The storm that whipped the Northeast over the weekend with six to 16 inches of snow has blown off to Canada, but more snow is on its way - maybe just enough to bring out some of that holiday spirit.
The flakes sweeping across the Midwest and Northeast on Monday and Tuesday aren't expected have the heft of the fast-moving storm that preceded them but are predicted to add a couple of inches to the wintry landscape.
The National Security Agency's internal watchdog detailed a dozen instances in the past decade in which its employees intentionally misused the agency's surveillance power, in some cases to snoop on their love interests.
A letter from the NSA's inspector general responding to a request by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, lists the dozen incidents where the NSA's foreign intelligence collection systems were abused. The letter also says there are two additional incidents now under investigation and another allegation pending that may require an investigation.
At least six of the incidents were referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution or additional action; none appear to have resulted in charges. The letter doesn't identify the employees.
Several of the cases involve so-called "Loveint" violations.
Aaron Alexis, the man who went on the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, was under the "delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by electro-magnetic waves," the FBI's Valerie Parlave said Wednesday.
Parlave, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said Alexis acted alone and there was no evidence he was targeting particular people.
Alexis, who was 34, went on the rampage September 16, killing 12 people and wounded several others. Chilling video released Wednesday shows Alexis running through hallways with a sawed-off shotgun. He also gained access to and used a Beretta pistol during the shooting.
[Updated 8:13 p.m. ET] Alexis entered Building 197 at Washington's Navy Yard with a small bag that is believed to contain a disassembled shotgun he used in the mass shooting, a federal law enforcement official says. Surveillance video shows Alexis ducking into a bathroom with the bag and leaving it with a shotgun, according to the source.
Alexis had 00 buckshot shells, each of which are packed with a dozen pellets and are capable of causing tremendous damage, the same law enforcement official says.
[Updated 8:08 p.m. ET] Alexis contacted two Veterans Affairs hospitals in and around Washington recently and got treated for sleep-related issues, a law enforcement source says. A second law enforcement source tells CNN that, as far as investigators know now, Alexis sought help for insomnia. But another source said Alexis asked for help because he was "having problems sleeping" and "hearing voices."
[Updated 8:05 p.m. ET] Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, tells CNN that the eight instances of misconduct that Alexis had while in the Navy "were kind of swept under the rug." “There is a tendency to not want to deal with a problem," McCaul says. "It is real easy to just pass the buck along to another military base or, in this instance, to a defense contractor.”
[Updated 8:03 p.m. ET] Navy officers knew about an incident in which Alexis was arrested for shooting the tires of a car - in what he later told detectives was an anger-fueled "blackout" - but admitted him to the Navy and gave him secret security clearance in 2007 anyway, a senior Naval officer told CNN.
"It appears as if investigators were aware of the incident, interviewed him and were satisfied that it did not preclude granting the clearance," the officer said.
[Updated 7:56 p.m. ET] The Experts, the contracting firm for which Alexis worked for about six months over the past year, said it performed two background checks on him and confirmed twice with the Defense Department that Alexis had a secret security clearance. "The latest background check and security clearance confirmation were in late June of 2013 and revealed no issues other than one minor traffic violation," the company says in a statement.
[Updated 7:36 p.m. ET] Alexis paid $419 to buy a shotgun at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range, said the store's lawyer, J. Michael Slocum. Slocum also said that he made the purchase on Saturday afternoon - and not Sunday, as he had earlier told CNN.
[Original post at 4:14 p.m. ET] Alexis bought a shotgun and about 24 shells on Sunday – the day before the shooting – from the Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in northern Virginia, the store's attorney, J. Michael Slocum, said.
Before buying the Remington 870 shotgun and the ammunition, he used a store rifle at a practice range, and he was at the store for at least a couple hours, Slocum said.
Video of Alexis at the store has been given to the FBI, according to Slocum.
[Updated 7:27 p.m. ET] Aaron Alexis' dark blue rented Toyota Prius was towed Tuesday from the Washington hotel where he'd been staying, a law enforcement source says.
[Updated 6:29 p.m. ET] Navy spokesman John Kirby says that authorities are looking to "see what red flags, if any, were missed" ahead of Aaron Alexis's mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard. Alexis got security clearance in 2007, and it was still valid when he left the Navy in 2011, according to Kirby.
As to Alexis's issues while in the service - including eight "relatively minor" instances of misconduct - the Navy spokesman said, “He wasn’t a stellar sailor, we know that.”
[Updated 6:17 p.m. ET] Washington, D.C., police Officer Scott Williams shot and killed Aaron Alexis, ending the latter's rampage at the historic Navy Yard, Mayor Vincent Gray told CNN. Williams is in good spirits after undergoing surgery tied to his being shot in the leg, according to Gray.
[Updated 6:12 p.m. ET] The Washington Navy Yard will be opened Wednesday to "essential" personnel only, says base spokesman Ed Zeigler. "Access to Building 197 is still prohibited," he added, referring to the building where the shooting occurred.
[Updated 4:04 p.m. ET] Police in Newport, Rhode Island, say Alexis contacted them while he was staying there in August, complaining that he was hearing voices and was worried that three people were harassing him, according to CNN's Deborah Feyerick.
Newport police say they contacted the Newport naval base in August about their encounter with Alexis, who was working there as an information-technology contractor.
Alexis told Newport police that during a flight from Virginia to Rhode Island, he got into a “verbal altercation” with someone, Newport Police Lt. William Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald says Alexis told police “he was a naval contractor who travels often.” He explained that during a flight from Virginia to Rhode Island, he got into a “verbal altercation” with an individual. Alexis told police he believed that the “individual had sent three people to follow him and to talk, keep him awake and send vibrations into his body," Fitzgerald said.
According to a police report, Alexis said he first heard the people talking to him through a wall at a Middletown hotel where he was staying. He packed up and went to an unidentified hotel on the naval base where he heard the same voices talking to him, so he moved to a third hotel.
According to Fitzgerald, Alexis heard the people “speaking to him through the floor and then ceiling.“ Alexis said the individuals were “using a microwave machine to send vibrations through the ceiling, penetrating his body so he could not speak.”
Fitzgerald said Alexis would not elaborate or tell police what his alleged harassers were saying, but he told police “he never felt anything like this and felt these individuals would harm him.”
Earlier Tuesday, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told Feyerick that Alexis exhibited signs of mental problems in recent months and tried to get help at a Veterans Affairs facility in Rhode Island.
[Updated 3:27 p.m. ET] Alexis bought a shotgun from Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in the last few weeks, an attorney for the store said, according to CNN's Chris Lawrence.
The attorney, J. Michael Slocum, said Alexis had a valid driver's license, and the gun shop "did the full required background check, the same that's done when someone buys a weapon of any sort." Slocum indicated there was nothing in the background check to stop the sale to Alexis.
Slocum also said the FBI visited the store once since Monday's shooting, and that the store is cooperating with the investigation.
The FBI has said the Alexis used a shotgun in the shooting.
[Updated 2:28 p.m. ET] The news conference is over. Some more highlights from D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier: She said that within seven minutes of the first emergency call, police had at least two units inside the building where the shooting was happening.
The first unit arrived at the yard itself within two minutes of the call. It took police a while to determine which building was the shooting site, because callers were giving different building numbers, she said.
Security personnel from several agencies had "multiple engagements" with Alexis before the final shots were fired, she said.
[Updated 2:23 p.m. ET] More from the news conference: D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier elaborated on why she thinks the officer who was shot in both legs will make a full recovery, when there had been questions Monday of whether he would walk again.
"We have a very good prognosis from the doctors," Lanier said. She said that because of his personality, she believes that he will eventually be "outrunning all of us."
[Updated 2:15 p.m. ET] More from the news conference: The Washington police officer who was shot in both legs Monday is doing well, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. He had surgery Monday.
“We expect he will make a full recovery,” Lanier said.
Earlier, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported that physicians were expected to begin determining Tuesday whether the officer would be able to keep the limbs.
Also, Lanier said at the news conference that there's "no doubt in my mind" that the officers responding to the shooting "saved numerous lives."
[Updated 2:11 p.m. ET] More from the news conference: Alexis arrived in the Washington area on or about August 25, staying in hotels, said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI field office.
He most recently stayed at a Residence Inn in southwestern Washington, D.C., beginning around September 7, she said. Anyone who contacted him during that time should contact the FBI, she said.
[Updated 2:08 p.m. ET] FBI and other officials have begun a news conference in Washington, updating reporters on the investigation.
Alexis entered the yard's building 197 – where the shooting took place – with a shotgun, and investigators believe he obtained a handgun inside the building after he started shooting, Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI field office, said moments ago at a news conference. This confirms what federal law enforcement sources said earlier.
[Updated 2:01 p.m. ET] U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering a worldwide review of physical security measures at all U.S. military installations in the wake of Monday's shooting, a senior Pentagon official said Tuesday, according to CNN's Barbara Starr.
Hagel will order the military to look at all existing security measures to see if they are sufficient and to determine what other measures may be needed, the official said.
At the same time, the Pentagon is still trying to determine what it needs to do to begin a parallel review of security clearances and access standards for contractors and other employees, according to a Defense Department official. Some elements of clearance procedures are handled by other parts of the government so coordination will be required, but the official said it’s expected some review of that element will also take place.
This follow an earlier confirmation from the Navy that it was beginning a similar physical security review at all of its installations.
[Updated 1:13 p.m. ET] Alexis was “having problems sleeping” and was “hearing voices,” a source with direct knowledge of the investigation said, according to CNN's Deborah Feyerick. The source said Alexis exhibited signs of mental problems in recent months and tried to get help at a Veterans Affairs facility in Rhode Island. He had been working in Newport, Rhode Island, as an information-technology contractor in August.
The source also said that the 9/11 attacks triggered Alexis to leave his home in New York City. Alexis could not deal with the attack, left New York and essentially became a wanderer going from place to place – San Diego, Texas, and overseas, the source said.
His father told Seattle police in 2004 – after Alexis was arrested there – that his son was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after taking part in 9/11 rescue efforts, according to police records.
Earlier Tuesday, law enforcement sources told CNN that Alexis recently made contact with two Veterans Administration hospitals for apparent psychological issues.
[Updated 12:44 p.m. ET] A gun store in northern Virginia, Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, released a statement in response to inquiries about Alexis. For context: An FBI source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN that one of the weapons Alexis is accused of using was purchased recently at a northern Virginia store. The Sharpshooters statement, shown below, does not affirm that it sold Alexis the gun.
"Sharpshooters Small Arms Range has been and continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities in their investigation of the events at the Washington Navy Yard," Sharpshooters said. "In light of the many questions surrounding the event, it is not appropriate to provide any comment at this time, except to affirm that Sharpshooters fully complies with all requirements to conduct background checks on all potential purchasers as required by law, and to further affirm that all purchasers are required to comply with all laws concerning allowed purchases."
[Updated 12:06 p.m. ET] The Navy began proceedings in 2010 to give Alexis a "general discharge" from the Navy Reserve because of military and civilian disciplinary issues, but eventually gave him an honorable discharge in January 2011 because of a lack of evidence supporting the sterner measure, a U.S. defense official told CNN's Barbara Starr.
The disciplinary issues include at least eight instances of misconduct while on duty, the official said.
The attempt to give him a general discharge began after the Navy learned of his 2008 arrest in Georgia (on suspicion of disorderly conduct) and his 2010 arrest in Texas (over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment), the official said.
Alexis was a full-time Navy reservist from mid-2007 to January 2011.
[Updated 11:53 a.m. ET] We now have all the slain victims' names. The latest five to be released by Washington police are:
- Arthur Daniels, 51, of Washington, D.C.
- Mary Francis Knight, 51, of Reston, Virginia
- Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria, Virginia
- Martin Bodrog, 54, of Annandale, Virginia
- Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Maryland
On Monday night, Washington police released the first seven names:
- Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Virginia
- Sylvia Frasier, 53, of Waldorf, Maryland
- Kathy Gaarde, 62, of Woodbridge, Virginia
- John Roger Johnson, 73, of Derwood, Maryland
- Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers, Maryland
- Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46, of Waldorf, Maryland
- Vishnu Schalchendia Pandit, 61, of North Potomac, Maryland
[Updated 11:46 a.m. ET] It's back to baseball on Tuesday for the Washington Nationals, who postponed a Monday game as the organization allowed the Navy to use one of their parking lots as a site where Navy Yard evacuees could reunite with their loved ones.
The Nationals will wear their "Patriotic Blue" jerseys in the first game of a double-header with the visiting Atlanta Braves, the team said. The first game, to start at 1:05 p.m., is the make-up for Monday's postponement.
The Navy Yard is just blocks from Nationals Park.
[Updated 11:30 a.m. ET] Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on Tuesday will "order reviews of all physical security at all Navy and Marine Corps installations," a U.S. Navy official told CNN's Barbara Starr.
"The first will be a quick look to ensure all physical security requirements are being met. The second will be a deeper review to ensure the right physical and personal security requirements are in place," the official said.
Earlier, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, an Ohio Republican and a member of the Armed Forces Committee, said he believed cost-cutting compromised security at the yard, and he wants a congressional briefing from the Pentagon inspector general on a Navy security audit that he says was released after Monday's shooting.
"It is my understanding that the IG report indicates the Navy may have implemented an unproven system in order to cut costs," Turner said. "I also learned that potentially numerous felons may have been able to gain restricted access to several military installations across the country due to insufficient background checks, increasing the risk to our military personnel and civilian employees."
[Updated 11:21 a.m. ET] Arrests don't automatically prevent people from getting security clearance, says Anita Gorecki-Robbins, a military justice lawyer.
Alexis, who had been arrested a few times since 2004, received Department of Defense security clearance so that he could work for The Experts, a subcontractor of HP Enterprise Services that was contracted to "refresh equipment used on the Navy Marine Corps Intranet network," according to a statement released by his employer.
Gorecki-Robbins told CNN's Chris Cuomo and Ashleigh Banfield that the Defense Department can decide to give security clearances to people who have been arrested. In Alexis' case, either the arrests weren't picked up in screening, or "someone did see (the arrests) and decided to give it to him anyway."
[Updated 10:19 a.m. ET] A former Army attorney says the shooting should raise questions about whether military installations should randomly check vehicles.
Alexis entered the Navy Yard because he had a valid military-issued ID and was assigned to work there as a contractor. Greg Rinckey, a former attorney in the Army judge advocate general's office, told CNN's John Berman that the shooting could boost arguments for random vehicle checks, even for people with valid credentials.
Authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the mass shooting, including a shotgun that investigators believe Alexis brought into the compound, federal law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Tuesday. The other two weapons – handguns – may have been taken from guards, the sources say.
[Updated 10:09 a.m. ET] To honor the shooting victims, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey have just placed a wreath near the "The Lone Sailor" statue at Washington's U.S. Navy Memorial plaza.
Other federal officials are marking the shooting, too. Nearly 10 minutes ago, the U.S. Senate observed some moments of silence.
MT @secnav: #SecDef, #SecNav & military leaders lay wreath to honor #NavyYardShooting victims http://t.co/I0T7M9aRdm
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) September 17, 2013
MT @secnav: #SecDef, #SecNav & military leaders lay wreath to honor #NavyYardShooting victims http://t.co/I0T7M9aRdm
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) September 17, 2013
[Updated 9:59 a.m. ET] If you're wondering how Alexis could have been honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a pattern of misconduct, a former Army attorney might have an answer.
Greg Rinckey, a former attorney in the Army judge advocate general's office, told CNN's John Berman that a pattern of misconduct doesn't necessarily result in an other-than-honorable discharge – but an honorable discharge might not be Alexis' full story, either.
“Most people with patterns of misconduct are discharged usually with an other-than-honorable discharge or a general discharge," Rinckey, of Albany, New York, said Tuesday morning. "I think we need to dig a little bit further into this to see if it was a general-under-honorable-conditions discharge or an honorable discharge.”
Alexis, who served as a full-time Navy reservist from 2007 to January 2011, was honorably discharged after a "pattern of misconduct," a U.S. defense official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN earlier on condition of anonymity. The official did not detail the misconduct.
[Updated 9:17 a.m. ET] Of the eight injured survivors, three were shot – and those three were doing better today at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. A Washington policeman is in fair condition, a female civilian is in fair condition and another female civilian is in good condition.
The police officer was shot in his legs. As of Monday night, medical personnel had yet to determine whether he would be able to keep the limbs, CNN's Chris Lawrence reported.
[Updated 9:02 a.m. ET] Alexis, the dead gunman, recently made contact with two Veterans Administration hospitals for apparent psychological issues, law enforcement sources said Tuesday.
[Updated 8:57 a.m. ET] Alexis was arrested in August 2008 on a charge of disorderly conduct in DeKalb County, Georgia, county police said Tuesday.
This is in addition to at least two other arrests, dating back to at least 2004 when he was arrested in Seattle. In that incident, he was accused of shooting out the tires of a man's truck in an anger-fueled "blackout," according to a Seattle Police Department report.
In 2010, Alexis was arrested by Fort Worth, Texas, police but never charged over an allegation that he fired a gun through the ceiling of his apartment. According to records, he told police he accidentally fired it while cleaning it.
[Updated 8:55 a.m. ET] Authorities have recovered three weapons from the scene of the shooting, federal law enforcement sources said. Investigators believe Alexis brought a shotgun into the compound and may have taken two handguns from guards, the sources said.
Initial reports said Alexis used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle during the attack, but by Tuesday, law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation said that was not the case.
It is believed that Alexis had rented an AR-15, but returned it before Monday's shooting, the officials said. Investigators have recovered three weapons from the scene, including a shotgun that Alexis is believed to have brought into the compound. The other two weapons – handguns – the sources say, may have been taken from guards.
They were civilians and contractors, just starting their day at a massive military compound that's normally a bastion of safety.
But for reasons that may never be known, a former Navy reservist cut their lives short when he went on a shooting rampage at Washington's Navy Yard on Monday.
Twelve families were left anguished. On Monday night, seven of them received dreaded news.
Shots were fired Monday at a Washington Navy Yard building, killing at least 12 people and injuring 14 others, according to local officials and the Navy.
Also killed was a suspect, Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old military information-technology contractor and former full-time Navy reservist who lived in Texas, the FBI said. One other gunman may be on the loose, police said.
The incident began about 8:20 a.m. ET when several shots were fired inside the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters in the southeast portion of the capital. Developments below:
[Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET] Police released the names and ages of seven of the 12 people killed in the shooting. None of the seven was military personnel:
- Michael Arnold, 59
- Sylvia Frasier, 53
- Kathy Gaarde, 62
- John Roger Johnson, 73
- Frank Kohler, 50
- Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46
- Vishnu Pandit, 61.
[Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET] Alexis had access to the yard because of his contracting work, and he used a valid pass to enter the yard, said Valerie Parlave, assistant director in charge of the Washington FBI field office.
[Updated at 10:39 p.m. ET] Besides the 13 people who were killed, eight people were injured in Monday morning's shooting, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters Monday night. Three of those were injured by gunfire, and the others had other types of injuries, such as contusions and chest pain.
Earlier Monday night, Navy Vice Adm. William D. French said 14 people were injured. The 13 dead include suspect Aaron Alexis.
[Updated at 10:38 p.m. ET] Washington police are confident that only one person was involved in Monday morning's shooting, and they are lifting a shelter-in-place order for residents who live nearby, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday night. Authorities have said suspect Aaron Alexis, 34, was killed after an encounter with security.
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., once a rising Democratic star whose political fortunes imploded over the use of campaign finances to support lavish personal spending, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday.
"I misled the American people," Jackson, 48, said before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the term, which she said should be served in Alabama.
The ex-Illinois lawmaker's wife, Sandi, received a 12-month sentence for her role in her husband's misuse of roughly $750,000 in campaign funds over several years.
[Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET] In rare bipartisan accord, normally quarrelsome U.S. lawmakers passed a measure designed to end budget-related air traffic controller furloughs blamed for widespread flight delays.
The House of Representatives approved the legislation, capping a major congressional initiative as delays snarled traffic at airports. The House vote comes a day after unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate.
The measure - which is expected to be signed into law by President Obama - gives the Transportation Department budget planners new flexibility for dealing with forced spending cuts.
One of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives was picked up Saturday in Nicaragua, according to a federal law enforcement official.
The official did not provide details on how Eric Toth, 31, was located and apprehended. Toth is a former Washington private school teacher who was wanted on child pornography charges.
According to the FBI, in June 2008, images of child pornography were found on a school camera Toth had been using. He allegedly also produced such images in Maryland.
U.S. officials are working on returning him to the United States to face charges.
Toth was put on the Ten Most Wanted list in March 2012, and there was a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.
An arrest has been made in connection with possibly contaminated letters sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Paul Kevin Curtis was arrested by the FBI at his home in Corinth, Mississippi, the department said in a statement.
Discovered Tuesday, the letters were addressed to Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, and to Obama. The justice department release said a third letter was sent to a Mississippi justice official.
The letters to Wicker and Obama were stopped at a government mail-screening facility after initial tests indicated the presence of the deadly poison ricin.
Because initial tests can be "inconsistent," the envelopes have been sent off for additional tests, an FBI statement said. The FBI does not expect to receive results from the tests until Thursday, federal law enforcement sources told CNN.
The letters read: "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance."
They were signed "I am KC and I approve this message," a source said.
South Korea's government said Sunday it believes North Korea may test a missile around April 10, citing as an indicator Pyongyang's push for workers to leave the Kaesong Industrial Complex by then.
Seoul "is on military readiness posture," said South Korea's Blue House spokeswoman Kim Haeng in a briefing. She said national security chief Kim Jang-soo also based the assessment on North Korea's hint to foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to send personnel out of the country.
Julia Pierson was sworn in Wednesday as director of the Secret Service. She is the first woman to lead the agency responsible for protecting the president and controlling counterfeiting of currency, among other duties.
A new North Korean propaganda video shows images of what appears to be an imagined missile attack on U.S. government buildings in Washington, including the White House and the Capitol.
The roughly 4-minute video was posted Monday in the YouTube channel of the North Korean government website Uriminzokkiri.
It carries a montage of clips of different weapons, including artillery guns firing and large missiles on display at military parades.
Just before the 3-minute mark, it cuts to footage of target sights honing in on the White House and then a simulated sequence of the Capitol's dome exploding.
A snowstorm that set snowfall records in Chicago yesterday is now giving an unscheduled day off for nearly 1 million students in states to the east.
More than 905,000 public school students are not going to classes Wednesday because of the winter storm slamming the United States, according to school districts in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio.
The numbers are a reflection of major districts only, and do not include many smaller districts in the storm-affected area.
The storm could dump as many as 20 inches of snow west of the nation's capital. At least 93,406 customers were without power Wednesday morning in Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia, according to numbers provided by local power companies.
Read more about the storm
Radar: Track the storm
iReport.com: Snow in Dayton, Ohio
Six inches of snow in Chicago. A foot or so plastering the Upper Midwest. And up 20 inches expected just west of Washington D.C.
Surely, there's a silver lining to these snow clouds though, right? Don't they bring much-neeed moisture to parched states?
Snow is very fluffy, and it takes up to a foot of it to squeeze out an inch of rain, meteorologists say.
President Obama will be publicly sworn in for a second term in office today. Watch CNN.com Live for all your inauguration coverage.
Today's programming highlights...
8:40 am ET - Obamas, Bidens go to church - President Obama, Vice President Biden and their families begin their day by attending a service at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington.
Sen. Daniel Inouye, 88, a long-serving Democrat from Hawaii and a wounded veteran of World War II, has died, Capitol Hill sources tell CNN.
Inouye died of respiratory complications at 5:01 p.m. EST Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, his office said.
Four people were injured Saturday after a flash fire broke out in the ductwork of the State Department building in Washington, fire officials said.
One person was in a "life-threatening condition" and two others were in serious but non-life threatening condition at Washington Hospital Center, authorities said. The fourth person fell from a ladder and hurt his knee.
The fire broke out after 11 a.m., as construction crews were working on the premises, and was extinguished on short order, said Lon Walls, a spokesman for Washington's fire department.
[Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET] People are being allowed back into the Canadian Embassy in Washington after police have given the "all clear" after a report of a suspicious package inside. FULL POST
An anti-jihad ad that has caused a stir in other cities now has another destination for its message: the subways of Washington.
The ad by the American Freedom Defense Initiative states, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”
Jihad - Arabic for "struggle" - is considered a religious duty for Muslims, although there are both benign and militant interpretations of what it means.
Last month, the American Freedom Defense Initiative posted the ads in the subways of New York and San Francisco.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations posted a response ad that reads, “Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.” Another one reads, “Support peace in word and deed.”
And the council is ready to try to counter the new ads in the nation's capital.
The ads were initially blocked, but on Friday, U.S. District Judge Mary Collyer ruled that the D.C. transit system must allow the advertisements because of free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
"We don't think it's controversial," said Pamela Geller, the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. "It's truth. Telling the truth now is equated with 'hate' and 'bigotry' in an attempt to silence and demonize the truth-tellers. That makes my ads all the more important.”
According to Geller, the American Freedom Defense Initiative ads have two missions: “to affirm the truth about the barbaric jihad against free people” and to affirm free speech.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is working with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and Jewish Voice for Peace, knows it can’t get the ads removed. Instead, the groups want the D.C. transit officials to help reduce the negative impact of the posters.
“With respect to your response in this matter, it is not our desire that (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) disallow advertisements that contain any political speech,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a statement. “I do believe there are measures WMATA can take to mitigate the affect hate speech has on the community.”
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