Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Anthem latest to suffer massive hack attack
A database containing some 80 million records was exposed to hackers who breached one of the largest health insurance companies in the nation, the FBI and Anthem officials said late Wednesday. The information accessed included names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, such as income data. But the company is adamant that no credit card banking or financial records were compromised. "Anthem's initial response in promptly notifying the FBI after observing suspicious network activity is a model for other companies and organizations facing similar circumstances," said Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman. The hacking follows similar high-profile attacks against Target and Home Depot last year. Read more in TECH.
2. Feds investigating what led to deadly train crash
Why was the SUV sitting in the train crossing? That's the big question that federal investigators will try to answer after a vehicle waiting on train tracks was struck by a commuter train Tuesday afternoon, killing six people. The driver of the SUV was among them. Data has been downloaded from the train's black box-type recorder to help determine what happened. The NTSB will also look at the crossing itself, sight lines, whether power was interrupted to the electrified "third rail" after the accident as designed and whether the interior of the train car contributed to its catching fire. Read more in NEWS.
3. Taiwan crash survivor says he saved passengers from drowning
A TransAsia plane crashed after takeoff Wednesday, clipping an elevated highway in Taipei before plunging into a river. At least 31 people have been confirmed dead, and 12 are still missing. Fifteen survivors are being hospitalized, including one 72-year-old who said he helped to save four fellow passengers from drowning in the river. Huang Jin-sun told the Taiwanese broadcaster ETTV that he was able to save them while they were trapped in their seats inside the sinking fuselage. Read more in NEWS.
4. Jordan’s king vows ‘harsh’ war after pilot’s murder
King Abdullah II says his country will continue to fight ISIS after a grisly video was released purportedly showing the immolation of a Jordanian pilot being held hostage. In swift response, Jordan executed two terrorists, including one that ISIS had wanted in a swap for the pilot. Abdullah, who had to cut a trip to Washington, D.C., short after the pilot's death broke Tuesday, pledged to hit ISIS militants "hard in the very center of their strongholds." Jordanian officials have not presented details of how they plan to respond. Read more in NEWS.
5. Pete Carroll understood the ‘gravity’ of Super Bowl play
The Seattle Seahawks coach revisited the last-minute play during Sunday's Super Bowl that many say cost his team its second championship in a row. Speaking with TODAY's Matt Lauer in an interview that aired in full Thursday morning, Carroll said he realized instantly the call to throw the ball at the 1-yard line was bad. "Immediately — I mean, within the instant of the turnover — the gravity of what just happened I understood," Carroll said. "And there's only a second or two before you stand up and start looking ahead and getting ready for what's coming." In the end, the New England Patriots won 28-24 after the Seahawks' poor pass was intercepted. Read more in SPORTS.
6. Kids get to hang out with Pope Francis
Want a direct audience with the pope? The popular pontiff will host his second Google hangout at 10 a.m. ET Thursday with a focus on youngsters who have disabilities or special needs. In a blog post, Google said the participants will be from Brazil, India, Spain and the U.S. "The kids will share a glimpse into their lives and talk about their dreams with Pope Francis — and the world," the post said. The pope last hosted a hangout in September. Read more in NEWS.
And now this ...
It could have been a contender. But check out what happens to this potentially record-breaking ice sculpture in Superior, Wisconsin.