Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Woman files sexual assault suit against Cosby
The accusations against Bill Cosby are piling up. A 55-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles claiming that the comedian sexually assaulted her in 1974 when she was 15. The woman, Judy Huth, said she and a friend met Cosby on a film set, and he allegedly served them alcohol and took them to the Playboy mansion. That was where she said Cosby, who was 37 at the time, sexually molested her. In recent weeks, 20 other women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault in past decades. Read more in NEWS.
2. Mudslides, flooding threaten Southern California
Much-needed rain is inundating Los Angeles and the surrounding area again Wednesday, after record rainfall drenched the region the day before. But the rain has wreaked havoc — triggering mudslides, knocking out power and forcing mandatory evacuations. The National Weather service said "flash flooding is a concern" and that gusty winds could also knock down trees and power lines. Read more in NEWS.
3. Iran launching airstrikes against ISIS: report
The country appears to be bombing ISIS targets in eastern Iraq, according to the Pentagon, although Iranian leaders wouldn’t directly address the actions Wednesday. Iran is not a member of the broad-based coalition against ISIS that Secretary of State John Kerry cobbled together and Washington and Tehran have ruled out working together to defeat the militants. Kerry in September called Iran’s involvement in neighboring Iraq "collateral," while Tehran’s president told NBC News that the U.S.-led coalition was "ridiculous." Read more in NEWS.
4. Who could be next defense secretary nominee?
Ashton Carter, the former deputy defense secretary, has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was also rumored to have been under consideration, though his close ties with the Obama administration were expected by to cause a partisan confirmation battle. The White House has yet to confirm Carter’s selection, although it lauded his service within the Department of Defense. Read more in POLITICS.
5. Officials consider charges against Michael Brown’s stepdad
Stepfather Louis Head may have incited a riot after a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown, investigators said. He allegedly told protesters to burn down the city in retaliation. No timetable was given for the inquiry, the results of which will be turned over to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Read more in NEWS.
6. Senators demand sports leagues tackle domestic violence
The video of ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator has prompted Washington lawmakers to demand sports leagues properly address domestic violence. A Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday met with representatives of the leagues. “The bright light of public attention needs to be turned on at a very high wattage on a problem that exists in the shadows, in a very dark and scary place,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. The leagues say they are taking appropriate steps. Read more in SPORTS.
And now this …
Consider it the pasta of human kindness. A Good Samaritan from Utah with an unlimited Olive Garden “pasta pass” decided to share some of the extra food with local homeless.