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By Brendan O'Brien and Jon Herskovitz (Reuters) - A swath of the U.S. East Coast from Philadelphia to New York City to Maine was bracing for a potentially historic blizzard on Monday that is expected to dump as much as 2 feet (60 cm) of snow and snarl transportation for tens of millions of people. The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a blizzard warning for the northern section of the East Coast from Monday afternoon until Tuesday and placed states from New Jersey to Indiana under winter storm watches and advisories. "This literally could be one of the top two or three largest storms in the history of this city and we need to plan accordingly," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.
By Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Congress to expand protection of Alaska's Arctic refuge where oil and gas drilling is prohibited to 12 million acres (5 million hectares), an area that includes 1.4 million oil-rich acres along the coast. The proposal, unveiled by the Interior Department on Sunday, ran into instant criticism from Republicans and is likely to face an uphill battle in Congress, where Republicans now control both chambers. The wilderness designation, the highest level of federal protection under which oil and gas drilling is banned, would be extended to a total of 19.8 million acres (8 million hectares) under the proposal, the Interior Department said. Republicans kicked off the new Congress earlier this month with a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline to help move Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
A member of the Eastern Michigan University women's basketball team and another university student died on Sunday in a head-on car crash near campus in Ypsilanti Township, officials said. Shannise Heady, 21, a forward with the team, was driving a car that crossed the center line and struck another vehicle shortly before 1 a.m. local time, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. Jordan Hopkins, 23, was also killed. Heady, a junior, joined the Eastern Michigan basketball team after transferring from Seton Hall University, according the Eastern Michigan website.
NEW YORK (AP) ? NYC mayor: Snowstorm bearing down on Northeast could become biggest the city has ever seen.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) ? President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.
A Home Depot in New York City's Flatiron District was evacuated Sunday after police say two employees were killed in a murder-suicide.