A powerful snowstorm is sweeping through the north-eastern US, with warnings in place for 14 states affecting more than 60 million people. Some parts of Pennsylvania and New York are predicted to see as much as two feet of snow. The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned of “dangerous, if not impossible travel conditions and isolated power surges” in the worst-affected areas.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for coronavirus, his office has said. The Elysee Palace in Paris said on Thursday the 42-year-old was tested after showing early symptoms. He will now isolate for seven days but will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely. His wife Brigitte, 67, is also self-isolating, her office said, although she is not showing any COVID-19 symptoms.
Bitcoin hit a fresh record high above $23,000 on Thursday, extending a wild rally for the cryptocurrency that has seen it more than triple in value this year. The world’s most-valuable digital currency surged 12% to $23,421, according to crypto market data provider Coin Metrics, taking its year-to-date gains to more than 200%. Bitcoin only just smashed the $20,000 mark on Wednesday.
Vladimir Putin has denied Russia was behind the poisoning of the opposition leader Alexei Navalny, calling a recent investigation by Bellingcat a “falsification”. “Who needs to poison him,” he said during a nationally televised press conference, denying that Russia’s FSB spy agency was involved. “If they’d wanted to [poison him] then they probably would have finished the job.”
Turkey will not reverse its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems and will take reciprocal steps after evaluating U.S. sanctions imposed over the acquisition, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday. President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday the sanctions were a “hostile attack” against Turkey’s defense industry, and were bound to fail. The United States says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets.