Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Justices to Hear Case That Could Kill College Affirmative Action
Opponents of affirmative action in college admissions are hoping they can cripple the positive discrimination measure — if not outright kill it — when the Supreme Court takes up the issue Wednesday. The University of Texas says students learn better when there's diversity on campus, but lawyers for a woman who was denied admission to the school say that's too vague a standard to justify distinctions based on race. Read more in NEWS.
2. San Bernardino Shooter May Have Plotted 2012 Attack
Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik spent at least a year preparing for their terror rampage, NBC News has learned, practicing at a local gun range and making financial plans for their family after their deaths. Sources also say Farook may have discussed an attack as long ago as 2012. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
3. Mideast Retailer Dumps Trump Products
One of the Middle East's largest retail firms has said it is withdrawing Trump products from its shelves after he called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. The Landmark Group, based in Dubai, has an exclusive deal to sell Trump Home products, including lighting, mirrors and jewelry boxes in their Lifestyle department stores. Read more in NEWS.
4. And TIME's Person of the Year 2015 Is ...
Angela Merkel, who became Germany's chancellor in 2005, taking over the world's fourth-largest economy, beat out several other heavyweights on the magazine's short list for the title. Most recently, she's had to manage the epic migrant crisis that has swept her continent. Read more at TODAY.
5. Bataclan Attacker Was in Syria in 2013: Official
The third man who attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Nov. 13 went to Syria with a group of other young people at the end of 2013, an official said Wednesday. The Bataclan shootings were part of a coordinated assault that killed 130 people in the French capital. Read more in NEWS.
6. Addicted Mom and Baby Enter 'Canyon Into Hell'
A South Carolina mom gave birth to a baby girl in 2011 that turned out to be addicted to the methadone that she took during pregnancy to control an addiction to prescription painkillers. The case is highlighting how many states are failing to immediately assess all cases of drug-dependent newborns. Read more in NEWS.
7. Northwest Faces Dangerous Flooding After Rainy Reprise
Residents of the Pacific Northwest were warned that more heavy rain early Wednesday could cause dangerous flooding and landslides. At least 11 river regions in Washington state were under flood warnings late Tuesday — and rain was expected to continue to fall through the morning. Read more in NEWS.
History is replete with examples of what happens when fear and intolerance take hold and an entire category of people is marginalized, as Tom Brokaw remembers.