Monday, May 20, 2013

Published:

Massive tornado roars through Oklahoma City suburb, killing at least 51 people

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- A monstrous tornado at least a half-mile wide roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds up to 200 mph. At least 51 people were killed, and officials said the death toll was expected to rise.

The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, a community of 41,000 people about 10 miles south of the city. Block after block lay in ruins. Homes were crushed into piles of broken wood. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside.

The National Weather Service issued an initial finding that the tornado was an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale, the second most-powerful type of twister.

More than 140 people were being treated at hospitals, including about 70 children. And search-and-rescue efforts were to continue throughout the night.

Tiffany Thronesberry said she heard from her mother, Barbara Jarrell, shortly after the tornado.

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Deadliest US tornadoes since 1900

A list of the 10 deadliest tornadoes in the United States since 1900:

-- 695 deaths. March 18, 1925, in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

-- 216 deaths. April 5, 1936, in Tupelo, Miss.

-- 203 deaths. April 6, 1936, in Gainesville, Ga.

-- 181 deaths. April 9, 1947, in Woodward, Okla.

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10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

1. TORNADO ROARS THROUGH OKLAHOMA CITY SUBURBS

The twister, with winds up to 200 mph, reduces block after residential block to ruins and leaves dozens dead.

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In unusual pattern, Oklahoma tornado tracked path of 1999 monster twister with record winds

NEW YORK (AP) -- Monday's powerful tornado in suburban Oklahoma City loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region in May 1999.

The National Weather Service estimated that the storm that struck Moore, Okla., on Monday had wind speeds of up to 200 mph, and was at least a half-mile wide. The 1999 storm had winds clocked at 300 mph, according to the weather service website, and it destroyed or damaged more than 8,000 homes, killing at least two people.

Kelsey Angle, a weather service meteorologist in Kansas City, Mo., said it's unusual for two such powerful tornadoes to track roughly the same path. The 1999 twister was part of a two-day outbreak sweeping mostly across central Oklahoma -- similar to the past two days.

The weather service has tentatively classified the Moore twister's wind speeds as an EF4 on a 5-point scale. Angle said less than 1 percent of all tornadoes reach EF4 or EF5.

The thunderstorm developed in an area where warm moist air rose into cooler air. Winds in the area caused the storm to rotate, and that rotation promoted the development of a tornado. The most destructive and deadly tornadoes develop from rotating thunderstorms.

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Bold move: Yahoo makes $1.1 billion bet on Tumblr, Internet whiz kid in bid to be hip again

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- After falling woefully out of fashion, Yahoo wants to be cool again while catering to the capitalistic demands of its shareholders. That goal led CEO Marissa Mayer to make a $1.1 billion bet on online blogging forum Tumblr in a risky acquisition that revolves around the vision and instincts of a 26-year-old entrepreneur who dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of bringing more beauty and creativity to the Internet.

The deal announced Monday is Mayer's boldest move since she left Google 10 months ago to lead Yahoo's latest comeback attempt. It marks Yahoo's most expensive acquisition since it bought online search engine Overture a decade ago for $1.3 billion.

While hailing Tumblr as a fount of creativity that attracts 300 million visitors each month, Mayer told analysts Monday that she is "making a sincere promise to not screw it up." Yahoo said its founder, David Karp, will remain in charge and will keep Tumblr's headquarters in New York to retain the same "irreverence, wit and commitment to empower creators."

Tumblr's audience, which boasts a large concentration of teens and people in their early 20s, is already fretting that the service is going to become more stodgy and commercial under the ownership of an 18-year-old company that seems ancient by Internet standards. Advertising largely has been a missing ingredient so far as Tumblr, like many online services in their early stages, focused on building a loyal audience before turning its attention to making money. By purchasing Tumblr, Yahoo will have more opportunities to sell ads.

"I can't help but be concerned that Yahoo will 'Yahooize' Tumblr and make it as irrelevant as the mother ship," said Jennifer Grant, 36, who has a Tumblr blog.

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Circle of White House advisers who knew of IRS probe widens; officials say Obama wasn't told

WASHINGTON (AP) -- White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior advisers knew in late April that an impending report was likely to say the IRS had inappropriately targeted conservative groups, President Barack Obama's spokesman disclosed Monday, expanding the circle of top officials who knew of the audit beyond those named earlier.

But McDonough and the other advisers did not tell Obama, leaving him to learn about the politically perilous results of the internal investigation from news reports more than two weeks later, officials said.

The Treasury Department also told the White House twice in the weeks leading up to the IRS disclosure that the tax agency planned to make the targeting public, a Treasury official said.

The apparent decision to keep the president in the dark about the matter underscores the White House's cautious legal approach to controversies and reflects a desire by top advisers to distance Obama from troubles threatening his administration.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney defended keeping the president out of the loop on the Internal Revenue Service audit, saying Obama was comfortable with the fact that "some matters are not appropriate to convey to him, and this is one of them."

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Hezbollah pulled more deeply into Syria war, activists say 28 members killed in key battle

BEIRUT (AP) -- Hezbollah was pulled more deeply into Syria's civil war as 28 guerrillas from the Lebanese Shiite militant group were killed and dozens more wounded while fighting rebels, Syria activists said Monday.

The intense battle drove rebels from large parts of the town of Qusair, part of a withering government offensive aimed at securing a strategic land corridor from Damascus to the Mediterranean coast.

Hezbollah-affiliated hospitals in Lebanon urged blood donations through mosque loudspeakers and ambulances raced along the Damascus road in a stark indication of the group's increasingly prominent role in Syria.

The overt Hezbollah involvement -- several funerals for group members were held Monday in Lebanon -- edges the war further into a regional sectarian conflict pitting the Middle East's Iranian-backed Shiite axis against Sunnis.

It also raised tensions considerably in Lebanon, where Hezbollah has come under harsh criticism for its involvement in the civil war next door.

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Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of rock group The Doors, dies at 74 from cancer

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complemented Jim Morrison's gloomy baritone and helped set the mood for some of rock's most enduring songs, has died. He was 74.

Manzarek died Monday in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. She said the musician's manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken with bile duct cancer.

The Doors' original lineup, which also included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger, was only together for a few years and they only made six studio albums. But the band has retained a large and obsessive following decades after Morrison's death, in 1971. The Doors have sold more than 100 million records and songs such as "Light My Fire" and "Riders On the Storm" are still "classic" rock favorites. For Doors admirers, the band symbolized the darker side of the Los Angeles lifestyle, what happened to the city after the sun went down and the Beach Boys fans headed home.

Next to Morrison, Manzarek was the most distinctive-looking band member, his glasses and wavy blond hair making him resemble a young English professor more than a rock star, a contrast to Morrison's Dionysian glamour -- his sensuous mouth and long, dark hair. Musically, Manzarek's spidery organ on "Light My Fire" is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in rock history.

But he seemed up to finding the right touch for a wide range of songs -- the sleepy, lounge-style keyboards on "Riders On the Storm"; the liquid strains for "The Crystal Ship"; the barrelhouse romps on "Roadhouse Blues." The Doors always considered themselves "more" than a rock band and Manzarek, Densmore and Krieger often managed a flowing rapport that blended rock, blues and jazz behind Morrison's self-consciously poetic lyrics.

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Datsyuk, Miller, Nyquist score to help Red Wings beat Blackhawks 3-1 to take 2-1 series lead

DETROIT (AP) -- Gustav Nyquist and Drew Miller scored 31 seconds apart midway through the second period and Pavel Datsyuk restored a two-goal lead in the third to help the Detroit Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the second round series.

Patrick Kane scored 4:35 into the third period to pull Chicago within one. The Blackhawks celebrated as if they tied the game about a minute later, but Andrew Shaw's goal was waved off because he was in the crease.

Datsyuk's goal 6:46 into the final period gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.

The seventh-seeded Red Wings have a shot to put the top-seeded Blackhawks on the brink of elimination Thursday night in Game 4.

Detroit's Jimmy Howard made 39 saves and Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots.

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He done Ma proud: 26-year-old Tumblr founder's transformation from whiz kid to tech king

NEW YORK (AP) -- As a teenager, Tumblr CEO David Karp would canvass the streets of New York City's Upper West Side, offering to build websites for local businesses. After his freshman year of high school, the precocious, computer-savvy kid decided to drop out altogether to devote more time to his passion for technology.

A few years later, Karp built Tumblr -- the wildly popular blogging forum -- from his tiny childhood bedroom, hunched over his laptop with bags of Tostitos. And on Saturday, the 26-year-old technology wunderkind returned home to inform his mother that, in a game-changing transaction, Yahoo was buying Tumblr for $1.1 billion.

"There were a few tears and lots of hugs, and a lot of excitement," said his mother, Barbara Ackerman. "This is something that he built -- it's his baby -- and it's emotional."

The deal was a transcendent moment for Karp, who created one of the world's busiest websites. It boasts 75 million daily posts and a user base that's loyal, young and hip. While Facebook has morphed into a mainstream social network where grandparents talk golf, Tumblr is still that little corner of the Internet where the cool kids hang out.

True to the company's laid-back, jeans-and-sneakers culture, Karp's wry sense of humor remained intact on Monday morning, when all employees were summoned to a meeting in Tumblr's New York headquarters. Cognizant of media reports that Tumblr was on the verge of a sale, everyone waited with bated breath as Karp kicked off the meeting with a tongue-in-cheek announcement: It was time to formulate a new "dog policy."