February 13, 2019: What to Know 

BINGO BARNES
  • Bingo Barnes
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    The impending merger of T-mobile and Sprint, first proposed in April of 2018, could face fresh roadblocks. While the likelihood of the merger earning the go-ahead from the federal government initially seemed high, The New York Times reports that the Democratically controlled House is now voicing concerns about the high-tech marriage, citing potential price hikes and job cuts, and what it sees as attempts to "buy favor" with the Trump administration through Trump International Hotel stays. T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere and Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure will address those worries in two hearings this week, one today before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and a second on Thursday, Feb. 14, before the House Committee on the Judiciary.

  • Meanwhile in Denver, a teacher strike—the first of its kind in 25 years the Colorado state capitol, according to NPR—is entering its third day following an unsuccessful attempt to reach an agreement last night. Teachers want the school district to shift funds away from incentives, like bonuses, and toward teacher salaries. They also want a reliable salary schedule with guaranteed pay raises for professional development. The strike comes after more than a year of negotiations with the district over teacher contracts.

  • Speaking of allocation of funds, WalletHub has released a new ranking of which U.S. cities overspend the most on cars. The list is based on auto loan debt, and it turns out that 10 of the top 20 cities are in Texas. Spots in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Arizona and North Carolina round out the top 20, with Lake Placid, Florida, taking the top spot for overspending. The income-to-debt ratio for auto loans there is 84 percent, as opposed to a mere 6 percent in the lowest ranking city, Scarsdale, New York. Boise fell in the middle, with a 31 percent income-to-debt ratio.

  • On the lighter (and hotter) side, Bon Appetit has a report on the Ember Ceramic Mug, a "smart" mug for seriously finicky drinkers. With only a Bluetooth connection and a smartphone app, users can control the exact temperature of their beverages. The mug will stay hot indefinitely thanks to a charging saucer, or keep drinks at the Goldilocks temperature for up to an hour before running out of battery. As Bon Appetit put it, "Welcome to the future, mugs!" The downside: They cost $80 each.

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