These are the headlines you Need 2 Know.
Smollett Motive: Police say Jussie Smollett staged his attack ー telling the brothers he allegedly hired to carry it out to shout “MAGA country” ー because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted the attention. Chicago’s police superintendent angrily decried the incident, saying “this publicity stunt was a scar Chicago didn’t earn.” The Empire actor is out on $100,000 bail and faces up to three years behind bars. Read more here.
Vatican Meeting: The extraordinary Vatican meeting of bishops, convened by the pope to address the Church sex abuse scandal, culminated with church leaders hearing pre-recorded video accounts from abuse victims. Pope Francis told them to “listen to the cry of the little ones who are seeking justice.” Read more here.
Southern Snow: Los Angeles received its first snowfall since 1962, with a dusting recorded from Pasadena to Malibu. The same system produced the first significant snow in a decade for Las Vegas, and that city’s second snowfall in a week. Read more here.
Stone Gagged: A federal judge ordered Roger Stone to stop talking publicly about his obstruction and witness tampering case after the former adviser to President Trump posted an Instagram photo of the judge next to crosshairs. Stone apologized in court for the post, calling it “stupid.” Read more here.
Israeli Moonshot: SpaceX gave a boost to a historic moon mission. Two Israeli companies used a SpaceX rocket to successfully launch a lunar lander, which will be the first time a privately owned company has landed something on the lunar surface, and the first moon landing for Israel. Watch the liftoff here.
Wardrobe Malfunction: A day after Duke superstar Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury when his Nike sneaker broke apart, Nike faced a wave of backlash over how it could have happened. Executives are said to be worried that the mishap could affect sales, as well as the shoemaker’s ability to compete for Williamson’s shoe contract when he is drafted by the NBA. Nike shares fell in the aftermath, erasing $1 billion from the company’s market cap. Read more here.
Lyft Rides: How far would you walk for a really cheap fare? Lyft unveiled its latest carpool service called “Shared Saver,” which rewards users for waiting a little longer and walking further for a shared ride. The service is similar to Uber’s Express Pool, but Lyft says it will never be subject to surge pricing. Read more here.
R. Kelly: Two more women have accused R. Kelly of sexual misconduct. The accusers say they were 15 and 16 when they were given drugs and alcohol after an R. Kelly concert. They say they were invited into the singer’s hotel suite where the inappropriate sexual conduct allegedly occurred. A grand jury is reportedly deciding whether to indict the singer on separate abuse charges. Read more here.
Spotted: Obama: Former President Barack Obama sporting a custom-made bomber jacket with the number “44” on it. See the pic here.
Spotted: Watts: Actress Naomi Watts dressed as former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson on the set of the new Showtime series The Loudest Voice. See the pic here.
Biggest Bee: The world’s biggest bee ー which scientists weren’t sure even existed anymore ー has been discovered on an Indonesian island. The “Wallace’s giant bee” is the size of an adult thumb and has a set of giant fangs. It’s been nearly 40 years since it was last seen. See the pic here.
Big Sky Country: An online petition proposes that the U.S. government sell the state of Montana to Canada in return for $1 trillion to help pay down the national debt. The Change.org petition reads: “We have too much debt and Montana is useless.” More than 15,000 people have signed on ー including many Montana residents. Read more here.
Cheddar's Jill Wagner gets into the latest.
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