theNewsWorthy: Thursday, December 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...
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Troops in Syria: A surprise announcement from the White House: President Trump says "we won" over ISIS and now wants to pull the 2,000 U.S. ground troops out of the region. But Trump is getting a lot of pushback. Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it’s a mistake to leave and would strengthen Russia and Iran as well as leave allies in Syria vulnerable. Those who support the move say the U.S. has gone too far in Syria, and it’s time to bring the troops home.
Read more: Reuters, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Twitter
Shutdown Update: President Trump had pushed for $5 billion in funding for a border wall, and said he’d be okay with a shutdown, if necessary. Now, he may be ready to back off, even if he’s not happy about it. Last night the Senate approved a short-term spending bill. If the House passes the bill and the President signs it before midnight tomorrow, it will essentially keep the government funded until February.
Read more: NBC News, FOX News, The Hill
Fed Raises Rates: As expected, the Federal Reserve raised the key interest rate by a quarter point, the fourth increase in 2018. A higher interest rate is good for savers, who will earn more interest on the money in the bank. However, it means higher borrowing costs for cars, home mortgages and credit cards. Rates are likely to increase again in 2019.
Read more: CNBC, Wall Street Journal
Safest Cars: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a compiled a list of 30 of the safest cars for 2019. That’s twice as many as last year, so Consumer Reports says it likely means automakers are making safety even more of a priority. Subaru has six cars and SUVs on the list – the most of any automaker.
Read more: Consumer Reports (full list)
Saturn’s Rings Disappearing: A NASA study found that Saturn’s rings are being pulled into the planet by gravity and will disappear. The rings are made of mostly ice and rock. Pieces range in size from a grain of sand to the size of a house. But don't worry: the ring system won't be completely gone for another 100-300 million years.
Read more: USA Today, NASA (video)
Facebook Scandal: Facebook may have shared your data with even more people than you thought. According to The New York Times, Facebook gave other major tech companies access to private messages and contact info without ever letting users know. Spotify, Netflix and Amazon are among the 150 companies who got access. Facebook admits the access was there, but says there’s no evidence any company abused it. Facebook is also facing its first U.S. lawsuit following the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.
Read more: New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider
Pinterest IPO: Pinterest has plans to sell its stock on the public market in 2019, and the IPO (Initial Public Offering) could happen as soon as April. The site has more than 250 million active users and is valued at $12 billion.
Read more: Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch
iPad Pros Bent: Some new iPad Pros have been arriving slightly bent, right out of the box. Apple says it’s a side effect of how the iPad Pro was manufactured. Apple doesn’t think it’s a defect, as it shouldn’t impact the product or get worse. But, if yours is bent, you should be able to return or exchange it within 14 days of purchase.
Read more: The Verge
Snapchat Challenge: Snapchat is trying to increase its growth with the help of viral “challenge” videos. The new Lens Challenge lets you access a certain Snapchat lens in order to create a lip-syncing video with augmented reality effects. It's likely copying a successful tactic of the popular app, TikTok.
Read more: The Verge, Mashable
Thing to Know Thursday:
Most Popular Good News of 2018
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