Here are the latest headlines from the WNYC newsroom.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said winter storms forecast to hit New York City and upstate New York Thursday night could severely strain the state's snow removal efforts, and he urged commuters to stay off the roads. He said commuters driving into New York City from Long Island and Westchester on Thursday morning, before the worst of the storm, could find themselves stranded by road closures during the evening commute. Forecasts predict blizzard-like conditions, with snowfall of up to 10 inches on Long Island, wind gusts of 40 miles per hour and temperatures falling to around 14 degrees.
New York City's 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio, vowed to make good on his campaign promise to end economic and social inequities. "When I said we would take dead aim at the tale of two cities, I meant it," the progressive Democrat said. He told 5,000 onlookers who watched his ceremonial swearing-in outside City Hall, "Our work begins now."
Prices have risen to more than $500 an ounce for marijuana today in Colorado, on the first day of legal sales of pot for recreational use. People came from all over the country to be among the first to legally purchase it.
The White House called on Congress to make its first legislation of the new year the restoration of unemployment insurance for Americans whose benefits have expired. More than one million Americans lost jobless benefits last week.
The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic died today in an explosion that occurred when he opened an old safe that had been left untouched for more than twenty years. A spokesman for the Palestinian Embassy said Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal, 56, was at home with his family at the time of the explosion.
The hospital that is treating Ariel Sharon said the comatose former Israeli prime minister has taken a turn for the worse. A hospital spokesman refused to elaborate. Sharon, 85, has been in a coma, connected to a respirator, since January 2006, when a stroke incapacitated him.
New York City has recorded its first murders of 2014, just hours into the new year. Police say a 22 year old man in Queens was stabbed in the chest around 1:15 Wednesday morning. Two hours later, in a separate incident, they say a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed in Brooklyn. In 2013, homicides dropped to 333, a new all-time low.