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News Wrap: NYC Plows Ahead in Snow Cleanup

December 30, 2010 at 4:10 PM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The snow plows kept going in New York City today, four days after last weekend’s blizzard. Officials said crews have plowed every street at least once, and they’re trying to get down to the asphalt streets.

Some blocks were still impassable because of abandoned cars.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg today called the city’s response to the storm

inadequate and unacceptable. He’s been heavily criticized, but he promised to get answers after the cleanup.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), mayor of New York: You can get angry, or you can focus on making sure that we, number one, keep our work force out there and trying to solve problem of today, number-one priority, and to do it safely.

Number two, we can then go and have an investigation to learn, so that we can do it better.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, new storms in the West dumped heavy rain

and snow on Arizona, California, Nevada, and Washington State. The ski area near Lake Tahoe, California, had wind gusts of 100 miles an hour and 20 inches of fresh snow. And snow and ice forced several major highways to shut down.

Thousands of people in Northern Ireland were warned today the water may

not get turned back on for several days yet. The main utility, Northern Ireland Water, struggled for a ninth day to repair pipes that burst in last week’s cold.

We have a report from Lewis Vaughan Jones of Independent Television

News.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: This is what counts as bath time in Belfast. Evie (ph) is 3. She’s had a vomiting and diarrhea bug for days, all without running water in the house.

WOMAN: She’s been sick. So, trying to wash her bed clothes, her

pajamas, her, it’s been a complete nightmare.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: This is how so many families across Northern

Ireland are now living. And the morning routine starts here, collecting water, and even washing at the local leisure center.

WOMAN: And you have to try and get water to flush the toilet. And then you have to make sure that you don’t mix the drinking water with the sort of dirty water to flush the toilet. So it’s been terrible.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: And then you have to come here to shower?

WOMAN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

WOMAN: I have to come here and shower.

LEWIS VAUGHAN JONES: So people here are still coming to places like

this to collect their water. The only difference is this water is now from Scotland, the donation from the government there. Ministers here are now trying to work out what they should be doing.

This evening, the number of homes without water doubled to nearly

60,000. And, as the leaks continue, some people won’t have running water again until next week.

HARI SREENIVASAN: In Afghanistan, a roadside bomb blew up a minibus in

the south, killing at least 14 people.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported U.S. officials have raised

concerns that Pakistan is holding thousands of Taliban suspects and political separatists without charges. The account said the State Department is urging the Pakistanis to address human rights abuses.

The former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced to six

more years in prison today on charges of stealing from his own company. A Moscow judge read the verdict as Khodorkovsky stood confined in a glass and steel cage. Supporters said he was targeted for opposing Vladimir Putin, Russia’s current prime minister and former president.

The U.S. condemned the outcome as — quote — “an abusive use of the

legal system.”

Those are some of the day’s major stories.