A powerful tornado blasted an area outside of Oklahoma City on Monday, ripping roofs off buildings, leveling homes and leaving a massive band of destruction in its wake.
In the desperate seconds and minutes after the storm passed, the human toll was not yet clear.
Survivors emerged from shelters to see an apocalyptic vision -- the remnants of cars twisted and piled on each other to make what had been a parking lot look like a junk yard. Bright orange flames roaring from a structure that was blazing even as rain continued to fall.
At least one school was in the tornado's devastation zone in Moore, Oklahoma. Lance West, a reporter for CNN affiliate KFOR, said that rescuers were searching for students trapped in debris at the elementary school. There were no immediate reports on the condition of the children.
A tornado at least a half mile-wide with 200 mph winds churned through Oklahoma City's suburbs Monday afternoon, causing significant property damage for the second day in a row, forcing rescue crews to search for survivors in the debris of flattened homes and businesses.
At least 20 of the 51 people killed by a devastating monster tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., were children, the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner said this evening, as searchers picked through the rubble of two elementary schools, and homes and businesses leveled by the storm. First responders continue to look for survivors.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive for another visit to the region this week, as part of significant efforts to renew the peace process. Kerry will land in Israel this Tuesday and spend two days there. During his visit, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem.
Israel is continuing an intense dialogue on the peace process with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said Tuesday during the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting.
The common goal, she said, is re-starting direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians: "We want the Palestinian Authority to know that peace talks are the only game in town."
The top Palestinian negotiator with Israel on Monday threw his weight behind US Secretary of State John Kerry's bid to revive stalled peace talks. Kerry is due to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah on Thursday and Friday. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told a UN committee in New York on Monday that a settlement freeze and the release of Palestinian prisoners were not conditions for returning to negotiations, but rather obligations that Israel must fulfill.
The Palestinians have done all the legal work necessary to join 63 UN agencies, conventions and treaties but haven’t applied yet mainly to give the latest U.S. peace effort a chance to succeed, the chief Palestinian negotiator said Monday.
While Minister Livni said at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the government's goal is to restart negotiations, other coalition members insisted a two-state solution was never an official government position. The committee discussion lasted more than two hours.
The ongoing labor dispute between Foreign Ministry employees and the Finance Ministry has ground the issuance of diplomatic passports to a halt. As a result, cabinet ministers have been denied the necessary documentation for official travel abroad.
In the case of Tzipi Livni, this means she might not be able to attend upcoming peace talks with her Palestinian counterparts.
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