March 5th, 2013
09:19 PM ET

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dies; U.S. embassy officials expelled

58-year-old Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died today after a long battle with cancer.

President Obama issued a statement tonight:

"At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez's passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government," Obama said.

That comes just hours after the Venezuelan government expelled two U.S. embassy officials from the country and accused enemies of "attacking" Chavez, suggesting someone may have deliberately infected him with cancer.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour; and Christopher Sabatini, the senior director of policy at the Americas Society and Council of the Americas weigh in on the news.

Filed under: International • News
March 5th, 2013
09:07 PM ET

Hate groups on the rise in America: SPLC says extremists continue to rise in 2012

Oberlin College in Ohio suspended classes this week after a student reported seeing someone dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes. It follows a string of recent hate incidents on campus. 

Last August, a 40-year-old ex-soldier-turned white supremacist rocker shot up a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people.

And a few weeks later, a group of Georgia men was linked to an anti-government plot to assassinate President Obama.

It's all part of what the Southern Poverty Law Center says is a disturbing trend. The group's new study says the number of anti-government groups is at an all-time high - many driven by their fear that the government will strip them of their rights.

But does the study's findings add up?

Outfront tonight: Mark Potok is the author of the report and a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Michael Medved is a conservative commentator for Salem Radio and John Avlon is a CNN contributor and author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America."

Filed under: News
March 5th, 2013
08:56 PM ET

Dow surges to record high amid sluggish economy

Talk of economic doom and gloom may still be a hot topic on Capitol Hill, but it doesn't look like Wall Street is listening. Today the Dow Jones Industrial average rallied to a new record high, climbing more than 125 points. A great day for the trading classes, but what about the masses?

"Because the stock market is soaring - and I want to emphasize this again - that doesn't mean that unemployment rates are going down. It means that corporate profits are going up, but they are not hiring people," Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) said.

OutFront tonight: Daniel Altman, economics professor at NYU and Doug Holtz-Eakin, a former Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Filed under: Economy • Markets • News
March 5th, 2013
08:52 PM ET

Washington state's search for 'pot czar' hits a snag due to high demand

Now to Washington State, where the business of pot is getting out of control.

When Outfront first brought you this story in January, state authorities were searching "high" and low for a "Pot Czar" to help them manage their new marijuana business.

Colorado - along with Washington state - voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in November even though federal law says its illegal.

The search for pot czar, though, continues...and there's high interest in the position.

CNN's Paul Vercammen has the story.

Filed under: Marijuana • News
March 5th, 2013
08:37 PM ET

Massive snow storm slams Midwest, heads for Northeast

A deadly and powerful winter storm is slamming parts of the Midwest. There are reports of up to two inches of snow are accumulating an hour.

By the time this storm makes its way to the east coast, Chicago could be buried under nearly a foot of heavy wet snow.

Cities from Washington to Boston are already taking precautions - calling in extra utility crews as they brace for what could be massive power outages.

Ted Rowlands is OutFront in Chicago.

Filed under: Weather
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