Scores of flights canceled as storm pummels US Midwest

Updated 10 February 2018

Scores of flights canceled as storm pummels US Midwest

CHICAGO: A winter storm brought heavy snowfall to parts of the US Midwest on Friday, causing nearly 1,500 flight cancelations, snarling roads and closing schools.
“Snow will make weather headlines from the greater Chicago metro area to Detroit on Friday, with winter storm warnings in effect,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory.
Schools were closed in both cities and multiple car crashes were reported on icy roads. Flight cancelations built up quickly — especially at Chicago’s O’Hare, one of the nation’s busiest airports.
The Detroit and Chicago metropolitan areas were forecast to receive as much as nine inches (23 centimeters) of snow, with more than one inch per hour falling in Detroit on Friday morning.
Nearly 1,500 flights were canceled at Detroit and Chicago airports — more than half at O’Hare, where seven inches (18 cm) of snow had accumulated by noon.
Airlines warned of more cancelations to come at neighboring airports, and allowed passengers to change flight reservations without fees.
“We are getting more snow today, tomorrow and Sunday than we have normally gotten in the last few winters at any one period of time,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, encouraging residents to stay indoors.
Some outer suburbs of the Chicago metropolitan area had already reached or were near nine inches of snow Friday afternoon.
The Windy City has not seen this much snow at one time since 2011, when a storm dumped about 20 inches of snow so quickly that drivers had to abandon their cars along a major road.
Officials insisted they were prepared this time, with approximately 300 snowplows to prevent a recurrence. Still, the city experienced dozens of car crashes Thursday evening and early Friday.
Forecasters expected the first round of snowfall to last until Friday evening.
The Great Lakes region was expected to see additional snowfall over the weekend, while the current storm was forecast to move eastward to upstate New York and New England regions by Saturday.


HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Updated 10 August 2020

HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

  • Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.
Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.
Police did not immediately comment.
Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.