theNewsWorthy: Wednesday, December 19th, 2018


(in less than 10 minutes!)

Today's episode is brought to you by the podcast, Techmeme Ride Home, a daily news roundup of tech news in minutes.

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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...

Trump Foundation Closing:  The Donald J. Trump Foundation is closing for good, and the nonprofit will give away its assets under court supervision. The New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood says the foundation, which was supposed to be a charity, was just a way to help Trump in business and politics. The foundation’s lawyer said Underwood is making misleading statements, but the investigation will continue.  
Read more: NYT, CBS News, Fast Company

Flynn Sentencing Delayed:  It's being called a “bizarre” and “dramatic” “surprise twist.” Not only was the sentencing for President Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn, delayed, the judge also expressed “disgust” for Flynn’s crime and said he “sold [his] country out.” Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal. He’s been cooperating with prosecutors in the Russia investigation.
Read more: The Washington Post, FOX News, WSJ

Bump Stocks Banned:  It’s official - bump stocks are illegal. Bump stocks turn semi-automatic guns into automatic weapons by allowing you to shoot faster. They gained attention after one was used in the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people last year. Under the new federal rule, owners have 90 days to turn them in or destroy them.
Read more: NBC News, CNN

Prison Reform Bill Passed:  Congress has passed a prison reform bill known as the FIRST STEP Act. Some are hailing it as the most significant change to the criminal justice system in a generation. If signed into law by President Trump, the bill would give judges more discretion when sentencing some cases. It also lowers some mandatory minimum sentences for some non-violent drug crimes.
Read more: CBS News, U.S. News

Youth Vaping “Epidemic”:  The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a strong warning against teens vaping, calling the use of e-cigarettes by young people an official “epidemic.” He called on parents and teachers to learn about vaping and nicotine addiction and then talk to their kids about it (resources for that here). 
Read more: ABC News, NYT
Penny Marshall Remembered:  Sitcom star and well-known Hollywood director Penny Marshall passed away at home from complications from diabetes. She was 75. Marshall starred in the hit comedy Laverne & Shirley and went on to become the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million with movies like Big and A League of Their Own.
Read more: LA Times, Variety
Elon Musk Tunnel Reveal:  Elon Musk’s Boring Company unveiled its tunnel project to VIPs and reporters. The test tunnel “loop” is just over a mile long and smaller than a city subway. The Tesla used for the test ride went about 40 miles per hour in the tunnel (the plan is to go 150mph later) and had retractable wheels. Reporters said the ride was bumpy, but Musk said that's only temporary. See a video here.
Read more: AP, TechCrunch
AT&T’s 5G+:  AT&T’s 5G network is live in parts of a dozen U.S. cities – sort of. So far, there are no mobile devices that work with 5G, and you need a specific WiFi hot spot to access it. Supplies are limited, and it’ll cost $70 per month after 90 days. Eventually, 5G is expected to offer speeds 200 times faster than today’s 4G wireless networks, but we’re not there yet.
Read more: The Verge, CNET, WIRED
Delivery Snacks:  UPS expects to ship about 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year (up 50 million from 2017). This year, many pictures of gift baskets and holiday messages left for delivery workers by grateful homeowners are popping up on social media. It’s inspiring more people to join in on the kind gesture. The delivery workers say it’s a welcomed break during the busiest time of the year.
Read more: Business Insider
Aquaman & Mary Poppins Returns:  Expect some competition at the box office: there are ten wide releases scheduled between now and Christmas! Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters today -- 54 years after the original. Aquaman is expected to hit number one when it comes out on Friday.
Read more: Variety, Deadline, CNN

Prosecco vs. Champagne:  Move over, champagne; TIME reports that Prosecco is now the best-selling sparkling wine in the world by volume. That said, champagne is pricier, so it still brings in more money. The biggest difference between the two? Champagne only comes from the region of Champagne in northeastern France. Prosecco is Italian, from the Veneto region.
Read more: Fortune, Harper’s Bazaar