Happening Today: Neil Gorsuch, Dakota Access, Quebec, Etan Patz

What to Know

  • President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court; Democrats have vowed to fight
  • The Army Corps of Engineers has been ordered to allow work to continue on the controversial Dakota Access pipeline
  • Deliberations are expected to begin Wednesday in the Etan Patz murder case

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Trump Picks Neil Gorsuch for SCOTUS

President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge with a writer's flair, to the Supreme Court Tuesday night, setting up a fierce fight with Democrats over a jurist who could shape America's legal landscape for decades to come. Gorsuch's nomination was cheered by conservatives wary of Trump's own fluid ideology, but Democrats are wary of his record on women's issues and corporate interests. Republicans have the majority needed to confirm Gorsuch but not the votes needed to break a filibuster should Democrats mount one. If confirmed by the Senate, he will fill the seat left vacant by the death last year of Antonin Scalia, long the right's most powerful voice on the high court and someone Gorsuch has sought to emulate.

Army Corps to Approve Controversial Pipeline

The Army Corps of Engineers was ordered to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to proceed under a disputed Missouri River crossing, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven said on Tuesday, the latest twist in a months-long legal battle over the $3.8 billion project. The company behind the pipeline appears poised to begin drilling under the lake immediately. The Standing Rock Sioux, whose opposition to the project attracted thousands of supporters from around the country to North Dakota, immediately vowed to again go to court to stop it. In December, the Obama administration denied a permit needed to finish the pipeline. 

Mosque Shooting Suspect's Extreme Views

The French Canadian university student charged with killing six Muslim men during evening prayers at a mosque was known for extreme nationalist views and his support of the French rightist party led by Marine Le Pen. Alexandre Bissonnette was charged this week with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder over the shooting rampage at a Quebec City mosque that Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism against Muslims. Authorities said Bissonnette was previously unknown to police.

Etan Patz Case May Be Nearing End

Pedro Hernandez watched 6-year-old Etan Patz from the corner store where he worked all those years ago, prosecutors said. He knew the little boy liked to get treats there, and that he waited for the school bus in the morning without adult supervision, they said. Prosecutors say the 56-year-old Maple Shade, New Jersey, man lured the little boy into the basement with the promise of a soda on May 25, 1979, then choked him and dumped the body. Jurors are expected to get the case Wednesday.

Fighting Breaks out in Ukraine

Heavy artillery and rockets hit residential areas in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday amid a new outburst of fighting between government troops and Russia-backed separatist rebels, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens. The U.N. Security Council called for "an immediate return to the cease-fire regime." Kiev is worried that Donald Trump's administration could ease some sanctions on Russia the U.S. imposed for the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. 

Super Bowl Ads Arrive Ahead of Big Game

Want to see what the Super Bowl commercials without actually sitting through the Super Bowl? Well, you're in luck. Advertisers, shelling out as much as $5 million for a 30-second spot during the game, are looking to get more bang for their buck by unveiling their spots as soon as possible. Watch some of them. And check out this heartwarming story of a Massachusetts man with Stage 4 lung cancer who won tickets to see New England face Atlanta. 

Staten Island Pig Gets Reprieve

The city was ready to seize a pet pig named Wilbur from a Staten Island family by midnight Tuesday. But health officials decided to give the family more time to find a place for Wilbur to stay that wouldn't violate city rules. His presence inside the Great Kills home still technically breaks the law. But for now, the 180-pound pig gets to stay. "He's like my child," Christy Matteo said.

Contact Us