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Aaron Durand (@everydaydude) for Twitter, Inc.(NEW YORK) — Shares of Twitter are trading lower Thursday after the social media platform reported a net loss and flat user growth in the U.S. in its latest quarterly report.

The company said it experienced a net loss of $167 million in its fourth quarter, while revenue increased just 1 percent — to $717 million — from the same time period last year.

Furthermore, Twitter said its monthly active users in the U.S. remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 67 million. This, despite the company noting that viewership of live streams grew on the platform during this past election season.

Internationally, Twitter said its monthly active users grew from 250 million in the previous quarter to 252 million.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Frigid temperatures and sheets of snow have snarled travel throughout the Northeast region.

Nearly 3,000 U.S. flights have been cancelled and at least 422 have been delayed. On Wednesday, close to 500 flights were cancelled and 2,330 were delayed.

LaGuardia Airport in New York has had 352 cancellations so far, followed closely by Newark Liberty International Airport (344) and Boston Logan International Airport (341).

At least 11 airlines had issued travel waivers for travel to or from more than a dozen airports along the East Coast as of Thursday morning. JetBlue has cancelled 60 percent of its flights Thursday.

Drivers in New York City and Philadelphia have been urged to avoid unnecessary travel due to inclement conditions.

ABC News meteorologists predict that 50 million Americans are in the path of the winter storm. Temperatures in the Northeast, which have been unseasonably high, plummeted overnight into Thursday morning.

Blizzard warnings were in effect for eastern Long Island and eastern Massachusetts. Winter storm warnings were issued for Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and Portland, Maine. ABC News meteorologists forecast that NYC will be hit with a foot of snow. Boston could be slammed with 15 inches of snow and Philadelphia up to 6 inches. The storm is expected to clear out by Friday morning.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims declined last week, with 12,000 less initial claims filed, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Feb. 4, the number of people filing for benefits fell from an unrevised level of 246,000 the previous week to 234,000.

The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting that week’s figures.

The four-week moving average, however, decreased by 3,750 to 244,250. It’s fallen to the lowest level for the average since Nov. 3, 1973, the Labor Department says.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PARIS) — Five people were injured Thursday following an explosion at a nuclear power plant in France, local authorities confirmed to ABC News.

The blast resulted from a fire that “broke out in the turbine hall on the non-nuclear part of unit 1 at the Flamanville nuclear power plant,” EDF, the company that owns the plant, said in a statement.

The fire has since been extinguished, and EDF said there was no radiation risk or leak.

“There were no consequences for safety at the plant or for environmental safety,” the company stated.

As a precaution, it disconnected one of the reactors at the plant from the grid.

The five employees who were injured were treated for smoke inhalation.

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Kara-Murza Family(MOSCOW) — The Putin critic, Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has been in a coma for a week after apparently being poisoned, has regained consciousness and is now awake, his wife has told ABC News.

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been in a hospital in critical condition since last Thursday when he abruptly fell ill, poisoned, doctors say, by an unknown substance.

The 35-year-old has been on life-support since then and was placed into an artificial coma after his major organs failed within a matter of hours.

Unable to identify what was causing the poisoning, doctors have been racing to clean his system, putting him on hemodialysis.

On Wednesday night though, his wife, Evgenia, told ABC News that he was “doing better” and was now conscious.

“He’s awake but confused. He doesn’t remember everything,” Evgenia Kara-Murza wrote in text messages on Wednesday.

“He’s doing better but there are still risks and complications of course,” she added, saying his heart and kidneys were also doing better. The improvement is good news, though he is not yet out of danger.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is a well-known opposition activist, an organizer for Open Russia, the political organization founded by the exiled oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and also works with Russia’s main anti-Putin parties.

This is the second time that Vladimir Kara-Murza has apparently been poisoned in two years.

The last time, where he suffered similar symptoms, he was left with nerve damage forcing him to walk with a cane. After that incident Vladimir Kara-Murza told various American and Russian news media that he believed he had been targeted because of his work but did not know who was responsible.

Then as now, the substance with which he is believed to have been poisoned has remained a mystery. Lab tests could not detect it, though a French laboratory did pick up traces of heavy metals in his blood. Evgenia Kara-Murza says samples of his hair and nails have again been taken for tests.

She says she believes the poisoning this time must again be connected with her husband’s activism but that she cannot say who would try to kill him.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is active in many circles of the opposition.

He was a close friend and collaborator of the murdered opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in front of the Kremlin in 2015.

In recent years, Kara-Murza has appeared repeatedly before the U.S. Congress to call for it to impose sanctions on Russian human rights abusers.

The case has drawn parallels with the poisoning of another Putin critic in 2006. Aleksander Litvinenko, a former agent from Russia’s FSB intelligence service, died after being tricked into drinking a radioactive metal, slipped into his tea by two former KGB officers in London.

A British government-ordered inquiry found Putin must have almost certainly ordered the killing.

Vladimir Kara-Murza’s poisoning has attracted attention in the U.S., where senators from both sides of the aisle have said it illustrates why they ought to be alarmed by President Donald Trump’s overtures to Putin.

In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Trump replied to O’Reilly’s criticism of Putin as “a killer” by saying, “we have a lot of killers too. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

On Tuesday Sen. John McCain took to the house floor to condemn Vladimir Kara-Murza’s poisoning and implicitly President Trump’s comments.

“Vladimir knew there was no moral equivalence between the United States and Putin’s Russia,” McCain said of Vladimir Kara-Murza. “And anyone who would make such a suggestion maligns the character of our great nation and does a disservice to all those whose blood is on Putin’s hands.”

McCain also praised Vladimir Kara-Murza as one of the most effective advocates for the Magnitsky Act, sanctions legislation that punishes Russian officials involved in the killing of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who uncovered a massive tax fraud scheme in 2009.

Vladimir Kara-Murza appeared repeatedly before Congress to persuade it to adopt the Act, and a later one in 2015 that broadened the sanctions to include any Russian official committing rights abuses.

Russia has sought to punish others involved in the campaign to pass the Act, which bars offenders from travelling to or holding property in the U.S..

There is no indication yet on whether Vladimir Kara-Murza’s poisoning is connected to his work around Magnitsky. His wife notes there are many people in Russia who would be interested in silencing him.

Evgenia Kara-Murza, who lives in Virginia with the couple’s three young children, told ABC News that she believed her husband’s case and the harassment of other Putin critics should deter President Trump from pursuing friendlier relations with the Kremlin.

“He must know people such as Putin are not friends,” she said in an interview. “They cannot be treated on friendly terms. And the United States needs to stand up for its principles.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to meet with President Donald Trump Friday, becoming the second world leader to meet with Trump at the White House since his inauguration.

Following meetings in Washington that will likely focus on defense and economic cooperation, Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, will fly to Trump’s “Winter White House,” the exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, for weekend golfing. Abe gifted Trump a high-end golf driver when the pair met at Trump Tower in New York last November.

Japan, one of the closest U.S. allies, has already become a focal point for the new administration.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited South Korea and Japan on his first official foreign trip in his new post, highlighting the Pacific region’s importance to US security interests. Mattis reaffirmed to Abe the U.S. commitment to the mutual defense treaty with Japan, especially in the wake of North Korea aggression, according to a Pentagon statement on their meeting.

In addition to defense cooperation, one of the most important topics of conversation between Trump and Abe will undoubtedly be some sort of bilateral trade agreement.

In his first days in office, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), much to Japan’s dismay. Abe has said he will appeal that decision to the new administration, but he also signaled openness toward constructing a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement or an economic partnership agreement.

According to a White House statement on the Jan. 28 call between Trump and Abe, the pair is “committed to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship.”

News of America’s withdrawal from the TPP drew concern from partners in the region who had seen the trade pact as a check on China’s economic and geopolitical influence. Without U.S. participation in the deal, China is free to work its own trade pacts or push an alternative regional treaty that does not include the U.S.

In crafting a trade deal between the U.S. and Japan, expect vehicle sales to be a key issue.

Trump complained on Jan. 23 that Japan does “things to us that make it impossible to sell cars in Japan, and yet, they sell cars (in the U.S.) and they come in like by the hundreds of thousands on the biggest ships I’ve ever seen.”

According to Bloomberg, Japan exported 1.6 million vehicles to the U.S. in 2015, while the U.S. sold less than 19,000 to Japan, helping to account for the fact that the country has the fourth-largest trade surplus with the U.S.

Japan’s trade minister Hiroshinge Seko responded to Trump, saying that Japan does not apply tariffs to U.S. cars and he wants to “explain this to the US side.”

Instead of tariffs, some attribute the severe trade imbalance to a perception by Japanese consumers that U.S. vehicles have poor quality.

“I wouldn’t mind driving American cars if they didn’t need maintenance for a year,” said Kunihiko Miyake, a former diplomat who is now visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, told Bloomberg. “Cost-performance-wise, American cars are not good. That’s why I don’t buy them, not because of the nontariff barriers.”

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sldesign78/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are set to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, first aboard Air Force One and then at the president’s south
Florida retreat.

The visit marks the first time the president has hosted a foreign leader at his resort while in office.

After ethical questions arose about how the Japanese leader’s visit will be funded, a White House spokesperson tells ABC News that Abe and his wife will stay at the exclusive golf resort “as a
personal gift.” Membership at Mar-a-Lago can cost up to $200,000.

Trump’s connections to his business empire have raised questions about potential conflicts of interest as well as potential violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits
benefiting from foreign leaders.

Trump has signed documents stepping down from leadership positions in his companies, and turned control over to his sons.

The two world leaders plan to golf together, although the White House would not confirm whether or not President Trump would use the $3,800 golf club previously given to him by Abe back in November
following his election victory.

According the White House, the Japanese Prime Minister’s staff will not stay at Mar-a-Lago, as that would involve possible ethical violations.

“The [government] is covering the costs of the delegation to stay off property, as is customary,” a White House spokesperson says.

Presidents have hosted world leaders at their homes or private residences in previous administrations, but they stayed as guests of the president.

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3drenderings/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Americans weigh more than they used to, but most test crash dummies don’t.

At 195 pounds, the average man is 21 pounds heavier than he was 40 years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average woman, at 166 pounds, has gained 20 pounds over the same period.

The crash test dummies in use today, however, have roughly the same proportions as they did in the 1970s, when they were first introduced.

“The dummies over the course of decades have not changed at all – but the overall population has,” explained Stewart Wang, a professor of surgery at the University of Michigan.

“The vast majority of people that we see in most trauma centers come from motor vehicle crashes. And what we’re seeing is, it’s the people who don’t look like the perfect, standardized person,” Wang told ABC News. “These are the more vulnerable people that are getting hurt at a higher rate.”

Different body types fare differently in crashes. For example, obesity increases the risk of “submarining,” or sliding under the seat belt restraint.

So dummy manufacturer Humanetics is developing overweight and “elderly” dummies that reflect a broader range of physiques.

“We’re getting older, we’re getting heavier, you know, so the dummies have to evolve as we evolve,” Jim Davis, Humanetics’ vice president of engineering, told ABC News. “As our bodies change, we have to structure the dummies to mimic that change in order to let the car manufacturers manufacture safer systems.”

A spokesperson from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety told ABC News: “These dummies could help engineers design different restraint systems, belts and airbags, that minimize injuries to obese people or the elderly.”

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morpheas/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just in time for Black History Month, BedAndBreakfast.com has published a list of bed and breakfasts that feature traces of the Underground Railroad. These are the perfect destination for history buffs or anyone who wants to immerse themselves in this important piece of America’s past.

1830 Hallauer House Bed & Breakfast – Oberlin, Ohio

Evidence suggests that the Civil War-era residents of this home, Samuel Wightman and his family, helped slaves travel through Ohio. According to BedAndBreakfast.com, the home has a thick-walled secret room with a concealed opening.

1852 Hall Place Bed & Breakfast – Glasgow, Kentucky

The original owner of this inn, Judge Christopher Tompkins, still has ties to the home. His descendant, Karin Baldwin-Carroll, is now the innkeeper, according to BedAndBreakfast.com. The site says that Tompkins was a teacher for Abraham Lincoln and supported the Underground Railroad. The home sits above a now-closed cave that was linked to underground passages allowing safe travel for slaves.

Ashley Manor on Cape Cod – Barnstable, Massachusetts

This more than 300-year-old inn features a secret passageway behind a bookcase, connecting different floors of the house, BedAndBreakfast.com says. The passage is thought to have been not only a hideout for slaves traveling along the Railroad, but also a spot to hide during the Revolutionary War.

The Fairfield Inn – Fairfield, Pennsylvania

According to BedAndBreakfast.com, this inn helped slaves remain safe along the Underground Railroad and also functioned as a battlefield hospital during the Civil War. The building’s walls have openings and trap doors slaves would use to climb to the third floor. A window has even been cut into the wall so that current guests can take a peek at where slaves hid, the site says.

The Great Valley House of Valley Forge – Malvern, Pennsylvania

Built in 1690, the Great Valley House has a tunnel that was originally meant to store food, and that evolved into an escape route in case of British attack during the Revolutionary War. It adapted once more to house runaway slaves in the 1850s, according to the website. The route remains marked by two green doors that were used as its entrance.

Munro House Bed & Breakfast and Spa – Jonesville, Michigan

More than 400 runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad are thought to have hidden in this home while en route to Canada, according to BedAndBreakfast.com. The bed and breakfast continues to recognize its history by offering Underground Railroad tours to school groups and families.

Six Acres Bed & Breakfast – Cincinnati, Ohio

The former home of Zebulon Strong, an abolitionist who was active in the Underground Railroad, is where Strong would bring runaway slaves in his wagon after picking them up along the creek, the site says. His home acted as a safe haven for slaves to rest before he took them to the next stop along the route to Canada.

Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast, Nebraska City, Nebraska

Whispering Pines allows guests to be just a short walk away from the Mayhew Cabin, which BedAndBreakfast.com says is currently Nebraska’s only recognized National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. It acted as a stop along the Underground Railroad for slaves escaping to Canada.

Williams House Bed & Breakfast – Amelia Island, Florida

This Southern mansion has a trap door in the dining room closet, BedAndBreakfast.com says, which leads to a secret room where slaves would hide. Previous owner Marcelus A. Williams released his slaves before the Civil War started and offered the secret room as a safe spot for runaways.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — United Airlines experienced what it called “small flight delays” Wednesday related to a computer problem.

According to a United Airlines spokeswoman, the carrier had a problem creating flight plans Wednesday morning. This is the information shared for pilots to get from point A to point B.

While it was a nationwide problem, United said less than 10 percent of its total schedule was delayed and no flights were cancelled.

The issue has since been resolved.

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