What to Know
On their first day in the majority, House Democrats passed a plan to re-open the government without funding Trump's promised border wall
Rising suicide rates and depression in U.S. teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question
The current season of Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'StarTalk' series is on hold amid sexual misconduct claims against the prominent astrophysicist
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Dems Pass Funding Plan Without Wall; Trump Digs in
On their first day in the majority, House Democrats passed a plan to re-open the government without funding President Trump's promised border wall. The largely party-line votes came after Trump made a surprise appearance at the White House briefing room pledging to keep up the fight for his signature campaign promise. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump and Senate Republicans should "take yes for an answer" and approve the border bill, which was virtually identical to a plan the Senate adopted on a voice vote last month. "We're not doing a wall. Does anyone have any doubt that we're not doing a wall?" Pelosi told reporters at a news conference. Pelosi, who was elected speaker, also took a shot a Trump, calling his proposal "a wall between reality and his constituents."
Nancy Pelosi Sees 'New Dawn' as Diverse 116th Congress Begins
Cheering Democrats returned Nancy Pelosi to the House speaker's post as the 116th Congress took office and ushered in a historically diverse class of freshmen ready to confront President Trump in a new era of divided government. Pelosi, elected speaker 220-192, took the gavel saying U.S. voters "demanded a new dawn" in the November election that swept the Democrats to a House majority and are looking to "the beauty of our Constitution" to provide checks and balances on power. She faced 15 dissenting votes from fellow Democrats. For a few hours, the promise of a new era was the order of the day. The new speaker invited scores of lawmakers' kids to join her on the dais as she was sworn in, calling the House to order "on behalf of all of America's children." Even Trump congratulated her during a rare appearance at the White House briefing room, saying her election by House colleagues was "a tremendous, tremendous achievement."
Phone Apps Could Monitor Depression, Mental Health in Teens
Rising suicide rates and depression in U.S. teens and young adults have prompted researchers to ask a provocative question: Could the same devices that some people blame for contributing to tech-age angst also be used to detect it? The idea has sparked a race to develop apps that warn of impending mental health crises. Call it smartphone psychiatry or child psychology 2.0. Studies have linked heavy smartphone use with worsening teen mental health. But as teens scroll through Instagram and Snapchat, tap out texts or watch YouTube videos, they also leave digital footprints that might offer clues to their psychological well-being. Changes in typing speed, voice tone, word choice and how often kids stay home could signal trouble, according to preliminary studies. There might be as many as 1,000 smartphone "biomarkers" for depression.
More Blood Pressure Meds Recalled Over Cancer Concerns
Another drugmaker is recalling a medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure over concerns that tablets could be contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. Drug maker Aurobindo Pharma USA is voluntarily recalling 80 lots Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets, USP and Valsartan Tablets USP. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine, a "probable human carcinogen," was found in the active ingredient valsartan in the recalled products. The recalled medications were distributed nationwide. The New Jersey-based company has not received any reports of adverse effects related to the drugs as of Dec. 31, 2018, when the recall was announced, the FDA said.
'StarTalk' Season on Hold Amid Claims Against Host
The current season of Neil deGrasse Tyson's "StarTalk" series is on hold amid sexual misconduct claims against the prominent astrophysicist. The National Geographic channel said new episodes of the science-based talk show won't air until an investigation involving Tyson is completed, which could be within the next few weeks. Late last November, National Geographic Networks and Fox said they would examine claims that Tyson behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner toward two women. Tyson was host of "Cosmos: Possible Worlds" on Fox in 2014. A new edition of the series was set to air in March on the network and on National Geographic. He has denied an accusation that he groped a woman and denied making sexual advances toward a production assistant at his home. Tyson apologized for making the assistant feel uncomfortable. He has said he will cooperate fully with an "impartial investigation."
'The Notebook' Is Heading to Broadway
"The Notebook" wasn't over and it still isn't over...because it's heading to Broadway. More than a decade after Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams stole hearts all over the world bringing Nicholas Sparks' characters to life, the beloved story is reaching yet another new generation by way of the stage. Ingrid Michaelson, who has been writing the music for the upcoming show, announced the news on "Today" alongside Hoda Kotb. "I'm writing a musical and the musical is 'The Notebook,'" she enthusiastically revealed.