The Weekly Grind: March 4-10

Drink in the week’s most important stories — all in one place. In the time it takes to drink your first cup of coffee, we’ll help you get caught up.



Trump accuses Obama of tapping his Trump Tower phones; FBI’s Comey tells Justice Department to dump Trump’s claims

President Trump boards Air Force One on his way back to Washington. (Photo by The New York Times)

In a series of early morning tweets on Saturday, President Donald Trump accused former-President Obama without evidence of wiretapping Trump Tower. Trump claimed the wiretapping happened in October, but officials have said it’s illegal for presidents to order wiretapping. If the wiretaps exist, it means there’s strong evidence Trump’s campaign, or someone working for it, had ties to Russia.

On Sunday, FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject Trump’s claim that former-President Obama ordered wiretaps. Comey is worried the claims suggest the FBI did something illegal or that they have significant evidence of Trump’s campaign working with Russia. (New York Times) ( Wall Street Journal)


 House Republicans release plans for Obamacare replacement

President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan shake hands. (Photo by the LA Times)

Seven years after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was enacted, House Republicans on Monday released plans to repeal and replace former-President Obama’s health care legislation. The GOP’s replacement bill would reduce Medicaid’s reach but would offer income-based aid to Americans seeking coverage. It’s expected that with the GOP’s bill, some Americans would lose the coverage they gained with Obamacare. (Washington Post)

Trump revises travel ban taking Iraq off blocked countries list

President Trump on Monday signed a new version of his executive order that banned immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries from the United States. Trump’s new executive order still bans all refugees but removes Iraq from the list of blocked countries, leaving Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya barred from the U.S. The new ban also revokes the original clause preventing immigrants with previously issued visas from the U.S. (New York Times)

WikiLeaks releases documents outlining CIA’s methods of hacking smartphones

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published 8,761 documents it claimed came from the Central Intelligence Agency. These documents show multiple ways the CIA hacks technology like iPhones, Android phones, messaging apps and smart TVs for surveillance purposes. WikiLeaks said these documents are only the beginning of the information it has. WikiLeaks has also held back on revealing the full hacking codes used by the CIA. (Reuters)

Black people more likely to be wrongly convicted of murder, study shows

In 2016, 166 people were exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit, which is the highest number ever recorded, according to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations released on Tuesday. Of the 52 people exonerated for murder in 2016, 28 of them were black. At 13 percent of the U.S. population, black people make up 47 percent of the 1,900 exonerations recorded in the U.S. (NPR) 

Nebraska Ag Department warns farmers about bird flu

Two cases of bird flu have been found and confirmed in Tennessee, so the Nebraska Department of Agriculture is telling poultry farmers to keep an eye out. Poultry farming is big across the state, so monitoring flocks for signs of the disease is important to prevent a nationwide outbreak. (Lincoln Journal Star)   

Omaha-based Gordmans to file for bankruptcy

After years of falling sales, the Omaha-based Gordmans clothing store will reportedly file for bankruptcy. The retailer will join a growing list of brick-and-mortar clothing stores that have recently filed for bankruptcy, including American Apparel, Wet Seal and Sports Authority. Gordmans’ stock price has sat below $1 since September of 2016 and layoffs have mounted during that time. (Omaha World-Herald) 


There’s a problem with Chicago’s K-12 system, so Chance the Rapper is donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools

Chance the Rapper spoke at Westcott Elementary in Chicago on Monday (The Atlantic)

After a Friday discussion with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner about the state of Chicago’s public schools, Chance the Rapper made a speech  at Westcott Elementary on Monday in Chicago’s South Side and donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. Chance, best known for his acclaimed mixtapes “Acid Rap” and “Coloring Book,” said that his conversation with Rauner yielded vague answers about the how the governor planned to fund Chicago’s schools. In his speech, Chance called for Rauner to “do your job.” (The Atlantic)

Nike launches headscarves line for female Muslim athletes

Nike announced on Tuesday that it will release an athletic performance hijab in spring 2018. The product has been in development for a year and will follow Nike’s recent efforts of breaking into the Middle East’s clothing market with new retail stores. The hijabs will feature light, stretchy fabric to enhance breathability and will come in black, grey and obsidian. (The Guardian)

Lincoln’s Josh Hoyer joins Team Blake on ‘The Voice’ 

Josh Hoyer sings during his appearance on “The Voice.” He performed a rendition of the Chi-Lites tune “Oh Girl.” (Photo from NBC)

Lincoln soul musician Josh Hoyer appeared on “The Voice” on Tuesday and chose Team Blake. He turned two chairs —Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani—with his audition song, “Oh Girl” by the Chi-Lites. Right now, Hoyer is touring in Europe with his band Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Winter is coming this summer: HBO announces “Game of Thrones” season 7 premiere date

After melting a block of ice during a livestream plagued by malfunctions, HBO announced the seventh season of “Game of Thrones” will premiere on July 16, 2017. The season will have only seven episodes, unlike the previous six. After this, the show will have one more season, also with seven episodes. (New York Times)


You’ll have a new place to get your fix when The Mill opens at the Nebraska Innovation Campus

Lincoln coffee shop The Mill unveiled plans on Wednesday to add a third location and become the first restaurant on the Nebraska Innovation Campus. Owner Dan Sloan said in addition to The Mill’s menu of coffees and teas, the new location will offer an expanded breakfast and lunch menu, with pastries, breakfast burritos and quiche, as well as a new selection of wines and craft beers. (Lincoln Journal Star, The Daily Nebraskan)



Daylight Savings Time returns at 2:00 a.m. on March 12. (USA Today)

The Center for Great Plains Studies is hosting a lecture on human trafficking in the Great Plains on March 14. (Nebraska Today)

On March 16, the Sheldon Museum of Art presents Women Photographing War. (Nebraska Today)


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