What to Know
Authorities now say 17 people have died in Southern California mudslides and another 17 are missing
It's too early to say romaine lettuce is the source of an E. coli outbreak that sickened at least 57 people in the U.S. and Canada, CDC says
Harvey Weinstein was on the receiving end of two smacks to the face and a verbal assault at a restaurant, according to a new TMZ video
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Search for SoCal Storm Victims Continues as Mudslides Kill 17
Authorities now say 17 people have died in Southern California mudslides and another 17 are missing. The death toll rose Wednesday as searchers pulled two more bodies from the inundated area in the Santa Barbara County enclave of Montecito. Flash floods there on Tuesday swept immense amounts of mud, water and debris down from foothills that were stripped of brush by the recent Thomas wildfire. Authorities say at least 100 homes have been destroyed. Hundreds of firefighters and others are hunting through the mud and wreckage. Three people were rescued and authorities say about 75 percent of the devastated area has been searched. Authorities in Santa Barbara County were still trying to reach new areas and dig into the destruction to find dead, injured or trapped people after a powerful mud flow swept away dozens of homes.
Immigration Agents Descend on 7-Eleven Stores to Open Audits, Interview Workers
Immigration agents descended on dozens of 7-Eleven convenience stores before dawn to begin checking on employees' immigration status in what officials described as the largest operation against an employer under Donald Trump's presidency. The agency said officials targeted about 100 stores nationwide and served audit notices in 17 states including California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as Washington, D.C. Twenty-one people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally were arrested. It broadened an investigation that began four years ago with a case against a franchisee on Long Island, and the audits could lead to criminal charges or fines over the stores' hiring practices. The action appears to open a new front in Trump's expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought a 40 percent increase in deportation arrests. Derek Benner, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the operation was "the first of many" and "a harbinger of what's to come" for employers.
Too Soon to Blame Romaine Lettuce for E. Coli Outbreak, CDC Says
It's too early to say romaine lettuce is the source of an E. coli outbreak that has made at least 57 people in the U.S. and Canada sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told NBC News. "One of the things we worry about is we don’t know the source of contamination," said Ian Williams, chief of the CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch. Williams confirmed that no new cases have been diagnosed since early December, but without knowing the true source, it's hard to say that outbreak is over. And blaming a single crop too soon could leave people at risk if something else is spreading the bacteria. Williams' comments come after Consumer Reports acted on its own last week to warn people not to eat romaine lettuce. The company said that even though it didn't have "100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that romaine lettuce is almost always consumed raw."
Disgraced Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Assaulted in Restaurant
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was on the receiving end of two smacks to the face and a verbal assault from another patron while attending dinner at the restaurant Elements in Scottsdale, Arizona, according to new video published by TMZ. In the video Weinstein and a dinner companion are leaving the restaurant when they notice a patron filming them. When Weinstein objects another man smacks him backhanded twice in the face, causing Weinstein to stumble backward. TMZ reports Weinstein declined to call the police and departed the restaurant. Dozens of women, including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, while several others have accused the Oscar winner of raping them. Weinstein has denied any claim of non-consensual sex.