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(Reuters) - A powerful storm that killed at least 21 people in the southern United States over the weekend was expected on Tuesday to bring heavy snow and wind gusts to the Northeast, causing school closings, treacherous driving conditions and power outages. The storm, known as a nor'easter, was forecast to bring snowfalls of up to 9 inches (23 cm) along with icy rains and wind gusts of 40 mph (65 kph) to northern Pennsylvania through central New York and into Maine on Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said. School districts across the region canceled or delayed the start of classes on Tuesday due to the icy road conditions.
HSBC said on Tuesday it plans to close 62 branches and fire more than 180 employees marking the end of its branch restructuring programme in Britain aimed at reducing costs. HSBC said the number of customers using branches for transactions has fallen by about 40 percent over the last five years, while the number of people making digital transactions has increased. "This marks the end of our branch restructuring programme," said Antonio Simoes, chief executive of HSBC in Britain.
By Ben Blanchard and David Brunnstrom BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday it had "irrefutable" sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea after the White House vowed to defend "international territories" in the strategic waterway. White House spokesman Sean Spicer in his comments on Monday signaled a sharp departure from years of cautious U.S. handling of China's assertive pursuit of territorial claims in Asia. "The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," Spicer said when asked if Trump agreed with comments by his secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson.