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Virginia officials defend response to I-95 gridlock; Trump cancels Jan. 6 news conference; plus more top news
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Virginia officials defend response to I-95 gridlock; Trump cancels Jan. 6 news conference; plus more top news

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Today is Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Let's get caught up.

Here are today's top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:

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FIRST, THE WEATHER

Arctic air and heavy snowfall are heading through the Upper Midwest towards the Northeast. Another system bringing snow is on its heels with its sights on the Northeast as well. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has the latest.

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TOP STORIES

APTOPIX Winter Weather Interstate Shutdown

Drivers wait for the traffic to be cleared as cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95 Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. Close to 48 miles of the Interstate was closed due to ice and snow. 

Virginia officials defend response to snowy gridlock on I-95

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A winter storm that started as rain — meaning roads couldn't be pretreated — followed by an unusually heavy snowfall and plunging temperatures resulted in the stranding of hundreds of motorists along a stretch of one of the nation's biggest interstate highways, Virginia officials said, as they defended their response to the gridlock.

There were no reported deaths or injuries from the calamity on Interstate 95, but plenty of outrage from motorists, some of whom were stranded overnight Monday into Tuesday, posting pleas for help on social media.

“We all need to be clear that this was an incredibly unusual event," Gov. Ralph Northam said at a news conference, adding that he could understand drivers' “frustration and fear.” See photos and video from the gridlock:

Keep scrolling for links to full versions of these top stories and more.

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Trump

In this Jan. 6, 2021, photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President in Washington. 

Trump cancels Florida press conference scheduled for Jan. 6

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has canceled a press conference he had planned to hold in Florida on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

Trump said in a statement Tuesday evening that he would instead be discussing his grievances at a rally he has planned in Arizona later this month.

Trump had been expected to use the press conference to rail against the congressional committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters violently stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the peaceful transfer of power, and to repeat his lies about the 2020 election.

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Click on the links below for full version of today's top stories. Keep scrolling for a look back at this day in history and today's celebrity birthdays:

This morning's top headlines: Wednesday, Jan. 5

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials defending their response to a blizzard that stranded hundreds of motorists along a major interstate highway said conditions for the gridlock were caused by a combination of unusually heavy snowfall, plunging temperatures and a rainy start that kept them from pretreating the roads.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Leaders of Chicago Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the latest development in an escalating battle over pandemic safety protocols in the nation's third-largest school district.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden urged concern but not alarm as the United States set records for daily reported COVID-19 cases and his administration struggled to ease concerns about testing shortages, school closures and other disruptions caused by the omicron variant.

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PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron burst into the presidential race with an explosive remark about the country's minority of unvaccinated people — in an apparent effort to win support from mainstream voters but at the risk of widening divisions over the issue.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has canceled a press conference he had planned to hold in Florida on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won't face criminal prosecution over an allegation that he fondled an aide, after a prosecutor said Tuesday he couldn't prove the case.

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Reigning “Jeopardy!” champion Amy Schneider was robbed at gunpoint over New Year’s weekend in Oakland, California.

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pop and R&B entertainer Jason Derulo was involved in a scuffle with two people early Tuesday at a Las Vegas Strip resort, but the singer, dancer and TikTok star was not arrested or given a summons, police said.

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Novak Djokovic will get a chance to defend his Australian Open title after receiving a medical exemption to travel to Melbourne, ending months of uncertainty about his participation because of the strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements in place for the tournament.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

APTOPIX Maine Daily Life

The sun shines over Casco Bay, but does little to warm the frigid air for a walker on the Eastern Promenade, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Portland, Maine. Early morning temperatures were in the single digits Fahrenheit. 

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TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge, and more events that happened on this day in history.

In 1993, Reggie Jackson, who hit 563 homers and played on five championship teams in 21 seasons, is the only player elected to the Baseball Ha…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ...

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