Ukraine's erstwhile leader wants to show he isn't so erstwhile. Another major airline drops funeral discounts. And Detroit wouldn't mind a warm day sometime this year.
Welcome to the Friday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
1. UKRAINE UNREST
Heeeere's Viktor: Fugitive and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is expected to address reporters today in neighboring Russia, according to Russian news media. Yanukovych, who faces an arrest warrant in his country, fled Ukraine's capital last weekend after Parliament removed him following months of protests. He says it's an illegal coup and that he's still the leader. The power struggle partly relates to whether Ukraine will align itself with the European Union or with Russia.
This comes as armed men in uniforms stood guard today outside the main airport in Ukraine's pro-Russian region of Crimea, but reports conflicted on whether they had taken control of the facility. Ukraine's interior minister has accused Russian forces of staging an "armed invasion" in Crimea. But we're not yet certain who the armed men are.
2. EXTREME WEATHER
California rainin'; Detroit, ice city: The weather will be remarkably difficult in parts of the United States today. Some areas in Southern California are evacuating because of potential flash floods and mudslides - 6 inches of rain is forecast for some parts.
Meanwhile, Detroit - which already has seen more than 78 inches of snow this season - is closing schools today, with wind chills forecast to be between 10 and 25 degrees below zero. A large portion of the country will be shivering; below-freezing temperatures are forecast as far south as Florida.
3. OBAMA OPENS UP
Talks about dad, drugs and race: While announcing a new initiative to help young men and boys of color succeed, an emotional President Obama got personal yesterday, talking about the bad choices he hopes others can avoid. "I didn't have a dad in the house, and I was angry about it, even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time. .... I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do," he said.
The "My Brother's Keeper" initiative will identify and build on the best programs helping young men of color across the country.
4. SUPREME COURT VIDEO
Rarefied airing: A video of a U.S. Supreme Court session confirms what you'd expect after decades of artists' sketches: Justices sitting in leather chairs really do look like justices sitting in leather chairs. The kicker is that it might be the first publicly released video of a session there, and it was recorded surreptitiously Wednesday by an advocacy group as a protester interrupted the proceeding, objecting to the court's 2010 "Citizens United" campaign finance ruling.
No electronic devices, or still or video cameras, are allowed in the court's public sessions. Check out this story to learn why the justices want to keep cameras out.
5. AIRLINE FUNERAL DISCOUNTS
No more, American Airlines says: The list of major airlines giving discounts for medical emergencies or funerals is getting smaller. American Airlines has become the latest carrier to end bereavement fares. A travel blogger says that better last-minute, nonbereavement fares can be found online anyway, but cutting the policy "does make the airlines look heartless."
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
- Mary, a popular tourist attraction: Somehow, a Scottish woman ended up being listed as the 87th-ranked tourist attraction in Glasgow on TripAdvisor, according to multiple British media reports. "This attraction wasn't in the guidebooks but is fun for all the family," one reviewer wrote, according to The Scotsman newspaper. She suspects the listing, since taken down, was a prank, but told the paper: “At least it is a good picture of me.”
- The zebra sleeps tonight: A zebra dashes to freedom after it cleverly uncovers some lions' dastardly plot to ambush it. Or the lions let it go because they already had a fresh kill. However you wish to look at it.
- "Non-Stop" trailer, Lego style: Lego Liam Neeson is not trying to hijack this Lego plane. He's trying to save it - before intimidating you into putting the pieces back in the box when you're done.
- Fall, fall again: A 2013 YouTube video showing a snowboarder's many attempts to use a surface lift at a resort picks up steam.
- Nasty LinkedIn rejection: "Your invite to connect is inappropriate, beneficial only to you, and tacky." That's part of a response that an online job bank operator gave to a job-seeker who wanted to connect on LinkedIn, according to a post on the job-seeker's Imgur account. A backlash ensured as the response made the rounds on Reddit, Buzzfeed and other viral hotspots.
There you go. All you need to know to get an early start to your morning.
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