NSA lawsuit. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filed a class action lawsuit against President Barack Obama and the heads of U.S. national intelligence agencies over the widespread collection of cellphone metadata. The massive surveillance program, which had analysts spying on American citizens, came to light after former National Security Administration contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified documents to the press. In a YouTube video explaining the lawsuit, Rand likened the program to the warrantless searches perpetrated by the British military prior to American independence. “The lesson of the American Revolution was that this should never happen again, and yet the NSA’s data collection program is the modern equivalent of this practice,” he said. Former Virginia attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli is lead council on the suit.
Trial date. Accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will go on trial in November. U.S. District Judge George O’Toole announced today that jury selection would begin on Nov. 3. Defense attorneys had requested the trial be delayed until September 2015. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Tsarnaev, 20, who is accused of leaving a bomb near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. Three people died in the blast, which injured 264 others. Tsarnaev’s brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, thought to be the plot’s mastermind, died in a shootout with police four days after the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev also is accused of shooting a police officer. His defense attorneys have not yet said whether they intend to request the trial be moved outside of Boston. The federal courthouse is just 2 miles from the site of the bombings.
New mayor. San Diego voters have elected a moderate Republican to replace former Mayor Bob Filner, a Democrat who resigned last year amid a sexual harassment scandal. In his acceptance speech last night, Kevin Faulconer made a veiled reference to his predecessor, saying, “This city has gone through a lot in the last year, but we knew that as San Diegans we were better than that.” Although California is a solidly Democratic state, Filner was San Diego’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years.
Ice storm. Southerners are once again shivering under a blanket of ice and snow, just two weeks after another winter storm wreaked havoc on roads in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala. This time the concern is ice. While drivers are staying off the roads, about 200,000 homes and businesses already have lost power. The National Weather Service called the storm “mind-boggling if not historical.” Up to 1 inch of ice is expected to accumulate in Atlanta, where 2,200 flights have already been canceled at Hartsfield Jackson International, the busiest airport in the nation. One meteorologist predicted Atlanta could lose as many as one-quarter of its trees in the storm.
Unfortunate hole. This has got to be the worst place for a sink hole (not that there’s ever a good spot, I suppose). A portal to the center of the earth opened in the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., today, swallowing eight cars. The hole is an estimated 25-30 feet deep and 40 feet wide. The oldest ’Vette involved in the accident was a 1962 model. The museum is in Kentucky’s Western Pennyroyal area, home to many of the state’s longest and deepest underground caves. Maybe a troll was hoping to capture a new set of wheels.