Slatest PM: The Polar Vortex Heads East

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 6 2014 4:52 PM

Slatest PM: The Polar Vortex Heads East

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A woman navigates around several inches of snow and steam as the area deals with record breaking freezing weather January 6, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The Polar Vortex Heads East: Los Angeles Times: “A frigid weather system called the polar vortex gripped much of the Midwest on Monday as temperatures dropped to near-record, subzero lows, canceling school classes, grounding thousands of airline flights and prompting authorities to urge residents to stay home or go to emergency warming shelters…By Tuesday, East Coast temperatures are expected to drop dramatically -- to the teens in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Tuesday's forecast high in New York is 14 degrees, compared with Monday's 55 degrees.”

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The Polar Travel Vortex: USA Today: “Airlines continued to cancel and delay thousands of flights Monday as freezing temperatures spread across the country in the aftermath of last week's winter storm. JetBlue Airways virtually ceased operations to and from Boston, Newark and New York City to deal with the backlog caused by the storm, which took place during one of the busiest travel periods of the year…A total of 3,621 flights had been canceled in the U.S. as of 3 p.m., according to FlightAware.com, which tracks flights. Another 4,392 have been delayed so far.”

It's Monday, January 6th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter @elliothannon and the whole team at @Slatest.

Cold Spell Photo Sparks Reunion: Associated Press: "Nicholas Simmons disappeared from his parents' house in a small upstate New York town on New Year's Day, leaving behind his wallet, cellphone and everything else. Four days later, an Associated Press photographer, looking for a way to illustrate unusually cold weather, snapped his picture as he warmed himself on a steam grate a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Paul and Michelle Simmons saw the AP photograph in USA Today Sunday morning after it was brought to their attention through a Facebook page set up to help find their son, according to police and family friends."

FBI Getting Out of Law Enforcement Business?: Foreign Policy: "The FBI's creeping advance into the world of counterterrorism is nothing new. But quietly and without notice, the agency has finally decided to make it official in one of its organizational fact sheets. Instead of declaring "law enforcement" as its "primary function," as it has for years, the FBI fact sheet now lists "national security" as its chief mission. The changes largely reflect the FBI reforms put in place after September 11, 2001, which some have criticized for de-prioritizing law enforcement activities. Regardless, with the 9/11 attacks more than a decade in the past, the timing of the edits is baffling some FBI-watchers."

Chinese Consulate Fire Arrest: NBC Bay Area: “Five days after the Chinese Consulate was torched by a person seen pouring two buckets of gasoline on the San Francisco building, the FBI announced the arrest of a 39-year-old Daly City man in connection with the blaze…The FBI did not state any possible motive for why [Yan] Feng - a Chinese national but a permanent U.S. resident - would have allegedly set the fire.”

Pricey Super Bowl Ads Don’t Actually Boost Sales: AdAge: “That famous John Wanamaker quote about half of advertising spending being wasted may not apply to the Super Bowl : A study by research firm Communicus suggests 80% of the ads don't sell stuff. Indeed, the $4 million advertisers spend for a 30-second Big Game ad actually buys a much bigger chance that their ads won't work, according to the Tucson, Ariz.-based firm. In general, Communicus has found about 60% of ads it tests don't increase purchase or purchase intent.”

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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