The U.S. Senate should open debate Monday on a tax compromise reached by President Obama and Republicans, but some Democrats in the House want to change the deal, one of the party's leaders said. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the package will get a House vote despite a threat by Democrats to prevent it from reaching the floor. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released the first version of legislation on the negotiated deal. The package combines extended Bush-era tax cuts with extended unemployment benefits, tax breaks and a payroll tax holiday intended to bolster a sluggish recovery from an economic recession.
Vicious winter weather
A raging winter storm that dumped snow on parts of the Midwest is moving eastward, bringing brutal wind chills, the possibility of even more snow and potential air travel delays. In Cleveland, residents could see 5 to 9 inches of snowfall Monday, and the city could be covered in a few feet of snow by week's end, CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said. Airlines and passengers will continue to grapple with cancellations and delays as stranded travelers across the country become reluctant residents of airport terminals. High winds and snow in some locations will cause delays in some parts of the eastern United States. Flurries fell as far south as Atlanta, where crowds of passengers were stranded at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
A grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, is meeting to consider criminal charges in the WikiLeaks case, an attorney for the site's founder, Julian Assange, told Al-Jazeera in an interview. "We have heard from Swedish authorities there has been a secretly empaneled grand jury in Alexandria ... they are currently investigating this," Mark Stephens told Al-Jazeera's Sir David Frost. WikiLeaks has been releasing documents from a trove of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables since November 28. News of the grand jury came the day before former WikiLeaks members were scheduled to launch a competing website, OpenLeaks.org, because, they said, Assange had "weakened" WikiLeaks.
Will he? Won't he? It may seem like a familiar pair of questions to those who have followed Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's career. The Vikings are scheduled to play the New York Giants at Detroit's Ford Field after the roof of the Minnesota Metrodome collapsed under the weight of snow. Favre told ESPN his consecutive-game streak, the NFL's longest, would have been snapped had the Vikings and Giants played Sunday, as scheduled. Favre is listed as questionable tonight, and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier told Sports Illustrated that he would talk to Favre on Monday at breakfast to find out if he had enough movement in his shoulder to play.