The record number of violent tornadoes that tore through Alabama at the end of April killed hundreds and destroyed millions of dollars worth of property. So it's not a surprise that those communities hit hard by the storms, like Tuscaloosa, Ala., are still rebuilding. Takeaway news writer David Ingram, a longtime Alabama resident, reports on the state's efforts at picking up the pieces.
At least 194 people across the southern United States are dead after tornadoes and storms ripped across the region. An estimated mile-wide tornado struck the town of Tuscaloosa, Ala. At least 128 people were reported killed by storms in Alabama alone, with 32 in Mississippi, 11 in Georgia and 1 in Tennessee and Virginia. Katelyn Ingram, a sophomore at the University of Alabama, tells us about her experience with the storm. Harold Brooks, research meteorologist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory shares his expertise, and Takeaway news writer David Ingram, a Birmingham native, weighs in.
Tim Pawlenty. Who? Exactly.
That was the response of most Americans when Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor with a “red-hot smoking wife,” became the first Republican to enter the 2012 presidential race. However, some say this fisherman from Main Street is too prepared for this election. He wanted to be a dentist, but he’ll settle for president.
A forthcoming piece in Rolling Stone magazine has sent shock waves around the world this morning as General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S.'s top commander in Afghanistan, has been summoned to Washington to answer for quotes he gave to journalist Michael Hastings. In the article, McChrystal is quoted as disparaging Obama administration officials, mocking Vice President Biden, and denouncing retired General Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.
In Hastings' profile, as reported by the AFP, McChrystal asks, "Who's that?" at the mention of Biden's name. Another adviser jests, "Biden? Did you say bite me?"
News of oil hitting the Alabama coastline has local residents worried about its effects on their community. Some state politicians, including Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Alabama Governor Bob Riley, believe the media is exaggerating what is actually happening on the coastlines, causing residents to worry and hurting business unnecessarily. Not everyone agrees: Tim Kant, mayor of Fairhope, Ala., says "the media is frustrated and has every right to be frustrated. We rely on the press and this is the time when the press needs everything at their fingertips to report on the situation. The outlets are not getting the information they need."
BP’s legal woes are mounting as oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that federal authorities will open both civil and criminal inquiries into the Gulf Oil spill.
Oil has now been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for 36 days. BP has taken full responsibility for plugging the leak and cleaning up the water and shores, but some are now saying that after a month of attempts, their time at bat is up, and the federal government should take over operations. According to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the government can federalize the spill and run the cleanup operation, billing BP for the total cost. However, this remedy is meant to be used as a last resort.