5 things for March 22: Facebook, Austin bomber, shutdown, schoolgirls, ocean trash

If you're a New Yorker and sick of winter, there's a good reason. The Big Apple ...

Posted: Mar 22, 2018 2:05 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2018 2:05 PM

If you're a New Yorker and sick of winter, there's a good reason. The Big Apple hasn't seen snow like this in 130 years.-Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Facebook

"I'm really sorry." With that apology, Mark Zuckerberg's trying to fix the damage done to Facebook in the data-sharing scandal with Cambridge Analytica. Zuckerberg, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Laurie Segall, said the social media site was changing its policies to make sure user data is protected after Cambridge Analytica -- which had ties to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign -- grabbed info from 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

He called the scandal "probably the biggest mistake that we made here"; said he's willing to testify about this before Congress, "if it's the right thing to do"; and admitted he's sure "someone's trying" to use Facebook to meddle in this year's midterm elections. CNN's Chris Cillizza says Facebook's problems are so bad, not even a techno wizard like Zuckerberg may be able to solve them.

2. Austin bomber

Before Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself with one of his own bombs, ending-a three-week wave of terror in Austin, Texas, he recorded a confession. Found in a 25-minute recording on his cell phone, it's-"the outcry of a very challenged young man," Austin's police chief said. In it, Conditt, 23, talks-about the seven bombs he built but shed no light on a motive. Investigators searched his home, where they found his bombmaking lab-and detained his two housemates.

3. Government funding

Don't look now, but we're facing down yet another government shutdown -- at midnight Friday. A ginormous $1.3 trillion spending package that'd keep the lights on until September has been unveiled. It seems to have bipartisan support and President Trump's blessing. It's got $1.6 billion for border security, $4 billion to fight the opioid crisis and some tweaks to the country's gun background check system. Click here to see what else is in it.

What it doesn't have is a DACA deal for Dreamers, nor the health care market stabilization measure that Sen. Susan Collins wanted. A promise to try to pass that was what spurred Collins to vote yes on repealing Obamacare's individual mandate. So, she finds the measure's omission "extremely disappointing." The House could take the bill up today.

4. Nigerian schoolgirls

Most of the 110 kidnapped schoolgirls are back home, but questions remain about their abduction and sudden release from the clutches of terror group Boko Haram. It seems 104 of the girls, who were abducted by militants from their boarding school on February 19, were dropped off in Dapchi, in northeast Nigeria. Their families are ecstatic, and the girls were flown to Nigeria's capital to meet the country's President.

But there are reports that five of the girls died in captivity. The government insists no ransom was paid for their release, so the reason Boko Haram suddenly let them go isn't clear. And Amnesty International put out a report accusing the Nigerian army of failing to respond to warning signs before the mass kidnapping.

5. Plastic in the ocean

We all know that plastic littering the oceans is a big problem. A new report suggests it's about to get a lot worse. If things don't change, the amount of plastic in the world's oceans will triple within a decade, says a report from the British government.-The report says-70% of marine litter is non-degradable plastic, which could rise threefold by 2025. Governments need to do more to keep plastics out of the seas and educate the public, the report says.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Survivors'-story

The 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School yearbook will tell the story of-students' resilience after the massacre, its publisher says.

Medical mystery

She's been on life support for more than 130 days, yet a teen from Kansas managed to walk and eat tacos-as doctors try to figure out what's wrong with her lungs.

Fossil find

While her big sister sought soccer glory, a 6-year-old girl dug up some of her own: a-65 million-year-old fossil.

Masterful music

Yes, we know Run-DMC's "Raising Hell" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" are national treasures. Now, the Library of Congress says so, too.

Skin deep

Her skin's splotchy appearance led to self-doubt -- and then a modeling contract with CoverGirl.

HAPPENING LATER

Ready, set, SWIPE!

Shoppers looking to snag a bargain at Toys "R" Us liquidation sales should act fast, since they might only last 30 days. Favorite toys tend to fly off shelves, and inventory is likely already slim.

TODAY'S NUMBER

8

That's how many days passed before Republican Rick Saccone conceded to Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania's special congressional election.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"He never punched my face. Just my body, the thing that offended him so much"

"This Is Us" actress Chrissy Metz, talking in a new memoir about the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather. Metz believes he beat her because she was overweight.

AND FINALLY

Who's the rat?

Their owner didn't know which cat made the big mess ---until one quietly ratted out the other. (Click to view.)

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