Frigid Temperatures Blanket Most of US
Bitter cold weather has blanketed the Central and Eastern United States and it will stay in place for days into the new year.
Forecasters are warning people to be on alert for hypothermia and frostbite as the temperatures plunge below freezing. The National Weather Service reports that International Falls, Minnesota, plunged to minus 37 degrees Celsius, breaking the record of minus 32 degrees Celsius set in 1924.
Residents of Erie, Pennsylvania, on Thursday continued to dig out of the one-and-a-half meters of snow that fell earlier this week. Forecasters are predicting another 25 centimeters of snow to arrive soon.
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned residents and visitors to take precautions against the "dangerously cold weather" as millions prepare to pack into Times Square to see the crystal ball drop as they count down to the new year.
Temperatures on New Year’s Eve are expected to be close to 10 degrees below normal in the Midwest and from Northeastern states all the way south to the Carolinas. This includes large cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Washington and Atlanta.
As Americans cope with the frigid end to 2017, the Number One trending topic on Twitter Thursday was #ItsSoCold.
Facebook Blocks Chechen Leader Kadyrov's Social-media Accounts Due to US Sanctions
Facebook says it has blocked the social-media accounts of Ramzan Kadyrov because the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader had become subject to financial and travel sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.
The company said in a statement Thursday it had the "legal obligation" to disable Kadyrov’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram, which it also owns, after the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on December 20 hit the Chechen leader with sanctions.
It was not immediately clear if the social-media network was in the process of disabling accounts of others on the sanction lists.
Facebook declined requests from RFE/RL for further information.