At least two dozen children were reportedly killed at an elementary school after a monstrous tornado as much as a mile wide with winds up to 200 mph roared through the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods, setting buildings on fire and landing a direct blow on an elementary school.
The storm laid waste to scores of buildings in Moore, south of the city. Block after block of the community lay in ruins, with heaps of debris piled up where homes used to be. Cars and trucks were left crumpled on the roadside. KFOR-TV reports that up to 24 children were killed at the Tower Plaza Elementary School. The Associated Press reports that several children were pulled out alive from Tower Plaza. Rescue workers lifted children from the rubble before they were passed down a human chain and taken to a triage center set up in the school’s parking lot.
All of the children at the elementary school that took the direct blow, Briarwood Elementary School, have been accounted for, according to KWTV.
KFOR-TV meteorologist Mike Morgan called this “the worst tornado damage in the history of the world.”
KWTV reports that there are multiple fatalities in Moore, including a 3-month-old baby and a 4-year-old and three people at a local 7-Eleven. KFOR reports that up to 100 horses were killed on one farm in Moore.
Read more here.
Monday afternoon, ABC News released a chilling report that details what journalists have faced while trying to get some answers from the Cincinnati IRS office, which is where a majority of the Tea Party targeting took place.
According to ABC, an “armed uniform police officer with the Federal Protective Service” “escorted” reporters through the public building. ABC says if the intent wasn’t to “scare off” employees who might talk, “it was the effect.”
ABC News is also hearing conflicting reports from Cincinnati IRS employees and the IRS Headquarters in Washington. A Washington spokesman told ABC that press queries are “referred to the press office,” but that “people have First Amendment rights, they are entitled to speak.”
An employee in OH said that is not the case and that staffers have been threatened with their jobs if they are caught talking to the media:
Read more here.
A new story from The American Spectator that has been gaining steam begins with this startling intro:
Is President Obama directly implicated in the IRS scandal?
Is the White House Visitors Log the trail to the smoking gun?
The stunning questions are raised by the following set of new facts.
The story focuses on Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union (i.e. the union for IRS employees), and her meeting with President Obama on March 31, 2010 — one day before the IRS started targeting conservative groups.
White House visitor logs available on TheBlaze show the visit:
Read more here.
Mothers and fathers, beware: Your days of honor may soon be expiring.
An elementary school in Nova Scotia has made a curious decision to cancel Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations and to, instead, replace them with a more benign “Family Day” commemoration. The full name of the holiday the school has chosen to observe is the International Day of Families, an annual event that is recognized by the United Nations (it falls on May 15).
Astral Drive Elementary School has caught the ire of some parents, though, who see the change in celebration as unneeded and over-the-top. While the change has been on the books for a few years, it’s just now gaining media attention.
The U.N. has more about this intriguing holiday:
The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.
In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family-related provisions of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s and their follow-up processes continue to provide policy guidance on ways to strengthen family-centred components of policies and programmes as part of an integrated comprehensive approach to development.
The International Day of Families has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, that day provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes.
Read more here.