What to Know
- A judge who described himself as disgusted by Michael Flynn's behavior upended a straightforward sentencing hearing, postponing punishment
- A top doctor is taking aim at e-cig brands in the U.S., urging action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting teens
- Penny Marshall, who starred in "Laverne & Shirley" before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died at age 75
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Judge's Rebuke of Michael Flynn Upends Sentencing, Prolongs Case
A federal judge who described himself as disgusted by Michael Flynn's behavior upended a straightforward sentencing hearing, postponing punishment for President Trump's first national security adviser and telling him in a stinging rebuke, "Arguably you sold your country out." Lawyers for Flynn requested the delay after a tongue-lashing from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan raised the prospect that Flynn could spend time behind bars for lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts. Prosecutors hadn't recommended prison, but the hearing that began with the defendant upbeat and smiling took an unexpected turn when the judge said his sentence would take into account not just Flynn's extensive cooperation with investigators but also the lies the Trump administration official told from the grounds of the White House. "I can't make any guarantees, but I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense," Sullivan said.
Trump Administration Moves to Ban Bump Stocks
The Trump administration banned bump stocks, the firearm attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns and were used during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The regulation gives gun owners until late March to turn in or destroy the devices. After that, it will be illegal to possess them under the same federal laws that prohibit machine guns. Bump stocks became a focal point of the gun control debate after they were used in October 2017 when a man opened fire from his Las Vegas hotel suite into a crowd at a country music concert, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. The regulation was signed by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. It will take effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to happen Friday.
US Surgeon General Warns of Teen Risks From E-Cigarettes
The government's top doctor is taking aim at the best-selling electronic cigarette brand in the U.S., urging swift action to prevent Juul and similar vaping brands from addicting millions of teenagers. In an advisory, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said parents, teachers, health professionals and government officials must take "aggressive steps" to keep children from using e-cigarettes. Federal law bars the sale of e-cigarettes to those under 18. For young people, "nicotine is dangerous and it can have negative health effects," Adams said in an interview. "It can impact learning, attention and memory, and it can prime the youth brain for addiction." Federal officials are scrambling to reverse a recent explosion in teen vaping that public health officials fear could undermine decades of declines in tobacco use. An estimated 3.6 million U.S. teens are now using e-cigarettes, representing 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle schoolers, according to the latest federal figures.
Famed Actress, Director Penny Marshall Dead at 75, Her Publicist Says
Penny Marshall, who starred in "Laverne & Shirley" before becoming one of the top-grossing female directors in Hollywood, has died. She was 75. Marshall's publicist, Michelle Bega, said Marshall died in her Los Angeles home due to complications from diabetes. "Our family is heartbroken," the Marshall family said in a statement. Marshall starred as Laverne DeFazio, the Milwaukee brewery worker, alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy "Laverne & Shirley." The series, which aired from 1976 to 1983, was among the biggest hits of its era. It also gave Marshall her start as a filmmaker. She directed several episodes of "Laverne & Shirley" before making her feature film directorial debut in "Jumpin' Jack Flash," the 1986 comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg.
And the Winner of 'The Voice' Is…
Chevel Shepherd is the winner of "The Voice" season 15. The runner-up was Chris Kroeze. In third place was Kirk Jay and Kennedy Holmes in fourth. The final four contestants performed in the first part of the season 15 finale. Shepherd sang an impressive solo rendition of LeAnn Rimes' "Blue" and a country duet with Jay. The 16-year-old singer was the last remaining contestant on Team Kelly Clarkson. Kroeze and coach Blake Shelton performed a duet version of Emmy Lou Harris’ 1978 hit, "Two More Bottles of Wine." For the cover song, he performed the hit country classic, "Sweet Home Alabama."
Singer Anca Pop Dies After Car Plunges Into Danube River
Anca Pop, a Romanian-Canadian singer-songwriter, has died after her car plunged into the Danube River. She was 34. Emergency authorities identified her body after divers found her car in southwestern Romania. Her sister alerted police after she failed to arrive at the family home. Police said they were investigating the death of Pop. Pop's style was a fusion of Balkan and mainstream pop. She had a big following in Japan. She also collaborated with Bosnian musician Goran Bregovic on his "Champagne for Gypsies" album.