USA

A massive winter storm that caused blizzard conditions from Colorado to the upper Midwest barreled toward the East Coast on Sunday. Roadways had to be closed in several Plains states. Slippery roads in Wisconsin were blamed for seven traffic deaths. Ice-coated power lines left more than 100,000 Iowa customers without electricity. The storm system even affected Mississippi and Louisiana, where tornadoes were reported.

A Pentagon spokesman Saturday described a report that the US is developing a contingency plan to bomb Iran as "simply wrong, misleading, and mischievous." The statement rebutted a New Yorker magazine article that claims the Pentagon has established a special planning group focused on Iran's nuclear facilities and possible arms suppliers to militants in Iraq.

About 90 people representing the White House and all cabinet agencies participated in a security drill Saturday, the latest of four such exercises since December 2005 designed to test the response to various scenarios. This drill simulated a terrorist attack against 10 US cities in which the weapons were improvised explosive devices.

Venus Williams, whose slumping tennis career was hampered by injuries and inactivity, got back on track Saturday by beating top-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel, 6-1, 6-1 to win the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Tenn.

Virginia lawmakers expressed "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery by unanimously passing a measure Saturday in the General Assembly that supporters say sends a strong symbolic message. The resolution was taken up as Virginia begins the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, where the first Africans arrived in 1619.

Univision Communications Inc., the nation's largest Spanish-language broadcaster, agreed to pay a record $24 million fine Saturday for airing insufficient educational children's programming. The Federal Communications Commission requires at least three hours a week of such programs.

After nearly a year embroiled in controversy, Duke University's men's lacrosse team got a fresh start by playing its first game in 11 months on Saturday. The Blue Devils beat Dartmouth, 17-11, on the Durham, N.C., campus before nearly 7,000 spectators, thus lessening some of the sting of a team scandal involving sexual-assault charges against three of last year's players.

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