Snowstorm Pounds Northeast; White House Plans for Troop Presence in Middle East; 30 OWS Arrests in Oregon

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Millions of people lost power and at least three deaths were reported as a result of yesterday's snowstorm along the east coast. States in the Northeast were hit the hardest and CNN reports parts of New Jersey were buried in as much as 15.5 inches of snow. Airline cancellations stranded passengers as "all domestic flights out of New Jersey's Newark International Airport were canceled in the late afternoon." The storm was the biggest October snowstorm in the region for years, but "forecasters predict the precipitation will end by late Sunday." [CNN]

The White House is drawing up plans to keep an established military presence in the Middle East, the New York Times reports. The goal is to be able to combat instability in Iraq after the full troop withdrawal later this year as well as to handle any confrontations with Iran. The administration is seeking help from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and they are trying to "foster a new 'security architecture' for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense." [NYT]

Around 30 Occupy Portland protesters were arrested in Oregon early this morning after they refused to leave a park after curfew. The AP reports that "most of the protesters went limp and police carried or dragged them away" and that "there was no violence during the arrests, which took about 90 minutes." [AP]

An Israeli-American law student has returned to New York after being imprisoned in Egypt for four months. Ilan Grapel, a former Israeli solider, was accused of being a spy in Egypt and went through months of interrogation. The Daily News reports "He was let go Thursday after Israeli officials agreed to free 25 Egyptians held in their jails." [NYDN]

It's expected to be clear and sunny--not snowing--today, with a high in the mid-forties. [TWC]



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