Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Northeast digs out from snowstorm ahead of next one
The last of the trilogy of blockbuster snowstorms that have punished New England over the past three weeks is basically over — allowing for residents to dig out. "It's very rare to have three blockbuster storms in a row like this," said Kevin Roth, lead meteorologist at The Weather Channel. "There's no end in sight, not this week at least." That's because another system is set to dump 5 to 8 more inches on the New England coast Thursday. That storm is already brewing in the Upper Midwest and is expected to dump 1 to 3 inches over the Great Lakes on Wednesday as it heads to New England. Then, another storm, set to hit on Valentine's Day, could affect travel from New York and Washington before hitting already inundated Boston. Read more in NEWS.
2. Syria is getting info about U.S. airstrikes: Assad
Syrian President Bashar Assad says he's getting intel about the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes against ISIS through third parties, including Iraq. But speaking with the BBC, Assad denied there had been direct cooperation between Damascus and Washington. "There is no dialogue. There is, let's say, information, but not dialogue," he insisted. In a rare interview, Assad — who remains at odds with the Obama administration — ruled out joining the coalition to fight ISIS in his country as long as Washington was supporting rebels battling his regime, calling them "terrorists." Read more in NEWS.
3. Suspect charged with murder in UVA student’s death
Jesse Matthew, a suspect in the death of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing, reported NBC News affiliate WVIR. Authorities are set to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the case. The 18-year-old's disappearance in September ended in tragedy when her body was found near Charlottesville the following month. Matthew, a 33-year-old former hospital worker, was previously charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with Graham's death. Read more in NEWS.
4. Jury seated in ‘American Sniper’ murder trial
More than 800 jury summonses were sent out in Erath County, Texas, in the trial against Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine. He's accused in the 2013 shooting deaths of a friend, Chad Littlefield, and Chris Kyle, the veteran Navy Seal featured in the Hollywood biopic "American Sniper." The jury will decide whether to find Routh guilty of murder or not guilty by reason of insanity. Among the questions prospective jurors were asked was whether they had seen "American Sniper," a nominee for best picture at the Oscars. Read more in NEWS.
5. Despite gay marriage gains, acceptance still lags: Survey
Gay couples got married in Alabama on Monday after a state judge tried to block the unions, leading to confusion in some parts. Nevertheless, while such marriages are becoming more and more commonplace, acceptance of the LGBT community, such as in the workplace or in their local communities, lags, according to a new survey released Monday by GLAAD. The survey, "Accelerating Acceptance," found that around one-third of respondents were uncomfortable attending a same-sex wedding (34 percent), seeing a gay couple hold hands (36 percent) or learning their doctor is LGBT (31 percent). Read more in NEWS.
6. SpaceX tries for launch again after setbacks
After delays over the weekend and an earlier problem with radar tracking, private spaceflight company SpaceX will try to launch a satellite again at 6:05 p.m. ET from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The so-called DSCOVR weather satellite liftoff will come about two hours before SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched last month is supposed to return from the International Space Station and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the launch team had also been dealing with a problem that affected a transmitter on the rocket's first stage. Read more in SPACE.