Tuesday, March 5, 2013

WINTER STORM WARNING FOR MIDDLE U.S./RAIN AND COLDER TEMPS FOR US
As the mid U.S. gets another snow storm, we're getting rain today, and much, much colder temperatures by the end of the day. That means as you walk out the door today, keep in mind it's supposed to be down into the 30s, possibly by the time you leave work this afternoon. Some good news, though: temperatures are supposed to be up near 70 on Saturday and Sunday.

PROPOSED CALIFORNIA LAW COULD BAN SMOKING IN YOUR OWN HOME
In the mid-1990s, California became the first state to ban smoking tobacco in bars, clubs and restaurants. The rest of us followed. Now, there's talk of banning people from smoking in their own homes, if their homes are multi-unit residences, like  condos or apartments. That's because they share ventilation systems, walls and ceilings with other people's homes.
   Free-standing homes, which make up about two-thirds of all residencies in California, would be exempt from the smoking ban.

BAN ON ENERGY DRINKS?
If you had to do without energy drinks, could you make it through the day just dosing up on coffee or sodas? The Chicago City Council is holding a hearing today on a proposal to ban high-caffeine energy drinks. (The plan was proposed after a teenager in Maryland died.... apparently after consuming two of the drinks over two days (in 2011). Representatives for Monster energy drinks say the victim's death was not related to the beverages.)

AMAZON UNDER FIRE FOR OFFERING RAPE T-SHIRTS
People around the world are expressing their outrage after retail giant Amazon's United Kingdom website offered T-shirts for sale that promote violence against women. Amazon says it didn't realize one of its sellers had posted such ads.
   The T-shirt company's president says the slogans were computer generated, and posted online, and if any had sold, his staff would have caught them before the shirts were printed. The offensive phrases were spinoffs of a popular British saying, "Keep Calm and Carry On," but included "Keep Calm and Hit Her," "Keep Calm and Rape Me" and "Keep Calm and Choke Her."

NASHVILLE SCHOOL BUS STOP MOVED AFTER MAN PULLS WEAPON
If you don't like having a school bus stop near your house, tell somebody, don't just pull a machine gun. A 39 year old Nashville man has been charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly waved a weapon at a neighbor, in a dispute apparently over how loud children at the bus stop were. Turns out the weapon was unloaded but school officials say it didn't have to go that far. He could have just spoken to them. The kids will now be picked up at a different corner.

FAIRVIEW HIGH FIRE  
Fairview High School is closed today after a slushie machine overheated and started a small fire. The sprinkler system kicked in, keeping the fire from spreading, but today they're left cleaning up a soggy, smoke-damaged mess.

FREDDIE MAC AND FANNIE MAE FORM JOINT BUSINESS
Federal Housing Finance Agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will build a new joint company to handle administrative jobs that had been replicated at each. They'll work as one office... to work toward shrinking the government's role in the mortgage market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were bailed out by the government in 2008, help finance about two-thirds of new U.S. home loans.

CARDINALS MEET TODAY
The Roman Catholic College of Cardinals is meeting at the Vatican again this morning in what's called General Congregations. It's considered a pivotal step before the actual conclave to elect a new Pope.

CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON MENTAL ILLNESS 
A congressional hearing examines severe mental illness today. This hearing was prompted by last year's deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. (Newtown shooter Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  He took his own life as police closed in.)

NAVAJO NATION WANTS 'DRUNK INDIAN' APOLOGY
The Navajo Nation is demanding an apology from CBS over a joke that aired on the show "Mike & Molly." They're upset over the statement that referred to Arizona and its Native Americans as a bunch of drunks.

WALTERS BACK ON THE VIEW AFTER MONTH OUT
And Barbara Walters is back on the View this week, after being out more than a month, for a combination of things: a concussion, then Chicken Pox. I know she doesn't look it, but Barbara Walters is 83!

WORLD'S OLDEST WOMAN CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY
The world's 'official' oldest woman, Misao Okawa, just celebrated her 115th birthday at a nursing home in Japan. She had her favorite meal: sushi. She has two children who are still alive, both of them in their 90s.

FUTURE GYMNAST IN THE MAKING?
And a four-year-old has a good start at living to a ripe old age: Dylan Hayes fell out of a third floor apartment window, and is completely unharmed. A witness says the boy flipped head-over-heels twice as he fell, and landed on his feet in the rocks below, unhurt. His mom said she feels "beyond lucky" that her four-year-old is okay after such a fall.

FINANCE POLL
About half of Americans asked say sequestration cuts will personally affect them, though many are not sure exactly how. The CBS News Poll also finds 56% of us say a combination of spending cuts and tax increases would be our preferred way to reduce the federal budget deficit.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WEIGHING IN ON UNLOCKING CELLPHONES
The Obama administration is weighing in on the topic of unlocking cellphones.  The White House has released a statement saying cellphone users should be allowed to switch their devices to any mobile carrier. Over 100-thousand people have signed an online petition protesting a recent ban on unlocking cellphones.

WHITNEY HOUSTON TARGETED FOR EXTORTION IN 90S
Newly-released FBI files show late singer Whitney Houston was an extortion target in the early 1990s.  The case, which was apparently closed without prosecution, is among 128 pages of documents the investigative bureau collected on Houston during her career.

PROSECUTORS REST IN NEW YORK CITY CANNIBAL COP TRIAL 
Prosecutors have rested their case against a suspended New York City cop accused of plotting to kidnap and cannibalize women. FBI investigators said Gilberto Valle's [[ Valley's ]] computer browsing history included searches for recipes using human meat.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE VOICE GUY OFF THE SHOW FOR INJURY
He's been the voice of the Saturday Night Live into for as long as most of us remember, but this past weekend it wasn't Don Pardo introducing the cast of SNL. The 95-year-old, who has been part of the show for 37 of its 38 seasons on the air, broke a hip and wasn't able to do it. (Pardo "retired" from NBC in 2004, but he's continued as the "SNL" ever since. For the past couple of years he has pre-recorded his introductions rather than doing them live in the show's studio.) No word yet on whether he'll feel up to voicing the intro next week when host and musical guest will be SNL favorite Justin Timberlake. 

HARRISON FORD IN ANCHORMAN
The Hollywood Reporter says Harrison Ford is joining the cast of "Anchorman 2"... which should be out Dec. 20.