theNewsWorthy: Friday, December 21st, 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...

Shutdown Showdown:  A partial government shutdown may be on the horizon. The deadline is midnight tonight. President Trump now says he’ll veto any spending bill that doesn’t include the $5 billion in funding for the border wall. Earlier this week, it seemed like Trump was okay with waiting until 2019 to fight for it. Supporters pushed back. Now the president is back to demanding the money for border security, and Democrats say they won’t vote for it. The new spending bill passed the House yesterday, but the bill needs bipartisan support in the Senate. If the shutdown happens, 800,000 federal employees would go without pay. National Park visitor centers could be impacted as well as well as other "non-essential" departments..
Read more: APWall Street JournalCBS NewsThe Hill

Jim Mattis Resigns:  U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis turned in his resignation this week and will leave the Trump administration by the end of February. According to his resignation letter, his views no longer align with Trump's. This follows President Trump's call earlier this week to bring troops home from Syria. No word yet on a replacement.
Read more: The Washington PostUSA TodayNew York TimesMilitary Times

Airport Drones:  A drone had planes grounded at Gatwick Airport in London, and police are searching for who’s responsible. Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded and incoming flights were rerouted. As of this morning, flights should have the green light, but travelers are being told to check their flight status before heading to the airport just in case.
Read more: CNNBBC (updates)ABC News

50 Years Since Apollo 8 Launch:  Today marks 50 years since the Apollo 8 launch. Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to the moon; astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell Jr. and William Anders were the first humans to go beyond Earth’s gravitational force, and the first people to see the far side of the moon with their own eyes. Just a year later, humans walked on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
Read more: NBC

Juul Bonuses:  One of the world’s largest cigarette companies, Altria, purchased a significant stake in the popular e-cigarette company, Juul Labs. And get this: a report says Juul employees will be getting paid a big bonus as part of the deal -- an average of $1.3 million an employee. It may be a way to placate some of the 1,500 employees who were unhappy about partnering up with a cigarette company.
Read more: CNBCWIREDBloomberg
Cannabis-Infused Drinks:  Anheuser-Busch is partnering with a Canadian marijuana firm to research cannabis-infused drinks. The drinks would be non-alcoholic and would contain CBD (which doesn’t actually get you high) and THC (which does get you high). The drinks would be sold in Canada.
Read more: Business InsiderCNBC
Super Bowl Halftime:  Reports say rapper Travis Scott will be joining the Super Bowl halftime show, along with Maroon 5. It comes with controversy: rapper Jay-Z says he shouldn’t do it in protest of the NFL’s treatment of former player Colin Kaepernick. The Super Bowl is February 3.
Read more: VarietyTMZ
Winter Solstice:  Today is the winter solstice or the first official day of winter. It’s the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Also, tomorrow will have the last full moon of the year, though it will look very full and bright tonight. A meteor shower is expected, too, so you might get to see some shooting stars this weekend.
Read more: CNN

Holidays: Of course, Christmas is coming up on Tuesday! Kwanzaa starts the day after that and lasts until January 1. Hanukkah was earlier this month.
Read more: Newsweek