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New York authorities and meteorologists defended a decision to shut down America's biggest city for a storm that skirted the Big Apple, dumping the worst snow east and north. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city got only a fraction of the two feet (60 centimeters) of snow that had been widely predicted in the 48 hours leading up to the storm. "You plan the best you can and you lean toward safety," said New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, fending off a barrage of questions. De Blasio, who repeatedly warned before the storm struck that it was likely to be one of the worst in the city's history, fended off accusations that he had been needlessly alarmist.
Gunmen stormed a luxury Tripoli hotel popular with diplomats and officials Tuesday in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, killing at least nine people -- including five foreigners -- before blowing themselves up. After setting off a car bomb outside the opulent Corinthia Hotel -- where visiting world leaders have met local dignitaries in the past -- three militants rushed inside and opened fire, Issam al-Naass, a security services spokesman, told AFP. They made it to the 24th floor of the hotel, a major hub of diplomatic and government activity, before being surrounded by security forces and detonating explosive belts they were wearing. The head of Libya's self-declared government, Omar al-Hassi, was inside the hotel at the time but was evacuated safely, Naass said.