Deadly storms strike the East Coast
Severe storms killed five people on the East Coast on Tuesday. Four died in when a violent storm leaving telltale signs of a tornado struck in upstate New York. One child died and another eight were injured at River Valley Ranch, a Christian camp near Baltimore, when a storm rushed in, knocking down trees with high winds before counselors could get everyone to safe cover. The storm also left about 42,000 customers without power. Read more at NBC.
AG nominee Loretta Lynch defends Obama's immigration order
Loretta Lynch, President Obama's pick to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, on Wednesday defended the legal reasoning behind the president's executive action on immigration.
In her confirmation hearing, Lynch said that though she did not advise the administration on its immigration policy, she reviewed the Justice Department's legal argument and determined the policy was a "reasonable way to marshal limited resources to deal with the problem" of illegal immigration.
"I don't see any reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views," she added.
As many as 190 people may have been exposed to measles, thanks to the outbreak at Disneyland
Phoenix Children's East Valley Center has stated that as many as 190 people may have been exposed to measles.
The news marks the second case of measles to stem from the outbreak at Disneyland — health officials have traced both of Maricopa County's confirmed measles cases to the measles outbreak at the theme park. According to county health officials, an infected woman may have exposed 190 people, including children and adults, to the disease. The hospital has not provided information about the infected woman.
The U.S. declared measles eradicated in 2000, but the Arizona Department of Health Services notes that the spread of the recent outbreak is likely connected to parents not vaccinating children in recent years. County health officials told The Phoenix New Times that unvaccinated people can contract the disease simply by being in the same room as someone with measles.
Health officials noted that the measles vaccine is 99 percent effective and recommended that children without the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine stay home from schools in the county for the next 21 days.
It's gotten a lot easier to get away with murder
Though violent crime has been trending down for years, there's one crime statistic that isn't so positive: In 1965, 90 percent of murder cases were resolved by police, but today, one out of every three murders sees no arrests. As a result, there's a national backlog of more than 200,000 unsolved murders that have accumulated since 1980.
In some cities, the situation is grimmer still. In New Orleans, for example, only 15 percent of murder cases were resolved in 2012. In Detroit, that figure was just 9 percent.
Some police officers have suggested that the disproportionate diversion of department resources to drug war programs has limited officers' ability to give violent crime the attention it deserves.
The only thing people hate more than the government is their internet provider
Only Comcast could manage to fare more poorly in a consumer satisfaction survey than the federal government.
A report released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index found that Americans are more dissatisfied with the federal government and the services it provides than ever. While the average industry rating in the report is 75 percent satisfaction, the government as a whole received 64 percent approval. Some federal departments ranked as low as the upper 50s, and none — not even the comparatively highly rated Defense Department — managed to rank high enough to be average.
The one industry that did rank worse than the government was internet service providers, which suggests that President Obama's recent proposal for government expansion into the internet business may be a surefire recipe for miserable consumers.
Drone manufacturer disables flights over Washington after White House incident
Drone manufacturer DJI is disabling all of its devices within a 15.5-mile radius of Washington, D.C.'s downtown area after a government employee crashed a DJI on the White House lawn on Monday.
DJI also announced that it will issue a "mandatory update" for its drone operating system, Time reports. The update will disable the flights over D.C. and will keep drones from flying in restricted areas around 10,000 U.S. airports.
GPS can be disabled on DJI drones, but a spokesman told Gizmodo that even with the GPS disabled, the drone flight restrictions will still be in place.
AG nominee Loretta Lynch: If confirmed, the Constitution 'will be my lodestar'
Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, on Wednesday cast herself as a nonpartisan prosecutor who would focus primarily on counterterrorism should she be confirmed.
"If confirmed as Attorney General I pledge to you and to the American people that the Constitution, the bedrock of our system of justice, will be my lodestar as I exercise the power and responsibility of that position," Lynch said in the opening remarks of her confirmation hearing.
If confirmed, Lynch would be the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general. She is expected to face tough grilling from Senate Republicans, particularly over the Obama administration's move to unilaterally prioritize deportations.
Poll underscores danger for Republicans should the Supreme Court gut ObamaCare
Nearly two-thirds of Americans want Congress to guarantee ObamaCare's subsidies should the Supreme Court strike them down over a technicality, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday.
In the case of King v. Burwell, the high court is weighing whether the Affordable Care Act was written in such a way that it only allows subsidies in states that set up their own insurance exchanges. Most states relied on the federal marketplace, and could thus be iced out.
Republicans have banked on the court gutting the law, believing that such a decision would allow them to have a "do-over," as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put it. But as the poll shows, the GOP would face strong public pressure in that scenario to restore the subsidies, making a drastic "do-over" no easy task.
Scientists may have found a cure for peanut allergies
Researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia, have developed a probiotic-protein mixture that appears to have cured peanut allergies.
The scientists gave 30 children who were allergic to peanuts a daily dose of peanut protein with increasing amounts of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus over an 18-month period. The dose of the probiotic was the equivalent of eating 44 pounds of yogurt each day. By the end of the trial, 80 percent of the children had no reaction to eating peanuts.
Lead researcher Mimi Tang warned against trying to treat your children at home, though — the trial did sometimes cause allergic reactions in the children, and more research is needed to see whether the participants will be able to tolerate peanuts in the coming years. The researchers plan to conduct a followup study where they'll remove peanuts from the participants' diets for eight weeks to see if they are still tolerant of them.
Ex-Vanderbilt football players found guilty of rape
A Tennessee jury on Tuesday found two former Vanderbilt football players guilty of raping a fellow student in 2013.
— WKRN (@WKRN) January 28, 2015
The two men, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, were convicted on four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape, and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. The ex-teammates were accused of brutally raping the victim, who was 21 years old at the time, and sharing cell phone images of the assault. Defense attorneys argued that the men were too drunk to know what they were doing, and faulted a campus-wide culture of drinking.
Russia confirms North Korean leader will visit in May
Russian officials announced Wednesday that Kim Jong Un will make his first official visit to Russia in May. He will attend a commemorative ceremony in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in World War II.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported the news, adding that the Kremlin had invited Kim Jong Un, along with 20 other "state leaders," to attend the ceremony.
The Kremlin stated that "North Korea's leader" would attend the event, and while most people took that to mean Kim Jong Un would visit, South Korean officials told the Yonhap News Agency that the phrase could also refer to Kim Yong-nam, the nominal head of state for foreign relations.