Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Lone wolf’s plot to blow up U.S. Capitol thwarted: FBI
The feds said Wednesday they busted a suspect who wanted to attack Congress with pipe bombs and automatic rifles, and who had gone as far as buying two M-15 semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition. But 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell, who had converted to Islam, had been working with an FBI informer and was never in an actual position to carry out the alleged plot, officials said. A former classmate told NBC News that he began to change during his senior year of high school, and would say "the weirdest stuff about the government." Read more in NEWS.
2. Muslims are victims of intolerance: French president
Walking a fine line after jihadists slaughtered 17 people over three days last week, French President Francois Hollande reiterated on Thursday that Muslims, too, are victims of intolerance. "The first victims of fanaticism and intolerance are Muslims," Hollande said from the Institute of the Arab World in Paris. "Anti-Muslim acts, like anti-Semitism, should not only be denounced, but severely punished." Muslims in France have said they worry about retaliation for the killings that have led to increased security measures throughout the country. Read more in NEWS.
3. Free climbers make history scaling Yosemite mountain
Climbers Tommy Caldwell, 36, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, became the first people to scale the Dawn Wall of the El Capitan rock formation on Wednesday without tools to help them. Since Dec. 27, they've had to rely on their hands and feet to make the 3,000-foot ascent, which some experts describe as the most daunting rock climb to make. It helped that on the last day, the pair had ideal weather. Read more in NEWS.
President Barack Obama congratulated the climbers on Instagram, saying: "Congratulations to Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson for conquering @YosemiteNPS's El Capitan! You remind us that anything is possible."
4. Boko Haram accused of using girls as suicide bombers
A disturbing trend of using girls as young as 10 as suicide bombers has apparently emerged in Nigeria, and experts believe Boko Haram is forcing abducted children to take part. Some experts say that the terrorist group could even be enlisting any of the 276 kidnapped girls who sparked the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, coercing them to be a readily available supply of suicide bombers. "It is highly likely that Boko Haram is conscripting young girls to use as suicide bombers," one expert told NBC News, adding that these conscripts were little more than "slaves fed by countless abductions since the crisis started." Read more in NEWS.
5. Mom of slain baby says killer should live
Charles Warner was found guilty of raping and killing his roommate's 11-month-old baby in 1997, and is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. CT Thursday. It would be the first execution in Oklahoma since last April, when convicted killer Clayton Lockett was left writhing in pain because of a botched lethal injection, his lawyers said. But there's at least one person who doesn't want Warner to be executed: his victim's mother. Read more in NEWS.
6. Guess who’s getting an Oscar nod?
A-listers J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine and Alfonso Cuaron were set to announce the 2015 Academy Award nominations at 8:30 a.m. ET. In an Oscars first, the nominees in all 24 categories will be televised live. Among the pictures expected to get multiple nominations are “Birdman,” “Boyhood” and “Selma.” The actual ceremony airs Feb. 22 from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles with Neil Patrick Harris emceeing for the first time. Meanwhile, who’s probably not getting nominated? Likely any of these flicks being “honored” at the upcoming 35th Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies, which doles out trophies for the worst that Hollywood has to offer. Read more in POP CULTURE.
And now this ...
How's this for a discreet delivery? Marvina, a monthly marijuana subscription service that is being called the “Birchbox of pot,” is up and running. They currently deliver to anyone in San Francisco who has a medical marijuana card.