We use "the news is good" instead of "the news are good."
What is the rationale behind this? Are there similar situations in English?
News is uncountable and is used with singular verbs. The -s is there because etymologically, it used to be a plural form. Etymonline says:
As to other nouns like this, I have looked through a number of Wiktionary and Wikipedia categories, and the closest I could come to similar examples is measles and billiards.
Yet another interesting (but not really similar) case is species. Wikipedia says: