Newsworthy – Mar 1st, 2019

Expansion of background checks for gun sales, failings in the criminal-justice system are aggravating the opioid epidemic, U.S. economy’s fourth quarter beat expectations, Tesla shutting stores, and increasing struggles for farmers.

These are just a few of the top newsworthy items from this past week as first shared on our Facebook page.

  • The top U.S. general for homeland defense said he sees no military threat coming from the southern border with Mexico, but his focus is on ‘very real’ threats from China and Russia.

    From AP
  • The House passed an expansion of background checks for nearly all gun sales, but the measure faces resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Nearly half the 700,000 people held in 3,000 U.S. jails — usually awaiting bail — suffer from some kind of mental illness.

    The opioid epidemic, and other public-health emergencies, are being aggravated by failings in the criminal-justice system. The crisis is particularly acute in jails, because large numbers of people booked into custody are in a state of distress or will suffer withdrawal.

    From The New Yorker
  • The U.S. economy finished one of the best years of a nearly decadelong expansion with an expectation-beating fourth quarter, despite slowdowns elsewhere, turbulent financial markets, a trade dispute with China and a partial government shutdown beginning in late December.

    GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.6%; it was up 3.1% from a year earlier. Consumer spending was robust and business investment recovered from a third-quarter wobble.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Tesla said it would begin shutting stores and shift to selling vehicles only over the internet, seeking to cut costs as it lowers the starting price of the Model 3 compact to $35,000.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. factories are installing record numbers of robots, and elite universities, endowed with huge new contributions, are adding vast centers to study artificial intelligence.

    From Axios
  • The automobile is falling out of favor in cities around the world as ride-hailing and other new transportation options proliferate and concerns over gridlock and pollution spark a re-evaluation of privately owned wheels.

    From Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Farmers around the globe are struggling to keep up with an increasing global appetite for fats that are perceived as healthy, leading to long-term disruptions in food prices.

    The average prices of avocados, butter, olive oil and salmon have climbed as much as 60% since 2013.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Wisconsin lost almost 700 dairy farms in 2018, an unprecedented rate of nearly two a day. Most were small operations unable to survive farm milk prices that, adjusted for inflation, were among the lowest in a half-century.

    From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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