BOSTON (AP) — A late-winter storm that buried parts of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic swept into New England on Thursday, bringing snow, rain, strong winds, big waves and fears of coastal flooding.
The region braced for the brunt of the storm overnight Thursday and into today. Powerful waves and high winds were expected to cause more trouble than snow from Rhode Island to Maine.
In the seacoast town of Scituate, Mass., about 30 miles south of Boston, about a dozen streets were closed as Thursday morning’s high tide sent 2 to 21/2 feet of water washing into some areas.
This morning’s high tide could cause more trouble before the storm was expected to wind down.
“There are no mandatory evacuations, but it is strongly advised,” said Scituate Police Chief Brian Stewart. “Why put yourself at risk? Folks have been through this before, and they know what happens in these areas.”
In Salisbury, Mass., on the New Hampshire border, officials ordered evacuations for homes along several beachfront streets.
The National Weather Service predicted up to 7 inches of heavy, wet snow in southeastern Connecticut and wind gusts up to 50 mph. A coastal flood warning was in effect for east-facing shores in Massachusetts, with up to a 3-foot surge at high tide in some areas. Central Massachusetts was bracing for 8 to 12 inches of snow, with predictions for Boston and nearby areas of 6 to 10 inches.
North Korea facing sanctions for latest nuclear test
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council responded swiftly to North Korea’s latest nuclear test by punishing the reclusive regime Thursday with tough, new sanctions targeting its economy and leadership, despite Pyongyang’s threat of a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States.
The penalties came in a unanimous resolution drafted by the U.S. along with China, which is North Korea’s main benefactor. Beijing said the focus now should be to “defuse the tensions” by restarting negotiations.
The resolution sent a powerful message to North Korea’s new young leader, Kim Jong Un, that the international community condemns his defiance of Security Council bans on nuclear and ballistic tests and is prepared to take even tougher action if he continues flouting international obligations.
“Taken together, these sanctions will bite, and bite hard,” U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said. “They increase North Korea’s isolation and raise the cost to North Korea’s leaders of defying the international community.”
The new sanctions came in response to North Korea’s underground nuclear test on Feb. 12 and were the fourth set imposed by the U.N. since the country’s first test in 2006.
Bin Laden’s son-in-law among al-Qaida leaders coming to US
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior al-Qaida leader and member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle was charged Thursday with conspiring to kill Americans in his role as the terror network’s top propagandist who lauded the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — and warned there would be more.
Officials said Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was born in Kuwait and was bin Laden’s son-in-law, was captured in Jordan over the last week. He will appear Friday in U.S. federal court in New York, according to a Justice Department statement and indictment outlining the accusations against Abu Ghaith.
“No amount of distance or time will weaken our resolve to bring America’s enemies to justice,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement. “To violent extremists who threaten the American people and seek to undermine our way of life, this arrest sends an unmistakable message: There is no corner of the world where you can escape from justice because we will do everything in our power to hold you accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The case marks a legal victory for the Obama administration, which has long sought to charge senior al-Qaida suspects in American federal courts instead of holding them at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Hugo Chavez’s body to go on permanent display in museum
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Hugo Chavez’s body will be preserved and forever displayed inside a glass tomb at a military museum not far from the presidential palace from which he ruled for 14 years, his successor announced in a Caribbean version of the treatment given Communist revolutionary leaders such as Lenin, Mao and Ho Chi Minh.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s acting head of state, said Chavez would first lie in state for “at least” seven more days at the museum, which will eventually become his permanent home. It was not clear when exactly he would be moved from the military academy where his body has been since Wednesday.
A state funeral will be held today and attended by more than 30 heads of government, including Cuban President Raul Castro and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, and former Rep. William Delahunt, a Democrat from Massachusetts, will represent the United States, which Chavez often portrayed as a great global evil even as he sent the country billions of dollars in oil each year.
Maduro said the ceremony would begin at 11 a.m., but did not say where.
“We have decided to prepare the body of our ‘Comandante President,’ to embalm it so that it remains open for all time for the people. Just like Ho Chi Minh. Just like Lenin. Just like Mao Zedong,” Maduro said.
Senate confirms Brennan as CIA director after Paul filibuster
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmed John Brennan to be CIA director Thursday after the Obama administration bowed to demands from Republicans blocking the nomination and stated explicitly there are limits on the president’s power to use drones against U.S. terror suspects on American soil.
The vote was 63-34 and came just hours after Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, held the floor past midnight in an old-style filibuster of the nomination to extract an answer from the administration.
Still, Brennan won some GOP support. Thirteen Republicans voted with 49 Democrats and one independent to give Brennan, who has been President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, the top job at the nation’s spy agency.
The confirmation vote came moments after Democrats prevailed in a vote ending the filibuster, 81-16.
Maybe Bieber does have fever — singer recovering after fainting
Justin Bieber is recovering after fainting backstage at a concert in London.
A spokeswoman for Bieber said late Thursday that the 19-year-old pop star was given oxygen and took a 20-minute reprieve after fainting backstage at London’s O2 Arena.
“Getting better,” Bieber later posted on Twitter. “Thanks for everyone pulling me thru tonight.”
Jazz Chappell, a 20-year-old concertgoer who brought her younger sister and her friend to the show, said a backup dancer helped Bieber off stage after he announced he couldn’t breathe and needed water. She said many fans in the audience were gasping and crying.