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Moore, Oklahoma Residents Dig for More Victims

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — It’s been a long night in the tornado-blasted suburbs of Oklahoma City and residents are bracing for a long day as well, digging through the rubble and hoping not to add to a death toll that’s at least 51. Overnight, spotlights illuminated massive piles of shredded cinder block, insulation and metal as crews did their grim work. Scores of blocks that used to be neighborhoods have been flattened. Continue Reading

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Breadbasket, South Brace for More Deadly Weather

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — More severe weather is in the forecast for parts of the central United States already reeling from powerful tornadoes this week.  

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes could strike areas of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma today. The area at risk does not include Moore, Okla., where dozens of people were killed in a monstrous tornado Monday. Forecasters say the greatest risk for severe weather today includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Continue Reading

5 Killed, 6 Injured in Southern IL Van Crash

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A coroner says the five people killed and six hospitalized after a van careened off of a southern Illinois freeway were men returning from a California religious event.  

Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen tells The Associated Press he’s trying to contact relatives of the five men who died at the scene of the wreck Monday morning on Interstate 70 about 70 miles east of St. Louis. Their names weren’t released. Continue Reading

Storm Lake Toddlers Fall from Window, Survive

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Two toddlers have survived falling about 15 feet from an apartment building in Storm Lake.  

Storm Lake Police announced Monday that the children, ages 2 and 4, pressed against a window screen in their apartment unit on the second floor and fell. The Sioux City Journal reports the children were treated and released from Buena Vista Regional Medical Center after the Friday afternoon incident. No criminal charges have been filed. Continue Reading

Saudi with pressure cooker in baggage seeks bond

A Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents accused him of lying about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker wants to be released on bond. Thirty-three-year-old Hussain Al Khawahir (HOO’-sayn ahl chah-WAH’-heer), was arrested May 11, charged with giving false statements to federal agents and possessing an altered passport. Federal defender James C. Howarth asked a Detroit federal judge Monday to set bond for Al Khawahir, who initially didn’t seek release. Howarth says his client didn’t know pressure cookers were used in the Boston Marathon attack and was bringing it for a nephew. The lawyer says his client contacted Saudi diplomats after the arrest and his government “pledged its support.” Continue Reading

Oklahoma twister tracked path of 1999 tornado

Monday’s powerful tornado in suburban Oklahoma City loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region in May 1999. The National Weather Service estimated that the storm that struck Moore, Okla., on Monday had wind speeds of up to 200 mph, and was at least a half-mile wide. The 1999 storm had winds clocked at 300 mph, according to the weather service website. Kelsey Angle, a weather service meteorologist in Kansas City, Mo., said it’s unusual for two such powerful tornadoes to track roughly the same path. The weather service has tentatively classified the Moore twister’s wind speeds as an EF-4 on a 5-point scale. Continue Reading

House passes bill on lying about military medals

People who falsely claim they have received a military medal in order to obtain money or government benefits could face up to a year in jail under legislation that easily passed the House Monday. The Stolen Valor Act, sponsored by Nevada Republican Joe Heck, is a second attempt by the House to revive a law on fraudulent claims to medals that was struck down by the Supreme Court in June last year. The legislation is identical to a measure that passed the House overwhelmingly last September but saw no Senate action before the last session of Congress ended. The vote Monday was 390-3. The Supreme Court, in invalidating the Stolen Valor Act of 2006, ruled that while making false statements about receiving a military medal might be contemptible, such lies were protected by First Amendment free speech rights. Continue Reading

Thousands march in NY to protest gay man's killing

Thousands of people took to the streets of Manhattan to protest the killing of a gay man who had been taunted with homophobic slurs. Some of the marchers carried signs and rainbow flags as they marked the death of 32-year-old Mark Carson. Many chanted: “We’re here! We’re Queer!” and “Homophobia’s got to go!” Continue Reading

10 make finals of National Geographic Bee

Ten young scholars have made it to the finals of the National Geographic Bee, where they’ll compete for a $25,000 college scholarship. The preliminary rounds of the national competition were held Monday, narrowing the field of 54 state-level winners to the final 10. The field for Wednesday’s finals includes one repeat participant, 14-year-old Neelam Sandhu of Bedford, N.H. Asha Jain of Minocqua, Wis., the younger sister of last year’s runner-up, also made the finals. Other states represented will be California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia. The participants range in age from 11 to 14. Continue Reading