The Hit List: January 21, 2019

  1. President Trump is trying to find common ground to build a compromise for his border wall. On Saturday he offered a 3 year extension of DACA to keep the children of illegal immigrants safely in the country, an extension of other temporary permits, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in increased spending on immigration courts and border security staff. Democrats said it’s a non-starter.
  2. News that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about dealings with Russia has been debunked by none other than representatives of the Mueller Investigation. A spokesman for Mueller said the story that first appeared on Buzzfeed was simply untrue — but Buzzfeed still stands by the reporting.
  3. Representatives between the Los Angeles Unified School District and City of LA appear to be serious about getting a deal to end the teachers’ strike. They met for 12 hours Saturday and put hours in on Sunday too. No word yet on how close they are to a resolution.
  4. Snowstorm Harper ended up dumping 12 to 18 inches on the East Coast. In Connecticut, 29,000 were without power as of Sunday evening. Some areas of Maine got nearly 2 feet of snow.
  5. Boeing has tested its new 777X jet — with results forthcoming. The new super aircraft has the biggest engines and widest wingspan ever for a commercial jet. Major international airlines are lining up to order the new models, which could drop jet fuel prices as much as 18%, further driving down prices for international travelers.
  6. An in-air medical emergency caused a flight from Newark en route to Hong Kong to land in Newfoundland at 9:30 pm Saturday night. But after the passenger was taken off the flight for treatment, a mechanical problem with the door prohibited the airplane from taking off again, and the passengers couldn’t get off because no customs officer was available overnight at the small airport in Goose Bay. Passengers ended up spending 14 hours on the tarmac in -20 degree temperatures. Sunday morning, reps for United and the airport arrived with coffee and donuts.
  7. Ebola continues to spread in the Congo, and it’s headed toward a population center of Goma, with 1 million people. One of the heavily affected areas is in the middle of warring militias, making it difficult for aid workers to provide care. There is no direct cure for Ebola and it spreads quickly; if it hits Goma, the World Health Organization may issue a health emergency declaration.
  8. Oxfam reports that the 26 richest people in the world hold as much wealth as the poorest 50% in the world. That’s 3.8 billion people.
  9. As Netflix’s fees increase so does its subscriber base — it added 8.8 million subscribers in the last quarter of 2018. Internal estimates also say the streamer is responsible for 10% of all screen viewing in the US.
  10. Astronomers have finally figured out how long a day on Saturn is: 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds. It’s been tough to do since the planet has a thick atmosphere and no known core — the graduate student who figured it out used complicated data correlating oscillations in Saturn’s rings with seismic data from within Saturn.