a mixture of pictures and messages. The FDA says the current warnings on the side panel are “virtually invisible” and haven’t been updated since the 1980s. The new labels aren’t final yet. The FDA is accepting comments for the next two months before putting out the final rule in the spring. Drug companies are expected to fight it in court.
Read more: CNBC, NYT, Reuters

NASCAR Legend Crash: Retired NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family survived a fiery plane crash at a small Tennessee airport yesterday afternoon. The plane went off the end of the runway before catching on fire. No one was seriously hurt, though several people went to the hospital. Federal investigators are looking into what happened.
Read more: NBC News, CBS News

Google Assistant Reminders: Google is debuting a new feature that uses the Google voice assistant to send reminders to family members using their phones, smart speakers or smart displays. Users can ask the assistant to assign a reminder to someone, which will send a notification to their phone. It can also be used to set reminders for specific locations or addresses. Plenty of people are joking that it’ll lead to a more high-tech way for spouses or parents to bug you with what you should do. The feature is rolling out now.
Read more: TechCrunch, Engadget

Amazon Donations & Maisel Day: A new program from Amazon will donate unsold items instead of throwing them away. Products from third-party vendors that don’t sell on the site will now go to various U.S. non-profits as well as some U.K. charities. Media reports earlier this year showed Amazon was dumping hundreds of thousands of items. The goal is to reduce waste and give back. The new donations will start next month. Also, Amazon promoted its original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel by lowering prices around LA to the prices of the 1950s. One gas station offered gas for just $0.30 per gallon, which caused a major traffic jam. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is up for 20 Emmys next month.
Read more (Amazon Donations): The Verge, CNBC
Read more (Maisel Day): LA Times, IndieWire, CBSLA

Woodstock Anniversary: Woodstock fans will be back where it all started this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic music festival. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is hosting events through Sunday at the same place the concert was held in 1969. Performances started yesterday, but artists like Carlos Santana and Ringo Starr from The Beatles will perform this weekend. Hundreds of thousands of people showed up to the original festival, but for this one, attendees will need tickets and travel passes.
Read more: Billboard

Toy Story 4 Makes $1B: Toy Story 4 has crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the fifth Disney movie to reach that milestone this year alone. Disney is now the first studio to have five films make more than $1 billion in a single year, with Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, The Lion King and now Toy Story 4 reaching the milestone. Upcoming Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker are also expected to be billion-dollar movies.
Read more: Deadline, Variety

Pumpkin Spice Spam: What started as a joke is becoming a reality. Hormel teased pumpkin spice-flavored Spam two years ago in a fake Facebook post, but now it’s really happening. You can buy pumpkin spice Spam online starting September 23.
Read more: USA Today, NBC News