Updated Jan 19, 2020

"Sprawling winter storm" sweeps across Midwest toward the Northeast

A cross-country skier in Minneapolis on Jan. 16. Photo: Aaron Lavinskyi/Star Tribune via Getty Images

A "sprawling winter storm" that's creating hazardous travel conditions across the Midwest and Great Lakes region has caused at least one death, and it's set to spread the Northeast on Sunday, the National Weather Service warns.

What's happening: Frigid temperatures were set to sweep east into Sunday and Monday, with the coldest conditions in the Midwest, with heavy snow forecast across the Great Lakes and further north along with blizzard conditions in Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas.

  • Police in Nebraska confirmed Saturday one person died in a weather-related two-vehicle crash near Hershey the previous day.
  • Illinois was shivering through its coldest night so far this winter, with "wind chills already well below zero many areas," the NWS said Saturday evening.
  • Hundreds of flights arriving and departing from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport were cancelled on Friday night for several hours because of the winter weather. And nearly 250 more flights were cancelled Saturday, the airport said.
  • In Missouri, a plane at at the Kansas City International Airport skidded off an icy taxiway, AP reports.
  • A blizzard warning was in effect for parts of east central and southeast South Dakota, northeast Nebraska, northwest and west central Iowa and southwest Minnesota, according to the weather service.
  • A no-travel advisory was in effect for the eastern half of North Dakota, while Interstate 29 from Grand Forks to South Dakota and Interstate 94 from Fargo to Bismarck are closed, the University of North Dakota police said Saturday.

Flashback: A powerful "bomb cyclone" last March has left some of those living in South Dakota's Native American communities struggling to recover 10 months later, AP reports. The storm stranded hundreds of people and left thousands without power.

Go deeper: Deadly storms pummel Midwest and South

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest available weather-related developments.

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RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.

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Hong Kong legislature bans insults to Chinese national anthem

Activists holding a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020, to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes insulting the "March of the Volunteers," the Chinese national anthem, illegal, AP reports.

Why it matters: It did so on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when Chinese troops opened fire on pro-democracy activists in 1989. The death toll has never been released, but estimates vary between hundreds and thousands.