8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Aug 19 2016

1. Major News: The Justice Department announced that it will end its use of private prisons.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced on Thursday that the department will begin phasing out the use of private prisons over the next few years, with the goal of ultimately ending the federal use of privately operated prisons. (Read More)

2. Talking Points: Rio's chief of civil police said that "there was no robbery" in the Ryan Lochte case.

"There was no robbery," Fernando Veloso, chief of civil police in Rio de Janeiro, said in a press conference. Instead, he said, one or more of the four U.S. swimmers are responsible for vandalizing a gas station. (Read More)

3. World News: The U.N. admitted its responsibility in spreading Haiti's cholera epidemic.

A confidential report written by a U.N. adviser said that the epidemic "would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations." (The New York Times)

4. Tech Talk: Gawker.com is shutting down next week, after Univision offered to pay $135 million for Gawker Media's online properties.

The decision to shutter Gawker Media's namesake site was announced in an article posted to the New York-based blog on Thursday. It comes just days after Univision offered to pay $135 million for the collection of online properties that includes the 14-year-old Gawker.com. Earlier this year, the company was ordered to pay $140 million in damages in a privacy case surrounding its decision to publish a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan. (Read More)
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

5. ICYMI: Steven Avery's new attorney believes presenting a new suspect could be enough to free him.

Avery's new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, sounds optimistic about her client's future in the wake of Brenden Dassey's exoneration. She believes that retesting old DNA evidence — some of which she thinks may have been tampered with or planted — and presenting a new murder suspect will be enough to free Avery. (Read More)

6. Try Again: Chicago's police superintendent called for the firing of seven officers who allegedly lied about Laquan McDonald's death.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson wants the officers who allegedly lied about the teen's death to be fired. "While I know that this type of action can come with many questions and varying opinions, please know that these decisions were not made lightly," Johnson wrote in a letter. (The Chicago Sun-Times)

7. This Is Not A Drill: The Zika virus could affect adult brain cells, not just fetal brain cells, suggests a new study.

A study conducted on mice found that adult brain cells' learning and memory functions could be affected by the Zika virus. Previously, concerns about the virus were linked to fetal development and pregnant women. (The Washington Post)

8. Game-Changer: Uber will test out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh as soon as this month.

That doesn't mean you'll hop into a completely driverless cab. For now, there will still be a "driver" behind the wheel in case of an emergency and a copilot in the passenger seat taking notes on a laptop. (Read More)

More from US News

R29 Original Series