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A major winter storm slammed parts of the United States Thursday, as thousands of flights were canceled and government offices shut down in anticipation of more than half a foot of snow in the nation's capital. Snow started to fall in some parts of Washington DC Thursday, where the Office of Personnel Management ordered government employees to stay home. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cautioned.
One of Thomas Edison's little-known ambitions was to build a device to hear the voices of the dead, according to a nearly lost chapter of the inventor's memoirs which is being republished in France this week. Edison (1847-1931) detailed his efforts and they were published posthumously in 1948 as the final chapter of his "Diary and Sundry Observations".
The European Central Bank Thursday held its key interest rates steady, as expected, as investors waited for ECB chief Mario Draghi to reveal more details of the bank's much-anticipated bond purchase programme. At the ECB's regular policy meeting, held in Nicosia, Cyprus this time instead of the usual venue of Frankfurt, the governing council voted to hold the benchmark "refi" refinancing rate at its current record low of 0.05 percent. Under the programme, the ECB plans to buy 60 billion euros ($68 billion) of private and public bonds each month for at least 18 months in a bid to ward off deflation in the euro area. The ECB will also publish its latest updated growth and inflation forecasts for the 19 countries that share the euro.