Winter storm dumps snow and knocks out power on US East Coast

Winter storm dumps snow and knocks out power on US East Coast

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Thousands of people were left without power as a storm brought more than 2ft (60cm) of snow to the US east coast.

More than 800,000 customers were without electricity, including some who have been without power since last Friday’s powerful winter storm.

Heavy snow and icy roads prompted officials to close schools and cancel or delay thousands of flights across the region.

It is the second storm to hit the US East Coast in less than a week.

More snow and wind gusts of up to 55 miles (88km/h) were expected to stretch across eastern New York through northern Maine on Thursday.

Up to 18 inches (45cm) of snow could fall on northern New England, according to the National Weather Service.

At least one death has been blamed on the storm. An 88-year-old woman died after she was struck by a falling tree in Suffern, New York, according to the Journal News newspaper.

Amtrak rail operator suspended service between New York City and Boston until 11:00 local time (16:00 GMT) on Thursday, according to the company.

Dozens of routes had also been cancelled and residents were advised to avoid travel unless necessary. More than 2,000 flights were cancelled as of Wednesday night, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

Boston Public Schools cancelled classes on Thursday and officials declared snow emergencies in several Massachusetts communities, according to the Boston Globe newspaper.

“With snow removal efforts underway, motorists are asked to stay off roads, stay home and stay safe”, the Boston Police Department said on Twitter.

The governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania declared states of emergency, allowing for release of government funds for recovery and redevelopment operations if necessary.

The Northeastern University women’s basketball team was forced to push their bus out of the snow after it was stalled in Philadelphia. The team posted a video of the effort on Twitter.

The dense snow, icy roads and powerful winds were not as treacherous as last Friday’s storm that toppled trees, flooded coastal areas and left more than two million homes and businesses without power from Virginia to Maine. At least nine people were also killed in the storm.

Approximately 100,000 people were still without power after last week’s storm, and efforts to install their power were stalled as the second storm swept through the region.

Most power outages were in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York.

Winter storm dumps snow and knocks out power on US East Coast

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California 14-year-old boy accused of posing as sheriff's deputy

California 14-year-old boy accused of posing as sheriff's deputy

A 14-year-old California boy has been arrested for allegedly posing as a sheriff’s deputy while driving a car with emergency lights, police say.

The teenager allegedly pulled over a car, and after “obtaining the female’s information he gave her a warning and let her go”, California police said.

He also allegedly visited two homes, claiming to be responding to a domestic disturbance call.

He was later detained while driving a vehicle owned by his great grandmother.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said the teenager, who has not been identified due to his age, had mounted red and blue flashing lights to the windscreen of his great-grandmother’s Ford Explorer SUV and wore what appeared to be a real handgun.

He was arrested on Tuesday at the High Desert Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Victorville Police Department.

In addition to stopping at least one driver on Monday night, the boy also allegedly visited a home and told its owner he there to investigate a “reported domestic disturbance,” according to a police press release.

The boy was told there had been no call, and then tried to open the locked door after homeowner had closed it on him, according to police.

“For me, I was like, ‘That’s not normal. Do cops do that?'” Jasmine Jones, who lives at the residence, told KTLA-News.

“I saw the police uniform and I thought, ‘That just doesn’t look right,'” she said.

“It’s loose, and the belt buckle isn’t staying on his hips.”

He also allegedly visited another home and activated his lights, causing a 16-year-old boy to leave his home.

He again claimed to be investigating a domestic disturbance and left after being informed there had not been a call, police said.

During a later search of the boy’s home, investigators said they discovered a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department uniform he allegedly wore.

Detectives also found “a large amount of counterfeit money, simulations firearms, ballistic vests, and other law enforcement related items”.

The boy was already on probation, and has now been booked into the High Desert Juvenile Detention Center.

Colombia election: Farc's Timochenko pulls out of race

Colombia election: Farc's Timochenko pulls out of race

The Farc former rebel group says its candidate for the presidential election in May is withdrawing from the race because of ill-health.

The group’s leader, Rodrigo Londoño, is recovering after undergoing heart surgery in a Bogotá clinic on Wednesday.

Better known by his nom de guerre, “Timochenko”, he had only been polling about 1% support.

But the group says it will continue to stand in legislative polls this Sunday.

Under the terms of the 2016 deal that brought an end to the Farc’s half-century of armed struggle, it is guaranteed 10 seats in the legislature as long as it campaigns for them.

It is still known by the same acronym as before but the letters now stand for the Alternative Revolutionary Force for the Common People rather than, as before, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

“The surgery which took place yesterday, combined with… features of the electoral campaign, has led us to decline our presidential aspirations,” said Farc number two and Senate candidate Ivan Marquez.

The party has cancelled campaigning events over protests it says are from right-wing groups. Last month Timochenko’s motorcade was pelted with tomatoes and eggs by angry protesters.

Timochenko has a history of health problems – he suffered a heart attack while negotiating the peace deal in Cuba in 2015, a stroke in 2017 and another heart attack last week, prompting Wednesday’s surgery.

Actress and director of documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Actress and director of documentary, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Actress Susan Sarandon has revealed that the late Paul Newman once handed her part of his salary to top up her pay for a movie.

Speaking to BBC 5 live, the Oscar-winning actress said she was told that only the male stars on the film were being paid the same. Then Newman “stepped forward and said well I’ll give you part of mine”.