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News Wrap: Northeast digs out of a third storm in two weeks, breaking records

In our news wrap Monday, New England got walloped with another winter storm. Boston broke a 30-day snowfall record and the governor of Massachusetts said the state was struggling to find places to dump more snow. Also, the Italian coast guard rescued another boat of migrants adrift near Libya in the middle of extreme weather, but dozens died of hypothermia while being transported to shore.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The snow kept piling higher and higher in New England today, as another wallop from winter struck. Boston was expecting up to two new feet of snow, breaking a record, with more than 60 inches already in the past 30 days. Almost all public schools in Massachusetts were closed and arrivals and departures at Logan Airport were limited.

    Governor Charlie Baker said it’s a challenge, figuring out where to put the accumulated effects of three big storms in two weeks.

  • GOV. CHARLIE BAKER, Massachusetts:

    Many places will now have had between 70 and 80 inches of snow having fallen in the past 14 days. On the statewide roads, that’s probably manageable, because they can push it off onto the shoulders. I said yesterday that over the course of the first two storms, state plows had moved enough snow to fill Gillette Stadium 90 times.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    This evening, the Boston area’s transit service announced that it is shutting down all service. And winter storm warnings are in effect for Central New York, the Western Catskills and much of New England through tomorrow morning.

    Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest, another big storm dropped heavy rain on Northern California, Oregon and Washington. Flash flood warnings were in effect today for much of that region.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    There has been another deadly incident involving migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy. At least 29 people died of hypothermia today after the Italian Coast Guard found a life raft, with 105 people on board, off the coast of Libya. They were set adrift by smugglers in 30-foot waves and freezing temperatures.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    President Obama called today for Iran to decide, once and for all, if it will agree to curtail its nuclear operations. A deadline for getting a deal has twice been pushed back.

    At a White House news conference, the president said there’s no reason for further delay.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    My view — and I have presented this to members of Congress — is that we now know enough that the issues are no longer technical. The issues now are, does Iran have the political will and the desire to get a deal done?

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The president acknowledged a very real difference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over negotiating with Iran at all. He also said again he will not meet with the Israeli leader next month, when Netanyahu addresses Congress. Mr. Obama repeated that it is administration policy not to meet with foreign leaders within two weeks before they face an election.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    In Yemen, a United Nations envoy tried today to resume talks between Shiite rebels and other parties, but two of the factions walked out. They said they’d been threatened by the rebels. Last week, the Shiites formally dissolved parliament and took over what had been a pro-American government.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    British banking giant HSBC admitted today to major misdeeds by its Swiss unit, amid new disclosures of how it helped launder drug money and dodge taxes. The claims came from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on leaked documents.

    Siobhan Kennedy of Independent Television News has our report.

  • SIOBHAN KENNEDY, ITN:

    It’s one of the world’s biggest banks, but what secretive business was carried out in the snowy mountains of the Swiss Alps?  Did HSBC knowingly allow its private Swiss arm to help wealthy clients conceal billions of dollars worth of income from the tax man?

    Data released today appears to show just that. These latest allegations cast a further shadow on HSBC, which is already facing multiple prosecutions because of its alleged tax activities around the world. Now new revelations that it deliberately colluded with clients to help them avoid tax, set up bank accounts for known criminals, and aggressively marketed tax avoidance schemes raise yet more questions.

    The man in charge while all this was going on was Stephen Green. A Church of England minister, he’s spent the majority of his working life at the bank. Today’s HSBC revelation covered the period 2005 to 2007, exactly when Stephen Green was in charge.

  • The Conservatives insist that all this happened on Labor’s watch in a period of little or no regulation of the big banks. In a statement, HSBC said:

    “We acknowledge and are accountable for past compliance and control failures. It added that the Swiss bank had not been “fully integrated into HSBC, allowing different cultures and standards to persist. With hindsight, it is clear that too many small and high risk accounts were maintained.”

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    U.S. regulators fined HSBC in 2012 for letting criminals use its branches for money laundering.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Stocks sank again across Europe today after the new leader of Greece vowed to stick by his anti-austerity plans. Alexis Tsipras insisted last night his government will not accept an extension of current bailout terms. German Chancellor Merkel said Greece must have a sustainable plan to pay its debt if it wants to stay in the Eurozone.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Worries about Greece helped weigh down Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 95 points to close near 17700. The Nasdaq fell 18 points on the day and the S&P slid eight points.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The number two official at the Secret Service has been forced out. The agency announced today that Deputy Director Alvin “A.T.” Smith will resign and take another job in the Homeland Security Department. It’s the latest shakeup at the Secret Service after a series of breaches in presidential security.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And the Grammy’s drew just over 25 million people last night, the music awards show’s smallest audience since 2009. Still, it was the most watched awards show of the year. British newcomer Sam Smith won four awards, including for record and song of the year for “Stay With Me.”  Best album went to rock musician Beck for “Morning Phase.”

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