This could be a lifeline for the struggling local news business, with some big question marks attached
Google is launching the Local Experiments Project, an effort to fund dozens of new local news websites around the country and eventually around the world. The tech giant says it will have no editorial control over the sites, which will be built by partners it selects with local news expertise.
Why it matters: Big tech companies like Google and Facebook are often blamed for the demise of the local news business model. Now, both are trying to fix the broken local news ecosystem for the sake of their audiences, which they say crave more local news.
Not a record we want to be break
Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use hit a record last year after energy demand grew at its fastest pace in a decade, reflecting higher oil consumption in the U.S. and more coal burning in China and India.
Those findings from the International Energy Agency mark a setback for the effort to rein in the pollution blamed for global warming just three years after a landmark deal in Paris where all nations committed to cut emissions.
The figures showed that natural gas is becoming a preferred fuel for factories and utilities while the pace of installing renewable forms of energy is lagging. The report also indicated the strength of the global economic expansion last year, with gains in electricity consumption and more notably in the U.S.
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma settles with Oklahoma
Purdue Pharma and the state of Oklahoma have agreed to settle a lawsuit over the drugmaker’s role in the deadly opioid crisis, a milestone in the legal effort to force pharmaceutical companies to pay some of the costs of the epidemic, people familiar with the matter said.
The deal, which is scheduled to be announced at a news conference Tuesday, will require Purdue and the family that owns the company to pay approximately $270 million. Most of the money will fund a new center for research, education and treatment of addiction and pain at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.
Quite the statement from a Dem house leader
U.S. expands overseas war on abortion
Obama swims against the tide on fiscal responsibility
While the more liberal freshmen have garnered much of the attention in Washington, many first-year Democrats hail from swing- or even red districts and have struggled with how to respond to the emboldened far-left.
“He said we [as Democrats] shouldn’t be afraid of big, bold ideas — but also need to think in the nitty-gritty about how those big, bold ideas will work and how you pay for them,” said one person summarizing the former president’s remarks.
Obama’s words — rare advice from a leader who has shunned the spotlight since leaving office — come as the Democratic Party grapples with questions of how far left to lean in the run-up to 2020. Most Democratic candidates seeking the presidential nomination have embraced a single-payer health-care system and the Green New Deal, an ambitious plan to make the U.S. economy energy efficient in a decade.
The Sacklers are quickly becoming persona non grata in the rarefied art world
For decades, the Sackler family has generously supported museums worldwide, not to mention numerous medical and educational institutions including Columbia University, where there is a Sackler Institute, and Oxford, where there is a Sackler Library. But now some favorite Sackler charities are reconsidering whether they want the money at all, and several have already rejected any future gifts, concluding that some family members’ ties to the opioid crisis outweighed the benefits of their six- and sometimes seven-figure checks.
In a remarkable rebuke to one of the world’s most prominent philanthropic dynasties, the prestigious Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, where a Sackler sat on the board for many years, decided in the last week that they would no longer accept gifts from their longtime Sackler benefactors. Britain’s National Portrait Gallery announced it had jointly decided with the Sackler Trust to cancel a planned $1.3 million donation, and an article in The Art Newspaper disclosed that a museum in South London had returned a family donation last year.
Seems like the something you’d want to make sure every pilot is aware of
During flight simulations recreating the problems with the doomed Lion Air plane, pilots discovered that they had less than 40 seconds to override an automated system on Boeing’s new jets and avert disaster.
The pilots tested a crisis situation similar to what investigators suspect went wrong in the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last fall. In the tests, a single sensor failed, triggering software designed to help prevent a stall.
Once that happened, the pilots had just moments to disengage the system and avoid an unrecoverable nose dive of the Boeing 737 Max, according to two people involved in the testing in recent days.
Vice-President Pence intervened to keep Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — who has the nicest Trump nickname ever — from resigning along with Mattis
… the tipping point for Coats came in December with Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, and the contentious departure of former Defense Secretary James Mattis after protesting the policy, according to the current and former officials. The vice president, who has repeatedly played the role of envoy between Trump and Coats, convinced his longtime Indiana friend to stay until at least this summer, the officials said.
Similarly, whenever Trump is souring on the DNI he privately calls “Mister Rogers” — because he won’t implement a directive or has left the impression he thinks the president is irrational — Pence has encouraged Trump to stick with Coats, according to the current and former officials.
Though they’re independent contractors without a union, Uber drivers in Los Angeles are preparing to strike
Drivers are trying to recruit their colleagues to protest pay cuts by Uber last week that slashed per-mile pay from 80 cents to 60 cents in Los Angeles County and parts of Orange County. They are planning to strike Monday, refusing to drive for both Uber and Lyft in a move they hope will mark an early step in a broader push for higher wages.
It’s not the first attempt by drivers to stage a strike against Uber and Lyft — many of the same drivers organized a similar protest at LAX in 2017. The ride-hailing workers, this time led by a group called Rideshare Drivers United, say past strikes have lacked cohesive strategy and planning, ultimately leading to disparate demands and low attendance.
Part of the problem, they say, is that the drivers’ fight has long fixated on their classification as independent contractors — a battle that has so far proved fruitless. Though they would still prefer to be classified as employees, they hope they can unite a broader swath of the workforce by focusing first on pay.
A 10-million–euro donation won’t solve this crisis for Germany’s second-richest family
The German family whose holding company owns controlling stakes in companies such as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger and Einstein Bros. Bagels profited from the horrors of the Nazi regime, according to a bombshell report in a German newspaper.
The tabloid Bild, one of Germany’s most popular papers, reported that Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr., whose family backs JAB Holdings, had significant links to the Third Reich.
The report found that Russian civilians and French prisoners of war were used as forced laborers in the family’s factories and private villas around World War II, when it was involved in chemicals-related manufacturing mostly for the food industry, according to Deutsche Welle.
Other disclosures in the report include revelations that the two men were anti-Semites and avowed supporters of Adolf Hitler, and Reimann Sr. donated to the paramilitary SS force as early as 1933, according to Deutsche Welle.
Mark Kelly’s fight for John McCain’s former Senate seat just got a little easier
Rep. Ruben Gallego will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2020’s special election, he told The Arizona Republic on Monday, clearing the path for retired astronaut Mark Kelly to take on incumbent Republican Sen. Martha McSally without a potentially bruising primary fight.
Gallego’s decision will disappoint progressive Democrats, who represent the left flank of the party and are especially hostile toward President Donald Trump.
“I don’t want to engage in a bitter primary all the way until the general election, and then turn around and try to run, whether it’s me or Kelly, against McSally in a year when the Democrats need to win the Senate seat and take the state,” Gallego told The Republic. “It’s just not in the best interest of the state or the Democratic Party to be engaging in that … If Republicans are excited to see a spirited and nasty primary, they’re going to have to look somewhere else because I’m not going to take part in that.”
After months on the backburner, the Steele dossier reenters the political forefront
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spent the weekend with Trump in Florida, said his committee will investigate the actions of the Justice Department in the Russia investigation, including the FBI’s use of a dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele.
Graham spoke Monday after Attorney General William Barr reported to Congress on Mueller’s findings. Barr said Mueller found no evidence that Trump or his associates conspired with Russia. Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice.
Six House Committee chairmen have requested that Barr release the full Mueller report to Congress by April 2
Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform this critical work. The release of the full report and the underlying evidence and documents is urgently needed by our committees to perform their duties under the Constitution.”