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Winter storm disturbs travel as it rolls toward US Midwest, Northeast

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A major winter storm was expected to clobber a large swath of the northern United States with heavy snow, gusty winds and frigid temperatures making travel difficult and dangerous starting on Friday and through the weekend, forecasters said.

The storm system will dump 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) of snow in the Plains and Midwest on Friday night and Saturday and as it moves east at least a foot of snow in parts of the Northeast on Saturday and Sunday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said in several advisories.

The system was expected to also bring freezing rain, wind gusts of 35 miles (56 km) per hour and quickly dropping temperatures that will to dip into the teens and even below zero Fahrenheit in several areas, the service said.

“If you don’t have to go outside, it probably is best that you don’t,” said Amy Seeley, an NWS meteorologist in Chicago. “People will have to worry about blowing and drifting snow.”

Forecasters and officials in several states warned that snow accumulation and drifts on highways and roadways will make driving difficult and dangerous.

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More than 900 domestic flights had been canceled and another 3,100 delayed as of 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT) on Friday, according to Flightaware.com, an online tracking service.

Several airlines said on Twitter they will issue waivers and told travelers to expect more delays and cancellations during the weekend.

Amtrak canceled train service from Chicago to Boston, Washington, D.C. and New York on Saturday and canceled and modified several routes that originate and end on the east coast on Sunday.

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency for his state where he said two inches of snow per hour was expected. Speed limits on many Pennsylvania highways will be restricted to 45 mph, he said.

Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by James Dalgleish


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House of Representatives votes for resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s racism

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President Donald Trump was condemned by the House of Representatives on Tuesday for his racist attacks on young women of color in Congress.

The resolution was passed with the support of every Democrat. The final vote was 240-187.

The text said "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."

The resolved that the body "strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America."

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Legendary civil rights icon John Lewis unloads on Trump from the House floor: ‘I know racism when I see it’

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Civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) took to the floor of the House of Representatives to condemn racist statements by President Donald Trump.

As chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis was one of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders who organized the 1963 March on Washington during with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

"I rise with a sense of righteous indignation to support this resolution," Lewis began.

"I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it," he explained. "And at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism."

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US withholds cash from UN Population Fund over China abortions

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The United States said Tuesday it will again withhold contributions to the UN Population Fund due to its work with China, which controls family size, as the agency accused Washington of jeopardizing women's health.

It marked the third straight year that the United States has refused to fund the UN body as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to combat abortion, a pivotal issue for his evangelical Christian base.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined that "China's family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices," conditions that under US law require an end to funding, a State Department spokeswoman said.

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