Only in America
February 17, 2012

A Wisconsin seventh-grader was suspended from a school's basketball team for speaking a Native American language. Sacred Heart Catholic School in Shawano, Wis., is 60 percent Native American, yet when a teacher heard Miranda Washinawatok, 12, telling a friend how to say "I love you" in the Menominee tongue, the teacher angrily objected, saying, "How do I know you're not saying something bad?" The school has since apologized.

Really? Really.
2:05pm ET
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jurors in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be allowed to watch the Super Bowl, so long as they remain vigilant, Bristol County Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh warned them on Friday.

"I am not going to forbid you from watching the Super Bowl if that's something that's really important to you," CNN reports that Garsh told the jurors. "(But), you hear that word, you've got to walk out of the room."

"That word" is of course "Hernandez." As a former star for the Patriots who helped carry the team to a Super Bowl victory three years ago, Aaron Hernandez's name could very well come up during Sunday's broadcast featuring New England and the Seattle Seahawks.

The jurors had heard two days of testimony as of Friday; Hernandez, 25, has pleaded not guilty to the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Quotables
1:40pm ET
Lucas Jackson - Pool/Getty Images

While saying that "we're not there yet," outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told CNN on Friday that the United States may eventually have to send ground troops back into Iraq.

"I think (turning back Islamic State militants) may require a forward deployment of some of our troops," Hagel said. "Whether we get there or not, I don't know."

Hagel noted that the ground troops could remain in non-combat roles, such as intelligence gathering on ISIS targets. There are already 4,500 U.S. troops in Iraq, which are operating in training and advising capacities with Iraqi forces.

This just in
1:25pm ET
AP Photo/Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recalled more than 2 million vehicles from Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda due to possible air bag problems, Reuters reports. 

About 400 cases of inadvertent air bag deployments have been reported in the recalled vehicle models, although the incidents have not resulted in any known deaths, an official for the NHTSA said. The three automakers will have to fix a defective chip in the air bag systems, which will require the entire air bag module and its circuits to be replaced.

Watch this
12:54pm ET

Ah, Super Bowl weekend.

We could talk more about Deflategate, but why do that when Key & Peele released this perfectly delightful sketch spoofing Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch?

"Richard Sherman" spends his time critiquing the Academy Award nominations, questioning why Selma and Foxcatcher were overlooked. And "Marshawn Lynch" trots out a new catchphrase, before throwing us a surprise around the 2:20 mark. Check out the fun in the video, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

death penalty
12:21pm ET
Mike Simons/Getty Images

Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced on Friday that it will postpone all six executions scheduled for 2015, because it needs more time to develop a new execution drug formula, Reuters reports. 

In January 2014, Ohio executed Dennis McGuire using a combination of midazolam and hydromorphone; witnesses reported that McGuire's execution took 25 minutes, during which he gasped and seized for 15 minutes. The state halted use of the two-drug combination, but it also passed a law in December 2014 providing confidentiality to pharmacies that prepare the lethal drug formulas. Four death row inmates filed a lawsuit, saying their right to due process is violated by the new law.

The state's decision to postpone its scheduled executions comes just days after the Supreme Court agreed to temporarily block the executions of three Oklahoma inmates challenging that state's lethal-injection formula.

Roger
11:48am ET
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

This is why planes have co-pilots.

A Delta Air Lines flight bound for Las Vegas made an emergency landing at the airport on Thursday after the pilot was locked out of the cockpit. Officials said the malfunctioning door will be examined by maintenance technicians, and a Delta spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the airline's crews are trained for such emergency situations (the co-pilot landed the plane alone).

Even more impressive: Despite the eventful landing, the plane still pulled into its gate at McCarran International Airport on time.

Foreign affairs
11:29am ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Japanese and Jordanian officials are struggling to secure the release of two nationals being held by Islamic State militants, but they say negotiations are "deadlocked," Reuters reports. 

"We can't predict (what will happen) at all," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday. "While preparing for every situation, I want to make every effort for Mr. Goto's release."

ISIS militants have threatened to kill Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, along with Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh. They said the latter would be spared if Jordan released would-be suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, who is currently being held on death row in Amman.

Watch this
10:11am ET

Chances are good this workday was a little more exciting than yours.

Los Angeles firefighters received a call about a little dog trapped in a swollen river, and the ensuing rescue involved a helicopter and some serious daring from the diver. The operation was successful, and officials say the pup was shaken, but healthy. Now, the search is on for the owners, because the firefighters believe the dog could have been swept more than a mile away from where he likely went into the water.

Watch the daring rescue, courtesy of BBC News, in the video, below. —Sarah Eberspacher

This just in
9:23am ET
Carsten Koall/Getty Images

French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo will delay its next two issues, because staffers are exhausted, grieving, and need a break from constant media exposure, a publicist for the magazine said on Saturday.

Two militants entered the publication's Paris offices on Jan. 7 and shot 12 people dead, setting off a days-long string of terrorist attacks across the country. Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists and writers did release a post-attack issue that sold millions of copies, featuring a cover depicting the prophet Muhammad weeping, NBC News notes.

But more than three weeks after the attack, the staff "need some time, need to consult, need to settle in," a spokeswoman for the publication said.

Foreign affairs
8:50am ET
John Moore/Getty Images

African Union leaders agreed during a two-day summit in Ethiopia to send 7,500 troops to help push back the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, The Associated Press reports.

Boko Haram militants have killed thousands in the five years that they have expanded their reach through northeast Nigeria; and, insurgents have increased the frequency of their attacks in the leadup to Nigeria's Feb. 14 elections.

On Thursday, troops and a warplane from neighboring country Chad drove Boko Haram militants out of a border town in Nigeria; it was the first foreign intervention against the insurgency, but an AU official said future operations will be launched by the African Union, not individual countries.

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