Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has invited gunmakers such as Colt to relocate to his state from Connecticut, where firearms have been a controversial issue since last December's elementary school shooting left 20 students and six adults dead there.
The gun industry in Connecticut is being attacked and "demonized" because of national politics, Gunn said in a letter this week to Colt's Manufacturing Company CEO Dennis Veilleux.
He also invited gunmaker Magpul Industries Corp. of Colorado to relocate to Mississippi.
Gunn, a Republican, said firearm manufacturers are "under attack in anti-Second Amendment states."FULL STORY
[Updated at 8:42 p.m. ET] Authorities are now saying at least nine people were killed in accidents related to the storm – five in Connecticut, according to the governor, two in Canada, one in New York and one in Massachusetts.
[Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET] The storm has apparently resulted in more deaths. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said in a news conference that "we believe there are now five fatalities" tied to the storm. At least six deaths had been reported earlier: two in Canada, two in Connecticut, one in Massachusetts, and one in New York. It isn't clear whether the two deaths reported earlier in Connecticut were among the five Malloy mentioned.
One of the first U.S. casualties from Hurricane Irene, which killed 43 people, was a popular Florida teacher who suffered a fatal head injury Saturday when a big wave knocked him down.
Frederick Fernandez, 55, an algebra teacher at New Smyrna Beach High School, was known as a skilled surfer, according to CNN affiliate WESH. Although the brunt of the storm missed Florida by hundreds of miles, it stirred up high surf that brought many, including Fernandez, out to the beach.
Fernandez was standing in shallow water when a large wave bowled him over and slammed his head against the compacted sand, WESH reported.
Principal Jim Tager couldn't bring himself to speak of Fernandez in the past tense.
"He's just well-respected," he told WESH. "The family is well-respected. They are from our community, and it hurts. I hope it brings us all closer together, and he is just a fine man, and I know many of us wish we could be just like him."
Irene recovery under way as Katia forms - States in the Northeast - particularly Vermont, New Jersey and New York, which saw the worst of Irene's wrath - were struggling with basic recovery efforts: rebuilding roads and bridges, restoring power and stemming the flow of floodwaters after Hurricane Irene struck this weekend. The Passaic River in northern New Jersey was still making the town of Little Falls look more like Niagara Falls. A resident in Montclair said the Passaic was high before Irene, but after the hurricane's rains, "the river began to rage."
One Vermont town hit hard by Irene decided to look for a silver lining. Some Pittsfield residents - there are only 427 of them in all - decided to throw a barbecue. Homes were underwater and roads were impassable, but they nonetheless gathered at a local park for hot dogs and hamburgers. Said Jason Evans, owner of the ski town's Clear River Tavern, "No one in this town was expecting the flooding to be what it was, and we've all gotta eat."
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Katia was strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and threatening to become a hurricane by Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Early Wednesday, the storm was almost 1,000 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, moving west-northwest at 21 mph. Katia could grow into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph by Saturday evening, forecasters said. It is too early to say if or when the storm will make landfall.
Three things you need to know today.
Vermont flooding: Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate plans to tour flood-damaged communities in Vermont on Tuesday.
Rain from Hurricane Irene spawned raging floodwaters that washed out or otherwise damaged 263 roads and bridges, Gov. Peter Shumlin said. Hundreds of people remained trapped in communities, he said Monday.
"It's just devastating," Shumlin said. "Whole communities under water, businesses, homes, obviously roads and bridges, rail transportation infrastructure," he said. "We're tough folks up here but Irene ... really hit us hard."
Obama to address vets: President Obama travels to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday to speak at the 93rd American Legion National Convention.
Mostly veterans are expected to be in attendance at the Minneapolis Convention Center event.
As the president continues to push his economic recovery message, a senior administration official told CNN “I am sure a good chunk of it [speech] will be about how service members and their families have been impacted by the economy.”
New Japanese PM: Japan's parliament elected Yoshihiko Noda as the country's new prime minister Tuesday, making him the country's sixth new leader in five years.
Noda won 308 out of 476 possible votes.
The prime minister-elect will officially take over his new post after a ceremonial endorsement by Japan's emperor, which is expected to happen Wednesday.
Ahead of the vote, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan officially submitted his resignation, as did his Cabinet, clearing the way for Noda's election.
Flooding emerged as a major concern Sunday for states hit by Irene, which hit the East Coast as a hurricane and then a tropical storm over three days.
"Many Americans are still at serious risk of power outages and flooding, which could get worse in coming days as rivers swell past their banks," President Barack Obama said Sunday, adding: "The recovery effort will last for weeks or longer."
Officials said the storm had knocked out power to more than 4 million people and was responsible for at least 20 deaths.
[Update 11:11 p.m. Sunday] Emergency officials said at least 20 people across the United States have died as a result of Hurricane Irene .
[Update 11:09 p.m. Sunday] The body of woman who apparently drowned after either falling or being swept into a storm swollen creek was recovered Sunday near New Scotland, New York State Police said. The woman's body was pulled from Onesquethaw Creek about 4:30 p.m., police said. The identity of the woman was not immediately released, though police said that a New Scotland man reported his wife missing about noon. She was last seen near the creek.
[Update 11:08 p.m. Sunday] Irene ceased being a tropical storm late Sunday as it swirled near the U.S.-Canadian border, the National Hurricane Center reported. Despite losing its tropical characteristics, the storm continued to kick out sustained winds of 50 mph about 50 miles north of Berlin, New Hampshire.
[Update 8:41 p.m. Sunday] More details about flooding concerns in Vermont's capital, Montpelier: Jill Remick, from the state's emergency management division, said water in the area – where multiple rivers converge – could rise as high as 20 feet, above the 17.5 feet that led to substantial flooding in May in Montpelier.
See how other states are faring in this state-by-state list of Irene developments.
[Update 8:30 p.m. Sunday] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he erroneously reported that a firefighter died during an attempted water rescue in Princeton. He said he was provided erroneous information and apologized, saying the firefighter was in intensive care.
This lowers a count of U.S. deaths reported to be linked to Irene to at least 18 in seven states.
An April Fools' Day winter storm roared into the Northeast on Friday, coating highways, closing schools and leaving tens of thousands without power.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for areas of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Some areas could get more than a foot of snow, forecasters said. Much of the snow was expected to be wet and heavy, the kind that can bring down power lines, the weather service said.
It didn't take long for that prediction to come true. More than 20,000 customers were without power in Massachusetts by midmorning Friday, according to The Boston Globe. A similar number were without power in New Hampshire, according to CNN affiliate WMUR-TV in Manchester.
WMUR reported that 560 schools were closed in New Hampshire because of the weather.
As the storm approached Thursday, Central Maine Power Co. warned that it could be the worst in a series of storms that have battered the area this winter, CNN affiliate WGME-TV in Portland reported, because the spring thaw has loosened the ground, making it easier for trees to fall. The utility had 400 workers on standby to deal with weather emergencies, WGME reported.
A powerful storm Sunday and Monday dropped more than 2 feet of snow in parts of upstate New York and northern New England – and heavy rain and freezing rain in other parts of the U.S. Northeast – cutting power to thousands and challenging motorists.
Thirty inches of snow was recorded in Jericho, Vermont, and New York’s Saranac Lake received 29 inches, according to CNN affiliate WPTZ. The roughly 24 inches of snow that fell in South Burlington, Vermont, is the fifth-largest amount from one storm recorded there, according to WPTZ and CNN affiliate WCAX.
Nearly all flights to and from Burlington’s airport were grounded on Monday, more than 10,000 Vermont utility customers were without power and many roads across the state were impassable, WCAX reported.
Republican candidate Rand Paul has won the Kentucky Senate race, CNN projects, beating out Democrat Jack Conway to become the first Tea Party candidate to win in the Senate.
Elsewhere, CNN projects that Vermont Democratic incumbent Sen. Patrick Leahy has won re-election to a seventh term, beating out Republican nominee Len Britton in the Senate race.
South Carolina incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has won his bid for re-election to a second term, CNN projects, beating out surprise Democratic nominee Alvin Greene.
Republican Dan Coats has defeated Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth to win Indiana's Senate race, CNN projects, to take the seat vacated by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, announced Thursday it has settled 26 clergy abuse lawsuits dating back to the 1970s for $17.6 million.