There was an AER Papers and Proceedings paper "Engaging Students in Quantitative Analysis with Short Case Examples from the Academic and Popular Press" by William Becker in 1998. He also published a book chapter "Engaging students in quantitative analysis with the academic and popular press". In Becker, W. M. & Watts, M. (Eds.), Teaching economics to undergraduates. Alternatives to chalk and talk (pp. 241–266). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
This year at the Conference on Teaching & Research in Economic Education, Hossein Kazemi, Stonehill College presented on "How to Teach Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy. Using Technology, Current News, and Data". Already in 2013 Elizabeth Breitbach, now at Darla Moore School of Business, had presented at the AEA meeting on "Using Newspaper Articles and Documentary Films for Applications in Principles of Economics Courses”. It seems to me they have not (yet) published about their experience. Maybe contact them?
As to current news, how about these ones?
Bank of America to stop lending to companies operating private prisons, detention facilities, https://www.ajc.com/news/national/bank-america-stop-lending-companies-operating-private-prisons-detention-facilities/FIjv13bVCsWZZJMBBk1LfI/
Japan is taking extreme measures to defuse its demographic time bomb http://www.businessinsider.fr/us/japanese-government-measures-prevent-population-crisis-declining-babies-sex-2019-6
Not sure what quality and length you prefer but the topics seem thought provoking to me.