Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, November 18

Members of Congress are reportedly planning to vote on a measure this week to legalize marijuana. But the proposal still has a long road ahead even if lawmakers vote to approve it.

Venice, Italy is hit with its third round of severe flooding in less than a week.

And researchers are cooking up recipes that were discovered on Babylonian tablets dating back 4,000 years.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.

TOP STORY: Congress Expected to Move Foward On Marijuana Legalization This Week

The impeachment hearings have dominated political headlines in recent weeks, but lawmakers have been working on other big-ticket items under the radar. According to Forbes, the House Judiciary Committee is planning to vote this week on a measure to legalize recreational marijuana.

The bill is called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. It would lift the ban on marijuana use at the federal level by removing cannabis from the list of Controlled Substances. (Drugs such as heroin and cocaine are also on that list, which you can see here). As currently written, the proposal would also work to clear the criminal records of people who had been convicted for marijuana possession.

The bill has been co-sponsored by 55 members of the House. The Judiciary Committee is expected to take a vote on the measure on Wednesday, Forbes reported. The move comes months after the House approved a separate measure that allowed marijuana businesses to use banks.

If the proposal makes it out of the House, it’s unclear whether it could survive in the Senate. A separate measure in the Senate doesn’t go as far. That proposal would formally recognize marijuana businesses that operate in states where it is legal; those businesses would no longer have to worry about federal prohibition.

WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Venice Gets Hit With Third Round of Flooding

venice flooding

GettyPeople walk in flooded street as hoses pump out water from a shop in Venice, during high water of over five feet on November 17, 2019.

Venice can’t seem to catch a break right now. The northern Italian city is getting hit with its worst flooding in 50 years and a state of emergency has been declared for the area. On Sunday, the water rose to just under five feet deep.

It marked the third time in less than a week that the water levels rose that high. CBS reported that since 1872, Venice has never had water reach that high more than once in a year.

Venice suffers worst flooding in 50 yearsVenice, Italy, remains under water after a new high tide hit the city. Washington Post reporter Kim Bellware joins CBSN to discuss the damage and what the flooding means for the historic Italian city. Subscribe to the CBS News Channel HERE: Watch CBSN live HERE: Follow CBS News on Instagram HERE: Like…2019-11-17T23:53:24.000Z

The waters have flooded about 85 percent of the city. The situation is a major threat to Venice’s historic buildings, such as the famous St. Mark’s Basilica. Officials have worked to keep the water out of the church by putting sandbags along windows facing the canals. Many stores and museums are closed as a precaution. The Guardian reports that the cost of the damage is estimated to be one billion euros.

City officials in Venice have been working on an infrastructure project aimed to protect the city from high floodwaters. But the project, called Moses, is still not completed. It was begun nearly two decades ago but has faced delays due to high costs and other issues.

OFF-BEAT: Researchers Cook Up Ancient Babylonian Recipes

Interdisciplinary team cooks 4000-year old Babylonian stews at NYU eventOf the few thousand written clay tablets that survived from the ancient Babylonian kingdom to today, only four are known to contain recipes. Those four — which are about 4000 years old — reside at the Yale Babylonian Collection in Sterling Memorial Library. Recently, two Yale researchers and colleagues from other universities teamed up to…2018-06-13T17:08:26.000Z

Ever wondered what people in ancient civilizations used to eat? Researchers are not only finding out but they’re getting to sample the dishes as well.

Historians have been taking a closer look at ancient Babylonian tablets that date back about 4,000 years. The tablets were discovered several decades ago and are now housed at the Yale Peabody Museum.

A researcher named Mary Hussey was the first to suggest that the texts were recipes for meals, but she was alone in this hypothesis, NPR reports. Other historians assumed the tablets contained medical information.

But Hussey turned out to be correct. Gojko Barjamovic, a Harvard University scholar who specializes in ancient Mesopotamia, explained to NPR that a French scholar named Jean Bottéro also came to the conclusion that the tablets contained recipes during the 1980s. He started recreating them, but didn’t find them all that tasty. Today, Barjamovic says, researchers are better able to understand the ancient language in order to cook the recipes. Barjamovic says the recipes were for various types of stews. Researchers have cooked up a beet stew, lamb stew, and a vegetarian version so far.

The team says the meals are similar to the types of foods eaten in the Middle East today. In research published in the Lapham’s Quarterly earlier this year, the team wrote that “the stews represent an early stage of a long tradition that is still dominant in Iraqi cuisine. Today’s staple of the region is stew, aromatic and flavorful, cooked with different cuts of lamb, often slightly thickened, enhanced with rendered sheep’s tail fat, and flavored with a combination of spices and herbs and members of the Allium family, such as onion, garlic, and leek. These seem to be direct descendants of the Babylonian versions found on the culinary tablet with stew recipes.”


  • Winter weather advisories have been issued across New England and New York as a coastal storm brings snow and ice to the region today.
  • Four people were killed and at least six others injured after a gunman opened fire during a backyard family party in Fresno, California.
  • Police say José Valdivia killed his estranged wife and three of their children in San Diego hours after she obtained a restraining order against him.
  • Ford has unveiled its new all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover SUV.
  • Dunkin’ is getting rid of its styrofoam coffee cups in favor of new double-walled paper cups.
  • Kathie Lee Gifford’s daughter, Cassidy Erin Gifford, is newly engaged.


A North Carolina teacher has stepped up in a big way to help her former student’s mother. Pam Oast had 8-year-old Jada when the little girl was in kindergarten.

Jada’s mother, Tracy Shearin-Drayton, who is a military veteran and also a pre-school teacher, suffers from lupus and needs a new kidney. After going on the transplant list, Shearin-Drayton spoke out to local media about her plight. She thought she’d have to wait several years for a kidney because she has a rare blood type: B-positive.

Oast saw the story and got tested. It turned out that she was a perfect match for a donation. Oast surprised Shearin-Drayton in the hospital with a sign that read, “Will you be my kidney sista?” In the video, you can see that Shearin-Drayton screamed upon reading the sign and began to cry tears of joy.

Further tests had to be completed before going ahead with the procedure. Oast shared on Facebook on November 15 that they were waiting for the results from one final test to determine whether the surgery will be a go.

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