The Lookout
  • [Updated at 9 p.m. CT]

    A mother and baby have been confirmed killed when several tornadoes, including a large twister, touched down in the Oklahoma City metro area. A large and powerful storm system moved through the vicinity of Oklahoma City and Moore, which was devastated two weeks ago. Softball-sized hail, heavy flooding and straight line winds were reported throughout the region. Many warnings have been issued for cities and towns along the track of the storm system, including St. Louis, Missouri.

    Yahoo News is following the latest developments via social media from meteorologists, storm chasers and government officials. We welcome your comments, especially if you have firsthand information about this dangerous storm.

    Read More »from Live updates: Tornadoes, storms slam Oklahoma
  • Updated 4:55 pm ET

    CLEVELAND, Ohio—Police visited the home of Ariel Castro, the man who police say held three young women captive for the past decade, at least once while they were being held inside. But it wasn’t until Monday when one of the women, 27-year old Amanda Berry, managed to escape and phone 911 that officers came and got them to freedom.

    With Ariel Castro, 52, and brothers Pedro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50, in custody and awaiting charges, authorities have come under scrutiny for how they missed clues that Berry and two other young women were being kept as prisoners in the rundown home in the city's west side neighborhood.

    Berry, whom police called a hero for breaking out of the house Monday and summoning help, had disappeared in 2003 when she was 16. Michelle Knight went missing in 2002, when she was 20. Gina DeJesus, then 14, was reported missing in 2004.

    Police, along with officials of the Children and Family Services department, visited the house in January 2004 to follow up

    Read More »from Authorities visited home of Cleveland man accused of holding 3 women captive
  • [Updated at 10:18 p.m. ET]

    BOSTON—Police have nabbed the 19-year-old suspected Boston Marathon bomber, after a day-long manhunt that completely shut down the city of Boston and several suburbs and left one police officer dead. Some Bostonians flooded into the streets cheered the news, celebrating an end to five days of fear since the bombs wounded more than 175 people and killed three.

    An ambulance arrived at the scene to take the wounded suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, to a hospital. Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said he is in serious condition.

    Tsarnaev was found in a boat in the yard of a home on Franklin Street, close to where he and his older brother engaged in a shootout with police nearly 24 hours earlier. The homeowner discovered Tsarnaev when he saw blood on the outside of his boat and then lifted the tarp to find a person, covered in blood, inside. Police used a heat-detecting device on a helicopter to find out that he was still inside, and exchanged gun fire with the suspect for the next hour, before he was apprehended.

    Watertown residents--finally able to leave their homes around 8:45 p.m.--broke into cheers and applauded police officers after word spread that the suspect was in custody.

    "We're so grateful to bring justice and closure to this case," Alben said at a 9:30 p.m. press conference. "We're exhausted ... but we have a victory here tonight." Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said he could find no explanation for the "savagery" of the attacks, but that the capture made him proud to be a Boston police officer.

    "We've closed an important chapter in this tragedy," President Barack Obama said in brief remarks at the White House Friday night, noting there were still many unanswered questions about the Tsarnaevs' actions.

    "Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they failed," Obama said. Americans, he said, "refuse to be terrorized."

    Just a few hours earlier, at 6:00 p.m ET, police announced that the 19-year-old suspected bomber had eluded capture after fleeing from police on foot early Friday morning.

    Thousands of law enforcement officers conducted a nearly 24-hour door-to-door manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is suspected of helping his brother plant two bombs near the finish line at Monday's Boston Marathon that wounded more than 170 people and left three dead.

    Officials announced at 6:00 p.m. news conference that they had been unable to apprehend the suspect, despite combing through a 20-block area of the Boston suburb of Watertown and shutting down the city's entire public transportation system in an effort to prevent him from fleeing. They said they did not know if he had a car, or if he was still on foot. The home where Tsarnaev was eventually discovered was outside the 20-block perimeter, and had not been searched.

    Gov. Deval Patrick lifted his previous "shelter in place," or lockdown, order for the city of Boston and many surrounding areas of the city at 6:00 p.m.. But Patrick urged Bostonians to continue to be "vigilant" as the "very dangerous" armed suspect has not been apprehended.

    An overnight police chase and shootout left Dzhokhar's 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead and Dzhokhar on the lam.

    Federal investigators had released photos and videos of the two men hours earlier, showing them in the vicinity of the marathon finish line before the twin explosions. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was seen placing a backpack on the ground minutes before the blast, investigators said.

    One MIT police officer was killed and another transit police officer seriously wounded during the violent spree. The city of Boston and its surrounding areas ground to a standstill for hours as police went door to door searching for the suspect in the suburb of Watertown.

    Police said they had uncovered several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Watertown and in the brothers' home in Cambridge.

    Tsarnaev is a student at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The Tsarnaev family is originally from Chechnya, a volatile and once war-torn southern Russian republic. The family fled to Kyrgyzstan and eventually immigrated to the United States as refugees about 10 years ago.

    Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev (FBI)

    Authorities gave no indication of what they might believe the brothers' motivations could have been in the crime.

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the dead suspect, studied at a local community college and was a Golden Gloves boxer. He also reportedly had a wife and young child. The FBI questioned him two years ago at the request of the Russian government, but found nothing suspicious, according to the AP.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was remembered by former classmates as bright and personable, posted links to pro-Chechnyan independence sites on his social media page, and listed his "world view" as Islam.

    Tsarnaev appeared to be posting to his Twitter account even after the marathon attacks, writing in his last post on Wednesday, "I'm a stress free kind of guy." His posts covered everything from cute photos of his cat to rap lyrics.

    In an interview with The New York Times, the suspects' father said Tamerlan had been unable to become a U.S. citizen because he was arrested for hitting his girlfriend, and that he traveled to Russia last year to live for six months and renew his passport. Dzhokhar is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

    The suspects' uncle, when told that one of his nephews was killed by the local CBS News station Friday afternoon, replied that he deserved it.

    “He deserved his. He absolutely deserved his,” Ruslan Tsarni said. “They do not deserve to live on this earth.”

    Read More »from Boston Marathon bomber manhunt: Police nab suspect alive
  • Malala Yousafzai on the cover of Time magazine (Time.com)

    Time magazine released its annual list of the 100 "Most Influential People in the World" on Thursday. Among them: President Barack Obama; first lady Michelle Obama; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old activist who survived a Taliban attack; Miami Heat forward LeBron James; Justin Timberlake; Jay-Z; Beyoncé; Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome; Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge; and Yahoo's chief executive, Marissa Mayer.

    The magazine picked people "who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world," and not always for the better: North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un made the list for the second year in a row.

    As has become tradition, Time solicited essays about honorees from fellow luminaries. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was on the list last year, wrote about her former boss:

    When Barack Obama was first elected, the world saw the realization of the American Dream. Today, they see a leader who

    Read More »from Time’s 100 ‘Most Influential’ list includes Obama, Malala, Mayer
  • Charred vehicles seen after the plant explosion in West, Texas. (Mike Stone/Reuters)

    The deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the town of West, Texas, on Wednesday was caught on dramatic videos taken by several onlookers who had stopped to watch a large fire that began before the blast. The explosion killed at least five people, injured 160 others, and leveled scores of homes and buildings—including a nursing home—in the small town about 8 miles north of Waco. The blast was so powerful, officials say, it registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake and could be felt as far as 45 miles away.

    Read More »from Videos of Texas fertilizer plant explosion
  • A mystery landowner's plan to build an 85,000-square-foot family compound has set off a major kerfuffle in a tony Hollywood hills neighborhood whose residents include Bruce Springsteen, Jay Leno, and David Beckham, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    The proposed "mega-mansion"—which would be located in the iconic 90210 zip code—will include a 42,681-square-foot main house, a double-winged "son's villa" of more than 27,000 square feet, a 4,400-square-foot guest house, a 5,300-square-foot staff quarters and a 2,700-square-foot gatehouse.

    The owner's identity is being kept secret. But there are indications he could be a member of the Saudi royal family. A special business created to buy the land lists as its president Mansour Fustok of London. Fustok--who described the mansion to the Times as "just a normal Mediterranean-style house"--is the uncle of Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud, one of Saudi King Abdullah's sons.

    Read More »from Plan for mystery mega-mansion sparks furor in 90210
  • Are kids slipping through the cracks in Facebook's just-ask age screening approach?

    The social networking site kicks off around 20,000 underage users per day, its chief privacy adviser, Mozelle Thompson, told Australia's parliament this week.

    He admitted that the site's way of weeding out those who don't meet the 13-and-up age requirement -- essentially a user-entry honor system -- is "not perfect," because there's no mechanism for detecting kids who simply enter a false age.

    "There are people who lie. There are people who are under 13," Thompson said.

    A recent Pew study found that nearly half of all U.S. 12-year-olds use social networking sites -- and privacy concerns in regard to Facebook's younger members have been growing of late. This month, Sen. Al Franken

    Read More »from Facebook kicks off 20,000 underage users a day
  • Nine-year-old Anaiah Rucker is being hailed as a hero after saving her sister from being hit by a truck last month. Anaiah told The Today Show's Ann Curry today that she didn't think twice before pushing her little sister out of the path of the vehicle as the pair crossed the street in Madison, Georgia to get to the school bus stop.

    Anaiah took the hit, instead, and lost a leg and a kidney for her bravery.

    "I love her more than anything," Anaiah told Channel 2's Tom Jones of her five-year-old-sister, Camry. Anaiah said it was raining and her sweatshirt hood was covering her eyes as she and her sister crossed the road. The girls' mother, Andrea Taylor, witnessed her older daughter's act of bravery from the porch of their home, where she watches the girls catch the bus each morning.

    Read More »from Nine-year-old loses leg while saving little sister’s life
  • A female worker at the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) plant wrote a blog post about the battle to keep the reactors from overheating, saying the brave workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant were risking their lives to keep the situation under control.

    Michiko Otsuki removed the post on Thursday, writing that it was being used in a way she hadn't intended. But the Singaporean site the Straits Times translated the entire statement and posted it online.  The post, which Otsuki uploaded to the social networking site Mixi, has already been quoted by the Guardian, the AFP, and other international news outlets.

    Read More »from Worker at Japanese nuclear plant: We’re putting our lives on the line
  • There's not much good news in the wake of last week's devastating 9.0 earthquake in Japan. So far, the disaster may have left as many as 10,000 dead and half a million homeless, as well as sparking a nuclear crisis that is still unfolding. But amid the tragedy, some tsunami and earthquake victims have--against the odds--reunited with their loved ones and shared their incredible tales of survival.

    Akiko Kosaka, who was studying English in California, had all but given up hope of hearing that her family had survived in the coastal village of Minami Sanriku. Nearly half the town's inhabitants are missing or feared dead.

    After a friend tipped her off, Kosaka found a YouTube video of local news coverage that shows her older sister wearing a hard hat and calling out to the cameras to let her little sister in America know that the family has survived, Kosaka told CNN. The video shows that the houses next to her family home have been destroyed, making the family's survival all the more miraculous. You can watch her story, and other moving reunion vidoes, below.

    Read More »from Touching reunion videos after Japan disaster

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