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Alabama Suffers After Tornadoes; Missouri Levee Breached

May 3, 2011

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The deaths and injuries from last week's record tornadoes were the worst in Alabama. The Birmingham News reports 236 people died in Alabama during the spate of violent storms last week and more than 2,200 were injured. The National Weather Service designated one of the Alabama tornadoes an EF-5. That's the strongest possible designation. At least three EF-4 tornadoes killed many other people and wrecked several Alabama counties.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has breached a Missouri levee to drain backed up water because it threatens the town of Cairo, Illinois. The AP reports engineers detonated the first explosives late Monday evening, creating a two-mile hole in the levee. The draining water will flood 100 Missouri homes and spare the Illinois town of 2,800.

British police have arrested five men in northwestern England who were close to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant. Reuters says the men are all in their 20s. The Westmoreland Gazette says the men were detained yesterday under Britain's counterterrorism laws after officers conducted a routine check on a vehicle near the Sellafield site.

Sony is reporting a new security breach. Hackers may have stolen personal data from more than 24 million people who put in credit card information. The Washington Post says this breach may have occurred in mid-April, before another hack into Sony's PlayStation system. At risk are names, birthdates, credit card numbers and passwords, among others.

French investigators located the second flight data recorder from an Air France jetliner that crashed off Brazil nearly two years ago. It's not known what caused the plane to go down in the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people aboard. Bloomberg reports investigators think the two data recorders are in good shape and may provide clues to the cause of the accident.

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