Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Storm threatens New England with more snow, coastal flooding
A winter storm packing high winds dropped a foot of snow overnight Monday from the New Jersey coast up to Maine, with blizzard conditions expected to continue Tuesday. The brunt of the storm slammed parts of Massachusetts, which saw nearly 18 inches, and eastern Maine, which could see another 12 to 18 inches. Homes and streets along coastal regions experienced flooding early Tuesday because of the hurricane-force winds pounding the coast. New York City had been preparing for a potentially "historic" hit, but the blizzard warning was downgraded Tuesday for much of the area and a travel ban in the city and New Jersey was lifted at 7:30 a.m. Mass transit was also expected to resume normal operations later in the morning. Meanwhile, some 7,000 flights had been canceled or delayed throughout the Northeast, with one Virgin Atlantic flight from New York sitting on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International for six hours before it was finally suspended for good. Read more in NEWS.
2. Banker, two diplomats charged with spying for Russia
Coded messages and secret hand-offs were allegedly used by a banker and two diplomats in New York City as they gathered intelligence for Russia. The Manhattan banker, Evgeny Buryakov, was arrested in the Bronx and appeared in federal court Monday. His alleged confederates — trade representative Igor Sporyshev and United Nations attache Victor Podobnyy — are no longer in the U.S. and were protected by diplomatic immunity. Federal officials say the men's mission included monitoring potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources. Read more in INVESTIGATIONS.
3. Auschwitz survivors return to death camp 70 years later
There were shouts and tears as dozens of men and women who survived the infamous concentration camp in Poland returned there 70 years after gaining their freedom. The camp was liberated by the Soviets on Jan. 27, 1945. Several of the survivors recalled the moment they first arrived several decades ago, standing before the notorious camp doctor Joseph Mengele and watching his thumb signal left or right. Right meant imminent death in the gas chamber. Left meant survival, for a few weeks at least, and forced labor. Read more in NEWS.
4. Japan seeks release of journalist, pilot held by ISIS
Japan was working Tuesday with Jordan to secure the release of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto as well as a captured Jordanian pilot being held captive by the Islamist extremists. "We will put out efforts together and do everything we can so that the two men are able to return to their respective homes with smiles on their faces," Japan's deputy foreign minister said Tuesday. ISIS, which beheaded another Japanese national after a ransom deadline passed, said it would release Goto in exchange for a female prisoner being held in Jordan. Read more in NEWS.
5. Bodies found in search for missing elderly couple
Police in Georgia made a grim discovery Monday when they found two bodies inside a car submerged in water. The discovery of the bodies — one man and one woman — came as police were looking for missing couple Elrey "Bud" Runion, 69, and his wife, June, 66, who vanished last week after going to look for a car being advertised on Craigslist. The bodies haven't been officially identified and the cause of death hasn't been determined, said Telfair County authorities. Read more in NEWS.
6. 'Get down': Two Minnesota cops shot during swearing in
A gunman was killed after opening fire on two police officers moments after they were sworn in at a ceremony in a Minneapolis suburb on Monday. The suspect was shot dead in New Hope City Hall. Much of the incident was captured by cameras inside the council chamber. "Get down, get down. Everybody get down," one council member shouted. "That went right through the door, somebody got shot," another said. It was not immediately clear why he shot the officers. Read more in NEWS.
And now this ...
A sort of "Free Willy" scenario is playing out in Miami. Activists are trying to return a killer whale who has called a local aquarium home for decades back to the ocean.