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By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Northeast on Monday braced for a massive, crippling blizzard that could dump as much as three feet of snow as tens of millions of people were urged to stay home and airlines canceled thousands of flights. Transit systems in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts planned to curtail services, and several governors ordered motorists off roadways by evening in a region that is home to some 50 million people. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for New York City and surrounding areas between coastal New Jersey and Connecticut, beginning 1 p.m. EST on Monday and worsening overnight. The New York City area could be the hardest hit, with lashing winds topping 50 miles per hour (81 kph) and snowfall of three feet or more in some suburbs.
Two high-profile criminal trials in Massachusetts, that of the accused Boston Marathon bomber and a former New England Patriots player charged with murdering an associate, will be delayed by an impending winter storm, judges said on Monday. Jury selection in the trial of accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, which began its fourth week on Monday, will be suspended on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday, U.S. District Judge George O'Toole said on Monday, citing the storm, which is forecast to bring up to 30 inches (76 cm) of snow to the Boston area. Jury selection in that case has already taken longer than O'Toole initially expected, as it has proven difficult to find jurors open minded about the guilt of Tsarnaev, who is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, attack and could face the death penalty if convicted. The death penalty is unpopular in Massachusetts, where it is banned under state law.
An individual has come forward to claim responsibility for flying the small drone that crashed on the South Lawn of the White House early on Monday morning, a U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman said. The drone was being used for recreational purposes, the person told the Secret Service. The U.S. Attorney for D.C. will review the case to determine whether or not to prosecute, the Secret Service said.
By John McCrank and Richard Leong NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street traders scrambled to get home or booked hotel rooms on Monday as a potentially historic blizzard bore down on the U.S. northeast, prompting some banks to close branches in the region, though major exchanges said they would remain open as usual. "No one will give me a medal for making it to work after a five-hour commute," said Anurag Bhardwaj, a managing director who works with hedge funds at Barclays Capital in Manhattan, who expected to work from home on Tuesday. Stock exchanges including Intercontinental Exchange Inc's New York Stock Exchange unit, Nasdaq OMX Group , and BATS Global Markets said their exchanges were expected to stay open for normal operating hours Monday and Tuesday. NYSE and BATS have backup data centers in Chicago, while Nasdaq's backup is in Ashburn, Virginia.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Kaiser Permanente nurses in California have approved a new contract that boosts pay and improves patient care along with health and safety protections for nurses, a union official said.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) ? Florida's Seminole Indians are renewing their torturous debate about entering Atlantic City's gambling market.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) ? An attorney defending the Boy Scouts against a sex abuse lawsuit in California says the organization acknowledges mistakes in the past but now has a robust child protection program in place.