POWERBALL AT $450 MILLION
des moines, iowa» The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing has soared to $450 million thanks to strong sales.
Multi-State Lottery Association officials on Tuesday increased the expected prize from $400 million because of fast sales for the largest lottery jackpot in nearly a year.
No one has won Powerball’s biggest prize since Nov. 4. The jackpot now is the sixth-largest ever in North America. And if there is no winner after Wednesday night’s drawing, the prize will keep climbing.
The biggest jackpot was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in 2012. The last time Powerball had grown this large was in February 2015, when three winners split a $564.1 million prize.
Powerball is played in 44 states, including Colorado, as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
El Niño ties record for strength.
Meteorologists say the current El Niño has stormed its way into the record books, tying 1997-98 as the strongest recorded.
Mike Halpert, deputy director of the federal Climate Prediction Center, said initial figures for October-November-December match the same time period in 1997 for the strongest El Niño. Meteorologists measure El Niño based on how warm parts of the central Pacific are for three consecutive months. Records go back to 1950.
El Niño is the natural warming of the central Pacific that changes weather worldwide, including bringing more rain to California.
Halpert said what really matters is what El Niño does during January, when its impact peaks.
Judge delays Camille Cosby deposition
B springfield,mass.» A federal judge has agreed to postpone the deposition of Bill Cosby’s wife in a Massachusetts lawsuit that accuses the comedian of defaming several women.
Camille Cosby had been scheduled to be deposed Wednesday in Springfield by lawyers for the women who said Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them decades ago.
Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessey denied a motion by Camille Cosby’s lawyers to throw out the subpoena.
She appealed and on Monday asked Hennessey to put off the deposition until the appeal is heard.
The judge agreed Tuesday to the postponement, saying it would be unfair to deny Camille Cosby her right to appeal.
Parliament will debate ban on Trump B
london» British lawmakers will debate a petition calling for U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump to be banned from the country over his remarks about Muslims — and a rival petition saying he should be allowed in.
More than half a million people signed an online petition calling for Trump to be blocked after he called last month for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. Almost 40,000 people backed one saying he should not be barred.
Under British law any petition that gets 100,000 signatures must be considered for parliamentary debate.
The House of Commons Petitions Committee said Tuesday that both petitions would be debated Jan. 18.