5 things to know for April 15: Massive storm, missing nurse, Rep. Omar, Phoenix, Masters
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At least eight people, including three children, are dead after a massive storm rolled through the South over the weekend. Four people were killed in Texas, two in Louisiana, and one each in Alabama and Mississippi. One tornado, an EF-3, touched down in Robertson County, Texas, with winds up to 140 mph. The storm barreled east, putting 90 million people under the threat of tornadoes and other severe weather from New England to the Gulf Coast.
2. Kidnapped nurse
Now that ISIS has fallen, the International Committee for the Red Cross hopes to find a New Zealand nurse the terror group kidnapped years ago. Louisa Akavi, 62, was snatched by ISIS along with a pair of drivers in October 2013 while delivering medical supplies to northern Syria. The Red Cross has kept Akavi’s name a secret as it worked to secure her release. But now the international aid agency is making it public, because it believes there are “new opportunities” to locate her now that all of the terrority held by ISIS has been liberated.
3. Ilhan Omar
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar says she’s getting more death threats after President Trump put out a tweet that mixed a speech she gave last month with images from the 9/11 attacks. She accused the President of encouraging right-wing extremist violence, something White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied on the Sunday morning talk shows. In the tweet, Trump wrote, “We will never forget!” and included the speech video, in which she said the Council on American-Islamic Relations “was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to civil liberties.” (CAIR was actually founded in 1994.) Omar’s political opponents accused her of downplaying the terror attacks, but her defenders say her detractors were purposefully twisting her words.
4. Phoenix shootings
Police are sorting out a really tragic story in Phoenix. A man is accused of shooting to death four people, including his wife and two young children, in a domestic dispute. The suspect, 30-year-old Austin Smith, reportedly came home from a bar late last week and accused his wife of cheating on him and shot her along with the children. Police say Smith then drove to the house of the man he believed his wife was having an affair with and killed him, too. A 3-year-old girl survived the shootings and was found hiding under a bed. Smith has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder along with other charges.
5. Tiger Woods
A lot of people had kind of written Tiger Woods off. Over the past decade, instead of producing championships, he’d produced a steady stream of negative headlines: Stories of extramarital affairs, a DUI arrest and debilitating injuries. But he put all that behind him yesterday at the Masters, winning it for the fifth time and capturing his 15th major title (and his first major title in 11 years.) It’s one of sports’ all-time great comeback stories, which sparked an ebullient celebration at Augusta National Golf Club. Woods is now just three majors behind legend Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18. Which begs the question: Can the Tiger pass the Golden Bear?
Spoiler alert! If you’re not caught up on “Game of Thrones” yet (or don’t care) skip this item. Otherwise, let’s geek out about all of the reunions!
Who needs Justin?
An NSYNC reunion broke out during Ariana Grande’s headlining set at Coachella, with the “7 rings” songbird filling in for the MIA Justin Timberlake.
Sexiest DJ alive
Speaking of Coachella, Idris Elba pulled off a DJ set so impressive folks wonder if he should just forget about that whole acting thing.
Wall of sound
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma took his talents to the US-Mexico border over the weekend, urging listeners to “build bridges, not walls.”
Those three black churches in Louisiana that were destroyed by fire are rebuilding, and this ex-NFL player wants to let you know how you can help.
The biggest question that popped up after Julian Assange’s arrest last week: what happened to his cat? No worries, the feline social media star is safe and sound.
President Trump’s re-election campaign’s fundraising haul in the first quarter, giving the President a huge financial head start over all of his Democratic rivals
This Cajun restaurant in Galliano, Louisiana, has a year-long waiting list. But don’t worry. We’ll get you in. (Click to view)