Good morning, and welcome to the new NBCNews.com. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning:
1. NYPD questions 4 about heroin found in Hoffman’s apartment
Police are questioning four people to determine whether they helped supply the dozens of bags of heroin found in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Manhattan apartment. The Oscar-winning actor was found dead on Sunday, and may have been killed by a heroin overdose, sources told NBC News. A purity test, however, revealed the heroin did not contain the powerful and deadly drug fentanyl. Read more in NEWS.
2. Winter storm creates treacherous morning commute
Here we snow again! A triple threat of rain, snow and ice has made Wednesday morning a nightmarish commute from the Midwest through the Northeast. On the heels of a storm on Monday, some 115 million people across 32 states have been bracing for this latest blast. Read more in NEWS.
The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel maps out the mayhem:
3. More frigid cities may bid on Super Bowl
The NFL dodged a meteorological bullet when the Super Bowl went off in New Jersey in unseasonably warm temperatures despite fears of a freeze. Now, cold-weather cities, such as Denver, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, are angling to get the big game. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
Meanwhile, fans of Super Bowl champs the Seattle Seahawks will line the city's streets for a much-anticipated victory parade Wednesday. Linebacker Malcolm Smith already got the party started at Disney World on Tuesday:
4. War on hackers included some collateral damage on the innocent
A secret British spy unit created to mount cyber attacks on Britain’s enemies has waged war on the hacktivists of Anonymous and LulzSec, according to documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden and obtained by NBC News. The program also interrupted the web communications of political dissidents who did not engage in any illegal hacking and may have shut down websites with no connection to Anonymous. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
5. Why do gas prices yo-yo? The answer involves Slurpees
The price of gasoline depends on everything from refiners and shippers to geography and taxes. Sometimes, the prices are divided up so many different ways that gas stations lose money on fuel. And then there’s the Slurpee effect. Watch at SHOW ME.
6. Political Idol? Clay Aiken announces run for Congress
The “American Idol” runner-up thinks he can win the votes for a House seat representing part of North Carolina. Aiken, 35, announced in a video Wednesday that he plans to run in the Democratic primary in a heavily Republican district. Read more in NEWS.
Watch his campaign announcent:
… What’s trending today?
All eyes are on Sochi this week for the start of the Winter Olympics on Friday, but journalists arriving early are tweeting their hotel horror stories.
Among the reported problems: rooms still under construction, missing lightbulbs, TVs and shower curtains, and faucets releasing a "dangerous" brown water.