Thursday morning news: November 28, 2019

Winter storms threaten holiday plans » A powerful winter storm rolled across the Midwest on Wednesday, threatening to scramble Thanksgiving plans for millions of travelers. 

The storm forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights. It also shut down major roads in Colorado. Most of those roads have reopened. But Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tamara Rollison says more winter weather is on the way. 

ROLLISON: We are expecting some more snow in the state toward the latter part of the week in the southeast and the southwestern part of Colorado, and so we certainly urge people to be watchful of the weather. 

A winter front dropped close to a foot of snow in some parts of the Rust Belt even as the system weakened and pushed toward New York and Pennsylvania.

And with the winds blowing into the Big Apple, officials may be forced to ground the iconic floats during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

But Chief Terence Monahan of the NYPD said there’s plenty of other entertainment. And besides, the same fears were raised right before last Thanksgiving… 

MONAHAN: And there were no issues whatsoever with the balloons, so come out and enjoy this parade. It’s going to be a great day. 

Another weather system, a so-called “bomb cyclone,” is still battering the West Coast. Drivers on Interstate 5 near the Oregon-California border spent 17 hours or more in stopped traffic as blizzard conditions whirled outside. Some slept in their vehicles.

Iran reports widespread damage amid uprising » Iran’s interior minister reported this week that protesters destroyed more than 700 banks, 70 gas stations, and 50 police stations in a recent uprising. 

Protesters took to the streets two weeks ago, after officials announced a 50 percent increase in gas prices.

Amnesty International late on Monday said at least 143 people died in the clashes. And the government reportedly arrested thousands. 

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed the United States. 

KHAMENEI: [Farsi] 

He said the American government participated in the “conspiracy” to damage Iran, but the “move was destroyed by the people.”

Trump admin push to designate Mexican cartels terror groups » President Trump said the United States may soon designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups.

In an interview, media host Bill O’Reilly asked the president if he would designate cartels as terror groups and “start hitting them with drones.” Trump responded that he has “been working on that for the last 90 days.” He added that—quote—“designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”

Trump said has informed the president of Mexico. 

TRUMP: I’ve actually offered him to let us go in and clean it out, and he so far has rejected the offer. But at some point something has to be done. 

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he’s concerned that a terror designation could lead to the U.S. military moving against cartels in Mexico unilaterally. He said Mexico cannot accept violations of its sovereignty. 

If a group is designated as a terror organization, its members are banned from entering the United States. And any financial institutions that have funds connected to the group are required to block the money and alert the U.S. Treasury. The terror designation would also mean stiffer sentences for people who provide weapons to the cartels. 

Massachusetts bans sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products » Massachusetts is the first state to permanently ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. That after Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed new restrictions into law. 

BAKER: Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the federal government is not going to act decisively. So we’re going to do whatever we can with state level authority that remains to us. 

For months, the Trump administration pushed toward a national ban on most flavored e-cigarettes. But in recent weeks, President Trump has backtracked on the plan, saying he will meet with the vaping industry and medical professionals to find a solution. 

The new law bans the sale of flavored vaping products immediately. It also outlaws the sale of menthol cigarettes starting in June. 

Amid an increase of vaping related illnesses and teen vaping on the rise—some states have temporarily banned or restricted flavored tobacco or vaping products to different degrees. But Massachusetts is the first state with a permanent ban in place. 

Nacogdoches beats top-ranked Duke in stunning NCAA basketball upset » An unranked Texas college basketball team this week pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever. Stephen F. Austin University defeated the No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils in dramatic fashion.

With the score tied at 83, just ahead of the 4th quarter buzzer, Lumberjacks forward Nathan Bain broke away from Blue Devil defenders. And with a fraction of a second left, he kissed the ball off the glass as time expired.  

AUDIO: Bain … YES! The Lumberjacks have done it! 

Bain is a fifth-year senior who grew up in Freeport, Bahamas. In September, Hurricane Dorian damaged his family’s home and nearly destroyed the church where his father serves as pastor. In an interview after the game, he said he just wanted to make his country proud. 

BAIN: I’m trying real hard not to get emotional. You know, my family lost a whole lot this year—now I go crying on TV—my family lost a whole lot this year, and I’m just playing this game for them, you know. 

Duke’s stunning defeat snapped its almost 20-year winning streak against non-conference opponents at home.

(Rich Hein/Chicago Sun-Times via AP) A commuter waits for a bus outside Union Station on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Chicago. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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