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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Howard’s Slam, 6 RBIs, Lead Phillies Over Mets

Howard’s Slam, 6 RBIs, Lead Phillies Over Mets

(credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ryan Howard hit two homers, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs to back rookie fill-in Vance Worley and lead the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-3 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night.

Howard launched a two-run shot into the second deck in right field off starter Mike Pelfrey in the fourth inning to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead. After making contact, Howard dropped his bat and stared in admiration for a couple of seconds at the 427-foot drive before trotting around the bases.

The big slugger is batting .412 (14 for 34) with three homers and six RBIs against Pelfrey.

for full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Philadelphia Police Remind The Public To Beware Of The Fairmount Park Rapist

Philadelphia Police Remind The Public To Beware Of The Fairmount Park Rapist

Philadelphia Police stand next to sketch of the Fairmount Park rapist. (Credit: John McDevitt)

Philadelphia Police stand next to sketch of the Fairmount Park rapist. (Credit: John McDevitt)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Members of the Philadelphia Police Department were out in Fairmount Park on Saturday handing out fliers and talking with the public to remind them to be aware of their surroundings as the hunt for a serial rapist continues.

Eight years ago, on April 30th 2003 a rape occurred at Kelly Drive and Fountain Green Drive. DNA linked the suspect to three other rapes; two in 2003 and the most recent in Penny Pack Park on August 11th 2007.

Police continue to search for the suspected serial rapist known today as the Fairmount Park rapist.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Many Residents Stop By Local Church To Turn In Expired Or Unused Prescription Drugs

Many Residents Stop By Local Church To Turn In Expired Or Unused Prescription Drugs

(Credit: John McDevitt)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The government held its second national prescription drug take back day on Saturday. The goal is to dispose of the medicines in an environmentally safe way and remove the temptation for those who might abuse them.

The Bryant Baptist Church along South 19th Street near Federal Street in South Philadelphia was just one prescription drug drop off location out of nearly 5,000 sites nationwide.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon parents of twins

Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon parents of twins

AP Photo
FILE - In a March 7, 2010 file photo, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Carey gave birth to twins, a baby girl and boy, Saturday morning April 30, 2011 at an undisclosed hospital in Los Angeles. Carey's representative, Cindi Berger, confirmed the births to The Associated Press.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon celebrated their fourth anniversary with another milestone - becoming parents to a baby girl and boy.

Carey's representative, Cindi Berger, confirmed the births to The Associated Press. The singing superstar gave birth Saturday at 12:07 p.m. EDT at an undisclosed hospital in Los Angeles. Berger says the baby girl was born first, weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces, and was 18 inches long; her brother was next, at 5 pounds 6 ounces, and was 19 inches.

Berger says the couple has not named the children yet. Cannon drove Carey to the hospital in their Rolls-Royce Phantom. Berger said the 41-year-old Carey, who had gone through false labor, was calm, thinking that it was another false alarm.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Cannon was so nervous he went to the wrong department at the hospital, and was guided to the maternity ward by a nurse.

"It was like right out of an 'I Love Lucy' skit," said Berger.

Berger says they were listening to Carey's "We Belong Together" after the children were born.

The couple are expected to renew their wedding vows on Sunday. The pair got married in 2007 after a whirlwind romance. They were the subject of endless baby rumors, and the couple actually were expecting shortly after their marriage, but Carey had a miscarriage; they did not reveal the miscarriage until she announced her pregnancy last fall.

The couple plan to live a bi-coastal life, and have luxurious nurseries in both New York and Los Angeles.

As far as more children, Carey recently declared she's done.

Obama to shift from consoler to comic Saturday

Obama to shift from consoler to comic Saturday

AP Photo
President Barack Obama waves as he walks from Marine One across the South Lawn to the White House, Friday, April 29, 2011, in Washington, as he returns form Florida.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is shifting from consoler to comic for his appearance before a mix of politicians, celebrities and journalists at Washington's premier black-tie dinner.

Obama was to attend the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner Saturday night, one day after traveling to Alabama to meet with residents affected by the deadliest tornado outbreak in 40 years and view what the president said was the worst devastation he's ever seen.

The president's speech at last year's dinner came just days after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama ended his otherwise humorous speech by asking the audience to remember those affected by the spill. He traveled to the Gulf Coast the next morning to assess relief efforts.

But in a town consumed by politics and partisanship, the dinner is typically a light-hearted affair and an opportunity for the president to show off his humorous side. Obama has used his past appearances to crack jokes at everything from the infamous couple that crashed his first state dinner to the off-the-cuff speaking style of his vice president, Joe Biden.

Obama's political rivals haven't been safe from the president's zingers either, and this year will likely be no exception. In fact, some Republicans who may get into the 2012 presidential race were expected to attend. They included Obama's first ambassador to China, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, as well as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Donald Trump.

The association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.

In recent years, the dinner has attracted a wide array of Hollywood celebrities. Among the 3,000 guests expected to attend this year's event are actors Sean Penn and Jon Hamm, American Idol judge and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, and Bristol Palin, daughter of 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

"Saturday Night Live" comedian Seth Myers was booked to provide laughs at the dinner.

Some of the proceeds from the dinner pay for journalism scholarships for college students.

Several journalists will also be honored at the dinner:

- Dan Balz of The Washington Post and Jake Tapper of ABC News, for winning the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure. Balz won for his coverage of an unexpected appearance by Obama and former President Bill Clinton in the White House briefing room. Tapper won for a story revealing that Obama was about to ask Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair to step down.

- Peter Baker of The New York Times, for winning the Aldo Beckman award for sustained excellence in White House coverage. Baker won for what the judges called a "remarkable run" in 2010 with dozens of stories dubbed "the education of a president."

- Michael Berens of The Seattle Times, for winning the Edgar A. Poe Award for excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance. Berens won for a series that uncovered flaws in a health care plan for seniors that resulted in neglect, abuse and even death.

Volunteers tend to victims in storm-ravaged South

Volunteers tend to victims in storm-ravaged South

AP Photo
Tuscaloosa residents gather in a parking lot where food, water, and supplies are being distributed to those in need in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, April 30, 2011.

PRATT CITY, Ala. (AP) -- Whether it's refilling blood-pressure medicine or patrolling neighborhoods in a grocery-filled pickup truck, tornado victims in splintered Southern towns say volunteers are ensuring they're well-fed and warm at night. At least a few, though, say they need more from the government: Help getting into their homes and cleaning up endless debris.

Across the twister-ravaged South, students and church groups aggressively tended to those who needed it most, clearing away wreckage and handing out food and water. Wednesday's tornadoes marked the second-deadliest day of twisters in U.S. history, leaving 341 people dead across seven states - including 249 in Alabama. Thousands were hurt, and hundreds of homes and businesses have vanished into rubble.

Federal Emergency Management Agency workers handed out information to people in shelters about how to apply for help. National Guard soldiers stood watch, searched for survivors and helped sift through debris. Churches transformed into buzzing community hubs.

In Tuscaloosa, a Red Cross shelter was handing out clothes and providing counseling for folks like Carol Peck, 55, and her 77-year-old mother. She said the shelter's First Aid station even refilled her blood pressure pills without her having to ask.

She can't explain how it happened, but she suspects her clinic contacted the shelter.

"Evidently, because I sure didn't call," she said. "They knew I was here. I don't know how, but they found me."

In Ringgold, Ga., Poplar Springs Baptist Church had been transformed into an informal help center. Crews were dispatched from the church, some with chain saws to chop through the debris, others with bottled water and food. Inside the gymnasium, a barbecue buffet was feeding those without power.

"You've got elderly people out there who can't get out there and do it," said volunteer Kathleen Hensley, 40, of Ringgold. "They need a hand."

The University of Alabama's athletic department was pitching in around hard-hit Tuscaloosa, with more than 50 athletic training students giving Gatorade, bottled water and protein bars to residents.

"Anything they have to give athletes, they're giving away," said Jenny Sanders, one of the volunteers.

And most were grateful to get whatever they could.

Niki Eberhart, whose home in the Alberta City neighborhood of Tuscaloosa was shredded by the tornado, said Saturday that her husband and two children are getting everything they need at the shelter. And it isn't the first time they've counted on the Red Cross. When their home in Meridian, Miss., burned down last year in an electrical fire, Eberhart said the Red Cross responded within an hour.

"We feel like we've been blessed," she said. "Both times it could have been much worse. We lost things. Material possessions can be replaced."

Eberhart and her husband, Shane, also had already gotten help from FEMA workers at the shelter. And while they wait for a response from the feds, Eberhart dismissed relatives' offers of sympathy.

"I told them we're having great luck because it could have been so much worse," she said. "If you don't have any bad times, how are you going to appreciate the good times?"

As some tried to clear the rubble and sort through belongings, others took on the task of burying the dozens who died. Several funerals were being held in Rainsville in northeastern Alabama, including services for 70-year-old Hubert Whooten, his 70-year-old wife, Juanita, and her mother, Lethel Izell, 86.

"They were just normal, hardworking country folk," family friend Kevin Black said outside the Rainsville Funeral Home. "If they seen you, they're gonna call you by your name and (ask), 'How're you doing?' That's how it is around here."

But planning funerals was a struggle for many as they dealt with destroyed homes.

"A few of the families I met, with they've lost everything," said Jason Wyatt, manager of Tuscaloosa memorial Chapel. "It's hard for me to hold my composure. They don't have clothing or anything."

Many residents still couldn't even get into the town of Cordova, Ala., where stern soldiers cordoned off the few roads that weren't left impassable by fallen trees. The school, one of the few buildings to survive the twister, was buzzing on Saturday. Students stuffed baskets full of lunches at the cafeteria while their parents sorted supplies across the hall.

Landmarks in the town northwest of Birmingham, had been obliterated.

"I knew it was bad. But pictures don't begin to describe it," said 19-year-old college student Rachel Mitchell as she drove through town. "This is really hard. This is where I grew up and now nothing is here that I remember."

Still, frustration reigned for some. Eugene Starks, 82, worked with a tow truck driver Saturday to salvage a blown-out car from what was left of his garage in Pratt City, a blue-collar suburb of Birmingham. He said he was grateful to have survived the storm - "I give God credit" - but he needed more help recovering belongings from his home.

"I'm trying to do what I can myself," he said. "I hope the government steps in, but I'm not holding my breath."

On the outskirts of Phil Campbell in northwestern Alabama, 44-year-old Nickey Hughes was left to protect the rubble of his mobile home in a family-size tent he was sharing with his three grandchildren. He hasn't been able to find a shelter or a vacant hotel, so he's staying in the tent to scare off would-be looters.

"I've got help. I've got food and water. But I have no place to go," Hughes said. "I'm living it a day at a time, and that is getting to me."

Gov. Robert Bentley had dispatched 2,000 National Guard troops around Alabama to help residents and keep the peace. Many blocked off roads or patrolled neighborhoods to keep away gawkers and looters. Others helped residents sift through their shattered homes.

Carletta Wooley, 27, was going through some of her belongings in Holt, a community just outside Tuscaloosa. A pile of her family's belongings stood at the foot of a tree - a mirror, some hats, a pillow, a stereo. One of the soldiers picked up a photograph and handed it to her - it was of her son, when he was a baby.

"I'm going to cry," she said. "Thank you."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rain Dampens Start Of Penn Relays, But Athletes Remain Sunny

Rain Dampens Start Of Penn Relays, But Athletes Remain Sunny

(Photos by Paul Kurtz)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Thunderstorms interrupted the first day of events at the annual Penn Relays, in West Philadelphia, but they didn’t dampen spirts.

The morning races went off on schedule, and for some teams there was cause for celebration.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Appeals court OKs NFL's request to restore lockout

Appeals court OKs NFL's request to restore lockout

AP Photo
Seattle Seahawks defensive back Roy Lewis claps his hands together and smiles as he stops to chat with media members while driving into the team's headquarters Friday, April 29, 2011, in Renton, Wash. The NFL cleared the way for some basic football operations to begin Friday morning, four days after a federal judge declared the lockout illegal and nearly seven weeks after it began.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- A federal appeals court threw the NFL back into chaos late Friday, granting the NFL's request to essentially put the lockout back in place.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the league's bid for a temporary stay of a judge's order lifting the lockout so arguments can be heard on whether that order should be overturned altogether.

"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for a stay pending appeal," the ruling said.

The decision came only hours after teams reopened their doors to players and some basic football operations began, and it came as the second round of the draft was under way.

There was no immediate word from the NFL on whether the lockout would resume.

Vikings vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said he understood that the lockout would be reinstated. The Vikings hosted first-round draft pick Christian Ponder on Friday, and spent the entire day trying to get him up to speed as much as possible before having to send him home.

"When it was not a lockout, they were allowed to spend time here to get (playbooks)," Spielman said. "Now that the lockout's back in, he'll probably be leaving here shortly."

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, New York Giants center Shaun O'Hara quickly reacted to the ruling: "yes just saw.....fun while it lasted!"

The 2-1 decision from a panel of the 8th Circuit was issued by Judges Steven Colloton, Kermit Bye and Duane Benton. It included a lengthy dissent from Bye, who suggested temporary stays should be issued only in emergencies.

"The NFL has not persuaded me this is the type of emergency situation which justifies the grant of a temporary stay of the district court's order pending our decision on a motion for a stay itself," Bye wrote. "If we ultimately grant the motion for a stay, the NFL can easily re-establish its lockout."

The order was just the latest in a dizzying week of legal wrangling. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson late Monday ordered the end of the 45-day lockout, calling it illegal, and she denied the NFL's appeal on Wednesday night.

That led to a crazy couple of days where teams and players had no rules to guide them. On Friday, the NFL opened up team facilities to players for the first time in nearly two months.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of players showed up, exchanging smiles and high-fives with their teammates and picking up playbooks from their coaches. Tony Romo and Jason Witten even did some sprints on a Dallas Cowboys practice field.

"From the players' standpoint, I think everybody is pleased we're not locked out anymore, especially the rookies," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said on CNBC, his first public comments about the dispute since he became one of the 10 plaintiffs in a federal antitrust lawsuit still pending against the NFL.

Players from Seattle to New York warmly greeted a little bit of normalcy in the most unusual offseason in league history, fully aware that it might not last very long.

It didn't.

Attorneys for the players had argued against a stay of Nelson's order, saying the owners failed to offer any evidence that they will suffer irreparable harm if the lockout is not restored. They also suggested that the public and the players, with their short careers, are at far more risk when the $9 billion business is stalled.

"Professional football is part of the fabric of American life," the attorneys wrote. "Because the uncontroverted record of evidence shows that the 2011 season could be canceled or significantly curtailed without an injunction in place, a stay may deprive the public of professional football altogether."

Files suggest elder Obama forced to leave Harvard

Files suggest elder Obama forced to leave Harvard

AP Photo
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Obama Campaign shows Barack Obama Sr., father of President Barack Obama. Federal immigration records indicate the elder Obama was forced to leave Harvard University in 1964 before finishing his doctorate in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances.

BOSTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's father was forced to leave Harvard University before completing his Ph.D. in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances, according to newly public immigration records.

Harvard had asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to delay a request by Barack Hussein Obama Sr. to extend his stay in the U.S., "until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him," immigration official M.F. McKeon wrote in a June 1964 memo.

Harvard administrators, the memo stated, "were having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn't seem to figure out how many wives he had."

An earlier INS memo from McKeon said that while the elder Obama had passed his exams and was entitled on academic grounds to stay and complete his thesis, the school was going to try and "cook something up to ease him out."

"They are planning on telling him that they will not give him any money, and that he had better return to Kenya and prepare his thesis at home," the memo stated.

In May 1964, David D. Henry, director of Harvard's international office, wrote to Obama to say that, while he had completed his formal course work, the economics department and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences didn't have the money to support him.

"We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that you should terminate your stay in the United States and return to Kenya to carry on your research and the writing of your thesis," Henry's letter stated.

Obama's request for an extended stay was denied by the INS. He left Harvard and - divorced from the president's mother - returned to his native Kenya in July 1964. He did not complete his Ph.D.

The immigration memos, contained in the elder Obama's Immigration and Naturalization file, were given to a Boston Globe reporter in 2009 through a Freedom of Information request. The papers were first made public Wednesday by The Arizona Independent, a weekly newspaper. The Associated Press obtained copies of them on Friday.

Harvard issued a statement Friday saying that it could not find in its own records anything to support the accounts given in the INS memos.

"While we cannot verify accounts of conversations that occurred nearly 50 years ago, a review of our existing files did not find any support for either the language or the implied intent described by the U.S. government official in the government documents," the statement read.

When Obama was attending Harvard, the school faced serious constraints in financing research by international graduate students, the university also said.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler declined to comment Friday, saying the department does not comment on specific immigration cases.

Concerns about Obama's personal life while he had been studying in the U.S. had been raised previously, according to the INS documents.

In 1961, while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii, the school's foreign student adviser called an immigration official and said Obama had recently married Stanley Ann Dunham - the president's mother - despite already having a wife in Kenya.

According to a memo written by an INS official in Honolulu, the adviser said Obama had been "running around with several girls since he first arrived here and last summer she cautioned him about his playboy ways."

Obama told the adviser that he had divorced his wife in Kenya. He told the president's mother the same thing, though she would later learn it was a lie.

Obama worked for an oil company and as a government economist after returning to Africa, but his personal and professional life would later deteriorate. He died in a car crash in 1982, when the future president was 21 and a student at Columbia University.

Daniels to sign bill defunding Planned Parenthood

Daniels to sign bill defunding Planned Parenthood

AP Photo
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2011 file photo, Gov Mitch Daniels speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Indiana is posed to create the nation’s broadest private school voucher system and become the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood, just as Gov. Daniels nears an announcement on whether he will make a 2012 presidential run.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he will sign restrictive abortion legislation, making Indiana the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood and boosting Daniels' credentials among social conservatives as he considers whether to run for president.

Daniels said he supported the abortion restrictions from the outset and that the provision added to defund abortion providers did not change his mind. He said women's health, family planning and other services will remain available.

"The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers," Daniels said in a statement announcing his intention to sign the bill when it arrives on his desk in about a week.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana said in a statement it would file an injunction to "try to halt this alarming erosion of public health policy in our state."

Organization president Betty Cockrum said Daniels' decision to sign the bill was unconscionable and unspeakable.

"We will now suffer the consequences of lawmakers who have no regard for fact-based decision making and sound public health policy," she said.

The bill puts Indiana at risk of losing $4 million a year in federal family planning grants likely to be cut off because of the legislation. Daniels, known as a fiscal hawk, did not address the loss in his statement.

The bill wasn't part of Daniels' agenda and he did not publicly advocate for the Planned Parenthood provision, but signing it might help his chances of winning the GOP nomination. Daniels opposes abortion rights, but his call for a Republican "truce" on social issues has drawn the ire of the social conservatives.

Bill sponsor state Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, said social conservatives will be happy with Daniels' decision.

"No one will talk about the truce," Turner said. "People in the conservative community care about action, and he's clearly the most pro-life governor in America with a signature on that bill."

State Rep. Linda Lawson, a Democrat from Hammond who opposes the bill, said the legislation wouldn't win Daniels any friends among independents and women.

"It might be a maneuver, but I don't know if it's in his best interest," Lawson said.

While some at the Statehouse thought Daniels' decision was a sign he'll be running for president, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said people shouldn't read too much into it. He said he thought the governor would likely sign the bill regardless of his future plans.

Planned Parenthood says the bill could leave as many as 22,000 patients without access to Pap tests, birth control and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

The governor's office said the law will affect 7 entities in Indiana that have a total of 34 locations in 21 counties.

Daniels said he has ordered Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration to ensure Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options.

"We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before," Daniels said.

"Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions."

Planned Parenthood of Indiana had urged Daniels to veto the bill and started a series of statewide rallies against it Friday.

Daniels, 62, has said he will decide on a run for president after the Indiana Legislature adjourns, which is expected Friday. He's also said he will not have a decision this weekend.

William weds Kate as billions watch _ and hope

William weds Kate as billions watch _ and hope

AP Photo
As bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem, left, covers her ears, Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April, 29, 2011.

LONDON (AP) -- With not one but two kisses and tender whispered words, Prince William and Kate Middleton smiled and blushed Friday as they started their life as future king and queen. A day of seamless pageantry inspired hopes that this royal couple might live happily ever after.

They appeared at ease throughout their wedding day, with William fighting back giggles at times, while Kate's smile lit up television screens, especially when her new husband leaned over to say, "You look beautiful."

Their intimacy stood in sharp contrast to the lack of chemistry between a wooden Prince Charles and Diana Spencer 30 years ago when they began a marriage that ultimately collapsed in embarrassing tabloid headlines and turned many Britons against the monarchy.

A million people lined the procession route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, many crying with joy. Cheers went up as the couple exchanged the traditional kiss on the balcony, followed by chants of "One more kiss!" The couple waved and smiled and, to a frenzy of delight, obliged.

An estimated 2 billion people tuned into the live broadcast in what may have been the most-viewed event in history.

The security operation was the largest since Charles and Diana's 1981 wedding, and the day went off without a hitch. Police dispersed scattered protests from anti-monarchists and anarchists and arrested 55 people for offenses including drunkenness, breach of peace, and theft, but the mood was overwhelmingly celebratory.

"Everybody's happy, everybody's united," said 61-year-old Sabry Darwish, who was in the crowd watching the parade route. "Everybody is behind the bride and groom."

Many praised the couple's rare combination of humility, humor and grace. Kate was a commoner from a wealthy but middle-class family who actually worked for a living after university; William has long had his mother's touch in connecting to the public, and surprised fans who slept on the pavement overnight by personally thanking them Thursday for braving the cold.

The 28-year-old prince even displayed a quality almost never seen among royalty: humor. Surveying the 1,900 guests filling the abbey in their wedding finery, he turned to his father-in-law, Michael Middleton, and quipped: "We're supposed to have just a small family affair."

Then after a reception at Buckingham Palace, he took his new wife for a spin, driving a dark-blue Aston Martin Volante festooned with ribbons, bows and balloons - and a license plate that read "JU5T WED."

It was the kind of display that made some wonder whether the couple just might bring the British monarchy back from the abyss.

"It's a real turning point for the royal family," Nicki Hookings, 47, said at one of thousands of street parties across Britain to celebrate the national holiday.

For much of the world, the wedding was a dramatic reaffirmation of 29-year-old Kate's beguiling star power. Despite the pressure, she carried the day with an easy smile, youthful exuberance and a sense of decorum that matched the event. And when it was over all over, she curtsied easily before Queen Elizabeth II, comfortably sharing the stage with the woman who has reigned since 1952.

Crowds from Australia to Zimbabwe clasped Union Jack flags and donned hats - and wedding gowns - to show their enthusiasm.

"It's one happy event in the world right now," said San Francisco attorney Laura Claster, who traveled to London to be with the crowds. "It gives us a day of celebration to forget the troubles in the world."

In a statement, the White House offered congratulations. "On this occasion, the American people extend heartfelt congratulations to the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and share in their hopes for a bright future for the Royal couple."

The day was a visual feast for fashion enthusiasts. Guests wore extravagant hats, some costing more than 1,000 pounds ($1,600), but all eyes were on the bride's dress, the best-kept secret of the day.

The ivory-and-white satin gown, with its dramatic neckline, sheer lace sleeves and eight-foot train, was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and reminded some of the wedding dress worn by a princess from another era, the late Grace Kelly of Monaco.

Kate wore her hair down and pulled back from her face, covered with a lace-edged veil and a diamond tiara on loan from the queen. Her dramatic oak-leaf-shaped diamond earrings were a gift from her parents.

William, second-in-line to the throne after his father, wore the scarlet tunic of an Irish Guards officer, reinforcing his image as a dedicated military man. Maid of honor Pippa Middleton wore a simple column dress, while best man Prince Harry chose formal military attire.

The sighting of the wedding gown prompted swoons of admiration as Kate stepped out of a Rolls-Royce with her father at the abbey. Against all odds, at that moment the sun broke through the steely gray skies.

The long aisle leading to the altar was lined with maple and hornbeam trees as light streamed in through the high arched windows. The soft green foliage framed the couple against a red carpet as they recited their vows flawlessly before Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

After a ceremonial drive around London in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage, the couple appeared with the queen and their wedding party on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, where the highly anticipated first - and second - kisses brought screams of delight from the crowd.

It was then that photographers from around the world captured one of the day's most memorable images: As the couple locked lips, 3-year-old bridesmaid Grace van Cutsem held her hands over her ears and scowled as she tried to block the sound of Royal Air Force planes screaming overhead.

Earlier in the day, the queen had bestowed upon the couple their first royal wedding present: the titles of the duke and duchess of Cambridge.

There has been speculation that William, his popularity only enhanced by his new wife, should step ahead of his father to become the next king. Many consider the 62-year-old Prince Charles stuffy and disconnected from ordinary people.

But that's unlikely to happen. Many in Charles' inner circle say he's waited too long to step aside - even for his son.

In Bucklebury, the sprawling village where Kate grew up 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of London, jubilant crowds filled the streets to celebrate the hometown girl who could be queen. Some of its residents were at the wedding, including the town butcher and baker.

"These are two young people very much in love," butcher Martin Fidler said outside the abbey.

John Haley, owner of the Old Boot Inn who knows the bride from her visits to the pub in the nearby village of Stanford Dingley, said he teared up as he caught her eye during the ceremony.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "It was just fabulous and more than I expected."

The palace was holding two parties: one in the afternoon for 650 guests, and a dinner dance for 300 close friends.

Arriving for the latter, Kate pronounced it a "great day."

"I am glad the weather held off," she said, appearing radiant in a strapless white satin evening gown with a circle skirt and diamante embroidered detail around the waist, another Sarah Burton creation.

Ben Fogle, a friend of the couple and television presenter, said the mood was relaxed during afternoon festivities at Buckingham Palace with "very funny and heartfelt speeches."

The flag went down as the queen and her husband left the palace for the younger royals to party the night away - and for Harry to make his best man's speech away from his grandparents' ears.

It was rumored that Harry planned a "British fry-up" breakfast for those still standing at dawn.

The couple has been living in a modest house in Wales near the base where William serves as an Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot, and will continue to do so after their honeymoon, which remains shrouded in secrecy. The prince "really is one of us," said Sgt. Keith Best, a paramedic on William's team.

Even rescuers hobbled by worst twisters since 1932

Even rescuers hobbled by worst twisters since 1932

AP Photo
Brad Kidd, left, and Chris Womack stare at what is left of their two mobile homes Friday morning, April 29, 2011, while cleaning up from a fatal tornado that struck DeKalb County, Ala., on Wednesday. DeKalb County incorporates a portion of the 25-mile long path that the twister took.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Southerners found their emergency safety net shredded Friday as they tried to emerge from the nation's deadliest tornado disaster since the Great Depression.

Emergency buildings are wiped out. Bodies are stored in refrigerated trucks. Authorities are begging for such basics as flashlights. In one neighborhood, the storms even left firefighters to work without a truck.

The death toll from Wednesday's storms reached 328 across seven states, including 238 in Alabama, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak since March 1932, when another Alabama storm killed 332 people. Tornadoes that swept across the South and Midwest in April 1974 left 315 people dead.

Hundreds if not thousands of people were injured Wednesday - 990 in Tuscaloosa alone - and as many as 1 million Alabama homes and businesses remained without power.

The scale of the disaster astonished President Barack Obama when he arrived in the state Friday.

"I've never seen devastation like this," he said, standing in bright sunshine amid the wreckage in Tuscaloosa, where at least 45 people were killed and entire neighborhoods were flattened.

Mayor Walt Maddox called it "a humanitarian crisis" for his city of more than 83,000.

Maddox said up to 446 people were unaccounted for in the city, though he added that many of those reports probably were from people who have since found their loved ones but have not notified authorities. Cadaver-detecting dogs were deployed in the city Friday but they had not found any remains, Maddox said.

During the mayor's news conference, a man asked him for help getting into his home, and broke down as he told his story.

"You have the right to cry," Maddox told him. "And I can tell you the people of Tuscaloosa are crying with you."

At least one tornado - a 205 mph monster that left at least 13 people dead in Smithville, Miss. - ranked in the National Weather Service's most devastating category, EF-5. Meteorologist Jim LaDue said he expects "many more" of Wednesday's tornadoes to receive that same rating, with winds topping 200 mph.

Tornadoes struck with unexpected speed in several states, and the difference between life and death was hard to fathom. Four people died in Bledsoe County, Tenn., but a family survived being tossed across a road in their modular home, which was destroyed, Mayor Bobby Collier said.

By Friday, residents whose homes were blown to pieces were seeing their losses worsen - not by nature, but by man. In Tuscaloosa and other cities, looters have been picking through the wreckage to steal what little the victims have left.

"The first night they took my jewelry, my watch, my guns," Shirley Long said Friday. "They were out here again last night doing it again."

Overwhelmed Tuscaloosa police imposed a curfew and got help from National Guard troops to try to stop the scavenging.

Along their flattened paths, the twisters blew down police and fire stations and other emergency buildings along with homes, businesses, churches and power infrastructure. The number of buildings lost, damage estimates and number of people left homeless remained unclear two days later, in part because the storm also ravaged communications systems.

Tuscaloosa's emergency management center was destroyed, so officials used space in one of the city's most prominent buildings - the University of Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium - as a substitute before moving operations to the Alabama Fire College. Less than two weeks ago, the stadium hosted more than 90,000 fans for the football team's spring intrasquad Red-White Game.

A fire station was destroyed in nearby Alberta City, one of the city's worst-hit neighborhoods. The firefighters survived, but damage to their equipment forced them to begin rescue operations without a fire truck, city Fire Chief Alan Martin said.

Martin said the department is running normally and has since deployed a backup vehicle to serve the neighborhood. "In reality, it's just an extension of what we do every day," he said.

Also wiped out was a Salvation Army building, costing Tuscaloosa much-needed shelter space. And that's just part of the problem in providing emergency aid, said Sister Carol Ann Gray of the local Catholic Social Services office.

"It has been extremely difficult to coordinate because so many people have been affected - some of the very same people you'd look to for assistance," Gray said.

Emergency services were stretched particularly thin about 90 miles to the north in the demolished town of Hackleburg, Ala., where officials were keeping the dead in a refrigerated truck amid a body bag shortage. At least 27 people were killed there and the search for missing people continued, with FBI agents fanning out to local hospitals to help.

Damage in Hackleburg was catastrophic, said Stanley Webb, chief agent in the county's drug task force.

"When we talk about these homes, they are not damaged. They are gone," he said.

Gail Enlow was in town looking for her aunt, Eunice Cooper, who is in her 70s. She wiped away tears as she pointed to the twisted mess that's left of the housing project where Cooper lived.

"Nobody's seen her," she said, trying to hold back the sobs. "She can just barely get around and she would need help."

But in Hackleburg as in Tuscaloosa, emergency workers had more to do than aid suffering victims. People have looted a demolished Wrangler jeans distribution center, and authorities locked up drugs from a destroyed pharmacy in a bank.

Fire Chief Steve Hood said he desperately wanted flashlights for the town's 1,500 residents because he doesn't want them using candles that could ignite their homes.

In Cullman, a town about 50 miles north of Birmingham, workers have been putting in long hours to clean up debris and exhausted police officers face the same problems as the people they are sworn to protect. Emergency responders have waiting in hourslong lines with other drivers to get gas at stations without power.

False rumors, meanwhile, were sweeping the town. People were pushing debris from their yards into streets because they heard they were supposed to and filling up their bathtubs with water because they heard the city would cut off the supply.

Kathy McDonald glanced around her damaged town and quietly wept. Her family's furniture store, which sold tables and couches for decades, was torn apart.

"I just can't understand this. Are people coming to help us?" she said. "We feel all alone."

Alabama emergency management officials said Friday that the state had 238 confirmed deaths. There were 34 deaths in Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, 15 in Georgia, five in Virginia, two in Louisiana and one in Kentucky.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has responded to all affected areas and has officials on the ground in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, Director Craig Fugate said. State and local authorities remain in charge of response and recovery efforts, Fugate said.

In the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove, where 10 people died, building contractors used heavy equipment Friday to help clear debris from impassable streets.

Volunteers arrived from as far as Mobile - some 250 miles away - to deliver food, water and fuel and help with search and rescue. The National Guard closed the town to outsiders, trying to keep out gawkers and looters.

Police Chief Robert Knight said perhaps a quarter of the town of 10,000 is wiped out.

"We're having a hard time recovering," he said. But he vowed that residents will rebuild.

"We'll do it. We'll do it," he said. "We just will. People out here are resilient. It's a good city."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels Help Phillies Avoid Sweep Vs. Diamondbacks

Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels Help Phillies Avoid Sweep Vs. Diamondbacks

(credit: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX -- Jimmy Rollins homered and had three RBIs, Cole Hamels pitched seven solid innings and the Philadelphia Phillies avoided a three-game sweep with an 8-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard each homered, Placido Polanco had four of Philadelphia’s 12 hits and scored three runs, and Ben Francisco had a two-run double.
That was more than enough for Hamels (3-1) in his fourth straight solid start.

The Diamondbacks beat Cliff Lee in the opener, then roughed up Roy Oswalt for a chance at their first sweep over Philadelphia since 2007.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Wade Scores 26, Heat Advance Past Philly 97-91

Wade Scores 26, Heat Advance Past Philly 97-91

(credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) -- Not easy. But over.

For the first time since 2006, the Miami Heat have won a playoff series – and, finally, can start thinking in earnest about another showdown with the Boston Celtics.

Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, Chris Bosh added 22 points and 11 rebounds, and the Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by topping Philadelphia 97-91 on Wednesday night and ousting the 76ers in five games.

Mario Chalmers scored 20 points off the bench and LeBron James finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Miami. Joel Anthony made a pair of free throws with 16.8 seconds left for the Heat, who will face Boston starting Sunday afternoon in Miami.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Philadelphia Firefighter’s Charity Pose Ignites Departmental Controversy

Philadelphia Firefighter’s Charity Pose Ignites Departmental Controversy

(Philadelphia firefighter Jack Slivinski, posing for the charity calendar that got him suspended.)

(Philadelphia firefighter Jack Slivinski, posing for the charity calendar that got him suspended.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Philadelphia firefighter who struck a pose for a charity calendar is causing a raging controversy within the Philadelphia Fire Department.

In the photo, 31-year-old Jack Slivinski is posing in front of the Logan Circle fountain, smiling and shirtless. Money from the calendars would have benefited widows of Philadelphia firefighters.

Just one small problem: the department doesn’t allow it.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Acme Supermarkets Set To Lay Off 900 Workers In Philadelphia Region

Acme Supermarkets Set To Lay Off 900 Workers In Philadelphia Region

(File photo)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Acme Markets is laying off 900 of its 14,000 employees in our region.

The 900 workers, all part-timers, are being laid off at the supermarket chain’s 117 stores in the area.

Acme president Dan Sanders says it’s a sad day.

“This decision, while regrettable because we know it impacts our associates, was necessary given the decline in sales volume that we’ve experienced over the last four years,” he told KYW Newsradio Thursday.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Some blacks see racism in 'birther' questions

Some blacks see racism in 'birther' questions

AP Photo
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at a Democratic party fundraiser, the third of three such events he attended in one night, in New York, Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

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.

"This" would be the nation's first black president standing in the White House, blue power suit and all, going on TV to debunk, in more detail than before, the persistent, he-ain't-really-an-American rumors fanned anew by Donald Trump, the developer and might-be presidential candidate.

Many African-Americans responded to Wednesday's scene with a large sigh. The rumors and the controversy had a particular, troubling resonance for them: They've seen, heard, lived, the legitimacy of black people being called into question so many times before that, they said, they weren't shocked to see it happen to Obama over something as simple as a birth certificate.

But they were sad about it, too, seeing what they felt was a high-level manifestation of the idea that when a black person accomplishes something great there must be something wrong.

"The stress of feeling constantly called into question, constantly under surveillance, has emotional and physical consequences for us," said Imani Perry, a professor at Princeton University's Center for African American Studies. "It also puts us in the position of not being able to be constituents, with respect to our politicians, because we feel we have to constantly protect the president. ... You see people attacking him, and he's the president, what happens to those of us who are not the president?"

This week, black people struggled to deal with what many of them perceived as a racially motivated dis of Obama at the hands of Trump and the "birther" movement. Fleeting thoughts about boycotting Trump's hotels and casinos, or pressuring advertisers to pull away from Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" reality TV show bounced around Facebook and Twitter, the barbershops, the suites and the corner.

Much of it was just a notion, however. At the end of the day, many blacks said they remained at a loss for how best to process the falsehood that just won't die.

Obama said he had "watched with bemusement" as people kept alive for two years the idea that he might have been born outside the United States and therefore wasn't eligible to sit in the White House. "I've been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going," Obama said. He added that he understood the copy of the official birth certificate he produced still wouldn't silence all believers in this "silliness."

Ellis Cose, author of an upcoming book that explores anger and race, said there is a sense that Obama has become the lightning rod for a general longing among certain whites to "take America back to a time when people like Obama could not be president." For blacks, that's "clearly an aggravation," Cose said.

"A lot of folks are amused, and a lot of folks are upset about this," Cose said. "In addition to uncertainty about the economy and America's place in the world, a lot of people who grew up in confidence that America was a very white country are having that reality shaken."

Trump, who may or may not seek the Republican presidential nomination, stepped up to a microphone in New Hampshire within minutes of Obama's appearance to claim credit for forcing the president's hand. He said he still wanted to scrutinize the birth certificate to make sure it's legit.

Trump also wants to eyeball Obama's college grades, in search of bogusness around the bachelor's and law degrees the president got from Columbia and Harvard respectively. Trump said he'd "heard" Obama was a poor student unworthy of an Ivy League education, but offered no real proof.

That's what bothers black Americans so much - that sense that nothing they do can ever be considered good enough, said William Jelani Cobb, professor of Africana studies and history at Rutgers University. He recalled being on a flight recently, and expressing amazement when his seatmate, a member of Congress whom he did not name, said he, too, believed Obama was not really an American.

"It's partly American tradition of paranoia, and partly just plain old racism," Cobb said. "Illegitimacy is the rule, not the exception. It's the sort of thing that people come up with regularly when there are African-Americans operating at high levels."

Thurston, co-founder of the political blog Jack and Jill Politics, found out about Obama's action when he checked Twitter on his way to work. He was so disturbed that he sat before his webcam and poured his feelings into a seven-minute video that he then posted. Most of Thurston's ire was aimed at Trump and his glee over what he'd accomplished.

"Black people are taught, 'Your bar is higher. You have to answer harder questions. And you're never really, satisfactorily accepted,'" Thurston said in an interview. "That's a good motivator as a kid, it makes you run fast. But at some point, it's exhausting to carry such historical baggage in your daily life."

Royal wedding eve: Crowds swell outside the abbey

Royal wedding eve: Crowds swell outside the abbey

AP Photo
Royal enthusiasts camp in front of Westminster Abbey in London, Thursday, April 28, 2011. Revelers are camping outside the Abbey where Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to get married on Friday, April 29.

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.

The 28-year-old groom-to-be emerged from his residence Thursday night to greet the hordes of well-wishers gathered along the processional route. Dressed in khakis and grinning broadly, William shook countless hands as his photo was snapped on cell phones and digital cameras.

The visit lent further excitement to the carnival atmosphere near the abbey, where hours earlier 29-year-old Kate had a final run-through with William's best man, Prince Harry.

A throng of curious tourists, dedicated monarchists, souvenir vendors, William-watchers and Harry-hunters have turned the Union Jack-bedecked streets into a scene of festive chaos.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Not many kings-to-be are going to be married anytime soon," said 26-year-old Sarah White, camped out with her sister, Liz. "Everyone's making friends and is in good spirits - or at least will be until tomorrow."

The only clouds on the horizon: the threat of rain and the intrusion of politics, with the British government revoking an invitation to Syria's ambassador to condemn a deadly crackdown on protesters that has left hundreds dead.

Friday's ceremony has been planned like a military operation. More than 1,500 soldiers, sailors and air crew will be on duty to line the couple's procession route between the abbey and Buckingham Palace, just under a mile (1.6 kilometers) away.

An additional 5,000 uniformed and undercover police will be on alert for threats from Irish dissident terrorists, Muslim extremists, anti-monarchists, royal obsessives and drunken hooligans.

The royal nuptials will offer pomp and circumstance on a grand scale, starting with a global guest list of 1,900 that includes kings and queens, sports stars, music royalty, the couple's university chums, Royal Air Force pilots and charity workers, as well as friends and family.

Royal carriages drawn by mounted troops of the Household Calvary will roll to the palace in a sweeping procession under fluttering rows of Union Jacks. Hundreds of thousands are expected to line a parade route scrubbed clean in recent days.

Westminster Abbey itself has been remade into a blooming forest, with six field maples and two hornbeams lining the aisle to the altar.

William and Kate have been intimately involved in planning their wedding, officials say, from the music to the flowers to the cake - in fact, two cakes. Kate opted for a traditional white-iced fruitcake while William made sure that was accompanied by his childhood favorite, a chocolate biscuit cake.

Britain has not seen a royal celebration on this scale since 1981, when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral.

Much is at stake for the royal family, who hope the latest match bolsters the Windsor dynasty, which has been buffeted by a series of failed marriages, including those of Charles and Diana, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, and Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.

Despite the tawdry way Charles and Diana's fairy tale ended - in a 1996 divorce after embarrassing admissions of adultery on both sides - most Britons feel an outpouring of goodwill for his son William and fiancee Kate.

The British government also hopes the wedding will lift people's spirits during a period of tough austerity measures. The Conservative-led government is cutting 81 billion pounds ($135 billion) in spending through 2015, slashing hundreds of thousands of government jobs and sharply hiking tuition fees.

Excitement built Thursday, as a crowd of die-hard fans camped out in tents and sleeping bags swelled near the 1,000-year-old abbey.

Among them was India Marlow-Prince, a 17-year-old from London who was picnicking with friends. The trio painted their faces with the Union Jack and wore tiaras and matching hot pink T-shirts with the homemade slogan "Will and Kate forever."

"She is the Diana of our generation. And Wills is a babe," Marlow-Prince said. "We are a little annoyed at her for taking him, but there's always Harry."

Prince Charles' wife Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall, delighted royal fans by emerging from her residence nearby.

"We're all ready for tomorrow," she said. "It's wonderful and we're all very excited."

More royal-watchers gathered outside the five-star Goring Hotel, where Kate and her family were spending her last night as a single woman. A canopy was erected over the entrance to block onlookers from catching sight of Kate when she emerges in her wedding gown Friday morning.

The dress has been the best-kept secret of this very public event. Its designer remains unconfirmed, and hundreds of millions of TV viewers will see it for the first time when Middleton steps out of her Rolls-Royce at the abbey. Her husband-to-be will get a first glimpse a few minutes later, when she makes her entrance.

After Friday morning's ceremony, the couple will travel by carriage to the palace and emerge onto the balcony for a precisely timed kiss - at 1:25 p.m. (8:25 a.m. EDT) - followed by a ceremonial fly-past of military aircraft.

Then the partying starts. Some 650 people are invited to a luncheon with the queen, and later that night 300 close friends and family will attend a black-tie evening bash.

The palace says Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, planned to go away for the evening, leaving the younger royals free to party unfettered - and Harry to make his best man's speech away from his octogenarian grandparents' ears.

British singer Ellie Goulding, 24, is reportedly going to perform, and rumors have it that Harry has even planned a breakfast for those with the stamina to dance all night.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country will celebrate as well, for the day has been declared a public holiday. More than 5,500 official street parties are planned, including one by the anti-monarchist group Republic and another on Downing Street, home to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron told CBS the wedding will bring "happiness and joy and light relief after some difficult times."

In William and Kate's wedding program, released Thursday and on sale for 2 pounds ($3), the couple said they have been deeply touched by the outpouring of affection toward them.

"We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives," they wrote. "The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply."

They also released a new photograph by celebrity photographer Mario Testino - a warm black-and-white image showing them with broad smiles and sparkling teeth.

Middleton will not promise to "obey" her new husband in her vows but instead to "love, comfort, honor and keep" him.

She will walk up the aisle to the sounds of "I was glad," the anthem setting of Psalm 122 composed by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. The anthem was also sung at the 1981 wedding of William's parents.

But as wedding excitement heated up, the weather in London cooled down. Royal wedding fans may want to pack extra umbrellas.

Gray skies were forecast for Friday, with a 30 percent chance of rain at the time of the ceremony, the Meteorological Office said. Some sunshine might break through in the morning, with temperatures rising to about 66 degrees.

---

Associated Press Writers Caroline Morrow, Sylvia Hui, Paisley Dodds, David Stringer, Danica Kirka, Robert Barr and Aaron Edwards contributed to this story.

Tornadoes devastate South, killing at least 280

Tornadoes devastate South, killing at least 280

AP Photo
This aerial photo shows the devastation of The Rosedale Court housing community in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Thursday, April 28, 2011. A powerful and deadly tornado cut through Alabama Wednesday evening. President Barack Obama said he would visit Alabama Friday to view damage and meet with the governor and families devastated by the storms. Obama has already expressed condolences by phone to Gov. Robert Bentley and approved his request for emergency federal assistance.

PLEASANT GROVE, Ala. (AP) -- Firefighters searched one splintered pile after another for survivors Thursday, combing the remains of houses and neighborhoods pulverized by the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak in almost four decades. At least 280 people were killed across six states - more than two-thirds of them in Alabama, where large cities bore the half-mile-wide scars the twisters left behind.

The death toll from Wednesday's storms seems out of a bygone era, before Doppler radar and pinpoint satellite forecasts were around to warn communities of severe weather. Residents were told the tornadoes were coming up to 24 minutes ahead of time, but they were just too wide, too powerful and too locked onto populated areas to avoid a horrifying body count.

"These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen," said meteorologist Greg Carbin at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.

"If you experienced a direct hit from one of these, you'd have to be in a reinforced room, storm shelter or underground" to survive, Carbin said.

The storms seemed to hug the interstate highways as they barreled along like runaway trucks, obliterating neighborhoods or even entire towns from Tuscaloosa to Bristol, Va. One family rode out the disaster in the basement of a funeral home, another by huddling in a tanning bed.

In Concord, a small town outside Birmingham that was ravaged by a tornado, Randy Guyton's family got a phone call from a friend warning them to take cover. They rushed to the basement garage, piled into a Honda Ridgeline and listened to the roar as the twister devoured the house in seconds. Afterward, they saw daylight through the shards of their home and scrambled out.

"The whole house caved in on top of that car," he said. "Other than my boy screaming to the Lord to save us, being in that car is what saved us."

Son Justin remembers the dingy white cloud moving quickly toward the house.

"To me it sounded like destruction," the 22-year-old said. "It was a mean, mean roar. It was awful."

At least three people died in a Pleasant Grove subdivision southwest of Birmingham, where residents trickled back Thursday to survey the damage. Greg Harrison's neighborhood was somehow unscathed, but he remains haunted by the wind, thunder and lightning as they built to a crescendo, then suddenly stopped.

"Sick is what I feel," he said. "This is what you see in Oklahoma and Kansas. Not here. Not in the South."

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said his state had confirmed 194 deaths. There were 33 deaths in Mississippi, 33 in Tennessee, 14 in Georgia, five in Virginia and one in Kentucky. Hundreds if not thousands of people were injured - 600 in Tuscaloosa alone.

Some of the worst damage was about 50 miles southwest of Pleasant Grove in Tuscaloosa, a city of more than 83,000 that is home to the University of Alabama. A tower-mounted news camera there captured images of an astonishingly thick, powerful tornado flinging debris as it leveled neighborhoods.

That twister and others Wednesday were several times more severe than a typical tornado, which is hundreds of yards wide, has winds around 100 mph and stays on the ground for a few miles, said research meteorologist Harold Brooks at the Storm Prediction Center.

"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," he said.

The loss of life is the greatest from an outbreak of U.S. tornadoes since April 1974, when 329 people were killed by a storm that swept across 13 Southern and Midwestern states.

Brooks said the tornado that struck Tuscaloosa could be an EF5 - the strongest category of tornado, with winds of more than 200 mph - and was at least the second-highest category, an EF4.

Search and rescue teams fanned out to dig through the rubble of devastated communities that bore eerie similarities to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when town after town lay flattened for nearly 90 miles.

President Barack Obama said he would travel to Alabama on Friday to view storm damage and meet Gov. Robert Bentley and affected families. As many as a million homes and businesses there were without power, and Bentley said 2,000 National Guard troops had been activated to help. The governors of Mississippi and Georgia also issued emergency declarations for parts of their states.

"We can't control when or where a terrible storm may strike, but we can control how we respond to it," Obama said. "And I want every American who has been affected by this disaster to know that the federal government will do everything we can to help you recover and we will stand with you as you rebuild."

The storm prediction center said it received 164 tornado reports around the region, but some tornadoes were probably reported multiple times and it could take days to get a final count.

In fact, Brooks said 50 to 60 reports - from the Mississippi-Alabama line, through Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and into Georgia and southwestern Tennessee - might end up being a single tornado. If that's true its path would be one of the longest on record for a twister, rivaling a 1925 tornado that raged for 219 miles.

Brooks said the weather service was able to provide about 24 minutes' notice before the twisters hit.

"It was a well-forecasted event," Brooks said. "People were talking about this week being a big week a week ago."

Gov. Bentley said forecasters did a good job alerting people, but there's only so much they can do to help people prepare.

Carbin, the meteorologist, noted that the warning gave residents enough time to hunker down, but not enough for them to safely leave the area.

"You've got half an hour to evacuate the north side of Tuscaloosa. How do you do that and when do you do that? Knowing there's a tornado on the ground right now and the conditions in advance of it, you may inadvertently put people in harm's way," he said.

Officials said at least 13 died in Smithville, Miss., where devastating winds ripped open the police station, post office, city hall and an industrial park with several furniture factories. Pieces of tin were twined high around the legs of a blue water tower, and the Piggly Wiggly grocery store was gutted.

"It's like the town is just gone," said 24-year-old Jessica Monaghan, wiping away tears as she toted 9-month-old son Slade Scott. The baby's father, Tupelo firefighter Tyler Scott, was at work when the warning came on the TV.

"It said be ready in 10 minutes, but about that time, it was there," Monaghan said. She, Slade and the family's cat survived by hiding in a closet.

At Smithville Cemetery, even the dead were not spared: Tombstones dating to the 1800s, including some of Civil War soldiers, lay broken on the ground. Brothers Kenny and Paul Long dragged their youngest brother's headstone back to its proper place.

Unlike many neighboring towns, Kenny Long said, Smithville had no storm shelter.

"You have warnings," Long said, "but where do you go?"

Some fled to the sturdy center section of Smithville Baptist Church. Pastor Wes White said they clung to each other and anything they could reach, a single "mass of humanity" as the building disintegrated around them.

The second story is gone, the walls collapsed, but no one there was seriously hurt. The choir robes remained in place, perfectly white.

Seven people were killed in Georgia's Catoosa County, including Ringgold, where a suspected tornado flattened about a dozen buildings and trapped an unknown number of people.

"It happened so fast I couldn't think at all," said Tom Rose, an Illinois truck driver whose vehicle was blown off the road at I-75 North in Ringgold, near the Tennessee line.

Catoosa County Sheriff Phil Summers said several residential areas had "nothing but foundations left," and that some people reported missing had yet to be found.

In Trenton, Ga., nearly two dozen people took shelter in an Ace Hardware store, including a couple walking by when an employee emerged and told them to take cover immediately.

Lisa Rice, owner of S&L Tans in Trenton, survived by climbing into a tanning bed with her two daughters. Stormy, 19, and Sky, 21.

"We got in it and closed it on top of us," Rice said. "Sky said, `We're going to die.' But, I said, `No, just pray. Just pray, just pray, just pray.'"

For 30 seconds, wind rushed around the bed and debris flew as wind tore off the roof.

"Then it just stopped. It got real quiet. We waited a few minutes and then opened up the bed and we saw daylight," she said.

The badly damaged Moore Funeral Home, meanwhile, sheltered the woman who cleans Larry Moore's family business. When the first of three storms hit and uprooted trees in her yard, she figured the funeral home would be a safer place for her two children. As shingles began sailing past the window, she headed for the basement.

"That's what saved her, I guess," Moore said. "It was over in just a matter of seconds. She called 911 and emergency crews had to help her get out."

The storm system spread destruction from Texas to New York, where dozens of roads were flooded or washed out.

It was unclear how high the death toll could rise. In Mississippi, Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson and a crew of deputies and inmates searched the rubble, recovering five bodies and marking homes that still had bodies inside with two large orange Xs.

"I've never seen anything like this," Johnson said. "This is something that no one can prepare for."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brotherly Love: 100 Miles For Autism

Brotherly Love: 100 Miles For Autism

keyframe14

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A New Jersey man is going to great lengths to help children with autism.

Twenty-four-year-old Sean Thomson loves spending time with his little cousins.

“It just feels natural for me to do it,” Sean said.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Philadelphia Hosts a Walk-At-Lunchtime Promotional Event

Philadelphia Hosts a Walk-At-Lunchtime Promotional Event

(The Phillie Phanatic was among the participants in today's walk event around City Hall.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(The Phillie Phanatic was among the participants in today’s walk event around City Hall. Photo by Steve Tawa)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rather than ordering lunch in, hundreds of people worked a walk into their routine today.

It was Philadelphia’s version of “National Walk at Lunch Day.”

Mayor Michael Nutter led folks on a short, 1.5-mile course around the perimeter of Philadelphia City Hall to promote the benefits of physical activity. Employer groups not within walking distance of the event were encouraged to plan walks at their individual business locations.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Police Seek Missing S. Philadelphia Teenager

Police Seek Missing S. Philadelphia Teenager

Jasmine Carrero

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police are asking for your help in finding a missing South Philadelphia girl.



13-year-old Jasmine Carrero was last seen Tuesday in her home along the 2400 block of South Lawrence Street.



For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Hawaii government hands over Obama's birth records

Hawaii government hands over Obama's birth records

AP Photo
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking to reporters about the controversy over his birth certificate and true nationality, Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the White House in Washington.

HONOLULU (AP) -- Until this week, Hawaii officials said they wouldn't release original birth records for anyone, under any circumstances. Even if it was President Barack Obama.

Then they heard from the president himself.

"I am writing to request two certified copies of my original certificate of live birth," the president wrote on White House letterhead, dated April 22.

State officials then decided to make an exception to a 2001 policy that prohibited anyone from getting a photocopy of an original birth certificate. They usually hand out computer-generated versions.

Obama's waiver was the first since 2001. Officials said it would be the last.

By Wednesday, Obama had his copies, releasing them to dispel questions from so-called "birthers" and some Republicans who believe he wasn't born in the U.S. and therefore is ineligible to be president.

At a news conference, he pleaded for the long "sideshow" to end. Many of the skeptics suggest Obama was actually born in Kenya, his father's home country, or Indonesia, where he spent a few years of his childhood.

Since Obama's election, the state was inundated with up to 20 weekly requests for various birth records related to Obama, although that number has since dropped significantly.

It got to the point where legislators passed a law allowing state officials to ignore the repeated requests.

In recent days, potential Republican presidential candidate and reality TV star Donald Trump began questioning why Obama had not ensured the original be released.

On April 22, Obama and his personal attorney wrote letters to Health Director Loretta Fuddy.

In them, they argued that a waiver would allow Obama to make public his original birth certificate and relieve the state from the burdens that came with the repeated inquiries.

"We hope that issuing certified copies of the original certificate of live birth to President Obama will end the numerous inquiries related to his birth in Hawaii," Fuddy said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

Fuddy said she viewed the records and that they "further prove the fact that he was born in Hawaii."

After Fuddy approved the exception, Obama's attorney, Judith L. Corley, picked up the documents in Hawaii and carried them back to Washington on a plane. The documents arrived around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

State law prohibits the release of birth records except to those with a "tangible interest," such as the person named.

Only computer-generated birth certificates have been issued since May 2001. The 2001 policy was created to satisfy requests for certified copies and to comply with state laws restricting disclosure of some birth details.

Before then, photocopies of original birth records were provided.

Hawaii's computer-generated birth certificates carry a raised state seal and a signature stamp from the state registrar. They're valid documents for obtaining driver's licenses and other government documents.

That's the type of birth certificate the Obama campaign released in 2008. The computer-generated version does not include such details as the signatures of the mother and the delivering doctor.

Last Tuesday, the state attorney general's office said there were "no circumstances" when the state would release original birth records.

Officials said Wednesday that the exception for Obama complied with the law, and they would continue to protect the confidentiality of vital statistics, such as birth records.

Obama paid $14 for the copies, said Donalyn Dela Cruz, a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who knew Obama's parents and says he had laid eyes on a young Obama.

"Considering all the investigations that have been done and the information that has been provided, no rational person can question the president's citizenship," Abercrombie said in a prepared statement.

"We have found a way - once again - to confirm what we already knew."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NJ Official Says Lewis Can’t Run For State Senate

NJ Official Says Lewis Can’t Run For State Senate

CarlLewis_OliScarff

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey Secretary of State Kim Guadagno has removed former olymmpic track star Carl Lewis off the June primary ballot for a state senate seat in Burlington County.

Guadagno determined Lewis failed to meet a four year residency requirement, having bought his own home eight days too late.

But he also had homes in California, paid taxes there, and voted there as recently as May of 2009.

“This is the latest example of the Christie Administration believing they are above the law and willing to play politics out of the state house,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the state Democratic Committee.

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

In a first, women surpass men in advanced degrees

In a first, women surpass men in advanced degrees

AP Photo
FILE - In this April 18, 2011 file photo, a woman at a job fair in New York talks to an employer. For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids.

Census figures released Tuesday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.

The educational gains for women are giving them greater access to a wider range of jobs, contributing to a shift of traditional gender roles at home and work. Based on one demographer's estimate, the number of stay-at-home dads who are the primary caregivers for their children reached nearly 2 million last year, or one in 15 fathers. The official census tally was 154,000, based on a narrower definition that excludes those working part-time or looking for jobs.

"The gaps we're seeing in bachelor's and advanced degrees mean that women will be better protected against the next recession," said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

"Men now might be the ones more likely to be staying home, doing the more traditional child rearing," he said.

Among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million U.S. women have master's degrees or higher, compared to 10.5 million men. Measured by shares, about 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared to 10.9 percent of men - a gap steadily narrowing in recent years. Women still trail men in professional subcategories such as business, science and engineering.

When it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor's degrees, compared to nearly 18.7 million men - a gap of more than 1.4 million that has remained steady in recent years. Women first passed men in bachelor's degrees in 1996.

Some researchers including Perry have dubbed the current economic slump a "man-cession" because of the huge job losses in the male-dominated construction and manufacturing industries, which require less schooling. Measured by pay, women with full-time jobs now make 78.2 percent of what men earn, up from about 64 percent in 2000.

Unemployment for men currently stands at 9.3 percent compared to 8.3 percent for women, who now make up half of the U.S. work force. The number of stay-at-home moms, meanwhile, dropped last year for a fourth year in a row to 5 million, or roughly one in four married-couple households. That's down from nearly half of such households in 1969.

By the census' admittedly outmoded measure, the number of stay-at-home dads has remained largely flat in recent years, making up less than 1 percent of married-couple households.

Whatever the exact numbers, Census Bureau researchers have detailed a connection between women's educational attainment and declines in traditional stay-at-home parenting. For instance, they found that stay-at-home mothers today are more likely to be young, foreign-born Hispanics who lack college degrees than professional women who set aside careers for fulltime family life after giving birth.

"We're not saying the census definition of a `stay-at-home' parent is what reflects families today. We're simply tracking how many families fit that situation over time," said Rose Kreider, a family demographer at the Census Bureau. She said in an interview that the bureau's definition of a stay-at-home parent is based on a 1950s stereotype of a breadwinner-homemaker family that wasn't necessarily predominant then and isn't now.

Beth Latshaw, an assistant professor of sociology at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., notes the figures are based on a narrow definition in which the wife must be in the labor force for the entire year and the husband be outside the official labor force for the specifically cited reason of "taking care of home and family."

Her own survey found that many fathers who had primary child-care responsibility at home while working part-time or pursuing a degree viewed themselves as stay-at-home fathers. When those factors are included as well as unmarried and single dads, the share of fathers who stay at home to raise children jumps from less than 1 percent to more than 6 percent.

Put another way, roughly one of every five stay-at-home parents is a father.

The remaining share of households without stay-at-home parents - the majority of U.S. families - are cases where both parents work full-time while their children attend school or day care or are watched by nannies or grandparents, or where fathers work full-time while the mothers work part-time and care for children part-time.

"There's still a pervasive belief that men can't care for children as well as women can, reinforcing the father-as-breadwinner ideology," said Latshaw, whose research is being published next month in the peer-reviewed journal "Fathering." She is urging census to expand its definition to highlight the growing numbers, which she believes will encourage wider use of paternity leave and other family-friendly policies.

The new "Mr. Moms" include Todd Krater, 38, of Lakemoor, Ill., a Chicago suburb. Krater has been a self-described stay-at-home dad for the past seven years to his three sons after his wife, who earned a master's business degree, began to flourish in her career as a software specialist.

Krater said he found it difficult adjusting at first and got little support from other mothers who treated him as an outcast at school functions. He eventually started writing a blog, "A Man Among Mommies," to encourage other fathers to take a larger role in child care and says he now revels in seeing more dads at the park, library and school events.

"What was once an uncommon sight of a dad with the kids during the day is becoming more and more prevalent," said Krater, who is now studying part-time to become a registered nurse. "But many still feel the pressure of gender roles and feel if they don't make money they are somehow less of a man."

The census numbers come from the government's Current Population Survey as of March 2010. Among other findings:

-Among adults 25 and older, women are more likely than men to have finished high school, 87.6 percent to 86.6 percent.

-Broken down by race and ethnicity, 52 percent of Asian-Americans had at least a bachelor's degree. That's compared to 33 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 20 percent for blacks and 14 percent for Hispanics.

-Thirty percent of foreign-born residents in the U.S. had less than a high school diploma, compared to 10 percent of U.S.-born residents and 19 percent of naturalized citizens. At the same time, the foreign-born population was just as likely as U.S.-born residents to have at least a bachelor's degree, at roughly 30 percent.

Jeremy Adam Smith, author of the 2009 book "The Daddy Shift: How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms and Shared Parenting are Transforming the American Family," described a cultural shift as women began to surpass men in college enrollment in the 1980s. The 1983 movie, "Mr. Mom," openly broached the idea that out-of-work fathers can contribute to families as stay-at-home dads, allowing more men to be accepting of the role in subsequent recessions, he said.

"Over the long term, the numbers are just going to keep going up," Smith said.

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