theNewsWorthy: Monday, August 20th, 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...


We start today with a couple of updates about President Trump’s lawyers.
First, sources told The New York Times charges against the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, could come by the end of this month.
Remember: federal investigators are looking into possible bank and tax fraud and checking if any campaign finance laws were broken. It’s not clear yet exactly what charges Cohen will actually face and whether or not he’s made any sort of plea deal.
There’s also a lot of talk about President Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. He went on NBC’s Meet The Press yesterday and said “truth isn’t truth.” It reminded some people of when another Trump aide used the term, “alternative facts.”
Well, this time, the host pressed Giuliani on it, saying there’s only one real truth. Giuliani explained what he meant: the truth isn’t clear when two people say two different things. His point was to argue against investigators interviewing President Trump in the Russia investigation, saying it won’t help.
Read More: New York TimesAssociated Press


President Trump decided to cancel a military parade he wanted and was planning for November.
CNBC had reported the estimated price tag for the parade would be $92 million. President Trump then said it’s not worth the cost, and he blamed local officials in Washington, DC (the mayor of DC pushed back, btw).
Then, yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget Director told FOX News the decision to scrap the parade wasn’t really just about money – or he would have been part of the decision. He didn’t say what other possible factors might have contributed.
Either way, it seems Trump's idea for a military parade won’t happen until at least next year, if at all.
Read More: CNBCFOX News


One of the first women to publicly accuse producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault has reportedly faced her own accuser in the past.
The New York Times says it has documents, showing Italian actress and director Asia Argento quietly paid off a young male actor who accused her of sexual assault when he was 17. She was in her 30s.
Neither Argento or the other actor commented for the story.
Read More: New York Times


It’s being called the worst flooding in a century in southern India.
The floods have forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes. CBS News reports more than 350 people have died. The downpours started earlier this month, and triggered floods and landslides.
Officials say the weather is at least getting a bit better, and 10,000 people still stranded are expected to be rescued today.
Read More: CBS NewsAl Jazeera


The amount of violence in Afghanistan has increased in the past week, and now the Taliban has reportedly taken more than 100 people hostage there.
The Associated Press reports the hostages were taken even though Afghan officials just called for a ceasefire with the Taliban yesterday. They were hoping for peace in time for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday this week; now, it seems, that won’t happen.
Separately, Muslims around the world will be celebrating with loved ones. Eid al-Adha is the most important festival in the Islamic calendar. It’s also called a "Feast of Sacrifice."
Read More: Associated PressDaily ExpressNew York Times


Facebook is accused of helping landlords and home sellers discriminate.

The Washington Post reports the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filed a complaint against Facebook. It says the ad settings on Facebook allow sellers to target their ads to certain demographics, which can violate the Fair Housing Act.
Advertisers can apparently choose to target or avoid people based on things like race, gender or religion or certain interests, like mobility scooters or parenting.
Facebook says the tools may sometimes get misused, but the policies are clear: discrimination is not allowed. Facebook says it will keep working to improve its systems.
Read More: The Washington PostTechCrunch


Twitter’s CEO admits that Twitter has not figured out the whole ‘fake news’ thing. As in: stopping false information from spreading on its platform. CEO Jack Dorsey told CNN he considers it dangerous for a company to decide what is and isn’t the truth.
He also talked about how Twitter is questioning everything, from how it displays follower counts to measuring the quality of a conversation. He says ‘we’re working on it.’ Some critics say his interview was more about philosophy than acting to solve real problems.
Also, today, some lighter news about Twitter: some high school football games will be live-streamed on the social media platform. The Verge reports Adidas is teaming up with Twitter to make it happen.
They’re launching a series called Friday Night Stripes. It will consist of eight games of high school football with play-by-play commentary. The high school teams involved will be the nationally ranked from California, Nevada, Indiana Georgia and Florida. It starts September 7th.
Read More: CNNTechCrunchThe Verge


You may hear talk of Netflix testing out commercials, but it's not exactly true (depending on what you consider a commercial).
Netflix says it’s testing out what it calls ‘recommendations,’ which are promos for other Netflix originals. They won’t pop up in the middle of a show or anything, but you might see them between episodes of a series you’re binge-watching.
Some Netflix subscribers are not a fan, but again, it's a test. We’ll see if it sticks.

Read More: ArsTechnicaCNN


A movie with a well-known actor did not do so well at the box office over the weekend. The Hollywood Reporter says Billionaire Boys Club, with actor Kevin Spacey only made $287 in two days. That would be something like 30 tickets sold… in total.
Remember: several people have accused Spacey of sexual harassment or assault. The movie ended up going to video-on-demand first and was sort-of quietly released in about 10 theaters.
So what about the weekend's winner at the box office? Crazy Rich Asians.
Variety reports the romantic comedy did even better than expectated, bringing in $34 million in its first five days. It’s the first major studio film in more than two decades to feature a nearly all Asian-American cast.
Read More: Crazy Rich Asians: VarietyNew York Times // Billionaire Boys Club: The Hollywood ReporterThe Guardian


The MTV Video Music Awards are on tonight.
There’s actually no specific host at the VMAs this year, but you can still expect plenty of presenters and performers, like Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande.
Rapper Cardi B has the most nominations with 10, including Video and Artist of the Year. TIME reports that if Beyoncé wins, she’ll break her own record as the most awarded VMAs artist in history.
The VMAs are happening at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and just like last year, many of the categories are now gender-neutral.
The pre-show on MTV starts at 8pm ET, with the main event starting at 9pm ET.
Read More: TIMEThe Hollywood Reporter



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