Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. 'Historic' Floods Threaten 19 Levees in Midwest
Raging waters threatened to breach or weaken 19 federal levees along the Mississippi River on Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of homes as Missouri braced for "historic" floods. Severe weather in the country's midsection is blamed for killing at least 53 people since last week. Read more in NEWS.
2. U.S. Carrier Has Close Call With Iranian Rockets
The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman came about 1,500 yards from an Iranian rocket in the Strait of Hormuz last week, two U.S. military officials told NBC News. While one official said the Iranians were "clearly not" targeting ships, the action was "unnecessarily provocative and unsafe." Read more in NEWS.
3. Why the 'Affluenza' Teen Might Not Do Jail Time
Ethan Couch, the 18-year-old who received probation after pleading guilty to manslaughter for killing four people in a drunken-driving accident in 2013, is headed back to court — but not necessarily to jail. The Texas teen was caught in Mexico after going on the run with his mother after missing an appointment with his probation officer. Read more in NEWS.
4. Trump: Attacks on Bill Clinton Will Work 'Well For Us'
Donald Trump admits his own extramarital exploits are fair game in the 2016 campaign, but the Republican frontrunner reckons that bringing up former president Bill Clinton's White House affair will "come out very well for us." Read more in POLITICS.
5. NYPD Gets Out the Big Guns for New Year's Eve
Nearly 6,000 cops — hundreds of them with long guns, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs — will be guarding New York's Times Square as a year punctuated by terrorist attacks draws to a close, officials said. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
6. Officers in Tamir Rice Shooting to Face New Review
The two Cleveland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of the 12-year-old boy will face a new administrative review after an Ohio state grand jury decided not to press charges against them. A City Council member, meanwhile, said Tuesday night that he would seek negligent homicide charges under city law. Read more in NEWS.
7. Suspect in Murder of Pastor's Wife Charged in 2nd Killing
Larry Taylor Jr., one of three suspects linked to the slaying of an Indianapolis pastor's pregnant wife, is facing additional charges connected with the unsolved murder of a man — shot dead over just $10, court documents show. Read more in NEWS.
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