Two promising U.S. skiers are killed in an avalanche, another wave of frigid weather is about to whack the country, and Congress comes back for the new year.
It’s Tuesday, and here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day.”
U.S. SKIERS KILLED
Rising stars lost: An avalanche in Austria killed two young ski racers Monday. Ronnie Berlack, 20, and Bryce Astle, 19, were freeskiing at an Austrian resort. “Ronnie and Bryce were both outstanding ski racers who were passionate about their sport,” the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association president said. Four other skiers with them were not injured.
Just ridiculous: The frigid weather gripping much of the country is only going to get worse. A second arctic blast will sweep through starting Tuesday, plunging temperatures to below 0 degrees in Chicago. The Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa will endure wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero. And Washington state has its own weather problems: 7 inches of rain in one day triggered a mudslide that knocked three homes off their foundations.
Extreme conditions: Divers searching for victims and wreckage from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 can’t get a break. Monsoon rains, muddy water, high waves and poor visibility are impeding their already dangerous job. And for crews searching for the plane’s black boxes, only three weeks remain before the pinging noise from the boxes fade away.
Wash your hands: You’ll probably see a lot more people sneezing and coughing this week. That’s because the flu keeps spreading across the country. Got the vaccine, you say? Bad news: Experts expect a severe flu season this year because of a mismatch of strains in the flu vaccine.
CONGRESS IS BACK
More elephants in the room: The new Congress convenes today, and for the first time since 2006, Republicans will have control of both the House and Senate. Among their plans for this year: confront President Barack Obama on issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, immigration, health care and national security. Now the big question is, will Obama and Congress be able to get along?