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News Wrap: Abnormal cold snap kills dozens in East Asia

In our news wrap Monday, decades-low temperatures have swept across parts of Asia, causing more than 65 deaths and producing the first snow seen by the Chinese city of Guangzhou since 1967. Also, suicide bombers left more than 50 dead in Syria and Cameroon.

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    In the day's other news, deadly cold is sweeping across parts of Asia as well, bringing decades-low temperatures and causing more than 65 deaths. Most of the deaths came in Taiwan, where readings hit a 16-year low of 39 degrees. Temperatures for January in Taiwan usually average in the '60s.

    And in mainland China on Sunday, the city of Guangzhou saw its first snow since 1967. Residents took part in snowball fights and captured the flurries on their phones.

    A pair of suicide bombings in Syria and Cameroon today left more than 50 dead. In Syria, a man driving a fuel tank blew himself up at a checkpoint in the city of Aleppo, killing at least 23. And in Cameroon, four bombers attacked a market and town in the far north region. At least 35 people died there. The Islamist group Boko Haram is suspected in the Cameroon bombing.

    More attacks in the West Bank today. Israeli police say two Palestinians stabbed and wounded two Israeli women in a Jewish settlement. The attackers were shot dead. It's the latest sign that a surge of Palestinian violence has shifted its focus to Jewish settlers.

    The United Nations' health agency is raising new alarm about the Zika virus. It's been linked to brain damage in thousands of infants. And now the World Health Organization says the mosquito-borne virus will likely spread to every country in the Americas. The only exceptions are Canada and Chile.

    In Geneva today, the agency's director said researchers don't have much experience with Zika.

  • DR. MARGARET CHAN, Director-General, World Health:

    The explosive spread of Zika virus to new geographical areas, with little population immunity is another cause for concern, especially given the possible link between infection during pregnancy and babies born with small heads.


    Until now, the disease has been largely confined to Brazil, where there've been nearly 4,000 suspected cases of fetal deformation.

    Back in this country, a Houston grand jury has cleared Planned Parenthood officials of wrongdoing. Instead, the panel today indicted two anti-abortion activists who secretly taped them. The activists are accused of tampering with a governmental record and a separate misdemeanor count.

    A U.S. Supreme Court decision today means some 1,200 prison inmates convicted of murder will get a chance at parole. The court had ruled in 2012 that people given life terms as teenagers should have that opportunity. Today's decision makes the ruling retroactive. Separately, the court upheld a federal program that pays major electricity users to cut usage during peak hours.

    A judge in Detroit has denied a restraining order to stop public school teachers from skipping class in protest. They have staged a number of sick-outs in recent weeks. It's a protest over pay, building conditions and a reform plan.

    And on Wall Street today, slumping oil prices dealt stocks yet another blow. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 208 points to close at 15885. The Nasdaq fell 72 points. And the S&P 500 lost nearly 30.

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