What we’re watching Thursday
Good morning. Here are some of the top stories we’re watching today:
Creative Commons photo of snowy Des Plaines River in suburban Chicago via flickr user yooperann
Winter storm Hercules is expected to impact more than 100 million residents in the Midwest and Northeast, with at least five inches of snow along the New York — Philadelphia corridor.
BREAKING: A strong explosion has hit a southern suburb of the Lebanese capital.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 2, 2014
AP: A large explosion has rocked a stronghold of the Shiite Hezbollah group in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital.
The nature of the explosion during rush hour in the Haret Hreik neighborhood was not immediately clear, but casualties were feared given the size and the timing of the blast. An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw two bodies on the street, and at least 10 wounded people.
Images broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV showed smoke billowing at the site of the blast, and firefighters putting out several cars that were ablaze. The footage showed at least one building that had its facade blown off, and several neighboring buildings were also damaged.
Lebanon has been hit by a wave of bombings in recent months as the civil war in Syria increasingly spills over into its smaller neighbor.
Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is said to be near death after his liver failed Wednesday evening, according to his doctors. The 85-year-old has been in a vegetative state since January 2006.
A two-state solution is back on the drawing board for Israel and Palestine as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the area Thursday to broker a new round of Mideast talks.
Stay with us.