Good morning, and happy Wednesday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Obama puts forth modest proposals in State of the Union
The president, in his fifth State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, didn’t shy away from saying he would take the go-it-alone approach after experiencing roadblocks from Republicans in Congress. While he made sweeping statements about climate change and gun violence, he was also small in scope on other issues. Read more in POLITICS.
But it was an interview after the speech that’s attracting attention. New York GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, who is under investigation for alleged campaign finance improprieties, was caught on tape threatening a TV reporter who wanted to ask him an off-topic question:
2. South feels strain from rare deep freeze; schoolchildren stranded
A snow and ice storm rattled southern states, from Texas through the Carolinas — places that are normally used to balmier weather in the winter. There were even reports of schoolchildren having to spend the night in their classrooms or bus depots in Georgia. Read more in NEWS.
3. Miami Dolphins’ Jonathan Martin speaks up after teammate's bullying
The offensive lineman told NBC’s Football Night in America that he felt “trapped” in the locker room and removed himself after persistent bullying by teammate Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season. The full interview air’s Wednesday on NBCSN’s “Pro Football Talk.” Read more in NEWS.
4. Cruise ship filled with sickened passengers returning to U.S.
Nearly 600 passengers on a 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise were sickened by the norovirus, a fast-moving gut bug. The ship, which needs to be thoroughly sanitized, was turned around and is expected to dock Wednesday in New Jersey. Read more in NEWS.
5. More nuclear missile officers accused in military cheating scandal
The Air Force announced earlier this month that 34 officers were under investigation for cheating on a routine proficiency exam. Now, more officers have been implicated, although officials haven’t given an exact number. Read more in NEWS.
6. Ukraine’s Parliament will vote Wednesday on granting amnesty to arrested protesters
Despite the resignation Tuesday of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, anti-government protesters are still in the midst of an uprising that has turned violent. It doesn’t appear that the opposition against President Viktor Yanukovych can be easily assuaged. Read more in NEWS.
... What's trending today?
Jim Cantore has stared down the worst Mother Nature can conjure up. Do you think an exeburant undergrad in Charleston, S.C., could stop him?