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General Motors(NEW YORK) — At least 50 deaths have been linked to General Motors’ faulty ignition switches.

Ken Feinberg, the attorney GM hired to pour through death claims from families whose loved ones died in accidents they believe were caused by the problem, updated the total on Monday.

GM intially estimated that at least 13 deaths resulted from its defective ignition switches.

So far, Feinberg has received 3,068 claims — 338 for deaths and 2,730 for injuries.

The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 31.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — At a time when many potential 2016 presidential contenders appear to be starting the ignition of their campaigns, Hillary Clinton has pressed the brake pedal.

Or so it seems.

Clinton’s calendar, which was jam-packed throughout most of last year with paid speeches, award ceremonies, fundraisers, book tour stops, campaign appearances and official Clinton Foundation business, is now virtually empty.

Over the past six weeks, the likely Democratic presidential candidate has made just two public appearances — both on the same day, and both in Canada. She doesn’t have another event scheduled until late next month.

Although Clinton still insists she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run, it is widely believed that she will, and an announcement is expected this spring.

Until then, Clinton appears to be lying low and staying out of the public eye. Meanwhile, much of the focus has turned toward potential Republican candidates like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul. A dozen others tested out their possible stump speeches at a summit in Iowa last weekend.

A Clinton spokesman declined to comment on reasons for her light public schedule. But, according to Democratic strategists and Clinton insiders, this is exactly how it should be.

Here’s why:

Playing It Safe

After a rocky book rollout last summer and a few flubs on the midterm campaign trail, some see Clinton as politically rusty. Keeping out of the spotlight now lowers the chances of making mistakes that could come back to haunt her later.

“Why take the risk?” said one prominent Democrat with ties to Clinton, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly about Clinton’s vulnerabilities. “The more you’re out there — I don’t care how prepared you are or how experienced you are — she’s going to slip up.”

But, the source added, it’s about the optics, too. And her high-dollar speaking fees aren’t a good look for a potential presidential candidate.

The closer Clinton gets to an announcement, “the more she really needs to pay attention to the arguments that she’s going to make about the economy, and other issues. And doing speeches for $250,000 a pop will detract from that,” the source said.

Above the Fray

By lowering her profile, Clinton has avoided what Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile described as “day-to-day, flash and burn politics.”

“There’s no reason Hillary Clinton should be involved in what I call partisan, insular, inside-the-beltway politics,” Brazile explained. “She doesn’t need to be a part of what happens in Obama’s White House and the Republican Congress. Her campaign is not predicated on what budget decision they make now, or what compromise they forge.”

This also gives Clinton the ability to cherry pick when she wants to weigh in. Recently, for instance, Clinton sent out unsolicited tweets criticizing Republicans attempts to roll back financial reform laws in Congress and supporting President Obama following the State of the Union.

Clinton can swing this because she is technically still a private citizen.

Party Timing

At this point in 2007, Clinton had already announced her candidacy, but the playing field was different: There was a Republican president and Democrats were the opposition.

There is no upside, some strategists say, to coming out early when your own party occupies the White House.

“If Clinton were out there right now, they’d say, ‘What is she doing?’” Brazile said. “What advantage does she have in this battle?”

This time around, Republicans have more of a reason to be out there early.

Gearing Up, Getting Ready

Another likely reason Clinton is limiting her public events: To focus on her behind-the-scenes operation.

In recent weeks, Clinton has begun staffing up, hiring longtime strategists and former Obama advisers to be part of her senior leadership team. She’s been digging into her 2007 polling numbers. And, as the Washington Post reported, she has been holding daily strategy meetings in her Chappaqua, New York, home.

“She’s hunkered down, preparing, and making a decision,” said one Clinton insider with knowledge of the situation. “The idea that she’s off the radar, laying low, precludes the fact that she’s working really hard and being very much the Hillary Clinton that everyone knows.”

Because She Can

A break from the public, strategists say, is a luxury Clinton can afford at the moment.

Unlike lesser known candidates, Clinton doesn’t have to make a name for herself. Plus, Clinton has outside groups — like Ready for Hillary and Correct the Record — doing some of the early organizing work for her. This allows her to focus on other things like spending time with her family and preparing for what’s to come.

Because, as one top Clinton donor noted, “The day she announces, she’ll be ready to go” — and squarely in the spotlight.

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Irina Igumnova/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With winter storm watches, warnings and advisories in effect from the mid-Atlantic to New England on Monday, residents from New York City to Boston can expect perhaps 2 feet or more of snow.

The storm, which began as a clipper system that brought snow and slick roads to the Midwest on Sunday, is expected to hit the East Coast hardest Monday evening through Tuesday.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to keep in mind Monday before the worst of the storm hits:

  1. Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning by using power sources appropriately indoors during power outages. (Never use a generator, grill or other gasoline or propane devices inside your home).
  2. Keep an emergency kit in your car, stocked with tools including: extra batteries, windshield scraper, shovel, matches, first aid kit and blankets.
  3. When you’re outside, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air. Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.
  4. Pay attention to emergency messages called Wireless Emergency Alerts that are sent by the government through your mobile carrier.
  5. Remember to bring your pets inside.

Airlines canceled 2,061 flights for Monday as of 7:30 a.m. An additional 1,904 flights had been cancelled for Tuesday and the number is expected to rise, according to FlightAware.com.

President Obama was briefed on the storm and White House officials have been in touch with state and local officials on the eastern seaboard, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest. FEMA also has assets in the region ready to assist, Earnest said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — It’s the end of January and you still haven’t started looking for a new job like you promised yourself. Maybe you need to improve your LGO.

It’s short for “learning goal orientation.”

Daniel Turban and Serge da Motta Veiga from the University of Michigan and Leigh University, respectively, say LGO can mean the difference between moving on in your career or staying stuck where you are.

Job seekers with a high LGO basically learn from their experience at looking for work, not to mention everyday situations. They’re also able to bounce back from failures more quickly than people with low LGO.

What’s more, when someone has a high LGO, they tend to intensify their efforts when things are actually going well and are better able to deal with the stress that job searching sometime produces.

That’s not to say that people who have a low learning goal orientation are out of luck. Turban and da Motta Veiga say they can learn techniques and behaviors to make their job search easier and less stressful.

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NASA(NEW YORK) — A massive asteroid is set to safely pass Earth on Monday.

According to NASA scientists, the asteroid 2004 BL86 is approximately 1,500 feet across and will come closest to Earth at 11:19 a.m. ET. At that time, it will be approximately 745,000 miles away.

“Monday, January 26 will be the closest asteroid 2004 BL86 will get to Earth for at least the next 200 years,” said Don Yeomans, the manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “And while it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more.”

NASA says observers should be able to see the asteroid using small telescopes and strong binoculars.

The asteroid was first discovered on Jan. 30, 2004 by a telescope in White Sands, New Mexico.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. intelligence is focusing its efforts Monday on helping to find and potentially rescue the surviving Japanese ISIS hostage, who in a new video released over the weekend was forced to hold what appeared to be a photograph of his fellow hostage beheaded.

In the new video, journalist Kenji Goto reads a plea for his own life, passing along ISIS’s demand for a prisoner swap rather than the $200 million originally demanded by ISIS.

“They are being fair. They no longer want money, so you don’t have to worry about funding terrorists,” Goto says.

Goto says ISIS wants Japan to pressure the country of Jordan into releasing Sajida al-Rishawi, a female attempted suicide bomber who confessed to her role in a deadly string of al Qaeda bombings in Jordan in 2005. The attacks killed dozens and al-Rishawi was placed on death row.

The new video is substantially different than previous such videos from ISIS — missing some of the group’s trademark high production qualities and the masked man who appears to have a British accent featured in other execution videos.

U.S. officials Monday are pouring over the video to exploit any potential clues.

“We are sparing no expense and sparing no effort, both in trying to make sure that we’re prepared to do anything we must to try and get them home,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told ABC News’ This Week Sunday.

Top U.S. and Japanese treated the new video and the apparent murder of the first Japanese hostage as authentic, with President Obama saying Saturday the U.S. “strongly condemns the brutal murder of Japanese citizen [and ISIS hostage] Haruna Yukawa by the terrorist group ISIL [ISIS].”

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Japan and applaud its commitment to peace and development in a region far from its shores,” Obama said.

Obama called for a release of all remaining hostages, which U.S. officials previously said includes a 26-year-old American woman.

Jordanian King Adbullah has repeatedly refused to free al-Rishawi — whose release has been a demand from other extremists in the past — although he has put her execution on hold. When ISIS first demanded the $200 million ransom for the two Japanese hostages, the Japanese government said it would not give in.

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(ATLANTA, Ga.) — Once the Super Bowl has concluded, the Atlanta Falcons are expected to name Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Quinn, 44, has served as defensive coordinator of the Seahawks defense for the past two seasons after replacing Gus Bradley, who took the head job with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Falcons have already named Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator, though it has been rumored that his hiring is contingent on Quinn being hired.

Raheem Morris, a former player of Quinn at Hofstra in 1990, will likely join the Falcons as defensive coordinator. Morris was previously head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-2011.

Quinn has been in a bit of a tricky situation because of NFL rules. As a member of a coaching staff that is actively in the postseason, Quinn was only available to interview during the Seahawks bye weeks — the wild card round and this week leading up to the Super Bowl. No team was able to hire him until the Seahawks season concluded.

He will replace Mike Smith, who served as Falcons head coach for the past seven seasons.

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NFL Shield (NFL)(GLENDALE, Az.) — The NFL’s annual All-Star competition concluded with Team Irvin defeating Team Carter 32-28.

Under the leadership of Hall of Fame wide receivers, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter, the NFL’s most popular players put on a show for the fans.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took home MVP honors for their respective side of the ball.

“I just tried to enjoy it,” Watt said, who intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in the game. “That’s what the Pro Bowl is all about, giving the fans a good show. Everybody worked so hard to get here, you want to enjoy yourself and play some good ball. Guys are dancing around and having a good time, that’s what it’s all about.”

Stafford, who tossed two touchdowns and threw for 316 yards in the game, said: “It was a blast. To able to play with the best in the world is a whole lot of fun, and everybody is such good people, too. I am out here having a good time.”

This year, the Pro Bowl was held in the host city of the Super Bowl, Glendale, Arizona, taking a one year break from its usual destination of Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Kevin Winter/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Birdman spread its wings at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Birdman
, which entered the ceremony with a leading four nominations, earned the award for ensemble movie cast. It stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

Keaton failed to win the prize for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role. Instead, The Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne was honored for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the drama.

Julianne Moore accepted the award for lead female actor for playing a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice.

Whiplash star J.K. Simmons and Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette received the supporting male actor and female actor awards, respectively.

Moore, Simmons and Arquette are all considered front-runners for next month’s Oscars ceremony. Keaton is looked upon as a strong contender for the Academy’s best actor category, though Redmayne’s win on Sunday night could signal a tight race.

On the TV side, the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black collected a pair of awards, including for comedy ensemble. One of the show’s stars, Uzo Aduba, was handed the trophy for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series.

PBS’ Downton Abbey earned the title of best drama ensemble.

The two-hour ceremony, which aired on TNT and TBS, featured Star Wars star Carrie Fisher presenting her mother, Singin’ in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds, with the 51st SAG Life Achievement Award.

On the SAG Awards red carpet, Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara showed off her engagement ring and confirmed that she is set to wed Joe Manganiello. She told Entertainment Tonight, “I’m so happy,” adding, “I’m excited about the future.”

See a complete list of winners here.

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Kevin Winter/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Birdman spread its wings at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Birdman
, which entered the ceremony with a leading four nominations, earned the award for ensemble movie cast. It stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

Keaton failed to win the prize for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role. Instead, The Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne was honored for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the drama.

Julianne Moore accepted the award for lead female actor for playing a woman with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice.

Whiplash star J.K. Simmons and Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette received the supporting male actor and female actor awards, respectively.

Moore, Simmons and Arquette are all considered front-runners for next month’s Oscars ceremony. Keaton is looked upon as a strong contender for the Academy’s best actor category, though Redmayne’s win on Sunday night could signal a tight race.

On the TV side, the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black collected a pair of awards, including for comedy ensemble. One of the show’s stars, Uzo Aduba, was handed the trophy for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series.

PBS’ Downton Abbey earned the title of best drama ensemble.

The two-hour ceremony, which aired on TNT and TBS, featured Star Wars star Carrie Fisher presenting her mother, Singin’ in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds, with the 51st SAG Life Achievement Award.

On the SAG Awards red carpet, Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara showed off her engagement ring and confirmed that she is set to wed Joe Manganiello. She told Entertainment Tonight, “I’m so happy,” adding, “I’m excited about the future.”

See a complete list of winners here.

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