Arizona's governor has a choice to make on a controversial right-to-deny-service bill. Researchers are looking for answers after a mystery disease paralyzes limbs in five children. And Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to create a new government with an ousted President on the run.
Welcome to the Tuesday edition of "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."
1. ARIZONA CONTROVERSY
Veto or not:
It is decision time for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and this one may not be easy. She has to decide if she will sign a bill that supporters say promotes religious freedom and opponents say discriminates against gays and lesbians. The bill could let business owners, as long as they assert their religious beliefs, deny service to gay and lesbian customers.
She has until Saturday morning to sign or veto the bill. If she does nothing, it automatically becomes law. What will she do? She's been a conservative champion, but Arizona GOP sources say she also considers herself pro-business, and some business leaders are encouraging her to oppose the measure.
2. UKRAINE UNREST
After months of protests came to a head with deadly clashes and the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych last week, Ukrainian lawmakers are in a hurry to come up with an interim government that can steer the country until presidential elections in May. The interim President said that he aims to have a unity government by Thursday.
3. MYSTERY ILLNESS
Polio-like syndrome in California:
What caused five California children to be paralyzed in an arm or leg? Neurologists in that state are alerting the public about a polio-like syndrome that appeared in those children in 2012 and 2013. The emphasize that it appears to be very rare, but they want other doctors to be aware to help them determine the cause, and they want any other cases identified quickly. Researchers don't know what caused these cases, though it's not poliovirus, and they say similar syndromes pop up every couple of years elsewhere in the world.
On Monday evening, the parents of one of the children, 4-year-old Sofia Jarvis of Berkeley, told reporters that they've been told her left arm is permanently paralyzed. She goes to preschool and can write with her right hand. The difficulties? "Day to day getting dressed, tying her shoes, those things that she would normally be learning right now ... we are going to have to find a new way of doing," said her mother, Jessica Tomei.
4. SHRINKING THE ARMY
Smallest Army in 70 years?
If U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has his way, the nation's Army would be cut to its lowest number of active-duty troops since the buildup to World War II. Hagel on Monday proposed a scaled-back military spending plan, one that he said would reflect the country's fiscal challenges but still let it dominate one war while still maintaining effective defenses for a second.
Expect a fight over this. Republican hawks have previously battled President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction. And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says proposed cuts to the National Guard are a "slap in the face" to anyone who has served in the reserve military force.
5. TED NUGENT
Done with name calling?
Republicans weren't happy with conservative rocker Ted Nugent after he called Obama a "subhuman mongrel," and apparently Nugent is listening. He apologized last week, and on Monday he told CNN that criticism by fellow conservatives persuaded him to give up name calling. He says he represents many of the people they do, and "I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them." He also insisted that his "mongrel" remarks, made in an interview last month, were not racist.
Those are your five biggies for the day. Here are a few others that are brewing and have the Internet buzzing.
Harold Ramis' debilitating disease:
People are mourning Harold Ramis, the actor, writer and director whose films include "Stripes," "Ghostbusters," "Groundhog Day" and "Analyze This." The disease that led to his death, vasculitis, is one of a family of maladies that can starve organs and cause painful tissue damage.
Taco Bell has announced a breakfast menu that's debuting in late March. The waffle taco in particular is getting attention on social media.