California’s new privacy law, explained

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Your data, whether it’s your name, your location, or your shopping habits, has been a commodity for decades now. Collected, bought, sold, shared, transferred — however businesses get it, a lot of them have access to a lot of information about you. They use it in ways you never agreed to (and often that you’re not even aware of), and they make a lot of money off of it. And there wasn’t much you could do to stop them.

That’s about to change … to a point.

When the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA (which you can read in

Australia’s hellish heat wave and wildfires, explained

Australia is closing out 2019 amid yet another spike in heat, with temperatures topping 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Sydney and triple-digit temperatures throughout much of the country.

Such heat has become all too familiar for Australians: Australia ended last year with temperatures peaking close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But the current heat wave still stands out as it joins record-breaking hellish weather this month that has fueled massive bushfires in four states and sent choking smoke into major cities, with no end in sight.

A map of maximum temperatures across Australia on December 29, 2019.A map of maximum temperatures across Australia on December 29, 2019.
Severe heat has baked Australia in recent days.
Bureau of Meteorology/Australian Government

The fires have …

Trump’s use of homelessness as a political cudgel exposes his cynical disregard for blue states

Since Christmas, President Donald Trump has been cynically using homelessness as a political cudgel to attack blue-state Democrats who are making his life difficult.

Trump posted a string of tweets attacking Democratic politicians in California and New York for not doing more to help the homeless populations in their states — his implication being that they’re too distracted by impeachment or other legislative and legal oversight.

On December 26, Trump posted four tweets blasting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not doing more to address homelessness.

“Crazy Nancy should clean up her filthy dirty District & help the homeless there. …

Ivanka Trump’s interview on Face the Nation could have aired on Fox News

Ivanka Trump did a rare non-Fox News interview with CBS for Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation. But given the way it obscured key facts, host Margaret Brennan’s approach to interviewing the president’s elder daughter and senior adviser would’ve fit right in on Fox & Friends.

The interview was mostly about a 12-week paid parental leave provision for federal workers that made it into the $738 billion 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) President Trump recently signed into law. That provision was included following a push from congressional Democrats who wanted something in return for the creation of

The reason carry-on luggage became such a hassle

The state of carrying on your luggage when you fly is dismal. Fellow airline passengers are always antsy to get ahead in line, to board early before the overhead bins fill up. After all, no one wants to be the unlucky person stuck rearranging suitcases to fit their own.

Personally, I prefer checking my bag at the gate (for free!) — a last-minute move that releases me from the stress of searching for overhead space on a crowded flight. Most of my colleagues (and certainly other travelers) feel differently; they’d rather not risk parting with their possessions or spending extra …