UPDATE: 37 people have been confirmed dead from today's tornado, with 60 more injured.
A tornado warning has been issued for three counties in southern and central Oklahoma.
In addition to a tornado, large destructive hail up to baseball size is expected with this storm. Locations impacted include Pauls Valley, Stratford, Paoli, Byars and Whitebead.
Authorities say an elementary school in an Oklahoma City suburb took a direct hit from a mile-wide tornado.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department says the school suffered "extensive damage" on Monday afternoon. He did not say which school was hit.
Neighborhoods in Moore, Okla., are flattened and blown apart, with shards of wood and pieces of insulation strewn everywhere. Television footage also showed first responders picking through rubble and twisted metal in the suburb south of Oklahoma City.
Check out the video coverage of the devastation caused by the powerful tornado that touched down today.
A labor union that represents federal officers who vet immigration applications has decided to oppose the immigration overhaul winding through the Senate, saying provisions in the bill could lead to fraud.
The proposed legislation would “damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers,” Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, said Monday.
The union announced its opposition as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee spent a fourth day debating proposed amendments to the bipartisan bill.
Senators considered changes to provisions for granting asylum to refugees, increasing the number of judges and staff at immigration courts, and creating a pathway to legal status for millions of immigrants. The judiciary committee could vote on the bill as early as Wednesday.
The National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council represents about 12,000 staff and officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that would process potentially millions of applications by immigrants seeking legal status if the bill is approved.
A student may be responsible for two incidents of vandalism involving graffiti targeting African-American students at Agoura High School. On Sunday, racially derogatory graffiti was found painted on the walls of the school.
Officials painted over Sunday's graffiti without warning parents. But the culprit struck again Wednesday and targeted five specific African American students in a so-called "hit list" painted in the boy's bathroom. The latest writing on the wall claimed the five students would be the first to die.
Larry Misel, Agoura High School's principal, doesn't believe the messages left across campus Sunday and Wednesday were racially motivated. Misel said one theory being investigated is the possibility a student could be responsible for the graffiti. "We do not believe this has anything specifically to do with a racial incident, but rather a motivation for somebody to get what they thought they needed," said Misel.
Officials believe the student was trying to create the perception of a hostile environment at Agoura High School. The student was trying to get around CIF regulations so that he or she could transfer to another school to play sports.
Augora High School has a population of over 2,100 students. Officials say 31 of those students are African-American.
After a contest for mayor of Los Angeles that has consumed the better part of two years, the two finalists, their staffs, the media and a largely disinterested electorate doubtless would welcome an end to the drama Tuesday, election day.
But the large number of Angelenos voting by mail, the apparent tightness of the race and the peculiarities of the City Clerk's ballot-counting procedures open the possibility that the winner might not be known for days, or even weeks.
Although the campaigns of city Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti still hope a winner will emerge May 21, Loyola Marymount University political scientist Fernando Guerra sees a "very high" chance of a delayed outcome.
"My sense is that the election is getting tighter and tighter and that it's going to be won by 1% or 2%," said Guerra, who oversees an exit poll on the municipal election. Others caution against projections in what is expected to be a very low turnout election, with perhaps 25% of the city's 1.8 million registered voters likely to cast ballots.
When Medicare disclosed average charges from thousands of U.S. hospitals for 100 common procedures last week, only one hospital was near the top in every category: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Be it a cardiac stent, a hip replacement or a pacemaker, Cedars-Sinai's list prices for these routine treatments ranked among the top 5% in the country.
For example, the average charge at Cedars-Sinai for gallbladder surgery with complications was $153,302 in 2011 compared with the U.S. median charge of $42,380, government data show. That figure ranked second nationally.
Overall, California hospitals dominated the ranks of the most expensive. Nine of the 10 hospitals with the highest share of procedures in the top tier of charges were from the Golden State, including Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, Calif.
California’s pace of job creation slowed in April, as employers added 10,300 jobs in April, nevertheless pushing the state’s unemployment rate down to 9% from 9.4% the month before. Employers had added twice as many jobs in March as they did in April. They slowed job creation in nearly every sector, including government, financial activities and trade, according to data released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It’s possible that continued uncertainty in Washington, coupled with the effects of the sequester and an expiration of payroll tax cuts is keeping employers’ expectations tempered, said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands.
“If they have confidence, then they will be ready to hire people,” he said about employers. “The biggest concern is Washington, which is spewing out so much uncertainty that it is dampening confidence and economic growth.”
Another worrying figure: 5,500. That’s the number of people in California who dropped out of the labor force in April, either retiring or giving up looking for work. Around 139,000 people in California have dropped out of the labor force in the past year. Some go on disability rolls, Sohn said, others lose their jobs to the machines that employers are buying to increase productivity, and some retire.
A teenager in California who only knew the first name of a girl who posted suicidal thoughts online has saved her life after calling police and sparking an against-the-clock search.
Jackie Rosas, from Cathedral City, California, alerted her local authorities at 5pm on May 6 after she saw the girl write on Tumblr, a social networking site, that she was going to kill herself.
Armed with just the girl's first name, local police and school staff carried out tireless web sleuthing to uncover the identity of the girl - who was found in Union Township, New Jersey eight hours later.
The 16-year-old girl, who has not been named, was found unconscious after consuming a large quantity of pills, taken to a medical facility and put on a psychiatric hold, according to police reports.
IF YOU EVER FEEL SUICIDAL, PLEASE CALL THIS NUMBER:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
We spoke with Whittier residents who are angry about the proposed water meter fees that will exponentially increase the water bills of residents, just for the privilege of having a meter at all.
Residents who used to pay just $2 a month for their meter now pay about $15 a month, and by next summer that amount will jump to nearly $74 a month!
The increased fees have nothing to do with water usage or water shortages.
To make a difference, we are urging residents/businesses to WRITE a simple letter of protest with their names and addresses included, and mail it PRIOR TO JUNE 11 to:
City of Whittier
13230 Penn Street
Whittier, CA 90602
How bad and widespread are California cities' fiscal problems? "Virtually ubiquitous and massive,'' says Rod Kiewiet, professor of political science at California Institute of Technology.
In April, Stockton became the fourth California city — and the nation's largest — to go into bankruptcy protection since the recession began five years ago. The move by the Central Valley city to reorganize its wrecked finances under court protection has triggered a guessing game over which hard-pressed cities might be next.
Despite signs of economic recovery, many parts of the nation's most populous state are feeling a hangover from the collapse of housing prices, prolonged high unemployment and resulting declines in revenue. They are confronting soaring demands for spending on public workers' pensions and retiree health care while slashing services, rolling back pay and laying off cops, firefighters and other workers.