Monday's tornado in Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and caused an estimated $2.2 billion worth of damage. As the community reflects on what happened, one question is: How did so many managed to survive such devastating destruction?
Lifelong Oklahoman Kristi Freeman has seen her share of tornadoes, but she says the twister that tore through her neighborhood was something else.
"This tornado was like a monster. It was like something that was alive. It destroyed your peace, your comfort," she says.
And it destroyed Freeman's home in Moore. Now she's one of more than 300 neighbors taking shelter in college dorms at the University of Oklahoma, just south of Moore in the town of Norman.
Freeman says growing up in Oklahoma means you always pay attention to tornado warnings.
There's been an explosion followed by the sound of gunfire in Kabul, NPR's Sean Carberry and other journalists report from the Afghan capital.
Reuters reports that the explosion occurred "at about 4 p.m. local time in a downtown district. ... There was no word on any casualties." The BBC says gunfire can be heard near the headquarters of the Afghan intelligence service.
Sean tweeted just after 8:25 a.m. ET (4:55 p.m. in Kabul) that there's "ongoing gunfire near scene of blast in Kabul. Police keeping a perimeter of a couple blocks."
We'll monitor the news from Kabul and update as the story develops.
Representatives of President Bashar Assad's regime have agreed "in principle" to attend an international peace conference aimed at ending more than two years of brutal warfare in Syria, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday.
But NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow that Russian diplomats also said it's not known just when such talks might start because it's unclear who would speak for the groups who have been fighting to overthrow the regime. Corey notes that "so far, the opposition has been resisting any peace plan that would allow Assad to stay in power, even on an interim basis."
Opposition groups are meeting in Istanbul to choose a new leader.
As the residents of Moore, Okla., and surrounding communities continue to recover from Monday's devastating tornado that killed at least 24 people and injured more than 375, we're keeping an eye on the news from there:
-- Oklahoma City's KOCO-TV reports that "Moore Police will be removing checkpoints into affected areas in the city limits of Moore at 7 a.m. Friday. Storm victims may enter and exit their neighborhoods as needed."
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who will hear the Justice Department's e-book price fixing case against Apple, hinted at her initial leanings during a pretrial hearing: "I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books, and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that." Reuters adds: While she stressed that the view was not final and that she had read only some of the evidence so far, her comments could add to pressure on Apple to settle the lawsuit, in which the Justice Department accuses the company and five publishers of conspiring to fix e-book prices." The trial is set to begin June 3.
Miracle is the word that comes to Dan Sligh's mind after he and his wife, Sally, survived a plunge off a highway bridge in Washington State on Thursday evening.
Sligh tells The Seattle Times that they were driving on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Wash., around 7 p.m. local time when he saw a truck carrying a heavy load strike the southbound side of a bridge over the Skagit River. Moments later, a long chunk of the bridge collapsed into the river.
"Forward momentum just carried us right over and ... we saw the water approaching," Sligh told the Times. "You just hold on as tight as you can. Then just a white flash and cold water."
Judging from photos taken at the scene, they fell at least a couple stories. The Slighs were in a pickup.