Weather could snarl holiday travel in U.S.

Holiday travelers in the Midwest and parts East and South were keeping an eye Friday on a band of foul weather stretching across the nation's midsection that was threatening to mar the opening weekend of one of the year's busiest travel periods.

Forecasters were predicting a stew of foul weekend weather, from freezing rain and snow in the north to torrential rain in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and possibly even tornadoes in the South.

The worst of the storm wasn't expected to hit Midwest population centers until Saturday, and although few flights had been canceled as of midday Friday, the weather was already taking a toll on air travel: FlightStats.com reported more than 1,900 U.S. delays, with the most at Chicago's O'Hare, Denver International, and the three big New York-area airports.

The foul weather could cause headaches for the estimated 94.5 million Americans planning to travel by road or air during this holiday season, which runs from Saturday through New Year's Day.

Washington, D.c.

No evidence of Secret Service misconduct

There is no evidence of widespread misconduct within the Secret Service, according to a Homeland Security Department inspector general's report.

The 145-page report was issued Friday, more than 18 months after the agency in charge of protecting the president was embroiled in a high-profile South American prostitution scandal.

The inspector general's office made its conclusions based on a survey answered by about 41 percent of the agency's staff and interviews with 200 managers and supervisors.

In other news

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spent much of Friday in a hospital while suffering from exhaustion.

He went home after doctors cleared him to return to work, his spokesman said.

Associated Press