Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon’ punishes websites that don’t work on your phone

It’s happened to all of us. We do a Google search on our phone, find the exact thing we’re looking for, click on the link, and the mobile site we’re brought to is practically non-functional. No more. Welcome to “Mobilegeddon,” also known as the day the world’s biggest search engine changed the way we experience the Web on our phones. Google has made big changes to its ranking system for mobile searches. Websites that are mobile friendly — and popular — will go to the top of the results. Sites that are deemed unfriendly — text that’s too small, sites that take too long to load and are graphics heavy and hard to navigate, get buried. Desktop search results won’t change. Why is this a big deal? Only 38% of business websites are optimized for mobile. In USA TODAY tests this week, we found plenty of popular websites for brand names such as California Pizza Kitchen and M&Ms that failed the Google “mobile-friendly” test. So if your site doesn’t work optimally on a phone, get on that redesign. Your ranking depends on it.

What Google’s new search changes mean for you. Jefferson Graham explains.
Sean Fujiwara

What else in #TheShortList:

• Pope accepts bishop’s resignation for shielding child abuser
• Jury to decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fate
• The bird flu outbreak that has poultry producers up at night
• ‘Full House’ is coming back to TV. Whatever happened to predictability?

Catholic Church makes another move to fight its child sex abuse scandal

Today was a big day for the Catholic Church. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Missouri Bishop Robert Finn, who was found guilty of failing to tell police about a suspected pedophile priest. It marks an end to one of the ugliest chapters in the church’s child sex abuse scandal. Here are takeaways from Finn’s resignation: 1. This is a big deal: During the last decade, thousands of priests have been punished or defrocked for abusing children. But until Finn, no American bishop had ever been forced from office (despite the terse Vatican announcement that he “resigned”). 2. Finn was an easy case: Finn is the only U.S. bishop ever convicted in court of failing to report a suspected abuser. He covered up for Shawn Ratigan, a priest who had hundreds of lewd pictures of children on his computer. 3. The pope had to take action. Francis’ credibility was on the line. While his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, had taken steps to address abusive priests, Benedict hadn’t done much to hold bishops accountable. 4. It’s another hit for Catholic conservatives. Finn had been hailed as a strong conservative who would have helped turn the church away from the liberal tendencies of Pope Francis.

Bishop Robert Finn leaves a meeting at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual fall assembly in Baltimore in 2011. (Photo: Patrick Semansky, AP)

Life or death: Penalty phase of Boston bombing trial begins

The penalty phase of the Boston Marathon bombing trial kicked off today, and jurors are faced with their final question: Will it be death or life in prison for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? Jurors heard from double-amputee Celeste Corcoran, who walked into the courtroom on two prosthetic legs. “Our whole world just exploded,” she told the jury. “It’s very hard to explain, but I want to get it right for you all to understand.” They heard from Gillian Reny, who was 18, preparing to graduate from high school when she went to the marathon two years ago. After the explosion, she looked down to see her tibia sticking out of her leg. “It was the most horrifying image I could ever imagine to see that on my own body,” Reny said. “It was terrifying.” Jurors heard from William Campbell Jr., whose daughter, Krystle Campbell, died in the attacks. “Krystle was the light of my life,” he said. “Smart, hardworking, beautiful — every father’s dream.” Although the majority of Massachusetts residents oppose the death penalty, courtroom experts say this jury might be ready to impose it.

The same federal jury that convicted Dzokhar Tsarnaev for the Boston Marathon bombing is now charged with determining whether he lives or dies.
VPC

Millions of chickens and turkeys face death over bird flu

Poultry producers are not sleeping well. A highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza has forced them to kill millions of chickens and turkeys in the U.S. in recent weeks. The fast-moving H5N2 virus was confirmed at a chicken laying facility in Osceola County, Iowa. About 3.8 million layer hens at the farm affiliated with Sonstegard Foods Co. will be euthanized. Meanwhile, mega turkey producer Hormel Food Corp. confirmed avian flu is causing significant supply chain problems in its Jennie-O Turkey Store. Since the beginning of the year, commercial as well as backyard poultry flocks in Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota, Oregon South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin have also confirmed cases of the H5N2 strain. The current crisis may be the most significant since an outbreak in 1983-84 left more than 17 million birds in the U.S. dead. Here’s what you need to know about the risk to humans.

In this Nov. 2, 2005, photo, turkeys are pictured at a turkey farm near Sauk Centre, Minn. A dangerous strain of avian influenza has turned up at farms in Minnesota, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas and several Western states. (Photo: Janet Hostetter, AP)

‘Full House’ is coming back. Uncle Jesse says so

You got it, dude. Full House, just one of the most awesome and iconic sitcoms ever,
is coming back to TV. The new Netflix show, Fuller House, will follow the grown-up adventures of D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candice Cameron-Bure) and her children; her sister, Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin); and their memorable kooky neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). John Stamos will executive-produce the show and appear as a guest star. And apparently they are in talks with the rest of the original Full House cast about making appearances. Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse, confirmed rumors of the show’s reboot on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, followed by Netflix putting out its own announcement. It’ll premiere in 2016. Here’s what the cast’s been up to for the last 20 years. And some nostalgia below. Chip-a-dee-ba-ba-dow.