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‘Bomb cyclone’ triggers flooding on Mississippi, Missouri rivers

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A powerful, late-winter “bomb cyclone” storm pushed into the U.S. Midwest and the Great Lakes region on Friday, causing flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, stranding herds of cattle and raising alarms at a Nebraska nuclear power plant.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued an emergency declaration for the state, citing forecasts of up to 2 feet (0.61 m) of snow and high winds that are expected to make travel “difficult to impossible” on roads.

“Nebraskans should watch the forecast closely in the coming days and be prepared for severe weather events in conjunction with potential historic flooding,” Ricketts said in the declaration. “As Nebraskans know, conditions can change quickly, and everyone needs to be prepared.”

Ranchers posted images on social media of their cattle being dug out of snowdrifts or stranded in fields.

“Widespread and extremely dangerous flooding will continue today and tonight,” the National Weather Service office in Omaha, Nebraska, said on Friday in a statement.

Many streams will see moderate to major flooding through the weekend, the service said, and flooding along the Missouri River will continue into next week.

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Meteorologists referred to the storm as a “bomb cyclone,” a winter hurricane that forms when the barometric pressure drops 24 millibars in 24 hours.

The Nebraska Public Power District declared an “unusual event” at its Cooper Nuclear Station power plant on Friday due to the possibility of flooding along the Missouri.

Workers filled sandbags along the river levee and procured other materials for flood protection, the agency said. It said the plant continued to operate safely and there was no immediate threat to plant employees or to the public.

In Iowa, a disaster proclamation by Governor Kim Reynolds, issued after reports of flooding on Thursday, remained in effect.

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At the storm’s peak, 2 feet of snow was dumped on Colorado’s mountain regions, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights in Denver and stranding more than 1,000 motorists on roadsides. Many had to be rescued by police, who used school buses to ferry them to safety.

More than 1,200 flights were canceled nationwide on Friday and nearly 17,000 were delayed, according to the flight-tracking website Flightaware.com.

Most power outages were cleared by early Friday, according to the tracking site PowerOutage.

Reporting by Rich McKay; Additional reporting by Keith Coffman, Dan Whitcomb and Scott DiSavino; Writing by Dan Whitcomb, Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Rosalba O’Brien

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Roger Stone ‘is going to jail’: Ex-prosecutor explains how it could blow open the legal case against Trump

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Longtime Donald Trump political advisor Roger Stone is headed to jail, a former federal prosecutor explained on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber on Thursday.

"News in the Roger Stone criminal case, federal prosecutors tonight say Stone has broken his gag order, allegedly again," Melber reported.

"This judge has been somewhat resistant to put Stone in jail the way many other defendants are treated around the country. In fact, even after he posted a picture of the judge herself next to what many interpreted as crosshairs, she provided him a second chance," he explained.

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Hope Hicks admitted she didn’t ask Trump if hush payments happened — before public denial during the 2016 election

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On Thursday, CNN's Manu Raju reported that one of the topics of discussion in ex-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks' closed-door testimony to the House Judiciary Committee was the payoffs to women facilitated by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, who is currently serving a three-year federal prison sentence for tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

During the course of that questioning, Hicks made a startling admission.

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BUSTED: Walmart to pay $282 million federal investigators to settle bribery probes

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Global retail chain Walmart agreed on Thursday to pay $282 million to settle long-running US probes over charges it did too little to prevent bribery of foreign officials as it aggressively expanded its overseas operations.

The settlements address civil and criminal complaints over Walmart's conduct from 2000 through 2011 as it rapidly built new stores in Brazil, China, India and Mexico.

The US Justice Department said a Walmart's Brazilian subsidiary, WMT Brasilia, pleaded guilty to a criminal charge connected to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the US anti-bribery law.

US regulators said Walmart repeatedly looked the other way and did not heed red flags about possible corruption, allowing its foreign subsidiaries to open stores faster than they would have otherwise and garner additional profits.

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