Here's your daily digest, from City Desk Editor Katherine Lymn:
In a double whammy of weather, the Northeast was buried by snow this morning in the second huge snowstorm of the season. The storm, “a giant white smudge over the Northeast on radar maps” dumped 19 inches of snow onto Central Park, just nearly missing the 20 inches that fell less than a month ago, the New York Times reports. Offices and schools in New York are closed, as are many airports along the coast. After a “botched response” to that December storm, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised a better response. He ordered conference calls and 15-point plans — we should see how well those worked in the next day or so…
Have you heard about the beached piano? A grand piano showed up on a sand bar off the coast of Miami’s Biscayne bay earlier this week, and in the time since multiple people have taken the blame — or should I say credit? “I don’t consider it a prank … it’s more of a movement,” said one student artist who the AP even said was “looking to boost his art school resume.” A filmmaking couple, the Yeagers, also claimed they placed the piano there for a film, adding they’ve done the same thing in Malibu, Death Valley, Costa Rica and Guatemala. It’s a “movement,” Billy Yeager said. "Right now, we have people in Berlin and Paris that are leaving instruments — painted — in the middle of streets or chaining them to parking meters. The poor piano is stuck between the silos of government, as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation says it’s not responsible for pianos and the U.S. Coast Guard doesn’t get involved unless there’s a hazard to navigation.
As Arab leaders feared, Tunisian protest fever had been highly contagious, most recently spreading to Yemen just days after Egypt, the New York Times reports. Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets to demand a new government, but unlike the protests for similar reasons in Tunisia and Egypt, the Yemeni marches and rallies were mostly peaceful and have not yet led to clashes between police and protesters. Yemen is also unique in being remarkably more poor than the other protesting nations. President Ali Abdallah Saleh has already proposed raising army salaries by $47 a month to ease tensions, but has now showed signs he will step down.