HARI SREENIVASAN: A federal grand jury in Detroit indicted a Nigerian man today in the failed airliner bombing plot. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day. The charges include attempted murder and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. A White House spokesman said today an initial review of what went wrong will be made public tomorrow.
Two more U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed at least 13 people. Pakistani intelligence officials said today the unmanned planes fired missiles into a militant compound in North Waziristan. The area near the border with Afghanistan is where al-Qaida and the Taliban take sanctuary. The region is also believed to harbor militants behind the bombing that killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan last week.
An arctic cold wave hung on today from the Midwest, to the Northeast, to the Deep South. Forecasters predicted snow and ice tomorrow from South Carolina to Louisiana. Farmers in Florida sprayed a protective coating of ice on millions of dollars worth of strawberry and citrus crops. A citrus growers group said it appeared damage wouldn’t be crippling. The deep freeze is expected to last through the weekend.
The winter blast helped send the price of oil climbing again. It topped $83 a barrel in New York trading for the first time since the fall of 2008. But the stock market was relatively quiet. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than a point to close above 10573. The Nasdaq fell more than seven points to close at 2301.
The mayor of Baltimore agreed to resign today as part of a deal with prosecutors. Sheila Dixon was convicted last month of misusing $500 in gift cards when she was city council president. The cards had been intended for needy families. Dixon’s resignation is effective as of February 4.