It is Black Friday, and the mad dash to find the best holiday deals has begun. Scenes of shoppers fighting their way into stores is playing out all across the country.
Crowds are lining up – not always politely – for clothes, electronics and more, with everyone looking to get a bang for their buck. That is of course if stores haven't already sold out of the hottest items already. CNN's Zain Asher reports.
With the worst of the severe weather behind us now... one big questions remains unanswered! Will Snoopy and Woodstock fly?
Three-and-a-half million expected guests - many of them tourists - are crossing their fingers and praying to the weather gods right now because the 87th Macy's thanksgiving day parade is set to begin with high winds whipping through Manhattan - sponge bob, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the "big balloon" gang – could be grounded.
It's ugly out there. And it's only getting uglier.
Tuesday has been a mess for much of the East Coast. A massive storm that started in California soaked a huge swath from Florida to New England, with snow and sleet falling in pockets of Pennsylvania and New York, CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons reports the latest.
This system isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, it could cause even more problems and headaches on Wednesday, especially if you are among the thousands at airports waiting and waiting and waiting to fly home for Thanksgiving.
That's because winds are forecast to pick up and sock densely populated places in the Northeast in the next day or so.
For drivers, big gusts mixed with drenching rains can slow things down any day. For air travelers, there is always a big trickle-down effect when places like New York's LaGuardia and Kennedy airports or those in Philadelphia and Boston experience wind delays.
According to flight tracker websites this morning, Roughly 200 flights have been canceled nationwide, with about 120 delays at this hour, reports CNN's Rene Marsh. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)\
A wintery storm system–that's quickly moving East–has killed at least 12 people. Millions of Americans are now in the crosshairs. And it’s threatening to make getting to your Thanksgiving destination very difficult.
Hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend. Even more could be impacted in the next 48 hours.
Tracking the storm, CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons says strong winds in the East will cause air traffic delays Wednesday and even Thursday.
The wicked wintry weather that pummeled the West Coast is now barreling across the country, threatening to ruin millions of holiday travel plans just before Thanksgiving. CNN Meteorologist Indra Petersons has the forecast.
More than 300 flights have already been canceled in the Dallas-Fort Worth area - not exactly a bastion for snow storms. Sleet and freezing rain will keep blanketing parts of the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies on Monday.
"It's going to be so close to freezing, that's when we're anticipating it to be bad," Sgt. Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
And after the storm deluges parts of the South with rain Monday evening, it'll start zeroing in on the Northeast, the National Weather Service said. And that could spell more travel nightmares.
It's not just the bad timing that has travelers riled up. In many of the places, this kind of weather isn't supposed to happen.
"This is not Texas weather, man," driver Ron Taylor told CNN affiliate KTVT. "This is Alaska, or Idaho."
Even parts of Lubbock, known for its warmth and flatness, turned into a snowboarding park as several inches of snow blanketed the western Texas city.
Senate Democrats dropped the filibuster bomb Thursday, and now the question is what kind of fallout will result from the so-called nuclear option.
By a 52-48 vote, the Senate ended the ability of minority Republicans to continue using filibusters to block some of President Barack Obama's judicial and executive nominations, despite the vehement objections of Republicans.
Majority Democrats then quickly acted on the change by ending a filibuster against one of Obama's nominees for a federal appeals court.
“The historic rules change strips Republicans of their power to block the president's executive and judicial nominees, except the Supreme Court.
“Instead of 60 votes to break a filibuster, it’s now 51 votes – a simple majority,” CNN’s Dana Bash reports.
Obama later cited what he called "an unprecedented patter of obstruction in Congress" during his presidency for the move led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal," Obama said of the change. "And for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal."
U.S. Rep. Trey Radel said Wednesday night he will take a leave of absence for an unspecified time and donate his salary.
"I have no excuse for what I have done. I have let down our country," he said at a news conference.
Radel spoke to reporters after returning home to southwest Florida, hours after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine possession.
The 37-year-old first-term Republican from Florida said he will enter an inpatient drug treatment program to get treatment for substance abuse.
He hopes to set an example for those who struggle with addiction, CNN's Alina Machado reports.
The cocaine possession charge came after authorities said he bought a small amount of cocaine in a sting in the nation's capital last month
During the brief news conference, Radel said he "grew up with a mom who struggled with alcoholism."
"I don't want my son to struggle with that," he said.
The plea and sentence were part of a deal that Radel's attorney struck with federal prosecutors. He could have received a maximum sentence of 180 days imprisonment or a $1,000 fine, or both. Instead, he was placed on one year probation, and if it is "successfully completed," his guilty plea will be cleared from his record.
A throng of rescue workers scoured the coastal Florida waters early Wedenesday morning looking for two people missing from an air ambulance crash. CNN's John Zarrella has the latest.
Authorities have already found the bodies of two others in the Atlantic Ocean, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said. The four passengers - two pilots, a doctor and a nurse - had just dropped off a patient at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and was headed back to Mexico, airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.
By early Wednesday, the debris field and search area for survivors had stretched to 20 square miles of the Atlantic, the Coast Guard said.
A distress call from one of the pilots came just moments after takeoff. An air traffic controller asked him to turn left and keep a certain altitude.
"Not possible," the pilot responded.
The pilot asked to turn around. Seconds later, he said: "Mayday, mayday, mayday."
Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney said the bodies of a man and woman were located just off the coast of Fort Lauderdale.
The two medical staff members worked for Air Evac International, said Albert Carson, the company's director of operations. The pilots worked for a chartered company. Carson said it was not immediately clear who was killed and who was still missing.
Rep. Trey Radel is due in D.C. superior court Wednesday, charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession after an October 29 arrest, according to court documents, CNN's Athena Jones reports.
The 37 year-old Florida Republican is serving his first term in Congress after winning office last November.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said Tuesday that the charges come with a maximum 180 day imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine.
“I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," Radel said in a statement released by his office. "I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”
“However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”
Radel is a former journalist and TV news anchor.
"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents."
Now the long, arduous road to recovery begins.
Hundreds of families in the Midwest must find a way to rebuild their lives after 76 reported tornadoes destroyed almost everything they had.
Here are some of those accounts – stories of those who survived, those who didn't, and those left devastated by the twisters.
Amy Tippin and her two boys survived the tornado that tore through New Minden, Illinois, by huddling in a creek bed. When it passed, she rushed next door to look for her grandparents.
She found her grandmother, 78-year-old Frances Hoy, under a pile of rubble.
"She just kept saying, 'Get me out, get me out," Tippin tearfully recalled to CNN affiliate KSDK. "I just was holding her. I told her how much I loved her."
Hoy didn't make it.
Neither did Hoy's brother, 80-year-old Joseph Hoy. His body was found in a field about 100 yards from the decimated home the siblings shared.
"They'd do anything for you," neighbor Bill Funke told the Belleville News-Democrat.
"They were friendly, outgoing and really liked exotic animals," he told the paper.
In addition to the Hoys, the storms claimed the lives of four other people in Illinois and two in Michigan.
In Washington, Illinois, the body of 51-year-old Steve Neubauer was found near his home, Tazewell County officials said.
And three people in Massac County - Kathy George, 58; Robert Harmon, 56; and Scholitta Burrus, 63 - were killed when the storm struck southern Illinois.
In Perry, Michigan, 59-year-old Phillip Smith was found dead, tangled in live power lines. Officials said a 21-year-old man was killed in Jackson County, but didn't release his name.
See more at CNN.com
"Early Start with John Berman and Christine Romans" airs weekdays from 5-6am ET on CNN. Check in regularly for news, show updates and a little bit of fun.