Islamic State released a video on Sunday purporting to show the militant group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya. In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. The video appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State. A caption on the five-minute video read: "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church." Thousands of Egyptians have traveled to neighboring Libya in search of jobs since an uprising at home in 2011, despite advice from their government not to go to one of the most dangerous countries in the region.
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Northeast struggled to dig out on Sunday from another major winter storm that made February the snowiest month in Boston's history, but bitter sub zero cold and huge drifts hampered the effort. Blizzard conditions forced the cancellation of more than 1,600 U.S. airline flights, most of them into and out of airports in Boston and New York, where wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) were predicted. Temperatures are 25 to 30 degrees below normal for the East Coast, exacerbated by strong winds, said meteorologist Bruce Sullivan of the National Weather Service, adding the region was in the grip of "a brutally cold air mass". Massive snowfall from Boston's fourth major snowstorm in two weeks set a record for the city's snowiest month since weather records were kept, the National Weather Service said.
By Jarrett Renshaw TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - U.S. oil refinery managers are going to the mats, literally, during the biggest fight with union workers in 35 years, bedding down for a third strike week that experts and some employees say raises concerns over safety and operations. At the 135,000 barrel-per-day refinery just outside of Toledo, Ohio, run by BP Plc and Husky Energy Inc , most of the nearly 300-person staff have been calling the refinery home since Feb. 9. For the last week, they have slept on recently purchased mattresses inside rental trailers to rapidly respond to any problems and avoid striking workers, sources say. On Tuesday, a van full of washing and drying machines gingerly cut through about a dozen United Steelworkers carrying pickets and walking a strike line at the facility's front gate.
By Anton Zverev and Gleb Garanich DONETSK/ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine's rebels disavowed a new truce on Sunday hours after it took effect, saying it did not apply to the town where most fighting has taken place in recent weeks. Guns fell abruptly silent at midnight across much of eastern Ukraine in line with the ceasefire agreement, but the pro-Russian rebels announced that they would not observe the truce at Debaltseve, where Ukraine army forces have been encircled. "Of course we can open fire (on Debaltseve). It is our territory," Eduard Basurin, a senior rebel commander, told Reuters.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party claims in a contentious new campaign ad that a vote for the left in Israel's March election would benefit jihadists from the Islamic State group. The ad drew fire from the left-wing coalition opposing Likud, the Zionist Union, which accused Netanyahu of "colossal" security failures. The Zionist Union, formed in December as an electoral alliance of Israel's Labour Party and the centre-left Hatnuah, denounced the ad and "the colossal failure of Benjamin Netanyahu in the field of security". Security will be a key issue in Israel's March 17 general election, which was called early after the collapse of Netanyahu's ruling coalition.
By Katherine Locke FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Reuters) - Friends and colleagues of Kayla Mueller, the aid worker who died while a captive of militants of the Islamic State group in Syria, remembered her on Saturday as someone who was trying to give back in gratitude for a life of freedom. "She was in a volatile part of the world because she knew there were things that needed to be addressed there,” said Peggy Sheldon-Scurlock, who met Mueller at the New Day Peace Center in Flagstaff, a non-profit peace organization. President Barack Obama also acknowledged in an interview with the website Buzzfeed that Mueller was among the hostages whom U.S. commandos were sent to rescue but failed to find in an operation he ordered last year. In Flagstaff on Saturday, the Rev. Kathleen Day, head of the United Christian Ministry at Northern Arizona University, said Mueller wanted to help people and she felt a responsibility to maximize the privileges she had as a resident of the United States.
A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers were unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. It said in a statement that it had worked with the Internal Revenue Service to fix the problem. The department said consumers who were affected should log into their account on the HealthCare.gov website and click on their 2015 application to finish it and complete their enrollment for coverage. The department said anyone who was unable to submit an application because their income could not be verified due to this or any other technical problem will receive an extension for enrollment.
A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers are unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. A senior U.S. health official said last week that nearly 7.5 million people had signed up for 2015 Obamacare health plans through the federal exchange, and that demand was increasing as the Feb. 15 deadline approached.