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Another monster winter storm slams the Northeast; Putin’s nuclear threats might be motivated by his impending presidential election.
The bomb cyclone returns
- The “bomb cyclone” is back, and it’s battering the East coast with an intense winter storm on Friday. About 80 million people are estimated to be in the storm’s path. [CNN / Doug Criss, Brandon Miller, and Dave Hennen]
- A powerful nor’easter slammed into the East Coast on Friday morning, bringing powerful storm surges to coastal Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Parts of Boston were badly flooded. [Boston Globe / Christina Prignano]
- Cape Cod experienced severe flooding, with roads underwater. The National Weather Service predicted the area could get about 3 to 4 inches of rain through Friday, along with 35 to 45 mile per hour winds and gusts up to 76 miles per hour. [Cape Cod Times]
- New York is supposed to get hit with 10 inches of snow, grounding thousands of flights in the city’s airports as well as other flight hubs around the East Coast. [NYT]
- Farther south, residents of Washington, DC, awoke to howling gales this morning that meteorologists termed a “jet sting.” Some large trees were brought down around the city, and residents were warned to stay home if possible. [Washington Post / Jason Samenow]
- Wind gusts in and around the DC area were forecast with speeds of 60 to 70 miles per hour, with meteorologists warning the strongest gusts could reach up to 80 miles per hour — in other words, hurricane-force winds. [Washington Post / Karen Weintraub and Amy Wang]
- As Vox’s Brian Resnick explains, nor’easters are named after the direction their winds blow from. (Can you guess? They’re from the Northeast). They can look like hurricanes from satellite imagery, but unlike hurricanes, they feed off cold land air rather than warm ocean air. [Vox / Brian Resnick]
Putin’s new nuclear toys sound … unsettling
- In case you’ve been spending the past few months fretting about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Russian President Vladimir Putin just wants to add to your anxieties by introducing a new line of Russian nuclear weapons. [Foreign Policy / Jeffrey Lewis]
- At an address to the Russian Federation earlier this week, Putin talked up his country’s weapon capabilities and used a bunch of scary-sounding words. Among the things he touted: a nuclear-capable cruise missile with “unlimited” range that could get past NATO anti-missile defenses, as well as another “invincible” missile that could carry a warhead. [CNN / Nathan Hodge, Barbara Starr, Matthew Chance, and Emma Burrows]
- It sounds pretty frightening, but the US military quickly downplayed the seriousness of Putin’s speech, saying the US is aware of the threat and prepared to defend itself. [CNBC / Amanda Macias]
- There’s another plausible reason for Putin’s nuclear weapons posturing: The Russian presidential election is approaching, and experts say Putin wants to up the strongman ante to look powerful to his constituents (even though it’s all but guaranteed he’ll win due to vote rigging). [Vox / Alex Ward]
- What do you get when a “bomb cyclone” and a “jet sting” collide? A plane full of very green, nauseated passengers. [Capital Weather Gang via Twitter]
- In the world of high fashion, the more things change ... the more they stay the same. [Racked / Eliza Brooke]
- West Virginia public school teachers are on their seventh day of a strike, protesting low wages and meager benefits. State lawmakers are considering raises, but it’s unclear whether the strike will end soon. [Charleston Gazette-Mail / Jake Zuckerman and Ryan Quinn]
- Multiple media companies including the Atlantic and ABC News are in talks to buy the data-driven news and sports website FiveThirtyEight. The site is bleeding money and is currently losing $6 million per year on revenue of approximately $3 million. [WSJ / Benjamin Mullin]
“I asked this boy I liked to prom via a pair of scissors that said, ‘Prom?’ (He was stabbed with scissors a few weeks prior and I’m incredibly romantic.)” [Cydney to Man Repeller / Haley Nahman]
Listen to this: Today, Explained
It was a week of whiplash in the national fight over gun control. First, major retailers like Dick’s and Walmart raised the gun-buying age from 18 to 21, and companies like Delta dropped their NRA discounts. But then pro-gun rights legislatures pushed back. Listen to Today, Explained on Apple Podcasts, Art19, and Stitcher.