10 things you need to know today: November 20, 2014

Police at FSU
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser))

1. Three students injured in Florida State campus shooting

A gunman wounded three students at a Florida State University library packed with up to 400 students studying for final exams Thursday morning, shortly after midnight. The gunman allegedly fired at police outside the library and was killed when they shot back. "Obviously everyone wants to know why," Tallahassee police Chief Michael DeLeo said. "That's the hard answer we're going to continue to investigate."

Tallahassee Democrat CNN

2. NBC ditches Cosby sitcom project as rape allegations spread

A day after Netflix called off the launch of a Bill Cosby comedy special, NBC announced Wednesday that it had dropped a sitcom project that was to star Cosby after a series of women came forward saying that Cosby had raped them years ago. TV Land also pulled Cosby Show reruns. Cosby's lawyers vehemently denied that Cosby, 77, had done anything wrong. A former Pennsylvania prosecutor said he had decided against filing sexual assault charges in 2005 due to insufficient evidence, although he believed "something inappropriate" had happened.

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USA Today

3. Buffalo gets more snow as storm's death toll rises

A fresh blast of up to 30 inches of snow began falling on parts of New York state around Buffalo overnight, less than a day after a freak storm hit some areas with as much as a record six feet of snow. The death toll from the lake-effect snowstorm reached six. The area is expected to warm up rapidly over the weekend. Forecasters warn that the higher temperatures could turn the snow, which could reach eight feet in some places, into floods. "It will get worse before it gets better," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The Buffalo News Newsday

4. Judge rules Montana's gay marriage ban unconstitutional

A federal judge overturned Montana's gay marriage ban on Wednesday, saying the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said the ban violated the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Morris said the ruling would displease gay-marriage opponents, "Yet the United States Constitution exists to protect disfavored minorities from the will of the majority."

ABC News

5. Obama plans to announce executive actions on immigration

President Obama is preparing for a Thursday prime-time address to unveil his plan to sidestep Congress and use his executive power to protect up to four million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Obama also plans to expand visas for high-tech workers, among other actions. "Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken," he said in a video posted on his Facebook page. "Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long." Republicans denounced the move as a power grab as the GOP takes full control of Congress.

The Washington Post

6. Honduran beauty queen found murdered

Nineteen-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado, Honduras' Miss World contestant, was found murdered along with her sister Sofia, 23, on Wednesday. The women had been missing for nearly a week. They were last seen leaving a party and getting into an unlicensed car. Their bodies were found buried in western Honduras. Authorities said Sofia's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, confessed to killing the sisters in a jealous rage after Sofia danced with another man.

TIME The Associated Press

7. Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, announces his retirement

Jason Collins, the first openly gay player in any of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues, announced his retirement from the NBA in a first-person story for Sports Illustrated unveiled Wednesday. Collins, 35, revealed his sexuality in the same magazine in April 2013. He played professional basketball for 13 years. "It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights," Collins wrote, "and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league, and history."

BBC News

8. California committee recommends hiking public university tuition

A committee on the 10-school University of California system's governing board on Wednesday approved raising tuition by more than 25 percent over five years. The full Board of Regents will vote Thursday. Gov. Jerry Brown (D), one of the 26 regents, strongly opposes the plan, which would start with a $612 (five percent) increase next year to $12,804. "Governor, you're going to vote 'No,' and I understand that," the system's president, Janet Napolitano, said. "But ... this plan needs to move forward."


9. Secret Service arrests man near White House

The Secret Service on Wednesday arrested an Iowa man outside the White House. The suspect, Renae Kapheim, 41, allegedly had a hunting rifle and ammunition in his car. Authorities interviewed him after he approached uniformed officers a block from the White House. "He said that someone had told him that he should come to the White House so he had driven to Washington to do so," a senior law enforcement official said. The officers, thinking "something wasn't right," searched his 2013 Volkswagen Passat with his permission, and found the gun.

The New York Times

10. Legendary director Mike Nichols dies at 83

Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for directing the classic 1967 film The Graduate, died suddenly on Wednesday. He was 83. Nichols is survived by his wife, former ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer. "No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike," said ABC News President James Goldston in a statement. Over a five-decade career as a theater, film, and TV director-producer and performer, Nichols also won four Emmys, nine Tonys, and a Grammy, among other honors.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.