Hit List: February 7, 2019

  1. Nick Sandmann, the “smirking” kid staring down a protestor who was vindicated by social media earlier this year, might media outlets who portrayed him as a racist. He has power attorney L. Lin Wood, who specializes in defamation suits. He has famously represented the family of JonBenét Ramsey and Richard Jewell.
  2. Miami is seeing a real estate boom, at least for one property owner. An estate on Indian Creek Island recently went for $50 million. That’s $3 million more than it sold for 6 years ago. No word on the owner, but speculation’s rife it belonged to a Russian billionaire.
  3. The Army is doubling down to make new recruits fitter than ever. As leadership has complained recently that soldiers aren’t as fit as they should be, officials are revisiting the fitness exam to include dead lifts, power throws, and other exercises, Associated Press reports. Another change will be the end of the sliding scale; rather than having different requirements for different ages and genders, these requirements will be universally applied.
  4. A Philly non-profit is being sued by the US government to stop the opening of a supervised injection site for opioid users. Philadelphia has the highest death rate from opioids in the nation. US Attorney William McSwain says his office isn’t actively prosecuting drug users, but also doesn’t want to make taking drugs any easier. There were an estimated 1,200 opioid overdose deaths in Philadelphia last year.
  5. Getting caught up on Game of Thrones before the series finale could give you ass cancer. A UK study showed a 70% increase in the likelihood of getting bowel cancer when spending at least 2 hours a day in front of the TV. The increase was independent of exercise or the person’s weight.
  6. United Airlines is looking to attract more premium, higher-paying customers. During the 2000s, airlines lost billions across the board as fuel prices surged and customers came to expect fewer and fewer accommodations. But as premium fliers have become increasingly willing to shell out more and more money, airlines are trying harder than ever to find a place for them. United is adding 1600 premium seats on 250 jets, and developing luxury aircraft that would hold as few as 50 passengers on popular business class routes.
  7. The New York Police Department wants Google to remove police checkpoints from its Waze navigation app. The NYPD sent a cease-and-desist letter that argued giving drivers a heads-up could amount to “criminal conduct” and “intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant traffic laws.” No comment from Google.
  8. Music streamer Spotify is busting big into the podcast market. It’s acquired Gimlet Media and Anchor, which it claims accounts for 40% of the world’s new podcasts. The combined deals are worth an estimated $350 million.
  9. Facebook has enabled functionality to delete sent messages for up to 10 minutes. It was selectively rolled out previously and is now available to all users.