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News Wrap: March storm roars, grounding flights and closing roads

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    There was no rest for the storm-weary in much of the eastern half of the country today. For millions of Americans, March lived up to its in like-a-lion reputation, as a late winter storm brought heavy snow, followed by frigid cold.

    In the process, the storm fouled travel by land and air. New York's busy La Guardia Airport was closed for several hours after a Delta flight arriving from Atlanta slid off a snowy runway this morning. It crashed through a fence atop a berm, just feet from the icy waters of Flushing Bay.

    The 127 passengers and five crew on board were safely evacuated. Only minor injuries were reported.

    Port Authority officials wouldn't comment on a possible cause. They said an investigation will get under way soon:

    PATRICK FOYE, Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: The NTSB is on the way to La Guardia. We will be cooperating with them closely, as with Delta. The runway, this particular runway had been plowed shortly before the incident, and pilots on other planes reported good braking action.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    All told, the winter blast caused 4,100 flights to be canceled across the country. Airports in Dallas, Washington, New York, and Philadelphia were hit hardest. About 74 million people were under warnings or advisories, from Northern Texas on up to parts of New England.

    The massive storm system also snarled road travel. More than 20 inches of snow were reported in Western Kentucky. Drivers on Interstate 65 south of Louisville were stuck in their vehicles overnight after snow shut down the highway. This motorist was stranded for nearly 12 hours.

  • QUESTION:

    And there's literally hundreds of cars up there along the interstate there?

  • MAN:

    Yes, there's people with children, you know — that's no food, no water.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Greg Fischer is Louisville's mayor.

  • MAYOR GREG FISCHER, Louisville, Kentucky:

    We have no significant wrecks or injuries. I-65 in Hardin County is closed due to 200 semis that are stuck there.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The National Guard has been deployed to the scene to rescue stranded motorists.

    It was a slippery sight in neighboring Tennessee. Icy roads made driving difficult across Nashville. The federal government was closed, as six to eight inches of snow fell around the nation's capital. And the Philadelphia area was also under a snow emergency, with up to eight inches of snow expected.

    Ironically, Boston didn't expect any snow from this storm. The city has already gotten more than 100 inches this winter, and is only two inches shy of an all-time record.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The State Department will review e-mails provided by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She asked last night that the department release 55,000 pages of e-mails she provided. As secretary, Clinton used her private e-mail address exclusively for official business.

    Current Secretary John Kerry said today his aides will review and release the material as quickly as possible.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In Saudi Arabia, Secretary Kerry sought today to ease concerns among Persian Gulf Arab states over the Iran nuclear talks. Kerry met with the Saudi foreign minister in Riyadh. He assured the Saudis and Iran's other Gulf rivals of full U.S. support. And he said Washington is not seeking a — quote — "grand bargain" with Iran.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    More than 2,000 Russian troops have launched a new round of large-scale military exercises in southern Russia, bordering Ukraine. The drills are taking place in Russia's Caucasus districts and at bases in Armenia, breakaway regions of Georgia, and Crimea. That province was annexed by Moscow last year. The war games are expected to last until April 10.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, says he's doing well and will be back at work soon after a knife attack. A Korean man slashed Lippert across the face and arm during a breakfast meeting today. It took 80 stitches to close the cuts and repair damaged tendons and nerves.

    South Korean police say the attacker is a longtime opponent of America's role in Korea and of the latest joint military drills.

    YUN MYUNG-SUNG, Head of Jongno Police Station (through interpreter): The suspect, Kim Ki-Jong, stated that he had committed this crime in order to protest against the military drills that interrupt the South and the North's peacemaking atmosphere.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    North Korea's state-controlled media praised the attack, saying the — quote — "knife slashes of justice" were a deserved punishment.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The last known Ebola patient in Liberia headed home from the hospital today. The first case was reported there a year ago. The resulting epidemic has since killed nearly 10,000 people across West Africa. Liberia hasn't reported any new Ebola cases for 13 days, but it won't be given the all-clear until 42 days have passed. That's double the normal incubation period.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Wall Street edged higher today in advance of tomorrow's February jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 39 points to close above 18100. The Nasdaq rose more than 15 points, and the S&P 500 added two points.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The former archbishop of New York retired Cardinal Edward Egan died today of a heart attack. Egan presided over the archdiocese from 2000 to 2009 and overhauled its finances. He played a prominent role after the 9/11 attacks, but he was also criticized over the alleged shielding of priests accused of child molesting. Cardinal Egan was 82 years old.

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