The Deep South is in a deep freeze. Snow, sleet and freezing rain have gripped a region more accustomed to sun and surf. As a result, roads are a mess and from South Louisiana to the Carolina coast, classes are cancelled, airplanes are grounded, and businesses and government offices are closed.
NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.
(SOUNDBITE OF SIRENS)
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: In Birmingham, Alabama today, just getting around town is practically impossible.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. President Obama heads to Capitol Hill tonight for his fifth official State of the Union address. After a challenging year, it's a chance for Obama to turn the page and lay out his priorities for 2014 ahead of this fall's midterm elections. We'll bring you full coverage of the speech later tonight. First, a preview of what the president is expected to say.
After losing a lot of ground, stock prices were back up a bit today. Investor anxiety about the state of the world's currency markets seemed to ease. The current turmoil is reminiscent of the 1997 currency crisis in Asia, which hurt economies all over the world.
As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, there are also some big differences.
Two cantaloupe farmers who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a 2011 outbreak of listeria that killed 33 people, were sentenced on Tuesday to five years probation and six months of home detention.
The AP reports:
"A federal magistrate also ordered brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to each pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service. Each read a statement in which they apologized but didn't show any emotion during the hearing.