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In brief: Cold snap blamed for deaths, outages throughout U.S.

A late fall cold snap that has gripped much of the country is being blamed for a handful of deaths and has forced people to deal with frigid temperatures, power outages by the thousands and treacherous roads.

Temperatures in Montana and South Dakota were more than 20 degrees below zero during the day Saturday. Wind chill readings as low as 50 below zero were forecast for northwestern Minnesota.

Icy conditions were expected to last through the weekend from Texas to Ohio to Tennessee. Virginia officials warned residents of a major ice storm today.

Four people died of hypothermia in the San Francisco area and about a half-dozen traffic-related deaths were blamed on the weather in several states.

Thousands expected at Walker memorial

Valencia, Calif. – A tribute to “Fast & Furious” actor Paul Walker scheduled for today in Valencia is expected to draw thousands of auto enthusiasts and fans who will participate in a memorial rally and car cruise.

Organizers expect about 6,000 people to attend the rally at the site of the fiery car crash that took the life of Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas.

The two were killed Nov. 30 when a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by Rodas, 38, crashed into a pole and a tree. Walker, 40, was a passenger in the vehicle.


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Early exit polls show strong support to lift Ireland ban on abortion

UPDATED: 3:05 p.m.

Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether to end the country’s strict abortion ban. It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.