A furious storm system that kicked up tornadoes, flash floods and hail as big as softballs has left at least 37 people dead on a rampage that has stretched for days as it barreled from Oklahoma to North Carolina and Virginia. Emergency crews searched for victims in hard-hit swaths of North Carolina, where 62 tornadoes were reported from the worst spring storm in two decades to hit the state. Ten people were confirmed dead in Bertie County, county manager Zee Lamb said.
TOKYO (AP) — The operator of Japan's crippled nuclear plant laid out a blueprint Sunday for stopping radiation leaks and stabilizing damaged reactors within the next six to nine months as a first step toward allowing some of the tens of thousands of evacuees to return to the area. While the government said the timeframe was realistic, those forced to flee their homes, jobs and farms were frustrated that their exile is not going to end soon. And officials acknowledge that unforeseen complications, or even another natural disaster, could set that timetable back even further.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (GYT'-nur) says Republicans are assuring the administration that they will pass an increase in the government's borrowing limit in time to prevent an unprecedented default on the nation's debt. Geithner tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that Republicans gave this assurance to President Barack Obama at a White House meeting last Wednesday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government said air traffic controllers would have more time to rest between shifts under new work rules announced Sunday, while Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made clear he won't tolerate dozing off despite studies and expert recommendations that suggest scheduled sleep can help combat fatigue. "On my watch, controllers will not be paid to take naps. We're not going to allow that," LaHood said. "They are going to be paid to do the job that they're trained to do, which involves guiding planes in and out of airports safely. But we are not going to pay controllers to be napping."
AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) — Troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday shelled the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya, a strategic eastern town that has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks. The government bombardment of Ajdabiya marked a setback for the rebels, who were forced to retreat a day after having advanced as far as the outskirts of the oil town of Brega, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) to the west.
TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that America would stand by Japan, saying she was confident the country will fully recover from its tsunami and nuclear disasters. "We are very confident that Japan will recover and will be a very strong economic and global player for years and decades to come," Clinton told Prime Minister Naoto Kan during a brief visit to Tokyo intended as a morale boost to the crucial U.S. ally.
MULLAN, Idaho (AP) — Rescuers worked Sunday to reach a miner caught in an Idaho cave-in more than a mile underground, and anxiously awaited the arrival of a remote-control digger that will allow them to tunnel more quickly and safely through unstable earth. The roof of a tunnel at the northern Idaho silver mine collapsed as two brothers were working, trapping one of the men but the other was able to escape, according to officials and family members.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI, leading a huge crowd at Palm Sunday outdoor Mass, lauded man's technological accomplishments but lamented that his increasing abilities can also be used for evil. Waving palm fronds and olive branches — symbols of peace — pilgrims, tourists and Romans packed St. Peter's Square on a sunny, breezy day for the start of Holy Week ceremonies. When the ceremony began, the square was nearly full, but by its end, a crowd numbering in the tens of thousands spilled over into the broad boulevard which leads to the Tiber.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As millions of procrastinators scramble to meet Monday's tax filing deadline, ponder this: The super rich pay a lot less taxes than they did a couple of decades ago, and nearly half of U.S. households pay no income taxes at all. The Internal Revenue Service tracks the tax returns with the 400 highest adjusted gross incomes each year. The average income on those returns in 2007, the latest year for IRS data, was nearly $345 million. Their average federal income tax rate was 17 percent, down from 26 percent in 1992.
WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Shaquille O'Neal will miss the Boston Celtics' playoff opener against the New York Knicks on Sunday night with a right calf injury. General manager Danny Ainge made the announcement during practice Saturday and said "we don't know when he'll be ready." Game 2 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series is in Boston on Tuesday night