theNewsWorthy: Friday, August 24th, 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...
AG PUSHES BACK
The US Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired back against the president.
President Trump has been criticizing the AG because he doesn’t like that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. This week, in an interview with FOX News, President Trump said Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department.”
Remember: President Trump is not happy his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, got a plea deal.
The president says Cohen’s claims aren’t true, and he criticized Sessions in the process. The attorney general has stayed pretty quiet… until now.
Sessions put out a statement saying “while I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” A top Republican now says he won’t be surprised if President Trump finds a new attorney general after the midterm elections.
To be continued...
Read More: New York Times, FOX News, Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal says the CEO of the National Enquirer's parent company just made a deal with prosecutors.
The report says federal prosecutors gave David Pecker immunity, letting him off the hook legally, if he’ll share secrets. The tabloid reportedly agreed to pay for stories of women alleging they had affairs with Trump, and then buried the stories.
Pecker is a longtime friend of President Trump, but now, sources told The Wall Street Journal, he’s telling prosecutors Trump knew about the illegal payments. Trump says he didn't know until "later."
Read More: Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Associated Press
FEDERAL FUNDS FOR GUNS?
Should schools be allowed to use federal grants to buy guns (i.e. arm teachers)?
That’s the question the Secretary of Education is faced with right now. The Washington Post reports Texas and Oklahoma have asked her about it.
Supporters say these grants leave the door open for school districts to use the money however they see fit in order to make schools safer. Critics say the response to school shootings should be fewer guns – not more.
Read More: The Washington Post
DNC HACK FALSE ALARM
It wasn’t really a cyberattack – it was a test. That’s the word now from the Democratic National Committee. Turns out, what the DNC thought was someone trying to hack into its voter database earlier this week was actually the Michigan Democratic Party just testing the system.
Michigan Democrats hired hackers to simulate an attack, but apparently, they forgot to tell the National Committee about it. Oops. The state party chairman admitted it was a mistake but defended efforts to test and improve cybersecurity.
Also of note: Google says it found some real cyber threats.
Google is just the latest tech company this week to announce it found malicious accounts linked to Iran. Google says it deleted dozens of accounts that were spreading false information on sites like YouTube and others.
Read More: DNC Hack: CNN, Bloomberg / Google: CNET
Hurricane Lane is still impacting Hawaii. CBS News says the storm has been downgraded to a Category 3, but it’s already bringing heavy rain, landslides and flooding to the Big Island.
AccuWeather says the worst of it is expected into Saturday as Lane gets even closer. Officials say people should be ready for power outages and more flooding. A disaster declaration is in place to make sure there are extra federal resources ready to help.
The last major storm to hit Hawaii like this was in 1992.
Read More: CBS News, AccuWeather, Associated Press
AI ART AUCTION
A new kind of art is about to make history: AI art. AI as in ‘artificial intelligence.’
Fast Company reports it’ll be the first time a major auction house will auction off computer-generated art.
The art is valued at $7,000 to $10,000. The creators say the money will go toward improving the algorithm to do it again. The art goes on sale in October.
Read More: Fast Company
AI ROBOT DOG
How about an artificial intelligence dog? Sony’s robot dog, named Aibo, is coming back to the US, and it’ll cost you nearly $3,000.
CBS News says the name Aibo comes from ‘artificial intelligence robot.’ It connects to your smartphone, and The Verge says it has cameras to recognize your face, along with sensors to react when you pet it.
Sony first introduced the robotic pet back in 1999; it was discontinued in 2006. Sony then released a new version in Japan earlier this year, and now, it’s coming to the US. They’ll go on sale here next month.
Read More: Mashable, YouTube/ The Verge, CBS News
P&G TRADEMARKS LOL
LOL… NBD… WTF… You've probably at least heard of one of these (LOL for ‘laugh out loud,’ or NBD for ‘no big deal.’)
Now, Bloomberg reports, the company Procter & Gamble wants to trademark the terms for cleaning and air freshening products. Apparently, P&G is trying to reach more millennials with the abbreviations.
P&G is the largest consumer goods company in the world.
Read More: Bloomberg, AdAge
PLAN FOR PLASTICS
America’s largest grocery store chain says it’ll be getting rid of single-use plastic bags in all of its stores by the year 2025.
USA Today has a statement from the CEO of Kroger, who says the company uses 100 billion plastic bags each year in the US, and it’s time for change. He also says it can’t happen overnight.
Many major cities, like Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston, have already banned the use of plastic bags in any retail store.
Read More: USA Today
Oprah Winfrey teamed up with Kraft to launch her own line of frozen pizzas. CNBC says one-third of the pizza crust will be made with cauliflower, and ten percent of all profits will go to charity.
Read More: CNBC
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