The first widespread snowstorm of the season crawled across the Midwest on Thursday, with whiteout conditions stranding holiday travelers and sending drivers sliding over slick roads ? including into a fatal 25-vehicle pileup in Iowa.
Two Republican congressmen called Thursday for a national travel boycott of Mexico until the country releases imprisoned former Marine Jon Hammar, urging "all Americans" to campaign for the war veteran's freedom by turning off the tap on America's tourism dollars.
Lawmakers were on a collision course Thursday over a pair of Republican-backed House bills aimed at averting tax hikes scheduled to kick in 12 days from now, with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and the White House both vowing to reject them.
A single bell tolled Thursday at the Connecticut funeral of a 6-year-old girl killed by a gunman at her elementary school, while a cardinal in New York compared a slain teacher to Jesus for giving up her life to protect others.