AP Top News at 10:45 a.m. EST

While most residents had cleared yards and sidewalks, many streets remained unplowed in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, N.Y., Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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While most residents had cleared yards and sidewalks, many streets remained unplowed in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, N.Y., Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010.

Airports trying to shepherd a backlog of planes churned snow plows through the night, kept snack bars open late and scrubbed teeming terminals in an effort to return thousands of passengers stranded by a weekend snowstorm to their homes. Officials at the New York area's three major airports said runways were all open Wednesday morning but it might take days for all the passengers who've been camping out in terminals to get flights out.

BAGHDAD (AP) — An al-Qaida linked group has claimed responsibility for the killing of an Iraqi police commander in a raid by three suicide bombers who stormed a security building in Mosul. Lt. Col. Shamil al-Jabouri had escaped five previous assassination attempts.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Five men planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing the newsroom of a paper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were arrested Wednesday in an operation that halted an imminent attack, intelligence officials said. Denmark's intelligence service said it arrested four men in two raids in suburbs of the capital, Copenhagen, and seized an automatic weapon, a silencer and ammunition. Swedish police said they arrested a 37-year-old Swedish citizen of Tunisian origin living in Stockholm.

NEW YORK (AP) — As the Gulf oil spill gushed out of control, BP's financial liabilities seemed big enough to sink the company. No more. Cleanup, government fines, lawsuits, legal fees and damage claims will likely exceed the $40 billion that BP has publicly estimated, according to an Associated Press analysis. But they'll be far below the highest estimates made over the summer by legal experts and prominent Wall Street banks, such as Goldman Sachs, which said costs could near $200 billion.

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to crack down in the coming year on lavish parties and seminars organized by government officials, hoping to placate a public angered by corruption and accounts of sex and booze-fueled fetes held at taxpayer expense. Along with vast improvements in quality of life for most Chinese, China's booming economic growth has led to an ever-larger gap between rich and poor and a surge in corruption that brings unwanted public criticism. The Communist leadership sees any public discontent as a threat to government stability.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — As several skiers recover in hospitals from their terrifying plunge to the slope far below, investigators hope to determine whether wind, a mechanical glitch or some combination of both caused a resort's chair lift to jump its track and collapse. Wind gusts of 40 mph were reported around the Sugarloaf resort before Tuesday's accident on the lift, which was built in 1975 and set for upgrades or replacement. But one skier who fell the 25 to 30 feet to the new-fallen snow below said she didn't remember it being exceptionally windy.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Eight homeless squatters who died in a fire at an abandoned warehouse where they were trying to keep warm were accomplished musicians and artists who rejected the label "gutter punk," acquaintances said. Firefighters said they could not tell the ages or genders of those who died Tuesday in the city's deadliest blaze in decades because their bodies were so badly burned. A 23-year-old man who escaped told the American Red Cross he could not get back in to help his friends because of the smoke, agency volunteer Thomas Butler said. The group had been burning debris to keep warm, with temperatures below freezing, authorities said.

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The little girl's white, four-post bed is empty, her favorite doll Natalie atop it. Her pink plate and cup are set on the kitchen table; her vitamins await. The last CD she listened to is in her little stereo, the last lesson she learned on the blackboard, the last month she was alive frozen on the unturned page of the calendar. Since a relative's Thanksgiving Day 2009 shooting rampage at their home, Jim and Muriel Sitton have faced a horrific balancing act: moving on past the time-stopping grief of losing their 6-year-old daughter Makayla Joy, and helping to realize her unfulfilled dreams.

LONDON (AP) — Please take your cash. Now how about giving some money to charity? Britain's government said Wednesday it is considering plans which would see the public asked to donate to good causes each time they use an ATM.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Considering everything else the Minnesota Vikings have endured this season, it was silly to think two extra days sitting around a hotel room would bring 'em down. No way a determined rookie quarterback named Joe Webb was going to let that happen.