Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Boston Marathon bombing trial gets underway
The highly anticipated trial against Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins Wednesday morning with opening statements from both sides. Federal prosecutors say the devastating bomb blasts that struck the 2013 Boston Marathon were the result of a deliberately cruel plan by Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, who later died in a shootout with police. Defense lawyers counter that the younger Tsarnaev was raised in a dysfunctional family and was "submissive" to his brother, who hatched the plot. The trial is expected to center around one main question: What penalty will the jury impose? Read more in NEWS.
2. Supreme Court to hear Obamacare challenge
The Supreme Court is preparing to hear a challenge to President Barack Obama's signature domestic legislative achievement that could deal it a crippling blow — if not a fatal one. The case comes before the justices on Wednesday, nearly three years after the Supreme Court saved Obamacare during a legal battle at the law's inception. The health insurance industry warns that if the challengers succeed this time, the Affordable Care Act would enter a "death spiral" — with costs rising for a shrinking number of participants, eventually causing the system to collapse. Read more in NEWS.
3. Ferguson report exposes effort to reform municipal courts
Among the raft of civil rights violations Department of Justice investigators found in Ferguson, Missouri, was a municipal court system that allegedly emphasized revenue over public safety, leading to routine breaches of citizens' constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law. But it's not just Ferguson. Civil rights advocates have been trying to raise awareness of similar problems in municipal courts across the country. Read more in NEWS.
4. More snow, ice, rain in slow-moving winter storm
Is it spring yet? Around 47 million Americans were under a severe weather watch Wednesday as yet another winter storm threatened to pelt Kentucky, the Ohio Valley and southern Plains with ice and record-setting snow before chugging toward New York City and Washington, D.C. Heavy rain was forecast to freeze as what is expected to be the last major system of the winter moved toward the East Coast after pounding the Rockies and northern Texas on Tuesday. But residents along the East Coast shouldn't heave a sigh of relief just yet as snow is expected to return Thursday. Read more in NEWS.
5. Hillary Clinton dodges questions about email, presidential run
The former secretary of state continued to tease people waiting to hear her announce a presidential run during a speech at the Emily's List 30th Anniversary Conference and Gala in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night. She also steered completely clear of recent controversy over her use of a personal email account as secretary of state. Meanwhile, aides to some top Republican politicians said Tuesday that they didn't use personal email accounts as Clinton did in the same role. Aides to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former President George W. Bush said neither official routinely sent e-mails to staffers while they held those posts. Read more in POLITICS.
6. Feds raid California hotel allegedly engaging in 'birth tourism'
Southern California apartment complexes that doubled as "maternity hotels" for Chinese women who want made-in-America babies were raided early Tuesday, capping an unprecedented federal sting operation, officials said. NBC News was on the scene as Homeland Security agents swept into The Carlyle, a luxury property in Irvine, which housed pregnant women and new moms who allegedly forked over $40,000 to $80,000 to give birth in the United States. None of the women were arrested; they are being treated as material witnesses. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
And now this ...
The latest "Jurassic Park" flick is full of a whole new set of hard-to-pronounce dinos, but we broke down their names so you can sound smart at the movies.