Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Travel headaches for millions ahead of Christmas rush
A white Christmas? Try a wet and sloppy one. A huge weather system packing gusting winds, thunderstorms, snow and even the odd twister was threatening early Tuesday to put a damper on millions of Americans' holiday travel plans. The messy mix will focus on much of the East Coast, from the Gulf states up to Maine, and will continue into Christmas Eve. In addition, some heavy snow is forecasted for the Great Lakes with rates of 1-2 inches per hour. Read more in NEWS.
2. NYC mayor: Don’t protest until after slain officers’ funerals
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked people to set aside protests against excessive force and policing tactics until after the two NYPD officers killed by a gunman over the weekend are laid to rest. The request comes amid heightened tensions between the mayor and the police union, which claims de Blasio has blood on his hands in the wake of the shooting. The gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had ranted against police on social media. A wake for one of the slain officers, Rafael Ramos, will be held Friday, with a funeral planned for Saturday. Read more in NEWS.
3. Internet restored in North Korea after widespread outage
The Internet went dark in North Korea for nearly 10 hours on Monday, but it appears to be largely restored. Late Monday night, Internet analysis firm DYN Research tweeted that North Korean-hosted websites were once again accessible. The blackout came less than a week after the FBI accused the country of being behind the hack that led Sony Pictures Entertainment to cancel the release of "The Interview," a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The cause of the outage remains unclear. Read more in TECH.
4. Delta worker accused of smuggling guns on planes
Feds announced Monday they've cracked a gun-smuggling scheme between a Delta baggage handler and a former baggage handler that spanned from Atlanta to New York City. The worker, identified as Eugene Harvey, allegedly smuggled firearms — some loaded — into the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, where he handed them off to an accomplice, Mark Quentin Henry, who flew to New York, federal law enforcement officials said. Henry, a former baggage handler, is accused of supplying 129 handguns of various makes and models and two assault rifles to a third co-conspirator from May 1 to Dec. 10. Read more in NEWS.
5. Can deadly Ebola outbreak be stopped?
Usually, Ebola outbreaks are put out quickly, after at the most a few hundred cases. But the outbreak ravaging West Africa has been so much worse that even the most optimistic aid experts say they're on the fence about whether controlling it by mid-summer of next year is a realistic goal. "If the international community continues to expand support for containment activities in West Africa, then it is possible that there will be only a small number of new cases of Ebola occurring each week by the middle of 2015. However, it appears unlikely that there will be zero new cases occurring by summer," one epidemiologist told NBC News. Read more in HEALTH.
6. Miami Beach Bowl gets ugly with on-field fighting
It wasn't just the football that went flying during the Miami Beach Bowl on Monday when Memphis took on Brigham Young. After Memphis picked off a pass from BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to seal a wild 55-48 double-overtime victory, joy quickly turned ugly as players from both teams started exchanging punches instead of post-game handshakes. Helmets were thrown and fists went flying as well. Read more at NBC SPORTS.
... What's trending today?
This dog's dancing puts Snoopy to shame. A video uploaded to YouTube shows a pooch at a kennel on its hind legs and showing off its happy feet — presumably after seeing its owner on the other side of the door. The clip has garnered more than 2 million views since Saturday.