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In our news wrap Thursday, the world experienced its hottest month of October since recording began -- the fifth month this year to set new highs. Also, as State Secretary John Kerry arrives in Vienna for a new round of Iran talks, the head of the U.N. Nuclear Agency reported that Iran has failed again to explain suspected research into nuclear bomb-making.
In other news today: There was no rest for the snow weary around Buffalo, New York. as another two feet of snow fell on a region already buried under five to six feet. Roofs strained under the weight, and some caved in. Scores of streets and major highways were still closed, and a fleet of plows, loaders and dump trucks worked to clear them.
Governor Andrew Cuomo appealed to people to stay home, and let the work crews do their job.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) New York: This is, I believe, the largest deployment of its kind ever, literally, thousands of people from across the state coming into help and hundreds of pieces of equipment. We're in a much better position than we were yesterday, but we're still not home and there are more chapters in this story before its done.
At least 10 deaths are now blamed on the storm.
Cold gripped much of the U.S. this week, but it turns out last month, only last month, the world experienced its hottest October ever. The average temperature topped 58 degrees, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's the fifth month this year to set a new high. At this rate, 2014 is likely to be the warmest year since record-keeping began.
Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Vienna today for the latest round of talks on curbing Iran's nuclear program. Iran and six world powers face a Monday deadline, but Kerry said he's optimistic about reaching a deal, despite little outward sign of progress. As he left Paris, he brushed aside talk of extending the deadline into March.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: We are not discussing extension. We are negotiating to try to get an agreement. And it's that simple. And, look, you know, if you get to the final hour and you're in need of having to look at alternatives or something, we will look at them. I'm not telling you we're not going to look at something, but we're not looking at them, not now.
Separately, the head of the United Nations nuclear agency reported that Iran has again failed to explain suspected research into nuclear bomb-making. The Tehran government has long denied that it's trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Israeli authorities moved today to demolish more homes after a spate of Palestinian attacks. The latest targets belong to families of the two cousins who attacked a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, killing five people. The families of two Palestinians involved in other recent violence were notified that their homes will be destroyed as well.
Back in this country, the University of California Board of Regents has voted to hike tuition by up to 5 percent a year for five years. The regents approved the plan today for the entire 10-campus system. They said the increases could be eliminated if the state approves more funding. Tuition had been frozen for three years, and Governor Jerry Brown and many students opposed the increase.
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is first out of the blocks in the 2016 presidential race. He announced last night that he's formed an exploratory committee on running for the Democratic nomination. No one else in either major party has taken that official first step. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, though unannounced, is widely considered the Democratic front-runner.
On Wall Street today, encouraging news on housing and corporate earnings helped push stocks higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 33 points to close at 17,719; the Nasdaq rose 26 points to close near 4,702; and the S&P 500 added four to finish at 2,052.
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