WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's budget will propose an ambitious six-year, $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge and transit upgrades, half of it financed with a one-time mandatory tax on profits that U.S. companies have amassed overseas, White House officials said.
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California has experienced one of the driest Januarys on record, and the lack of rain during a time of year when the weather is usually wet indicates the state is likely headed for a fourth straight year of drought, officials said. A prolonged drought could portend further economic and environmental setbacks for the nation's most populous state, which has already lost both crops and jobs to the dry weather. The state's driest January on record was in 1984, when the 30-day average precipitation in the state reached 0.33 of an inch (0.84 cm), under one method used to gauge rainfall statewide, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Mathews. The low rainfall combined with warmer-than-average temperatures have resulted in a meager snow pack, the California Department of Water Resources said in a statement.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia police were searching for a 26-year-old man on Sunday in the killings of five people whose bodies were discovered in a house the night before. The victims ranged in age from 16 to 60, Troup County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Stewart Smith told Reuters. Four of the five victims were related, Smith said. Lagrange, a town in Troup County near the Alabama border, is about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Atlanta, “One of the victims had not been to work for a couple of days and their employer was concerned and called 911,” Smith said.
By Kevin Murphy KANSAS CITY (Reuters) - A major winter storm swept into the northern Plains on Sunday, threatening to bury Chicago under more than a foot of snow before tracking toward New England, a region still reeling from a powerful blizzard that struck only days earlier. The fresh snowfall and strong winds could complicate the plans of millions of Americans in the Midwest planning to travel to Super Bowl parties on Sunday. In Chicago's two major airports, about 1,400 flights were scratched. “We are right now ramping up into blizzard conditions,” said David Beachler, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chicago.
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A slow-moving winter storm blanketed a large swath of the Plains and Midwest in snow Sunday, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights, making roads treacherous and forcing some people to rethink their plans to attend Super Bowl parties.
ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — The daughter of late singer and entertainer Whitney Houston was found unresponsive, face down in a bathtub Saturday and taken to a hospital in the north Atlanta suburbs, police said.
Peace talks aimed at halting rising bloodshed in eastern Ukraine ended in failure Saturday, with Kiev's envoy saying pro-Russian separatists wrecked a deal by refusing to discuss an immediate ceasefire. The delayed talks in Minsk were "thwarted" after top rebel leaders stayed away and their negotiators also refused to discuss withdrawing heavy weapons, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told Interfax Ukraine news agency. The negotiator for the rebel Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, however, blamed Kiev for causing the collapse of the talks and said insurgent leaders would only agree a deal if Kiev's forces halt fire first.
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the refusal of Greece's European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country's rescue loans, though she stressed in an interview published Saturday that Berlin's aim is to keep Greece in the eurozone.