The death toll from devastating tornadoes around the South has risen to 290 in six states, while one of the hardest-hit cities in Alabama is imposing a 10 p.m. curfew. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's office has reported nine more deaths as of late Thursday. That brings the total for the state to 204.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The reshuffled national security team President Barack Obama introduced on Thursday will be charged with fighting not only the overseas war in Afghanistan but also budget battles on the home front over Pentagon spending that has ballooned into a fat target for deficit hawks. His own re-election campaign approaching, Obama turned to a cast of familiar and respected officials for the most sweeping reworking of his national security team since the opening weeks of his presidency. He invoked the political upheaval and violence roiling the Middle East, the nearly 10-year-old Afghan war and the hard cost-cutting decisions ahead as the country tries to reduce its crushing debt.
MISRATA, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi's forces shelled civilian areas in the rebel-held city of Misrata on Thursday, killing 10 people. Regime supporters and opponents battled on another front in western Libya for control of a crossing point along the Tunisian border, killing refugees as they fled. Rockets and other artillery fire slammed into Misrata's western Garara neighborhood, sending up deadly showers of shrapnel. At the city's Hikma hospital, relatives shouting "God is great" collected the dead, each with the word "martyr" written in marker on their white funeral shrouds.
LONDON (AP) — Each step has been rehearsed, each flower meticulously arranged, the aisle of Westminster Abbey transformed into a flowering avenue of trees. With just hours to go before his wedding to Kate Middleton, dedicated royal watchers camped outside got an unexpected surprise — a visit from Prince William.
NEW YORK (AP) — It's a sight many Americans would surely love to see: a recovering Rep. Gabrielle Giffords watching as her astronaut husband blasts off into space. But it's unlikely they will see it. Giffords will attend Friday's space shuttle launch in Florida but watch in private, and her staff says there are no plans to release photos of her, though that could change.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Shortly after President Barack Obama declared himself an American-born citizen with papers to prove it, Baratunde Thurston declared himself a disgusted black man. "I find it hard to summarize in mere words the amount of pain and rage this incident has caused," Thurston said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot to shoot Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and his bullets did not kill the presidential candidate, lawyers for Sirhan said in new legal papers. The documents filed this week in federal court and obtained by The Associated Press detail extensive interviews with Sirhan during the past three years, some done while he was under hypnosis.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some of the killer tornadoes that ripped across the South may have been among the largest and most powerful ever recorded, experts suggested, leaving a death toll that is approaching that of a tragic "super outbreak" of storms almost 40 years ago. "There's a pretty good chance some of these were a mile wide, on the ground for tens of miles and had wind speeds over 200 mph," said Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla.
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC was not responding to a challenge by talk-show host Lawrence O'Donnell to disclose whether Donald Trump will return next fall with "The Celebrity Apprentice." ''NBC has created a monster and it is called Donald Trump," O'Donnell said in a blistering 15-minute rant on Wednesday's edition of his show, "The Last Word," which airs on MSNBC, a sister network of NBC.
NEW YORK (AP) — Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is the first pick of the 2011 NFL draft, going to the Carolina Panthers. The Heisman Trophy winner was projected as the player most likely to be called first — and he was, by Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was repeatedly booed by fans at Radio City Music Hall.