May 30th, 2013
04:57 PM ET

Oklahomans brace, again, for tornadoes

Portions of central Oklahoma - where a devastating and deadly twister struck earlier this month - were under tornado warnings Thursday afternoon, with forecasters and authorities urging people there to take cover.

The severe weather warnings applied for south of Oklahoma City - including near Moore, which was hardest hit by a powerful May 20 twister - and north of the Oklahoma capital.

Similar warnings were also issued at one point or another Thursday afternoon  in parts of Arkansas, Illinois and Wisconsin, showing the breadth of this storm system. A tornado warning indicates there are reports that a twister has touched down or one is believed to be imminent.

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First on CNN: House investigators questioning IRS Cincinnati workers
May 30th, 2013
02:51 PM ET

First on CNN: House investigators questioning IRS Cincinnati workers

House investigators are interviewing two front-line Internal Revenue Service employees from the Cincinnati tax exempt office this week in Washington, and plan to interview two others next week, two congressional sources familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

House investigators are hoping these IRS employees will shed light on exactly why tea party and other conservative groups were inappropriately targeted for excess scrutiny when applying for tax exempt status.

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Filed under: Politics
Baby saved from toilet is out of hospital
The tiny face of a newborn baby boy is revealed as rescuers cut apart a sewage pipe at a hospital in Jinhua, China, on Saturday.
May 30th, 2013
02:12 PM ET

Baby saved from toilet is out of hospital

A newborn baby boy who was found alive inside a toilet pipe in Jinhua, China, has been released from a hospital and taken home by his maternal grandparents, police said.

The child's mother is still being treated at the hospital, but has been cooperating with the investigation, Xiang Jiangsong, a police official, said Thursday.

The police are labeling the case an "accident" at this time, and no charges have been filed against the mother.

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Filed under: China
Suspicious letter for Obama intercepted
A letter addressed to the White House was similar to threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
May 30th, 2013
02:07 PM ET

Suspicious letter for Obama intercepted

Officials intercepted Thursday a letter addressed to the White House that was similar to threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a group he founded.

The off-site facility that screens mail addressed to the White House turned the letter over to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation, U.S. Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.

A U.S. law enforcement official said the letter was addressed to President Obama.

The letters sent to Bloomberg and his group are suspected of containing poison. Preliminary tests indicate ricin was found in the letters, New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said Wednesday. Officials have not said whether any such substance was found in the letter sent to the White House.

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Filed under: Crime • Politics
Hurricane Barbara moves over Mexico
May 29th, 2013
05:07 PM ET

Hurricane Barbara moves over Mexico

Hurricane Barbara crashed ashore Wednesday afternoon along Mexico's southern Pacific coast.

Barely a hurricane, Barbara made landfall in the state of Chiapas, about 20 miles west of Tonala, the U.S.-based National Hurricane Center said.

Barbara had sustained winds of 75 mph, and was moving north-northeast at 9 mph. It was located about 80 miles east of Salina Cruz, in the state of Oaxaca, according to the hurricane center's last advisory.

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Filed under: Hurricanes • Mexico • Tropical weather
Disneyland worker arrested after explosion
The explosion spurred the temporary evacuation of the California theme park's Mickey's Toontown section.
May 29th, 2013
04:47 PM ET

Disneyland worker arrested after explosion

A 22-year-old who works at Disneyland was arrested hours after a small explosion in Mickey's Toontown section.

The Tuesday evening blast did not hurt anyone, but it did rattle nerves and prompt the evacuation of that part of the California theme park for a few hours.

Anaheim police on Wednesday identified the suspect in the explosion as Christian Barnes, a Long Beach resident and an outdoor vendor at Disneyland. Booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Barnes is being held on $1 million bail.

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Newly discovered virus spreads
The virus is "a threat to the entire world," the World Health Organization's general director said.
May 29th, 2013
04:10 PM ET

Newly discovered virus spreads

A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans continues to spread - with the worldwide total now at 49, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Of the 49 known infections with the MERS-CoV virus, 27 have resulted in death, the organization said.

The latest deaths were reported in Saudi Arabia.

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Filed under: Health
Egyptian tomb defaced
The graffiti was etched across the torso of the figure in the sculpture.
May 27th, 2013
07:49 AM ET

Egyptian tomb defaced

Parents of a 15-year-old Chinese tourist have apologized after the teenager defaced a stone sculpture in an ancient Egyptian temple with graffiti.

The act drew ire in both Egypt and China generating a massive online backlash amongst China's unforgiving netizens.

The vandal carved 'Ding Jinhao was here' in Chinese in the 3,500 year old Luxor Temple.

This was photographed by an embarrassed Chinese traveler and shared on weibo, China's micro-blogging site on May 24.

"The saddest moment in Egypt. I'm so embarrassed that I want to hide myself. I said to the Egyptian tour guide,'I'm really sorry,'" that traveler wrote on the original weibo post.

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Filed under: China • Egypt
Defense: Martin's 'hostile' texts matter
May 27th, 2013
07:47 AM ET

Defense: Martin's 'hostile' texts matter

Text messages sent from Trayvon Martin's cell phone the day he was killed show he had been arguing with someone on the phone and was "hostile," attorneys for George Zimmerman wrote in a recent court filing.

Zimmerman's lawyers argue the texts are relevant to the case, in which the unarmed teenager was fatally shot by the neighborhood watch volunteer during a confrontation in a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood in February 2012.

The texts speak to Martin's demeanor and emotional state, the Thursday filing said, and "may assist the jury in understanding why Trayvon Martin chose to hide then confront George Zimmerman rather than simply going home."

The filing said the texts were mostly with "Witness 8," and the messages showed Martin and the friend were "hostile and angry with each other at various points throughout the day."

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2 dead in severe San Antonio flooding
Over 9inches of rain fell in less than half a day around San Antonio, Texas.
May 25th, 2013
10:46 PM ET

2 dead in severe San Antonio flooding

Two women died Saturday - one of them swept away after being inches from her would-be rescuers - due to raging floodwaters in San Antonio, which braced for yet more drenching rains.

San Antonio International Airport received 9.57 inches of rain Saturday morning alone, CNN meteorologists said, and a number of rivers and creeks were well above flood stage.

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Filed under: Flooding • Texas • Weather
3 more arrests tied to UK soldier's killing
Rigby's brutal killing has spurred an outburst of emotions around England, like this man bowing his head near a makeshift memorial for the slain soldier.
May 25th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

3 more arrests tied to UK soldier's killing

Three more people were arrested Saturday in connection with this week's grisly killing of British soldier Lee Rigby, police said.

The men were being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Police did not detail how they were allegedly tied to the killing nor did they release their identities, saying only that the men - ages 21, 24 and 28 - were arrested by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command and taken to a south London police station.

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Obama says America at 'crossroads' in terror fight
President Barack Obama speaks at the National Defense University in Washington on Thursday.
May 23rd, 2013
03:43 PM ET

Obama says America at 'crossroads' in terror fight

President Barack Obama in a major counterterrorism speech Thursday defended the American drone program, saying that despite the controversies around it, the strikes are legal and save lives.

Obama said the use of lethal force extends to U.S. citizens as well. On Wednesday, his administration disclosed for the first time that four Americans had been killed in counterterrorist drone strikes overseas, including one person who was targeted by the United States.

"When a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America - and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot - his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team," Obama said.

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May 23rd, 2013
03:39 PM ET

Slain UK soldier was dad, drummer

The British soldier slain in a gruesome cleaver attack in London was a well-liked infantryman and machine gunner who served in Afghanistan and Cyprus, and then became a military recruiter and ceremonial drummer outside the Royal Palaces, the military said Thursday.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was part of the Regimental Recruiting Team in London, and as a machine gunner, he was part of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The Fusiliers, an infantry group, are known for the hackle, or feather plume, in their military headdress.

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Filed under: United Kingdom
Man arrested in Washington state ricin probe
Ricin is a toxin derived from castor beans.
May 22nd, 2013
10:33 PM ET

Man arrested in Washington state ricin probe

A 37-year-old man arrested Wednesday in Washington state as part of a probe of ricin-laced letters threatened in one such letter to injure and kill a federal judge, a grand jury indictment alleges.

FBI agents arrested Matthew Ryan Buquet on Wednesday afternoon, and he made his initial court appearance in Spokane later in the day, the federal agency's Washington state office said in a news release.

A grand jury charged Buquet with mailing threatening communication, claiming he "knowingly and willfully" mailed through the U.S. Postal Service a letter "containing a threat to injure and kill Judge (Fred) Van Sickle," according to the indictment. Van Sickle is a senior judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S. Postal Service • Washington state
Boston bomb suspect linked to 2011 killings
Ibragim Todashev, left, confessed to his role in a 2011 triple homicide in Massachusetts and also fingered Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the deaths, a federal law enforcement official said.
May 22nd, 2013
09:41 PM ET

Boston bomb suspect linked to 2011 killings

Deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a 2011 gruesome triple homicide outside Boston along with a Chechen killed early Wednesday during a confrontation with the FBI and Massachusetts State Police in Orlando, Florida, a federal law enforcement official told CNN.

Ibragim Todashev, who died during the interview with authorities, not only confessed to his direct role in slashing the throats of three people in Waltham, Massachusetts, but also fingered Tsarnaev in the deaths, the official said Wednesday.

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Filed under: Crime • Massachusetts • Terrorism
UK: Fatal cleaver attack an act of terror
Authorities examine the crime scene in London's Woolwich neighborhood.
May 22nd, 2013
09:38 PM ET

UK: Fatal cleaver attack an act of terror

They first hit the man, thought to be a British soldier, with a car in broad daylight. Then the two attackers hacked him to death and dumped his body in the middle of a southeastern London road.

As the victim - dressed in what appeared to be a T-shirt for Help for Heroes, a charity that helps military veterans - lay prone, one of the two attackers found a camera.

"We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone," said a meat-cleaver-wielding man with bloody hands, speaking in what seems to be a London accent.

British Prime David Cameron called the act a terrorist attack.

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Filed under: David Cameron • Terrorism • United Kingdom
Victims of the Oklahoma tornado
May 22nd, 2013
04:49 PM ET

Heartbreak, hope and healing in the aftermath of Oklahoma tornado

  • We're learning more about the people hit by the devastating EF-5 tornado that smashed through Oklahoma on Monday, killing 24 people
  • Many of the dead have now been identified and residents are returning to ruined homes to see what's left
  • We'll bring you the latest news and images from the scene here, and you can read CNN's full story here

[Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET] Moore, Oklahoma, Mayor Glenn Lewis said Wednesday that the six people missing from this week's tornado have been accounted for. Five were found alive. The sixth was located at the Medical Examiner's Office and is presumed dead. The mayor was not sure whether the death was in addition to the 24 already reported, or whether it would raise the overall toll to 25.

[Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET] About 4,000 insurance claims have been filed so far in the tornado and storm that rocked the Oklahoma City area on Monday, said Kelly Collins, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma insurance commissioner.

[Updated at 2:26 p.m. ET] CNN's John King has just been taken around the ruins of Plaza Towers Elementary School where seven children were killed. "It's numbing and it's sad," he said. "It's gone. The neighborhood around it is gone."

But given the scale of devastation, it's notable how many were saved. "It’s a miracle that the death toll wasn’t higher," King said.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] Yesterday we told you NBA star Kevin Durant had donated $1 million to the Red Cross. And today he paid them a visit.

[Updated at 2:05 p.m. ET] Residents have been showing our CNN colleagues what is left of their homes. These are the dreadful kind of scenes that will greet so many in the coming days.

[Updated at 1:56 p.m. ET] Six adults are still unaccounted for after the tornado struck Moore, Albert Ashwood with the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management told CNN's Nick Valencia.

[Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET] Residents of Moore will be allowed back into their neighborhoods as of 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. ET) today, Mayor Glenn Lewis said. Light vehicles will be allowed but heavy equipment, trailers and satellite trucks will be prohibited, he added.

[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] President Obama will travel to Oklahoma on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced.

[Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET] Earlier today CNN's Pamela Brown shared the survival story of Candace Phillips and her newborn son.

[Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET] Roads and public areas are being cleared as the recovery in Moore begins, Gov. Mary Fallin said.

But the most devastated parts of Moore are still off-limits to residents, CNN's John King reports. It's just too dangerous right now, he tweeted.

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] Those neighbors who have are helping those who've lost all that they own. CNN's Kyung Lah found  people leaving and collecting essential supplies in Moore, Oklahoma.

[Updated at 11:42 a.m. ET] We've learned the names of 18 of the 24 people known to have died in the tornado Monday. Some were babies,  just months old, according to the Oklahoma City Medical Examiner's Office. Then there were the children who died in their ravaged elementary school. And adults – parents and grandparents.

Here are the names of those who lost their lives. We'll bring you more about who they were when we know it.

Terri Long, 49 years old.

Megan Futrell, 29 years old.

Case Futrell, 4 months old.

Shannon Quick, 40 years old.

Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months old.

Karrina Vargyas, 4 years old.

Jenny Neely, 38 years old.

Antonia Canderaria, 9 years old.

Kyle Davis. 8 years old. Kyle was a force on the soccer field, nicknamed "The Wall." 

Jenae Hornsby, 9 years old. Jenae was "a ball of energy, a ball of love," her father, Joshua, said.

Sydney Angle, 9 years old.

Emily Conatzer, 9 years old.

Nicolas McCabe, 9 years old.

Christopher Legg, 9 years old.

Cindy Plumley.

Deanna Ward.

Hemant Bhonde.

Tawuana Robinson.

[Updated 11:26 a.m. ET] About 2,700 insurance claims have been filed so far for tornado and storm damage, Oklahoma's Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak said. He expects more to be filed.

[Updated at 11:22 a.m. ET] A total of 324 people are now known to have been hurt in Monday's tornado, Gov. Mary Fallin tweeted.

If you're looking to help those affected, remember to go to CNN.com/impact where we've got details of organizations who are working in Moore and the other badly-hit areas.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • Tornadoes
Fed's Bernanke: No rate hike soon
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, shown here in a file photo, has warned of risks of raising interest rates too soon.
May 22nd, 2013
10:58 AM ET

Fed's Bernanke: No rate hike soon

The U.S. economy is on stronger footing than a year ago, but Ben Bernanke wants to be careful not to squelch the recovery now.

"A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily, but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further," the Federal Reserve Chairman told the U.S. congressional Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve has kept its key short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008, and expects it to stay there for a "considerable time" as the recovery strengthens, Bernanke said.

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Filed under: Economy
IRS official takes the 5th at congressional hearing
Lois Lerner leaves the House Oversight Committee's hearing Wednesday after refusing to answer the panel's questions.
May 22nd, 2013
10:55 AM ET

IRS official takes the 5th at congressional hearing

An Internal Revenue Service official who headed the division involved in targeting conservative groups invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination Wednesday and refused to answer questions from a congressional committee.

Lois Lerner read a statement at a House Oversight Committee hearing that declared she did nothing wrong and broke no laws before saying she would not answer any questions.

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules and regulations," Lerner said, adding that she never misled or lied to Congress, as contended by some legislators.

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Filed under: Politics
May 22nd, 2013
10:53 AM ET

Man killed by FBI agent knew Tsarnaevs, official says

A man fatally shot overnight by an FBI agent in Orlando was being investigated for a possible connection to the Boston bombings, a U.S. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Boston Marathon case told CNN.

The man who was shot, Ibragim Todashev, knew both of the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, the official said.

The agent shot in self-defense in an incident at Todashev's house, the official said.

Agents were led to Todashev, who had once lived in Boston, "through investigative leads," the official said.

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Filed under: Boston • Crime • Florida • Massachusetts
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