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More troops off to South Sudan?

HONOLULU - President Obama told Congress yesterday that he might take further military action to protect Americans in violence-plagued South Sudan.


- President Obama told Congress yesterday that he might take further military action to protect Americans in violence-plagued South Sudan.

In a letter to Congress, Obama said that 46 U.S. troops were deployed Saturday to help evacuate Americans. That's in addition to 45 troops deployed to reinforce the U.S. Embassy in Juba.

Four U.S. troops were injured in the evacuation mission Saturday when gunfire hit three military planes. All four are in stable condition, the White House said.

Obama is on his annual vacation in Hawaii, but he said in the letter to congressional leaders that he's monitoring the situation. Earlier yesterday, Obama was briefed by advisers on events in South Sudan following a meeting that his national security adviser, Susan Rice, held with national security aides and U.S. personnel still in South Sudan.

Two dead in New York after fall from building


- A 35-year-old man and a toddler plummeted to their deaths from a Manhattan apartment building, police said yesterday as they investigated what led to the tragedy.

Authorities said they received an emergency call reporting two jumpers from the 52-floor building on the Upper West Side about noon. Officers responding to the scene found the man and the child on the rooftops of two separate nearby buildings.

Police investigating the deaths left the building in the midafternoon to photograph a gray Lexus RX350 parked nearby. The building, listed as South Park Tower, is a short distance away from Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center.

Spain hands out $3.4B in lottery


- Champagne corks popped around Spain yesterday as jubilant winners celebrated scooping up prizes in the country's famed Christmas lottery, the world's richest.

One ticket-holder who slept in yesterday morning said he'd leaped up from his bed in surprise after hearing the television announce his ticket number for "El Gordo" (The Fat One) - the lottery's top prize, a cool 400,000-euro ($546,200) payoff.

Raul Clavero, 27, a mechanic living in the Madrid suburb of Leganes, then realized that four other members of his family had also bought tickets with the same winning numbers.

Millions of Spaniards had been glued to their televisions as 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in prize money was distributed in a four-hour TV show. Unlike lotteries that offer one large jackpot, Spain's yuletide drawing sprinkles a variety of winnings on thousands of ticket-holders.

Mix of wild weather on first day of winter

The first full day of winter brought a wild mix of weather across the U.S. yesterday: ice and high wind in the Great Lakes and New England areas, flooding in the South, snow in the Midwest and record-shattering temperatures in the 60s and 70s in Philly and the mid-Atlantic states.

Snow and ice knocked out power to 400,000 homes and businesses in Michigan, upstate New York and northern New England, and also left more than 400,000 people without electricity in eastern Canada. It could be days before the lights are back on everywhere.

As of midafternoon, more than 500 airline flights had been canceled and about 3,800 delayed, according to aviation tracking website In Arkansas, authorities said yesterday that a woman was killed after an EF2 tornado with winds of about 130 mph struck in St. Francis County.

Apple, China Mobile connect for deal


- Apple says it has reached a deal to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier.

The deal ends a lengthy courtship and could boost sales of the iPhone in China. The iPhone, once hugely popular in China, has been eclipsed by the rise of lower-priced rival smartphones from Samsung and Chinese companies.

The iPhone 5S and 5C will go on sale in Apple stores and China Mobile stores beginning Jan. 17. China Mobile customers can register for phones starting Wednesday. The companies didn't announce pricing or the terms of the agreement.

- Daily News wire services