RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):
At least seven suspected drug traffickers and a policeman were killed, after a gunbattle broke out in a Rio slum a day before Carnival. Separately, police found the body of the co-founder of a local non-governmental organisation that tried to help slum residents. His throat was slit. Police say the shutout in the Jacarezinho slum started yesterday while police were on patrol. Jacarezinho is located in northern Rio, far from the tourist areas and Carnival parties. But violence is a constant worry for officials in Rio. Protecting visitors during Carnival is a top priority, especially as the city prepares to host the 2016 Olympics.
Blizzard dumps 3 feet of snow on Washington
The second of back-to-back blizzards that smothered Washington and Philadelphia and eclipsed seasonal snowfall records tapered off yesterday, although government agencies and schools remained closed to contend with the aftermath. Washington struggled after Wednesday's storm in what has already been its most difficult winter in memory.
The area around the United States capital has been virtually paralysed since the first storm last Friday evening, which dumped up to 3 feet (nearly one metre) of snow, shutting down the federal government, making travel perilous and leaving residents scrambling to stock up on groceries.
Paul Kocin, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Washington, DC, said the storm compares to some of the greatest ever, largely because of its timing.
Holyfield accused of beating wife
Evander Holyfield's wife is accusing the boxing great of hitting her several times and has received a temporary protective order against him. Candi Holyfield claims her 47-year-old husband hit her in the face, the back of the head and her back on February 1, at the couple's home in Fayetteville, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Atlanta. Mrs Holyfield claims she was hit when she refused to show him cheque stubs of her payments to the church.
Evander Holyfield did not return several phone calls seeking comment. A publicist for the couple said in an email that the two remained a strong married couple. A judge has ordered Holyfield to stay at least 500 yards (metres) from his wife and their two children. A hearing is set for next Thursday, February 18.