The Wider World

Buffalo digs out from blizzard

THE BLIZZARD that hit Buffalo, New York included record snow and high winds (Shutterstock).

At least 40 people are reported dead in western New York, as the   Buffalo area digs out from the blizzard that brought record snow and freezing winds to northern areas of the U.S, from coast to coast.

According to the Associated Press, a ban on driving of private vehicles was lifted early this morning but residents are cautioned not to drive if the reason isn’t urgent. Major highways and the Buffalo airport have been reopened.

As the area recovers from what appears to be the worst of the blizzard, residents are reflecting on how fierce the storm was, as winds increased from 10 to 70 miles an hour within minutes.

“If you held your hands straight out in front of yourself, you couldn’t see your hand for probably 30 to 36 hours,” a meteorologist told The New York Times.

World population nearing 8 billion

On New Year’s Day, the population is expected to reach 7.9 billion people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a 0.9 percent increase over the previous year.

The population of the U.S. should hit 334.2 million, an increase of 1.5 million. Deaths are projected to exceed live births here by a  slight margin. The rise is expected to come from immigration.

Sports: Soccer “king” Pele dead at 82

PELE (Wikipedia)

The man some people consider the greatest soccer player ever – Pele – has died at the age of 82. He not only led Brazil’s national team to glory on many stages, he helped spur an interest in soccer in the United States joining the NewYork Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.

His appearances filled stadiums in a nation generally blasé about the world’s most popular sport.

Born Edson Arantes do Nacimento in 1940, Pele succumbed to colon cancer today (Thursday).

Weather: Cloudy and then rain

Keep your coats, umbrellas and sweaters handy as the West Orange County area will soon be getting just a fraction of the winter weather the rest of the nation is experiencing. The forecast for Friday is for cloudy skies with a daytime high of 63 and an overnight low of 56. Rain should fall on Saturday, with a daytime high of 62 and a nighttime low of 52. There will be a respite of sun on Sunday with a high of 64 (43), but showers are forecast for the rest of the week through Thursday.

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