Father, son survived tornado: 'I had to save him,' dad says
Brian Poe and son, Tanner, 15, took cover in a ditch Wednesday as a tornado swept through Apison, Tennessee.
April 30th, 2011
08:47 PM ET

Father, son survived tornado: 'I had to save him,' dad says

Thanks to quick thinking, a father and son in Apison, Tennessee, survived a tornado that slammed the small town during the violent storms that ravaged the Southeast on Wednesday.

As the violent storm system barreled toward Brian Poe and other residents in a span of mobile homes,  just after 8 o'clock, there was precious little time to act, he told CNN's Susan Candiotti.

“I was laying on the couch watching TV, about to sleep and my neighbor called me and told me: ‘It’s coming. Get out of the trailer. It’s coming.”

Poe said he stepped outside his mobile home, summoning his son, 15-year-old Tanner, just as the storm was bearing down on them.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-4 tornado with winds of 174 mph tore through Catoosa County in northwestern Georgia and into southeastern Tennessee. The same tornado that hit Apison had also struck Ringgold, Georgia, about 15 miles to the south, leaving seven dead.

“I kind of walked out and I heard it coming,” Poe said. With raging winds around them, Brian and Tanner Poe darted to a roadside ditch.

“The only thing I could think of was my son … I had to save him,” Poe said.

The only thing the two could do was hold on for dear life, Tanner said.

“Me and Dad were hugging each other laying face down,” Tanner said. “[The storm] was lifting us off the ground." A tree fell on the pair, injuring Brian Poe's back "and the wind pulled it off of us,” Tanner said.

Wednesday was the deadliest day for tornadoes since a 1925 tornado outbreak that killed more than 700 people in seven states, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Saturday on its website.

Poe said he lost several family members in the storm, which has left thousands of people homeless and killed more than 300 people.

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Filed under: Alabama • Tennessee • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
More employers warm to power naps
A new survey says 6 percent of employers provide nap rooms for their workers, compared with 5 percent last year.
April 30th, 2011
03:57 PM ET

More employers warm to power naps

Yelena Shmulenson works two jobs in Manhattan, and is sleep-deprived.

She says her workload is nonstop and she can go a week working as an administrative assistant at a boutique law firm without getting up for lunch.

At night, she pursues an acting career, often getting home late.  What suffers is her sleep. So for the past two years, she pays to go to what she calls her "oasis" in the city, a spa which offers nap rooms for clients.  For $17, she can take a 20-minute power nap that keeps her going for the rest of the day.  Shmulenson says, "It really does the trick."

Her company, like a majority nationwide, frowns upon employees dozing off at work.  In fact, in many cases napping on the job is a fireable offense.  But new research from the Society of Human Resource Management shows this year more employers are slowly building nap rooms for workers to get some shut-eye during the day.

It's a relatively new concept with a 1% uptick this year, according to the group's survey, which says 6 percent of employers provide nap rooms compared to 5 percent last year.
Sleep experts say bosses are realizing the benefits of a power nap.  
 
"In most workplaces, especially workplaces involving safety, you want your workers to be maximally alert, and napping is actually a good strategy to maintain alertness," says Dr. Thomas Balkin of the National Sleep Foundation. "So during slow periods, scheduled naps, if you're napping in a safe place, being offline, that's the best strategy to maintain alertness," he says.
 
Recent news of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job has put the issue in the spotlight.  New Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation rules require controllers to have at least nine hours off between shifts to combat fatigue at work.  Transportation secretary Ray LaHood says he doesn't support the idea of nap periods for controllers while on the clock, something the National Transportation Safety Board suggested recently.
 
Sleep researchers suggest, "If you're really serious about giving your workers eight hours of sleep which is about ideal for an adult, then you should give them 12 hours off between shifts. That'll give them enough time to commute, eat, bathe, socialize, watch TV, read the paper, do things they want to do.  If you don't give them enough time to do those things and sleep, it's going to cut into their sleep time," Balkin says.
 
For Shmulenson, she says she's going to continue to invest in trying to make that time up, because she truly believes in the value of a power nap. "At the end of the year during taxes, I look at it and say to myself, I really spent money on napping, but on the other hand, it works," Shmulenson says.
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Filed under: FAA • U.S.
April 30th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Libyan leader calls for cease-fire negotiations with NATO

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Saturday urged NATO to negotiate an end to airstrikes, accusing the international coalition of killing civilians and destroying the nation's infrastructure in a bid to take over its oil production.

"Come and negotiate with us. You are the ones attacking us. You are the ones terrifying our kids and destroying our infrastructure. You American, French and British come and negotiate with us," Gadhafi said during a rambling 45-minute address on Libyan state TV.

It was a rare appearance for the leader, who has not been seen in public since international forces began bombing regime targets last month. The airstrikes started after the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution authorizing any means necessary to protect civilians demanding the ouster of the ruler, who has been in power for nearly 42 years.

At times, Gadhafi's address appeared to be a tirade against NATO and the United Nations.

"What are you trying to do? Trying to take the oil?" he said. "The Libyan people will not allow you ... The oil is under control of the Libyan government and for the people."

He called on the United Nations to review the NATO attacks, saying his country agreed to a cease-fire.

"We are the first ones who wanted and agreed on a cease-fire. But the NATO crusader airstrike did not cease," he said. "It cannot be a cease-fire from one side."

A NATO spokeswoman called for actions, not words shortly after Gadhafi's address.

"The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians," NATO deputy spokeswoman Carmen Romero said in a statement.

"Just hours before colonel Qhadafi spoke of a truce, his forces indiscriminately shelled Misrata, killing many people, including children. His forces tried to mine the port to block the access of humanitarian aid to the beleaguered civilians of Misrata. All this has to stop, and it has to stop now."

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Filed under: Libya • World
Frog lovers worldwide unite for 'Save the Frogs' day
Frogs like the Australian red-eyed tree frog are facing a rapid rate of decline, scientists say.
April 30th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Frog lovers worldwide unite for 'Save the Frogs' day

Frog lovers in 19 countries gathered Friday to “ribbet” in honor of “Save The Frogs” day, known as the largest day of worldwide amphibian conservation action and education.

Scientists, educators and policymakers took part in more than 100 international events with one leaping mission in mind: to raise awareness of the amphibians’ rapid rate of decline.

Habitat destruction, infectious diseases, pollution and pesticides, climate change and over-harvesting for pet and food trades are the some of the major contributing factors to the amphibian’s decline worldwide, said Kerry Kriger, founder and executive director of “Save The Frogs.”

“Frogs are the flag-ship species of all amphibians,” said Dr. Malcolm McCallum, managing editor of Herpetological Conservation and Biology. “There’s a whole array of environmental issues that go hand-in-hand and they all collectively interact and contribute to this unprecedented decline we are seeing in the last 50 to 100 years.”

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Filed under: Animals • World
In flashpoint Syrian city, another day of shelling
April 30th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

In flashpoint Syrian city, another day of shelling

[Updated at 9:19 a.m.]A few dozen tanks fired shells and a curfew was imposed Saturday in the restive Syrian city of Daraa, the site of ongoing clashes between security forces and protesters, eyewitnesses told CNN.

The assault took place in the eastern part of the embattled city, where helicopters were flying overhead and soldiers were stationed on rooftops, the witnesses said.

Gunfire could be heard in the background as one of the eyewitnesses spoke to CNN over the telephone.

One eyewitness said that men venturing outside were being shot and women and children who left their homes were being escorted back. Another witness said anyone on the street was being shot.

Bloated bodies remained uncollected in the streets, their relatives afraid to retrieve them, witnesses said, and they complained about a lack of water, power, electricity and food.

CNN has not been granted access into Syria and is unable to independently verify witness accounts.

But CNN has spoken with witnesses, some of whom have also reported what they see via social networking sites and posted homemade videos. Reports also have been compiled by human rights organizations.

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Filed under: Syria • World
Strong earthquake jolts Panama
April 30th, 2011
06:27 AM ET

Strong earthquake jolts Panama

[Updated at 6:27 a.m.] Vanessa del Leon, who works at a hotel in David, said she felt the quake, whose epicenter was 110 miles south of the city.

"Everyone started screaming. We heard a lot of things breaking and computer keyboards smashing on the floor," she said. "This hotel has eight floors and it swayed like a palm tree."

The USGS had said the quake was a magnitude 6.1, but later revised it to 6.0. It hit at 3:19 a.m. local time, according to the USGS.

[Posted at 5:43 a.m.] A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Panama on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake hit 384 kilometers (238 miles) southwest of the capital, Panama City.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

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Filed under: Panama