Fitz File: Thursday, Feb. 13 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fitz File: Thursday, Feb. 13

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Today is Thursday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2014. There are 321 days left in the year.

WASHINGTON SNOWED IN - The "winter of our discontent" isn't through with us. After pounding big parts of the South, snowstorm dumped more than a foot of snow in Washington as it heads Northeast and increasing the likelihood of more power outages, traffic problems and lots of closures for millions of residents. Some streets are ghost towns during the normally busy Washington commute. Many are listening to warnings to stay off the roads, as Southerners did a day earlier. Cars are covered in white, with more snow coming down. Federal offices and the Reagan National & Dulles airports are closed.

OBAMACARE SIGNUPS - After a slow start it appears the signups for Obamacare. are picking up steam. January marked the first time since new health insurance markets opened in October that a national monthly enrollment target was met.The White House says about 1 million people signed up for private insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law in January, extending a turnaround from early days when a glitchy website frustrated consumers. An Associated Press analysis found that most states are still lagging when it comes to sign-ups under the health care law, and their success in getting those sign-ups could help determine if the White House reaches its unofficial goal of having 7 million signed up by the end of March. Nearly 3.3 million people signed up from Oct. 1 through Feb. 1.

VETERAN BENEFITS RESTORED - Good news if your a military retiree. Congress voted yesterday to restore full cost-of-living pension increases for younger military retirees, completing a bipartisan capitulation to veterans groups that rose up against a modest cut when it was enacted less than two months ago. The Senate voted 95-3 for the measure, one day after the House approved it, 326-90. The White House said President Obama would sign it. The overwhelming support the bill enjoyed, including backing by many deficit hawks, showed the clout that veterans groups enjoy, particularly in an election year.

DANGEROUS DETAINEES RELEASED - The Afghan government released 65 prisoners from the former Bagram prison Today the U.S. military said were linked directly to U.S. and allied troops. Officials said the release could jeopardize U.S. aid to Afghanistan and worsen already fragile relations between Washington and Kabul. U.S. officials had urged Kabul not to release suspected insurgent detainees, saying they likely would rejoin Taliban operations. The 65 prisoners are from a group of 88 detainees the Afghan government had decided to release. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf, said the 65 detainees are "dangerous" and pose threats to the safety and security of the Afghan people and the Afghan state.

Today's Weather:

@fox5weather: Latest look at forecasted snow totals has 7"-14" in DC, over 15" in the higher elevations out west. http://t.co/FKVVUDj5t9

Today's History:

In 1861, Abraham Lincoln was officially declared winner of the 1860 presidential election as electors cast their ballots.

In 1935, a jury in Flemington, N.J., found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-slaying of the son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. (Hauptmann was later executed.)

In 1980, the 13th Winter Olympics opened in Lake Placid, N.Y. which saw the United States Mens Hockey Team "Miracle on Ice" Gold Medal run.

Today's Quote:

"When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter" - Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day"

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