5 things to know for March 21: New Zealand, Brexit, Boeing, spa scandal, depression

Olive Garden has grown from a single Orlando store in the 1980s to more than 800 restaurants. The secret to its success? Breadsticks and chicken alfredo.

Posted: Mar 21, 2019 9:50 AM
Updated: Mar 21, 2019 9:50 AM

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper shared a LOT about himself last night during a CNN town hall, including what his last name means and why he once saw a naughty movie with his mom. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. New Zealand 

Less than a week after the Christchurch attacks, New Zealand is taking serious action on gun laws. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned. The proposal goes to Parliament in the first week of April. Before that, New Zealand leaders may reclassify some semi-automatic weapons as "military-style." Of course, this means a lot of New Zealand citizens will suddenly find themselves owning illegal firearms. The country's Cabinet has been tasked with creating a buyback program, and there will be a period of "gun amnesty" during which citizens can drop off the newly banned firearms at police stations. One lobbying group acknowledged the changes may not sit well with some of its members but said it backs tougher laws, adding, "We are trying to tread a responsible path."

2. Brexit

It was another dramatic day for British politics, and the big EU decision on whether to delay Brexit hasn't even happened. UK Prime Minister Theresa May gave a televised address pinning the Brexit-delay blame on members of Parliament and doubling down on her controversial, oft-maligned exit deal. She also ruled out a second referendum and said she wouldn't delay Brexit beyond June 30, the deadline she's pitching today in Brussels. Needless to say, British lawmakers were outraged and took to social media to grouse. "Pitting Parliament against the people in the current environment is dangerous and reckless," one opposition lawmaker wrote. Meanwhile, new numbers continue to show a grim economic future in post-Brexit UK. Banks are expected to move about $1.3 trillion out of the country and an estimated 7,000 finance jobs will follow.

3. Boeing

A criminal investigation of Boeing is moving forward after two deadly crashes involving the company's 737 Max planes. US Justice Department prosecutors have issued subpoenas seeking information on the company's Federal Aviation Administration certification procedures, as well as its marketing of the 737 Max. The investigation actually started in October 2018, after a 737 Max operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia. The jets remain grounded around the world, and the FAA says Boeing has developed a software patch and pilot training program to address issues with their flight control computer operations. The US Air Force also has ordered a review of training procedures for military pilots of large cargo and transport planes, including Air Force One. Air Force officials said it's a precaution to make sure pilots know how and when to turn off automated pilot systems if they encounter problems.

4. Florida massage parlor scandal

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft really doesn't want you to see video evidence of an encounter in a Florida massage parlor that led to him being charged with soliciting prostitution. His attorneys have filed a motion to block the public release of surveillance video and other evidence collected before his arrest. The state of Florida does not support with the request, according to the motion. Kraft, 77, also won't accept a plea deal in the case, a source said. Prosecutors have offered to drop misdemeanor charges against Kraft and 24 other men in exchange for fines, community service and an admission they would be found guilty at trial.

5. Postpartum depression

For the first time, the FDA has approved a drug specifically for the treatment of postpartum depression. The intravenous infusion has been shown in clinical trials to treat the symptoms of postpartum depression within hours. However, there are some major hurdles for women hoping for treatment: The drug is only administered as a 60-hour-long IV drip that must happen in a supervised hospital environment. It will also be astronomically expensive: The company that developed the drug said it will cost about $20,000 to $35,000 per treatment.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

What's the secret to Olive Garden's big comeback?

Shockingly, it actually involves FEWER breadsticks.

Jay-Z, Cyndi Lauper and Schoolhouse Rock! among latest recordings preserved by Library of Congress 

Each year, the Library chooses 25 "audio treasures" to preserve, so future alien invaders can quickly get up to speed on what humanity's been up to.

Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and Halsey among Woodstock headliners 

Wow, Jay-Z has had himself a good week.

Giant sunfish, weighing more than a car, washes up on Australia beach

Reason #6458 to avoid the beach.

Peppa, the cartoon pig, is sexist, claims London Fire Brigade

Well, there's a sentence you probably didn't think you'd read today.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"They had it as children. They were miserable for a few days, and they all turned out fine."

Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, who said he made sure his nine children caught chickenpox instead of vaccinating them. The CDC recommends two doses of the chickenpox vaccine, at ages 1 and 4.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$9.3 billion

The fines imposed on Google since 2017 by European Union regulators for hindering competition. Responding to a $1.7 billion fine this week, the search giant says it's "already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the Commission's concerns."

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

What do you get when you combine hip-hop with the expression and passion of sign language? A musical experience like none other

By the way, if this video is your style, you'll love the newest addition to our 5 Things newsletter family. The Good Stuff is a weekly dose of positive vibes, uplifting news and fascinating stories. How do I know it's good? Well, I write it ;) Sign up here!

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