Severe winter weather, including snow and bitter cold is snarling air travel from the upper midwestern U.S. to Georgia this week. Temperatures will remain well below zero degrees Fahrenheit in the Chicago area on Wednesday and early Thursday with “dangerously cold wind chills” of as low as minus 50, the National Weather Service said. Airlines canceled more than 850 flights scheduled to fly to or from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, about a third of the day’s schedule at the American Airlines and United Airlines hub.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court upheld its acquittal of a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010, clearing the way for her to leave the country as radical Islamists seethe. Asia Bibi, a mother and illiterate farmhand of Christian faith, spent eight years on death row, until the country’s top court acquitted her last October, sparking massive protests across Pakistan. The case stems back to a sweltering day in 2009, when Bibi was ordered to fetch water, upsetting Muslim farmworkers who feared she might sip from the same vessel.
Venezuela’s government struck back at self-declared interim president Juan Guaido on Tuesday, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts despite a warning from Washington of “serious consequences” if it did so. The Supreme Court approved a request from Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab to open a preliminary investigation into Guaido based on accusations he helped foreign countries to interfere in internal matters.
A Toronto landscaper pleaded guilty to eight murders on Tuesday in a case that traumatized the gay community in Canada’s largest city. The landscaper, Bruce McArthur, 67, was arrested a year ago and initially charged with killing six men, dismembering them and hiding the pieces in planters on the property of a client who allowed him to store tools there. Six of the victims were of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday in what Chicago police are calling a possible hate crime. Smollett was attacked by two people who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs” and “poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” police said. One of Smollett’s alleged attackers also put a rope around his neck, according to police. Both fled the scene.