Live Coverage

Today's News: Feb. 18, 2017

Trump goes back to the campaign trail, and a “weather bomb” hits Southern California, opening sinkholes and killing at least two people.

Kevin Lamarque / AP

—Trump’s first four weeks in office have been marked by leaks, the resignation of his national security advisor, and general tumult, but Saturday he’s leaving the White House for a campaign-trail rally in central Florida.

—At least two people have died in Southern California, where a powerful storm that’s being called a “weather bomb” has dumped rain and opened up sinkholes around Los Angeles.

—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).


This live blog has concluded

Norma McCorvey, the Woman Behind the Historic 'Roe v. Wade' Decision, Has Died


Norma McCorvey, the woman behind the pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right for women to get an abortion, died Saturday in Katy, Texas. She was 69. McCorvey was a controversial symbol much her life—first as face of the pro-choice movement, and in a complete reversal in the 1980s, as a supporter of those ardently against abortion. Her death was first reported by The Washington Post, which received confirmation of her passing from Joshua Prager, a journalist working on a book about McCorvey’s life. As a single 22-year-old, addicted to drugs, living in poverty, and pregnant, McCorvey filed a lawsuit in 1970 to win the right have an abortion in Texas, where the procedure was outlawed unless the mother’s life was at risk. By 1973 her case had made it to the Supreme Court, which on January 22 made its historic 7-to-2 ruling that established a woman’s choice to end a pregnancy up to the first trimester as her constitutional right. In the 1980s McCorvey shed her anonymity. She first lent her name to supporters of the pro-choice movement, becoming a potent symbol. But in a shocking reversal she later became a born-again Christian and a champion of the pro-life movement. “I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name,” McCorvey said at the time. Her life was plagued by troubles, and she wound up feeling rejected by both sides of the issue. Her harshest critics called her a profiteer, willing to throw her name behind the cause that offered money. And those more sympathetic of her position said McCorvey simply craved attention.

A Deadly 'Weather Bomb' Storm Hits Southern California

Jae C. Hong / AP

A torrential storm that’s being called a “weather bomb” has dumped nine inches of rain in some parts of Southern California, flooding freeways, cancelling flights in and out of the area, and opening up giant sinkholes. Two people have died as a result of the storm, and hundreds have been evacuated for risk of mudslides. In the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, a power line fell on a man’s car and electrocuted him to death. And in Victorville, a little more than an hour northeast of Los Angeles, a man was found dead in his car, submerged beneath water. In that same neighborhood a sinkhole opened up and swallowed two cars—a moment caught on live TV. Evacuations have been ordered for the city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and in parts of Ventura County. The storm is being called a “bombogenesis,” or “weather bomb,” and it is the result of an intense extratropical low-pressure area that has settled over Southern California. The National Weather Service said it is likely the strongest storm to hit the area in more than 20 years.  

Trump Is Back in Campaign Mode

Susan Walsh / AP

After President Donald Trump’s first four tumultuous weeks in the White House—marked by the resignation of his national security advisor, rumors of staff infighting, a federal court stay on his immigration ban, and constant battles with the media—he is back to what he appears to love most: campaigning. On Saturday Trump will hold a rally in central Florida at an airport hangar where he has a chance to regather some of the momentum that put him in office. Trump spokeswoman said the rally would allow the president to “speak directly to people across this county in an unfiltered way, in a way that doesn't have any bias.” The last part of that statement seems to reference Trump’s rocky relationship with U.S. media. Recently there has been a spate of intelligence leaks published by the press, and one of those leaks uncovered that national security advisor, Michael Flynn, had misled the administration about the nature of his talks with Russia before Trump took office. That led to Flynn’s resignation early this week. Trump’s campaign, which never shut down, is putting on the rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, which was the site of a previous Trump rally in September.