Joplin tornado survivor glad he heeded the sirens for once
Debris is strewn across Joplin, Missouri, on Tuesday, two days after a tornado there killed at least 124 people.
May 24th, 2011
10:49 PM ET

Joplin tornado survivor glad he heeded the sirens for once

A tornado on Sunday killed at least 125 people in Joplin, Missouri, authorities said Tuesday. Here are stories of some of those who survived the storm:

Rick Morgan: I usually ignore the sirens

Rick Morgan says he came close to doing Sunday what he normally does when he hears tornado sirens in Joplin: ignore them. Had he done so this time, he says, he probably would have died.

He was in a store, intending to buy some milk, when the sirens started Sunday.

"The store manager says, 'Everyone who is in the store, you need to go back to the produce cooler, because the sirens are going off,'" Morgan recalled Tuesday for CNN. "Well instead, following my M.O., instead of going to the produce cooler, I think, 'Well, I'll just drive home.' "

As Morgan approached the door, the store owner protested. And then four people on the outside "ran screaming into the store," Morgan said.

FULL POST

May 24th, 2011
10:45 PM ET

Tornado warning for Joplin canceled

[Updated at 10:56 p.m. ET] A tornado warning issued earlier Tuesday night for Joplin, Missouri - the site of Sunday's devastating storm that left at least 124 people dead - has been canceled. The storm will likely pass well north of the city, forecasters said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • Tornadoes • Weather
May 24th, 2011
09:48 PM ET

Tornadoes, storms kill 6 in Oklahoma, Kansas

[Updated at 10:31 p.m. ET] Severe weather's assault on middle America continued Tuesday, as tornadoes and thunderstorms claimed at least six lives in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Twisters also were brewing in Dallas and several northern Texas counties, according to the National Weather Service, with at least one reported on the ground.

Two motorists died when an uprooted tree slammed into their van in Stafford County, Kansas, according to the state adjutant general's office.

Canadian County, Oklahoma, Sheriff Randall Edwards told CNN a large tornado that crossed I-40 near El Reno destroyed residences and caused a gas leak at an energy plant west of the state capital.

Four people died in the county, said Cherokee Ballard, spokesperson for the state medical examiner.

Tuesday's storms come two days after a tornado killed at least 124 people in Joplin, Missouri, authorities said.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornadoes • Weather
Overheard on CNN.com: Are childless people happier?
May 24th, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Are childless people happier?

Comment of the Day:

"I was an unwanted child. The way I see it, it's better to regret not having kids than it is having them." –makemlaff

Having children doesn’t always equal happy

According to recently released U.S. census data, the parenting landscape in the United States has changed. Today 1 in 5 women end their childbearing years without having a child - in 1970 that number was 1 in 10. In the CNN.com Living article linked above, a married woman expresses why she does not want to have children, and sociologists report that parents experience emotional distress more often than childless adults - although that doesn’t mean they recommend not having children.

The article sparked a debate among CNN.com readers; many of whom said they were happily childless but often feel they have to defend that choice.

beechleaf said, “I don't want children. Never have, never will. No, it does not make me less of a woman, and no, you are not going to change my mind by telling me how rewarding it is. And no, I don't hate kids. I have two nephews and a niece and I love them so very much! I love babysitting and helping out with them and when they're older I plan to help them financially with private high school and college. But I'm also very glad to go home to my quiet, kid-free house at the end of the day.”

FULL POST

Tuesday's intriguing people
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has received a lot of praise as well as criticism for his controversial plan to overhaul Medicare.
May 24th, 2011
01:04 PM ET

Tuesday's intriguing people

Paul Ryan

It's a big week for the House Budget Committee chairman, who is proposing a massive overhaul of the Medicare program. On one hand, he's getting such support among the GOP that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has suggested the Wisconsinite make a run in the 2012 presidential campaign. But Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is raining on his fellow Republican's parade. Brown authored a column on Politico this week called "Why I Don't Back Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan."

The House GOP budget, authored by Ryan, includes a plan to change Medicare from a program that directly pays for senior citizens' health care to one that would provide subsidies for people to purchase coverage from private plans.

Sharon Duncan

The grandmother of two graduating seniors from Joplin High School saw the front of the Joplin, Missouri, Walmart store destroyed as she and her granddaughters rode out the storm in her car in the parking lot, according to The Joplin Globe. After attending Sunday's graduation of sisters Melinda and Sabrina Duncan, Sharon Duncan was hoping to buy a cake at Walmart for the celebration, but the tornado struck, the paper said.

“There was hail, tree limbs and glass,” Sharon told the Globe. “Then we were buried among the other cars, and we had to crawl out through a window.”

The Joplin tornado was the single deadliest twister to hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records 61 years ago. At least 118 people have died, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday.

Victor Whitmill

The tattoo artist sued Warner Bros for copyright infringement but failed to hold up this week's release of  "The Hangover Part II" over a replica of the tattoo he designed for Mike Tyson's face,  Entertainment Weekly reported.

In a scene from the expected summer blockbuster, Ed Helms' character wakes up with a replica of the famous ink job done for the boxer.

“Plaintiff’s failed attempt to enjoin 'H2' in order to try and extract a massive settlement payment from Warner Bros. was highly inappropriate and unwarranted,”  a studio statement said, according to the magazine.

Gotta Watch: Infamous Madams
Since her days as a madam ended, Heidi Fleiss has appeared on "Celebrity Rehab."
May 24th, 2011
12:23 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Infamous Madams

They're the women who threatened to take down some of the nation's most powerful with one simple move - opening up their little black books. These madams made headlines with their sex-trade sales and their legal wrangling sent shivers through their anonymous clients who feared being outed. Today marks the 16th anniversary of Heidi Fleiss' conviction, so today’s Gotta Watch takes a look at some of the country’s most notorious madams.
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Filed under: Celebrity • Crime • Gotta Watch • Justice • Politics • Showbiz
South gets a major buzz on every 13 years
The 13-year periodical cicada has big red bug-eyes to go with its orange legs and wing parts.
May 24th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

South gets a major buzz on every 13 years

The brood is back, and it's gonna be noisy.

Trees, posts, walls and other vertical surfaces throughout the American South are being covered this spring with billions of periodical cicadas: red-eyed insects that emerge, like Chicago Cubs fans' pennant hopes, for a few weeks just once every 13 years.

The bugs are perfectly harmless to humans, unless you count annoyance caused by the remarkable amount of noise the love-starved little critters make. The male cicada's mating call has been compared to a circular saw, only more shrill - and that's just the way the lady cicadas like it. FULL POST

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Filed under: Alabama • Animals • Arkansas • Georgia • Illinois • Indiana • Insects • Louisiana • Maryland • Mississippi • Missouri • Music • Nature • North Carolina • Oklahoma • Science • South Carolina • Tennessee • U.S. • Virginia
Police find Mexican traffickers' 'narcotank'
Police in Guadalajara, Mexico, guard a "narcotank" seized from drug traffickers.
May 24th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Police find Mexican traffickers' 'narcotank'

For the second time this month, officials in Mexico have seized a "narcotank" - a regular production vehicle that a drug cartel has turned in to a battle vehicle.

The latest "narcotank" was found Friday, after a clash between police and gangs of rival gunmen in the western Mexico town of Mezquitic, according to a report in the Latin American Herald Tribune.

Reports said the guts of the "narcotank" are a Ford F-series Super Duty truck. It had been customized with steel plating with ports for guns or other weapons, a rotating turret and a fold-up battering ram. No weapons were in the vehicle when it was found, according to the Herald Tribune report.

Earlier this month, the Mexican army captured another armored vehicle, according to a report on BusinessInsider.com. That tank, dubbed El Monstruo 2011, was capable of going 68 mph and could carry 12 people behind its armor, the report said. It was seized in Ciudad Meir, where the Los Zetas gang has been battling over drug business with the Gulf Cartel, their former bosses, BusinessInsider said.

The website InSightcrime.org reported in April that traffickers are increasingly turning to armored vehicles.

Besides armoring vehicles, traffickers have also made their own submarines. Check out what VBS.TV found at a Colombian naval base last year.


Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Mexico
Riot police break up sit-down strike at South Korean auto parts plant
South Korean riot police break up a sit-down strike at an auto parts plant on Tuesday.
May 24th, 2011
09:41 AM ET

Riot police break up sit-down strike at South Korean auto parts plant

Riot police backed by helicopters and water cannons broke up a sit-down strike by union workers Tuesday at an auto parts plant in South Korea, media there reported.

The strike at the Yoosung Enterprise factory in Asan threatens to cripple production at Hyundai, Kia, GM and Renault plants in South Korea, The Korea Times reported.

Hyundai and Kia get 70% of their engine components from Yoosung, according to the Korea Times.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • General Motors • Hyundai • South Korea
May 24th, 2011
08:16 AM ET

Rare white kiwi hatched in New Zealand

Manukura is a white variant, not an albino, a ranger said. The bird was hatched earlier this month.

New Zealand's national wildlife center is crowing about the appearance of Manukura, the only all-white kiwi chick among this year's large brood of 14.

The white bird hatched on May 1 at Pukaha Mount Bruce wildlife center, the highlight of the most successful breeding season since kiwi were reintroduced into the wild there in 2003, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

"As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity," Pukaha Mount Bruce Board Chairman Bob Francis said in a news release. FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Birds • Environment • New Zealand
Tuesday's live video events
May 24th, 2011
07:51 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the devastating storms that struck Missouri.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Opening statements are expected in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

FULL POST


Filed under: Casey Anthony • Congress • Crime • District of Columbia • Florida • Health • Israel • Natural Disasters • New York • On CNN.com today • Politics • U.S. • World
Obama to visit tornado-ravaged Missouri
President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One in Ireland on Monday.
May 24th, 2011
05:56 AM ET

Obama to visit tornado-ravaged Missouri

President Barack Obama said he'll be traveling to the tornado-damaged state of Missouri on Sunday.

A tornado that cut through the city of Joplin on Sunday tied for the single deadliest twister to ever hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records 61 years ago. At least 116 people have died.

"We are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure they recover," said Obama, in England on Tuesday to meet with Britain's royal family and huddle with top politicians.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Joplin • Missouri • Tornadoes • Weather
On the Radar: Volcanic ash spreads; new tornado threat; Netanyahu address
Ash billows from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland on Tuesday in an image from a NASA satellite.
May 24th, 2011
05:45 AM ET

On the Radar: Volcanic ash spreads; new tornado threat; Netanyahu address

Volcanic ash: Volcanic ash from an Icelandic eruption is expected to reach London's Heathrow airport - the world's busiest international air travel hub - around lunchtime on Tuesday, Europe's air traffic control organization said.

Concentration of ash is expected to be low and it's not yet clear if Heathrow flights will be canceled.

The ash cloud is forecast to cover all of British airspace by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Britain's weather agency, the Met Office, said Tuesday.

Ash will be densest over Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, the Met Office said. Heathrow is in the south.

Joplin tornado: As residents in hard-hit Joplin, Missouri, try to recover from one of the deadliest U.S. tornadoes on record, the National Weather Service warns the danger might not be over.

The weather service warns there was a 45% chance of another tornado outbreak – with the peak time between 4 p.m. and midnight Tuesday – over a wide swath, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Missouri, including Joplin.

Netanyahu speech:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lay out his vision of a settlement with the Palestinians in a speech to Congress Tuesday morning.

His speech follows an appearance Monday night where he told the main U.S. Jewish lobby that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists because the Palestinians "refuse to end it."

In his remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Netanyahu said Israel wants peace, "because we know the pain of terror and we know the agony of war."

But, he added, "this conflict has raged for a nearly a century because the Palestinians refuse to end it. They refuse to accept the Jewish state."

He also repeated his argument that Israel's pre-1967 borders were "indefensible."

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Filed under: Air travel • Aviation • Iceland • Israel • Joplin • Missouri • Natural Disasters • Palestinians • Tornadoes • Travel • Volcano • Volcanoes • Weather