Nation & World Glance
Storm punishes swath of US with snow, ice and freezing rain
A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the Midwest pummeled the mid-Atlantic region for a second day Sunday, bringing with it an icy mix that knocked out power, cancelled flights and contributed to hundreds of car accidents.
Virginia State Police said the driver of a military surplus vehicle was killed late Saturday after he lost control on Interstate 81 because of slick road conditions.
Police said Ronald W. Harris, 73, of Gainesville, Georgia, died after his vehicle was struck by two tractor-trailers. The two tractor-trailer drivers were taken to a hospital for injuries that were not lifethreatening. The state medical examiner determined Sunday that Harris’ death was storm-related, police said.
Virginia State Police said they responded to more than 300 traffic crashes and helped nearly 200 disabled vehicles in Virginia from midnight to late Sunday afternoon.
The storm knocked out power to nearly 200,000 people in Virginia and North Carolina at its height Sunday, according to PowerOutage.us.
Judge blocks Trump birth control coverage rules in 13 states
OAKLAND, Calif. — A U.S. judge in California on Sunday blocked Trump administration rules, which would allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control, from taking effect in 13 states and Washington, D.C.
Judge Haywood Gilliam granted a request for a preliminary injunction by California, 12 other states and Washington, D.C. The plaintiffs sought to prevent the rules from taking effect as scheduled on Monday while a lawsuit against them moved forward.
But Gilliam limited the scope of the ruling to the plaintiffs, rejecting their request that he block the rules nationwide.
The changes would allow more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also object on moral grounds.
California and the other states argue that women would be forced to turn to state-funded programs for birth control and experience unintended pregnancies.
Trump’s weekend: new Russia questions, shutdown irritants
WASHINGTON — It wasn’t the weekend that President Donald Trump wanted: largely alone at the White House, irked by a pair of startling Russia headlines and baffled that he’s not getting more credit for staying put during the partial government shutdown.
Trump surprised his aides by deciding, with just a few hours’ notice, to call in to Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News on Saturday night to push back against coverage of his presidency on multiple fronts, particularly published reports about his approach toward Russia.
Even then, the president avoided directly answering when Pirro asked whether he currently is or has ever worked for Russia. The question came after The New York Times reported that law enforcement officials began investigating, in 2017, whether Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against U.S. interests. The newspaper said the investigation came after the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” Trump told Pirro, a personal friend. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written, and if you read the article you’ll see that they found absolutely nothing.”
Trump went on to assert that no president has taken a harder stance against Russia than he has.
Shooting outside Phoenix motel kills woman, 5 wounded
PHOENIX — Phoenix police say a shooting outside a motel left a young woman dead and five others wounded by gunfire.
They say in a statement that the shooting happened shortly before noon Sunday after two men argued with a group of people on the second floor of the motel.
Police say one suspect reportedly pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots.
They say one of the suspects was wounded in the incident and was among those shot. Three of those who were in shot were hospitalized in critical condition.
Police are searching for the other suspect.
The victims ranged in age from 18 to 41 years old. Their identities were not immediately made public.
Man who killed officer said he was hit by ultrasonic waves
DAVIS, Calif. — The man who shot and killed a rookie California police officer left a letter on the bed in the home where he lived claiming police bombarded him with ultrasonic waves, officials said.
Police in the college town of Davis near Sacramento on Saturday made public the one-paragraph letter they said was written by Kevin Douglas Limbaugh, 48. He killed himself Thursday after fatally shooting Officer Natalie Corona.
Police spokesman Lt. Paul Doroshov said the paper was found face up on the gunman’s bed.
“The Davis Police department has been hitting me with ultra sonic (sic) waves meant to keep dogs from barking,” the letter said. “I notified the press, internal affairs, and even the FBI about it. I am highly sensitive to its affect (sic) on my inner ear. I did my best to appease them, but they have continued for years and I can’t live this way anymore.”
The handwritten note was signed “Citizen Kevin Limbaugh.” Also recovered as evidence from the man’s home were two unregistered guns.