Update at 8:13 a.m. ET: The Arkansas death toll has risen to seven. The AP reports Ark. Gov. Mike Beebe declared a state of emergency, going back to April 19 when a set of deadly storms hit the state.
Our original post: 'The town's gone,' according to AP's headline. Vilonia, Arkansas has been hit by a suspected tornado, killing two people and destroying at least 50 homes. Three more people died in flooding accidents. In Missouri, a waterlogged levee is restraining the Black River; if it's breached, 7,000 people are at risk.
It's the 25th anniversary of the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl, Ukraine. On Morning Edition, NPR's Christopher Joyce examines the data on Chernobyl cancer rates while NPR's David Greene talks with 'liquidators', the firefighters who cleaned up the radioactive site, about their health.
The U.S. government is telling Americans to leave Syria immediately. The State Department's travel warning urges Americans to get out 'while commercial transportation is readily available'; people considering a visit should postpone it. The U.S. embassy is still open 'to the extent possible'.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times who notes hundreds of people have died in Syrian uprisings; Borzou says Syria's government is opaque but controlled by Bashir al-Assad and a handful of people close to him; he says the decision to attack protesters must have been issued from them.
Europe's financial trouble isn't getting better. Greece just found out that last year's budget deficit was 10.5%. Bloomberg reports the Greek government had said in February its deficit was 9.4%. The showing will make it harder for Greece to repay its debt and attract new investment. The Wall Street Journal notes this year, the Greek government needs to meet targets set by the European Union as part of its financial rescue package.
A federal judge has ordered NFL owners to stop locking out NFL players in the nearly two month long pro football dispute. The ruling gives some momentum to the players but the AP reports owners instantly appealed, saying the judge overstepped her authority. Players are supposed to report to work today and the next step is unclear.