Winter weather could cause travel headaches
A winter storm will dump snow and ice across a wide swath of the northern USA on Friday and into the weekend, probably causing “hazardous” travel, forecasters said. Snow will fall Friday in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, AccuWeather said, possibly piling up to a foot in some areas. Farther south, ice will be the main danger. “Areas from northeastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle to northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio can expect a thin glaze of ice that will make driving and walking slippery and hazardous,” according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. By Saturday, heavy snow is expected in portions of Pennsylvania, New York and much of New England.
Virginia state of emergency to ban guns from rally begins
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week he will declare a state of emergency and ban firearms around the state Capitol in Richmond from Friday evening through Tuesday. Northam made the announcement before a gun-rights rally Monday that could draw thousands of armed people and militias from Virginia and out of state. According to Northam, intelligence from law enforcement agencies indicates that out-of-state militias and hate groups fueled by misinformation and conspiracy theories have “malicious plans” for the rally. A judge ruled earlier Thursday that the governor has the authority under state law to take action related to “the safety and welfare” of the state.
Harvey Weinstein trial: Jury selection heads to the homestretch
Potential jurors who had not been dismissed in the Harvey Weinstein case are likely to return Friday after a substantial number of dismissals during the screening process.Weinstein, who is on trial on rape and sexual assault allegations involving three women, and his team filed a motion seeking to move his sex-crimes trial out of Manhattan, arguing that initial screening shows the jury pool has been “tainted” by a “deluge” of prejudicial pretrial publicity further amplified by new charges filed in Los Angeles as the trial opened. Hundreds of prospective jurors have answered verbal and written questions about whether they can be unbiased in his highly publicized case — a source of constant media attention since allegations were first lodged against the ex-producer in late 2017.
LSU football team to visit White House. But what about that cash?
A cash controversy could dampen the party Friday as the national champion LSU football team visits the White House. Following the Tigers’ 42-25 defeat of Clemson, video surfaced of NFL player Odell Beckham Jr. giving what looked like cash to Tigers players. University officials first said the bills were fake but reversed course Wednesday, saying the money may have been real. LSU’s visit also has the potential to become political. The World Series-winning Washington Nationals made headlines when a Nats player wore a “Make American Great Again” hat while standing beside President Donald Trump.
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence take on Robert Downey Jr. at the box office
The first intriguing box office battle of 2020 will begin Friday. First, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star in “Bad Boys for Life,” which is the first time two stars will reprise their lawman characters Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) since 2003’s “Bad Boys 2.” USA TODAY critic Brian Truitt called “Bad Boys for Life” (★★★ out of four) “a retro affair tailor-made for those who adored the action movies of the 1990s.” Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. stars in “Dolittle” and tackles John Dolittle, the popular literary veterinarian from Victorian England who can communicate with animals. Truitt notes that “Downey takes naturally to the wild style and quirky persona of a dude who talks to animals, “Dolittle” (★★ out of four) “just doesn’t measure up to its A-list star.”
Contributing: Associated Press