Good evening. Here are the latest headlines from the WNYC newsroom.
Cloudy, with a slight chance of light rain, high 40. Tonight, mostly cloudy, low 30.
President Barack Obama is on vacation in Hawaii with his family, but he took time to sign a bipartisan budget bill. The $63 billion measure ends the cycle of fiscal brinksmanship for now, by preventing another government shutdown for nearly two years.
Utility officials said it could be days longer before power is restored to everyone after a weekend ice storm that cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers from Michigan to Maine and into Canada. Some in the Midwest and Northeast were without electricity and heat for a seventh day.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has seen the biggest drop since November 2012. Applications dropped by 42,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 338,000. But economists said the figures from late November and December are warped by seasonal volatility around the holidays.
Officials in Washington and Baghdad said the United States has sent Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq's air forces, which is using them in an ongoing campaign against the country's branch of al-Qaida. They say 75 Hellfires arrived on Dec. 19 and more will be shipped in the future.
UPS and FedEx apologized for delays in getting packages to customers in time for Christmas, blaming a shortened holiday shopping season and weeks of nasty weather. UPS said it has hired more people at its hub in Lousiville, Kentucky, to help catch up. Neither shipper would say how many packages were delayed, but claim it was a small percentage of its overall Christmas deliveries. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is demanding UPS issue refunds. Online retailer Amazon.com said it's refunding shipping fees and offering some customers a $20 gift certificate.
New York City police say an armed iPhone thief in the Bronx was shot twice and killed. They say the shooting took place early this morning, after a 24-year-old man waved down patrol officers and told them he was robbed in the vestibule of a bank. The NYPD said officers spotted a gun in the suspect's hand as they chased him along Davidson Avenue in University Heights. They said an officer shot the suspect twice in the chest.
Murders in New Jersey's largest city have reached 100 for the first time since 2006. The latest victims were a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old gunned down in Newark on Christmas night. A third young victim is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.