|Cold winter weather hits large parts of Europe|
Freezing winter weather, with heavy snowfall, hits large parts of Europe, closing airports, stopping trains and creating huge traffic jams. In France the army was ordered to help clear roads and rescue people stuck in cars:
Instead of enjoying the onset of spring, travelers shivered in stranded cars, packed onto icy train platforms, or languished in airport waiting halls. Thousands of schoolchildren stayed home. Tens of thousands of homes were without electricity.
Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, closed at midday after recording about 12 centimeters (5 inches) of snow. More than 355 flights had been canceled by mid-afternoon.-
North of Frankfurt, the A45 autobahn was shut down after more than 100 cars and trucks crashed in a pileup near Muenzenberg. Police said dozens of people were injured but that no deaths were reported. -
The French army was called in to help as civilian authorities struggled to clear roads and rescue people stuck in cars and buses on snowed-in roads, notably in Normandy, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on RTL radio.
With up to 50 centimeters (19 inches) of snow in some areas of northern France, the government urged people to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
The French housing ministry, meanwhile, said it will prolong until the end of March the winter-long ban on tenant evictions - owing to the biting weather conditions.
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At least in Germany the cold weather is set to stick around at least through the end of the week.
It cannot take long now, before we have an announcement from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research informing us that the severe winter weather is a direct consequence of global warming.