US cleans up after winter blizzard and tornado 11/02/2013 12:29 CET
Flattened homes and fences, trees and debris scattered across yards, that is what remains of North Texas. 20,000 homes and businesses are thought to still be without power after 10 violent tornadoes slammed into several small communities there Wednesday evening, local time.
At least six people have been killed. Names of the victims haven not yet been released but authorities have confirmed they were all adults. Dozens have been injured and hundreds left homeless.
Granbury city was hit the worst as the tornado ripped through two neighborhoods. 90 people have been evacuated there.
Gripping hold of her 9 month old daughter, Granbury resident Elizabeth Tovar describes the moment her and her family ran for cover:
“We were all, like, hugging in the bathtub and that’s when it started happening. I heard glass shattering and I knew my house was going. And we looked up and then, like, on top of the bathtub the whole ceiling was gone. And that was when we knew we were, we were probably gone, we were in trouble.”
Rescue workers are continuing to comb through wreckage searching for the seven people thought to be missing.
More about: Tornado, United States tornado
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The helipad – located in the Kremlin’s Tainitsky (Secret) Garden – has already been tested.“The president will use it as soon as reasonably practicable,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Currently, Putin is at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.To commute to the Kremlin from his official residence in Novo-Ogaryvo, just outside Moscow, Putin will use a Russian-made Mi-8 chopper. It is “the only kind of helicopter” the president flies on, Peskov noted.The use of such heavy aircraft as an Mi-8, will cause no damage to the buildings, palaces and cathedrals in the Kremlin – Moscow’s architectural pearl.“All the possible effects on the architecture were thought ahead before the site for this heliport was picked,” Peskov assured. “A scientific approach and a great deal of sensors” were used during the construction, he added.Both Putin and his initial presidential predecessor, the late Boris Yeltsin, occasionally used to fly to work on choppers which landed on the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square, the spokesperson recalled. That spot, however, was not entirely suitable as it was quite crowded with tourists.Official motorcades agitate drivers in Moscow, where traffic is already a nightmare. The long cavalcades of black vehicles carrying authorities – accompanied by sirens and police bikes – only add to the headaches. Every time they cross the city, police block the roads and ordinary drivers have to wait in long traffic jams.According to Peskov, though, motorcades do not really worsen the situation with traffic, but only cause “temporary difficulties.” Still, taking into account public anger, Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev minimized their trips to downtown Moscow, working from their residences outside the city whenever possible.Medvedev has been using a helicopter for several months now to get to his office in the White House – the Russian government headquarters.“The Prime Minister uses a helicopter whenever weather conditions are suitable. It has practically become his main mode of transport,” Medvedev’s spokesperson Natalya Timakova said, cites Itar-Tass. The head of the government prefers flying in Mi-8 and, also, European AgustaWestland helicopters. … Read More
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At least two people were killed when part of a shoe factory collapsed in Cambodia on Thursday. A concrete roof fell down at the plant in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Pnomh Penh.
Reports suggest around 100 people could have been working in the factory at the time. It is not clear how many people have been killed – but the Cambodian government has confirmed two deaths.
Cambodian Social Affairs Minister Ith Samheng said: “We pay our deep condolences to those who died. The government will organise an investigation into this incident and take measures to prevent something like this from happening again.”
Samheng said no-one remained trapped in the building.
Workplace safety in the global garment industry has been in the spotlight in recent weeks – after a clothing factory collapsed in Bangladesh in April, killing more than 1,100 people.
More about: Cambodia, Victims
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Six people have been killed in a suicide bombing, after a group allied to the Taliban say they targeted foreign troops in Kabul.. Another 37 people were injured in the attack in the Afghan capital on Thursday morning. The suicide bomber drove his car at a convoy transporting…
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Steven Miller, who was not in charge of the IRS at the time of the wrongdoing, will step aside in light of the bureau’s “inexcusable” misconduct. A visibly angry Obama said that the extra screening for Tea Party groups before the presidential election last year was “an outrage.” “I am angry about it,” Obama said, adding that the American people should be upset, as well. “Everybody believes what happened… is an outrage. The good news is that it’s fixable…I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that this never happens again.”His short remarks were in response to the controversy that has reverberated throughout Washington in recent days. Obama previously said the accusations were “outrageous” but waited for a report from the US Treasury Department’s inspector general to publicly elaborate on the matter. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who is also a top Obama deputy, requested Miller’s resignation. Miller will not step down immediately, but in June, according to NBC News. “An urgent need to restore public trust,” Lew wrote in a letter to Miller. “I find it necessary at this time to request your resignation.” The results of the inspector general’s probe, which were made public Tuesday, do not blame IRS leadership in Washington for initiating the screening process – but do fault them for failing to adequately supervise employees in the Cincinnati office where the targeting program was born. Lori Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt organizations department, blamed “low level employees” for using terms like “Tea Party” and “patriot” to filter and prevent right-wing groups from being granted tax-exempt status due to suspicions they were engaged solely in political activities.Included in the IRS’ responsibilities are collecting federal taxes as well as interpreting and enforcing the Internal Revenue Code. “It should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity,” Obama continued on Wednesday. “We’re going to hold the responsible parties accountable.”In an editorial published Tuesday in USA Today Miller admitted filtering took place but denied it was motivated by political differences. “There was a shortcut taken in our processes to determine which groups needed additional review,” he wrote. “The mistakes we made were due to the absence of a sufficient process for working the increase in cases and a lack of sensitivity to the implications of some of the decisions that were made.”US Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced the Department of Justice had launched an investigation into the 18 months the IRS admitted scrutinizing political groups, said he was unsure which, if any, laws had been broken. The Justice Department’s inquiry joins three Congressional committees that are scheduled to begin examining what happened in hearings this week. At a news conference on Tuesday, Holder called the practice “outrageous and unacceptable” and pledged to fully investigate.IRS agents, who also screened groups championing the Constitution and Bill of Rights, stymied the organizations because they were trying to determine if the political activities of the groups disqualified them from tax exemption, according to the Associated Press.The snared groups claimed social welfare on their applications. Such charitable groups are permitted to engage in political activity, but politics cannot be their single reason for existence. Current tax law leaves it to the IRS to make that decision. Other non-Tea Party political groups were not screened. “The criteria developed by the Determinations Unit gives the appearance that the IRS is not impartial in conducting its mission,” the inspector general’s report said. The flawed sorting process did not result in any group having its application denied, but many still have yet to hear back on applications filed years ago. As of December 2012 the average delay lasted 574 days, which could have hurt the likelihood donors would contribute. … Read More