good evening, everyone, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. the polar vortex, a rare weather system dragging bitter cold air deep into the south. back to work, senators return from their holiday to determine whether or not to reinstate jobless benefits to more than a million americans. al-qaeda in iraq. and a whole new ball game, college football's controversial and confusing bowl championship series ends tonight. we'll look at a new playoff system that is taking its place.
♪ >> we begin with what could be the coldest night in 20 years in some parts of the country, there are 140 million americans facing sub zero temperatures and wind chill conditions are making it feel even worse. it is the result of a polar vortex seconding frigid air from the north pole. there are record low temperatures out there central and eastern u.s., and one of the hardest hit places, chicago, schools will be closed again tomorrow. diane eastabrook is in illinois with more. >> reporter: john, the real threat is hypo therm -- hypo
thermia and frostbite. mary beth waneright bundled up herself and blondly when nature called. >> she is wearing two layers and a boot on each foot. >> reporter: aing weekend storm blanketed the city of chicago and neighboring indiana with roughly a foot of snow. emergency crews rescued more than 600 stranded motorists in illinois alone. pat quinn activates the national guard to help emergency crews. indiana's governor declared a state of emergency in 27 counties. the arctic blast forced school closures in several states today and tomorrow. on the streets of chicago volunteers searched for the homeless, hoping to encourage
them to seek warmth in shelters or warming centers. >> there is annish withdrew with bed bugs and violence in the shelters around chicago. >> reporter: but you encourage them to go to shelters. >> absolutely. absolutely. or warming centers. >> by midday emergency room physician has treated more victims of the flu than the weather. >> we haven't seen much of this today in terms of the frostbite cases, those will probably start coming later today i imagine, it seems like a lot of people are staying in doors. >> reporter: still not everyone stayed inside. this runner was one of several spotted jogging. >> i enjoy it. i have fun. yeah, it is real fun for me. >> reporter: now these dangerous weather conditions are going to continue through tomorrow, but we should see some relief by
wednesday. john. >> diane is there any estimate on how much this storm is going to cost the chicago region? >> reporter: no estimate yet. the city does have crews on -- working bubble -- double time, consumers are looking at maybe a it will to their utility bills, but hopefully if it only lasts a couple of days it won't be significant. >> diane thank you. rebecca joins us with more. >> good evening everyone. the highs not too much above the temperatures. 12 degrees below zero for fargo. and omaha, kansas both hit a high temperature of 4. the problem is that it feels much colder buz you factor in
the wind blowing and that removes heat from the skin. that's why frostbite is such a huge concern. many of our areas from north dakota across the great lakes to cleveland, ohio, detroit, and cincinnati, these are places where it is dangerous to be outside anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour, because that's how quickly frostbite will set in, and the tissue will just die on your nose, lips, cheeks as well. the cold air originated in se -- siberia, an area of low-pressure picked up that extremely cold air and pulled it down into a storm system that
brought this arctic storm chill. now we're seeing that air start to sink farther towards the northeast, so we finally get to a warmup afew days ahead. we'll have more coming up. john. frostbite can be tough stuff, and wind chills are extremely dangerous. the effect on the human body can be quick and devastate. jacob ward explains. >> the temperatures that any united states is experiencing right now, can bring about the dangerous of hypo thermia, the loss of more body heat. mild hypothermia is between 95 and 90 degrees fahrenheit. at that point the body is shivering, but the real give away can be die resis, it's the body getting rid of water through the sudden need to
europe nate -- urinate or excessive thirst. then the find can become confused, and the face color changes, then seve severe -- hypothermia is where the body temperature gets into the 70s. and that's when all systems begin to slow. the paradoxal things has to do with sudden undressing when the body releases heat, in what is called terminal burrowing, people having hypothermia have
dug their way under car. and drinking alcohol is the last thing you want to do. jake ward thank you. now to the impact on travel and the airlines. jet blue has been forced to play catchup after days of bad weather. jet blue says it needs to shut down in order to rest displaced crews and check service of its aircraft. the airline says it will start ramping up mid-morning tomorrow. other airlines are experiencing many problems. the weather has been blamed for more than 4,000 flight cancellations in and outside of the u.s. today. the senate got back to business today and one of the issues topping the agenda, whether to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless americans. libby casey joins us from
washington with more. libby? >> good evening, john, you know, those flights that were delayed and canceled included those that were is supposed to carry members of congress back to washington. they postponed a procedural vote that was being closely watched to see if the senate had enough votes to move forward on these benefits. this is a hot issue in washington because these unemployment benefits expire december 28th. and as the unemployed go looking for jobs longer and longer, more will join those roles. one of the key provisions is that people have to keep looking forwork. to harry reid said he wanted to see them reenstated. >> instead of celebrating the new year, more than a million americans including 20,000 veterans, were left wondering
how they were feed their families, make their mortgage payments while they continued to look for jobs. we have never had so many unemployed for such a long period of time. >> john, these benefits were created back when the recession hit as a way for americans to be supported as they looked for work, which was taking a lot longer, some republicans were asking when does that crisis period end? ore republicans are questions how it would be paid for. one of them is senator jeff sessions of alabama. he says the way to really help the unemployed is to reduce spending. >> one of the problems clearly is the size of our debt, and we have got to get our spending under control. we have to do that. we cannot continue every time we have a desire to do something good to borrow the money.
>> reporter: democrats say that message is cold comfort if you are without a job and lost your long-term unemployment benefits, so they are pushing this issue hard. they'll need five republicans to join them. so far only one republican vocally supporting them. that's dean heller of nevada, and nevada is a state that has really suffered from unemployment. >> and there is a new head of the federal reserve? >> that's right. there was a joet to confirm janet yellen to chair the federal reserve. they were able to get enough members there -- it just had to get over 50 votes to pass, they got 56, so she is the next chairperson. >> what else is on the agenda? >> we saw this big spending package passed before the holiday, but now the work of
getting those appreciation bills is in the works right now. appropriators didn't have a very relaxing holiday. we're also watching a farm bill. congress kicked that by doing a one-month extension last month. and there work on immigration and other big items. >> libby thank you. the end of unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed have had an impact on the economy, and ali velshi says it was a safety net that went .into effect five years ago. >> this emergency unemployment insurance company was introduced by the bush administration in 2008 during the depths of the recession, and since then it has paid out more than $125 billion to cushion the long-term unemployed. this has been extended ever year
since then, until 2013 because this was not included in the two-year budget deal that we covered, that congress arrived at. many republicans oppose an extension to these programs, they say this was intended to temporary, and an extension would add to the federal deficit, unless it was offset elsewhere. the program cost about $25 billion annually, so because no deal was made these people have fallen off of the roles. >> what do they provide? >> about 1.3 million americans were on them until december 28th. these were people who were out of work longer than six months. most states give you about 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits, and this was to get you up to 79 or 99 weeks, about $300 a week is the average. the federal benefits kick in when the state benefits run out.
the average of unemployment right now is 37 weeks, so most people are out of work longer than their state unemployment benefits provide for them. >> what has the lapse done to the economy? >> it's unclear what it has done. because some argue that people will get jobs because there are low-paying jobs that people don't get because their unemployment benefits are just as good or better. north carolina dropped back, and found their unemployment dropped, but at the same time, people took lower-paid jobs, and a lot of people dropped out of the market. so it is very unclear the effect this has on the economy as a whole, but conservatives say it will benefit the economy, liberals say it will hurt. >> ali thank you.
on hold the u.s. supreme court puts a temporary stop to same-sex marriages in utah. plus the deep dark part of the internet where crime lives. disaster, the hidden truth about the ongoing cleanup efforts and how the fallout could effect the safety of americans >> are dangerous amounts of radioactive water, leaking into the pacific eververyday? >> join america tonight's michael okwu for an exclusive four part series, as we return to fukushima only on al jazeera america
same-sex wedding in the state of utah are now on hold. the supreme court is giving the state more time to appeal last month's ruling that legalized gay marriage. david shuster explains. >> reporter: the ceremonies and celebrations in utah are now on hold. on monday the justices without comment issued a stay on same-sex marriages in the state. >> going forward i can say that we -- we feel we're on solid
ground because the stay is in place. >> reporter: nearly 900 couples have been marriemarried. state officials appealed and argued it would be difficult to unwind the process if the supreme court didn't issue a state now. >> without the stay hundreds will be in limbo. we'll wait until the legal process resolves it's a. >> reporter: last spring the supreme court ruled on the federal act. but the justices also letting stand a lower court ruling opholding gay marriage in california. legal experts predicted the issues raised by state bans would eventually return to the supreme court. there was no indication today
that the justices are eager to jump into these issues again, but they are clearly not ready for same-sex couple to take the plunge in utah until the litigation on that ban is resolved. >> seth and michael join us now from salt lake city, welcome to you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> michael, first to you, what was your reaction to this decision? >> to be honest, i actually felt a sense of excitement about it, because i feel like this is a topic that is being taken seriously, and that means that there is going to be continued conversation dialogue, over these issues, and i feel like those can only be productive dialogue. >> but isn't it possible that the judges should cut down legal gay marriage in the state of
utah? >> it's certainly possible, and they did today. it is on pause for other couples who want to be married. however, i don't think that effects our marriage. >> you were the first ones to get married in the state. your lawyer encouraged you to go to the court and take the action soon, quickly, maybe because he was afraid something like this would happen. what does he tell you legally about your marriage. >> just to clarify it is not our attorney, just a friend who has been following the case. >> okay. >> but everybody is analyzing, guessing, and just anticipating the next move from the supreme court. >> how has the city of salt lake responded to marriages like yours? >> overwhelmingly positively, the people who come up to us with hope and happiness in their
eyes are so supportive and encouraging, and of course there will be outspoken critics, but as i said the more this dialogue proceeds forward we only see it going in a positive direction. >> south what about those who didn't get married? >> i am disappointed about the ruling this morning for that reason, for people who came down today to be married, i even saw there were some questions about people over the weekend who's applications were not filed completely yet. so i feel -- my heart goes out to them that they are still treated as second-class citizens in this state that cannot be married to the person they love. >> you say you received tremendous support from -- from the salt lake community, but you also know that the polls show that there are plenty of people, a very large majority that don't like gay marriage at all, have you heard from any of those
people? >> we have. and this is the thing. there are a lot of people that operate from a place of fear. utah is a very religious state. and as love continues to burn bright and strong those fears will only dissipate. >> it is possible your marriage could no longer be legal? >> technically, sure it's possible. it would be unprecedented for the state to forcibly divorce 900-plus couples, so i don't fear that, but it is a possibility. >> this is probably an issue we hope to talk about again. and we hope to talk to you again about it. seth, michael, congratulations, and good to talk to you. >> thank you. a federal judge struck down a ban of handguns within the
chicago city limbs. he said the ban goes too far. the judge delayed implementing his judgment for now until the city can appeal. chicago's lawmakers passed the ban in 2010 after 900 murders in a two-year period. >> reporter: there is a place on the internet so deep, so dark, so utterly anonymous, it's become a black market bizarre for crime. >> you have everything there. you have hits for higher. you can kill people. you can buy drugs. you can buy people. i mean there is everything that we in society say shouldn't exist in a civilized society is there, and if it's not there, ask for it, and somebody way provide it. >> you can order false ids, real
u.s. citizenship and murder for higher. >> you can pay an assassin to go after a certain person for $6,000 plus. >> reporter: just didn't ask him to videotape it, this hitman has standards. >> basically the amazon of the drug world where you can go through and purchase whatever you would like, cannabis, stimulates. >> reporter: welcome to the deep web a hidden part of the internet with everything you can't find on google and bing. it's unnervingly easy to navigate. it's all made possible by anon-miezing technology like the onion router. >> sitting here in cambridge you have connected to a bunch of
machines around the world. >> reporter: and by bitcoin. >> there have been arrests like this child porn bust, and the fbi shutdown of the drug site the silk road, replaced two months later by the silk road 2.0. >> i can use a car to kidnap people, to rob banks or bring pregnant mothers to the hospital and save people. no one goes after ford saying your car is used in criminal activity, can you stop it? >> reporter: in an era in which the u.s. national security agency has tapped into communications of much of the world, privacy advocates say the deep web may be fulfilling our
welcome back to al jazeera america, i'm john siegenthaler in new york, and here are the top stories. jobless issues, tomorrow the senators will take up the issue of extending benefits for the lo long-term unemployed. and homeless organizations hit the roads trying to protect people from deadly temperatures.
and flights canceled jet blue stopped departures out of boston and new york. some passengers have been stranded for days. temp rur -- temperatures in atlanta could hit 6 degrees tomorrow, and it hasn't been that cold there in years. robert ray reports from a salvation army warming center in atlanta. >> reporter: here a record cold night, temperatures expected to be hovering around 0 to 1 degrees. the salvation army is out in full force. they have set up a makeshift center where people can get warm and sleep on mats. we have show you that and back up into the center. let me close the door. you can see the mats that they have put out.
there will be many individuals throughout the night that have come off of the streets that the salvation is trying to cohurs to get in here to the deadly temperatures do not effect them. as the -- polar vortex comes down, temperatures will continue to be low. the schools will be closed and the entire deep south looking at major cold records. tallahassee, florida has a wind chill warning. no precipitation in the forecast, but a deep freeze is takes place down here in the deep south. >> what exactly is a polar vortex? the one being blamed for freezing out millions of americans? rebecca is here to explain.
>> a polar vortex can bring you 85 degrees of difference from the north to the south. and that is brought to you because of an air mass that developed way up into the north pal. this air mass is very cold sitting on top of snow and ice, and as it continues to get thick and dense, that cold air wants to move down and balance with the hot air near the equator, well, what has happened is exactly that. that cold air started to move down from canada. we typically don't get a polar vortex quite this strong that pushes this cold air this far south. but you can see the cold air is moving sloely to the northeast, so while we have wind chills
well below zero in parts of the northwest, that cold air is making its way into the southeast, talking about the orange crops now, and down to 15 degrees for savanna, georgia, and 36 in orlando. we have had temperatures drop as much as 45 to 50 degrees in the southeast. we have been drying out as the cold air moves into the east. i'll show you how long that is going to last and when we expect to warm up, coming up. >> thank you very much. the weather is treacherous across the atlantic as well. huge waves crashing into britain's southwestern coast. seven people have died in the storm that slammed into the uk in the past month. now to iraq where the army is getting ready for a major offensive on the town of fall
luc lucia. the militants took control of the city last week. army reinforcements are treatmenting into the area to prepare for an offensive. but breaking al-qaeda's hold will not be easy. >> reporter: it has been years since iraq has seen this kind of fighting. this is a sunny strong hold, they are minorities who feel marginalized. these big towns are familiar to a lot of americans because back in 2004, you might remember four american contractors lynched here. america's bloodiest battle since vietnam were fought here. 1300 americans died there. that's more than a third of all u.s. soldiers killed in iraq. but in 2007 it was called the
awakening, the u.s. paid tribesman to switch strides to fight al-qaeda, and it worked. but now an al-qaeda affiliate wants to carve out its own sunni area. the iraqi army has had a hard time fighting back, partly because there are three parties at work, the iraqi government, the prime minister, and that al-qaeda group, and then in the middle you have the local tribes. they are kind of like the swing vote, unsure of who to support. many say the prime minister needs to reach out to the fi minorities. but the u.s. says this is now iraq's fight. >> the resurgence of al-qaeda-linked violence in iraq has the obama administration defending its foreign policy. it stands by its decision not to
send u.s. troops back to the country. mike viqueira joins us now from washington with more. mike what are the options on the table for the president? >> john, here in washington and across the count tremendous, the names that he was just talking about evokes some of the most violent images of what was a deeply unpopular american involvement in iraq that lasted some eight years. but now the militant resurgence on the ground and the involvement of al-qaeda fighters, there is finger pointing and blame, but one thing is clear, the u.s. troops are gone and they are not coming back. today the white house scoffed at critics that said that american forces could make a difference in iraq. >> there was violent sectarian conflict in iraq when there were 150,000 u.s. troops on the
ground there. so the idea that this would not be happening if there were 10,000 troops in iraq, i think bares no fruit. >> critics like john siegenthaler blame president obama for leaving the iraqis in a statement he says . . . that brought a strong response from the white house. >> if members were suggesting that there should be america troops fighting and dying there today, they should say so. >> reporter: the last american combat troops left iraq in 2010, 4,486 americans died in the iraq war. a recent poll asked was it worth it? secretary of state john kerry
made it clear on sunday no american troops will be sent back in. >> this is a fight that belongs to the iraqis. that is exactly what the president and the world decided sometime ago when we left iraq, so we are not obviously contemplating returns. >> reporter: the u.s. is speeding up arms shipments to the iraqi government including 58 surveillance drones, and hell fire missiles. the situation in iraq could have implications for afghanistan, where the president is playing hardball in talks to allow a u.s. counter insurgency force to stay after american combat troops depart that country. >> if the united states and its allies leafing afghanistan, the taliban have a good chance of coming back into power, and the president's and his family is a
risk. is that really a dapg rows he is prepared to tolerate. >> reporter: and if the situation wasn't bad enough, among policy makers, one of the big issues is the pillover from syria, an american policy there which has so far been a failure according to many critics, a lot of these fighters now besieging these towns get their training and are engaged in combat in al-qaeda-controlled areas of syria. >> mike thank you. and charles joins us from palm beach, florida, he serves in the marines in 2004 and fought in the first battle of falujah. thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me. >> what is your reaction to what
is going on in flujah today? >> my reaction is it's an unfortunate situation that the people of the area are continuing to have to wage this war. i think ultimately this is a fight that needs to be waged amongst them. and the people of america we paid in our blood and treasure to fight this war and give those people the opportunity for freedom and the iraqi people are certainly capable of rising to the challenge. >> is it frustrating after lives were lost and blood was shed by americans to see this town undergoing all of this upheaval again? >> no, john. i don't think it's frustrating. i don't see it that way. i think fighting for people's freedoms is always a battle that is worth fighting for. and the men and women i served with in 2004 and later years,
every single one of them is still honored to this day, having fought for that country and the people that live there so they could have the opportunity so they could live free lives and, you know, even today in my life it's still a very emotional experience for me, and i believe in those people and what they are capable of, and i believe we live in a weird where oppression and fear and this type of violence can no longer exist, and those people will figure it out and rise up against this. >> there is a discussion in washington about what americans should do. should americans provide equipment? should americans go back in? should service men and women go back into iraq? what do you think? >> i think that america will always standing ready to defend freedom no matter where it is oppressioned. up tim mately we'll continue to support this country in any
capacity that we can, but america has to decide what it is best for its citizens as well. and for us, we have a lot of problems over here that we have to deal with, and ultimately those have to be our priorities. the people of iraq are very courageous, proud, and educated population, and they have the power and capability to do what they need to do. >> have you talked to some of your friends who have veterans of the iraq war? and what do they say? >> i have. i feel like a lot of them are very emotional about it as well. a lot of them feel like there was so much sacrifice paid that they want to see the iraqi people prevail, but every single one of them has faith that it will happen. even america's history we had a stumbling in our early begins. a bit of tripping over our own
feet, and iraq is certainly not unfamiliar to that. they are going to struggle. but those people will sort that out. and the iraqis ultimately will prevail. >> charleston it is great to have you on the program. thank you very much for being with us. >> thanks, john. one of three al-qaeda -- one of three journalists from al jazeera america being detained in egypt is being interrogated by state prosecutors and more questioning is expected on wednesday. mohamed fahmy is one of the three held in custody without charge for the last nine dates. baher mohamed and peter greste are also accused of are spreading lines and joining a terrorist group. al jazeera says the allegations are fabricated. an american woman who calls
herselfee jihad jane has been sentenced to jail. the 50--year-old convert said she agreed to kill a swedish artist. she could be out in a little more than four years, though. she has already served time and had potential time off for good behavior. a lawyer for the girl who suffered brain complications has been moved to a new hospital. the girl's mother has been fighting to keep her on life support even though the hospital has declared her brain dead. we'll introduce you to the newest city council who is getting attention from all over
it is a day of many firsts in seattle. the city has sworn in its nine-member city council, which includes its first gay major, and the first socialist council member. so alan, describe the ceremony. >> reporter: well, it was quite a scene here, john. the party just starting to break up here in the lobby. they had to move the swearing-in proceedings from council chambers because of the huge crowd that was expected. and we did get a big turn out, one because of the city's first openly gay mayor, and because of the city's first openly
socialist city councils, in at least 100 years her party figures. and take a look at some video we shot just about an hour and a half ago. lots of people here for the ceremonies. i figure 800 to a thousand people, packing city call. she says she feels a political storm coming to america. moving in day for the new city council members. >> we have got one computer up. we're going to sync with your calendar soon. >> oh, good. >> she calls capitalism a dirty word. >> the american people is dead, so what we are witnessing here is a part of an historic change in american politics, where people are starting to demand an alternative. >> the socialist alternative
party member beat an incumbent. >> this is the first wave of that storm you are going to see. >> reporter: she has called on bowing workers to seize the factory if the company ships jobs out of state. supported fast-food workers strikes, and made the $15 minimum wage a major issue. other priorities supporting public transit and supporting affordable housing. her election has generated press coverage around the country. salon.com naming her one of the year's most interesting people along with pope francis. she sounds more focussed on
broader social issues than filling potholes or playing city politics. >> the question is not whether i can work with the city council, the question is can the city government recognize that there is something normally different happening this year, with a socialist, an open and open socialist being elected to city council with a mandate of nearly 100,000 votes. >> she won by a slim margin critics note. >> to say this is a tidal wave is ridiculous. seattle is uniquely capable of affordable the luxury of a socialist councilism. >> long time radio host, says the $15 minimum wage will pass, but he doubts she can force any
kind of economic change. >> when cities are in trouble, they don't turn to crazy academic leftists like her. >> reporter: meanwhile she doesn't hesitate to coopt classic american rhetoric to hell her story. >> the buck has to stop somewhere, and we're going to do this. >> reporter: she did tell us she likes to cook, run, and she has a dog named chay. john? >> alan what was her first speech as a council member. >> well, it included a lot of talk about the highway robbers of international capitalism, and narrowing the gap between rich
and poor. so she is going to use this office, clearly, i think, as a bully pulpit to get mass movement for her causes. i don't think she is all that interested in actually doing the day-to-day work of a city council member. >> all right. alan thank you. it's the end of anner are, the final bcs championship game at the rose bowl.
former basketball hall of fame erdens any rodman is again ignoring critics who want him to stay out of north korea. he took a few other ex-nba stars along with him this time. he landed in north korea this morning to host an exhibition game against the north careen senior national team. he says he is doing it to honor the upcoming bit day of the president kim jong un. college football history unfolding right now. the last championship game is
being played tonight. the new era starts as soon as the clock ticks to zero, and starting next year, college football will be working with a brand new playoff system. mark morgan is here with more. >> this is a pretty big deal. i know you follow college sports a lot. and every year coaches and fans saying, hey our team should be in here. now this is the 16th and final bcs title game. next season a four-place championship will determine the eventually champion. here is the bcs formula as it stands now. it includes the harris interacttive football poll and the college coach's poll. then those are combined with the aggravate of the team's standings in six computer polls, the result, the bcs title game
participates. so after tonight the bcs is out and a four-team playoff is in. and next year's format is being decided by a 13-person committee that will choose the four teams. a lot of different judges across the spectrum, so yahoo sports graham watson who covers college football every week, has her take now on the new for mat. >> we're ushering in a new era. it will be a little more fair. i think you'll see a lot more teams have an opportunity to play for a championship. so i'm interested to see how the playoff works out and how we organize those top four teams. >> i like the top four format. i think a lot of kids deserve to
experience the bowl experience of having a bowl week, and your team being celebrated by whatever traditional bowl it may be, and getting the gift bags in the -- in the hotel room and all of that stuff, and feeling like you are the only game in town for just one week. >> yeah, i think we'll have a truer champion with four teams. you -- getting more people involved. i think you have a truer champion. so i am a proponent of that. i wouldn't want to see it go any further. i wouldn't want the season to elongate anymore, but i'm very pleased. >> that was former wisconsin head coach, barry alvarez which is also a member of the selection committee. the semifinal games will be rotated between six bowl games, rose, cotton, sugar, orange
chick-fil-a, and fiesta. and the ultimate championship game will be on january 12th, 2015. and that wraps it up in sports. so they are hoping all of the headaches are gone. >> all right. thanks, let's get a final check of the weather. >> john 40 degrees down in birmingham, and in georgia temperatures dropping 25 degrees. we're getting temperatures at 16 in birmingham. and even miami, you are sitting at 70, but it will get a lot cooler >> we'll be back at 11:00 with the latest news. also the headlines in just a few moments. ♪
... >> welcome to al jazeera america. i am john siegenthaler in new york. here are tonight's top stories. it's being called the most dangerous cold weather in decades closing schools, grounding thousands of flights. experts are warning that frostbite could set in almost instantly on unprotected skin. the midwest wind chills are as low as 50 below zero. the white house lashed out at critics who say forces pulled out too soon. jay carney said this latest new wave of violence would have happened whether u.s. forces were in iraq or not. the senate is back to work after a holiday