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CONNECT THE WORLD

Historic Meeting White House Visit by Myanmar President; Tornado Emergency in Oklahoma

Aired May 20, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: More than 50 killed in Iraq this Monday, hundreds injured. Tonight, we look at the sectarian divide threatening the country's future.

Also this hour, the acid attack victim who went on a TV game show to highlight her plight and (inaudible).

Plus, the Special One leaves Real Madrid, but where is he headed to next?

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.

SHUBERT: A grim day in Iraq as sectarian violence leaves dozens of people dead and the toll could still rise. A warning now that some viewers may find the following video of the aftermath disturbing.

A series of bombings and shootings erupted across the country on Monday in the latest surge of violence. Mohammed Jamjoom is tracking developments from CNN Beirut. He joins us now live. Tell us a little bit about the targets in this recent spate of bombings. What are we seeing on the ground?

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Atika, an absolutely shocking day today. At least 17 separate attacks across the country.

Now, many of the neighborhoods, cities targeted, predominately Shiite.

The day started off with two car bombs ripping through Basra, that's the predominately Shiite city in the south of the country. But there were also at least, at least seven attacks in Baghdad. Those were targeting Shiite neighborhoods as well.

It's just a horrific day in Iraq.

Here's a day where at least 50 people have been killed. In the last week, hundreds of people have been killed as a result of attacks that have been going on there.

The sectarian lines deepening in Iraq. And while officials there say they can't pinpoint who is behind these attacks, the tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the last few months has really been on the rise, leaving many to wonder if Iraq is sliding back to its darker days in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian tensions pushed that country to the brink of all-out civil war -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Well, sectarian tensions, but also very much a political conflict. What is the government doing to try and prevent this violence?

JAMJOOM: Well, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki appeared on Iraqi state television today. He said that there was going to be a complete overhaul of the security apparatus in Iraq. He also called on Clerics there to reject sectarianism, to promote unity. But he also spoke about the plots that he thought were behind some of the recent violence. And he mentioned foreign agendas. Here's more of what Prime Minister al Maliki had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NOURI AL MALIKI, IRAQI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The return of those people is an investment in political chaos. And it has led to the instability of society, because of the sectarianism. This sectarianism is linked, this time, with foreign agendas beyond our borders.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JAMJOOM: The question is whether there is going to be any type of practical solution to what's going on there. Prime Minister al Maliki, blaming foreign agendas, foreign plots. This is not the first time we've heard this time of rhetoric from the Iraqi prime minister. It's happened many times in the past.

Clearly the government is worried there. If they're actually able to get things under control, that would be great for the country, but you speak to Iraqis, they are concerned. They are concerned because sectarian tensions so much on the rise now.

Things really got worse in the past month. There was an attack by Iraqi security forces on a Sunni protest camp in one part of the country, that made tensions flare. Things really to have really only gone downhill since.

April was the deadliest month in Iraq since 2008. So right now, things not really looking good for Iraq, people really worried about what's going to happen in the days to come -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Yeah, very grim numbers there. Mohammed Jamjoom for us following the situation from CNN Beirut.

Now Iraq's recent surge in sectarian violence has much of the Middle East on edge. According to figures from rights group Iraq Body Count, more than 2,100 Iraqis have been killed so far this year, including 700 Iraqis killed in April.

Now Iraq remains deeply divided along sectarian lines. The minority Sunnis feel politically marginalized since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Shiites represent a majority of Iraqis and dominate the government. And Kurds are an ethnic minority that control a region of northeastern Iraq.

Now amid some of the worst violence in years, some observers are murmuring about the prospect of a possible sectarian civil war in Iraq.

So, let's bring in Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics. We've seen a number of attacks in different cities today, talk us through how the sectarian lines are drawn in Iraq?

FAWAZ GERGES, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Atika, as you said, Iraq now stands on the brink of all-out communal strife between the dominant Shiite government of Nouri al Maliki and the Sunni minority.

Today, for example, almost 70 Iraqi Shiites were killed, in particular in Shiite areas. In Basra, this is a Shiite city, in Baghdad as well. Most of those killed, almost 10 car bombings targeted Shiite communities both in Baghdad and in Basra.

The reality is, I mean, Iraq now is deeply divided along sectarian lines. So you have the Shiite areas. Shiite represent about 65 percent of the populations. And of course you have the Sunni areas, Ramadi and Haditha, which borders Syria. The Sunni, the Arab Sunnis in Iraq presents about 20, 25 percent.

So essentially now, more and more Iraqis are divided along communal and sectarian lines. And the attacks in the last few weeks in particular have targeted holy places both Sunnis and Shiites, basically they are elements in Iraq that are stoking the flames of all out sectarian strife like what happened after the American invasion of Iraq in 2006, 2007.

SHUBERT: Yeah, an extremely flammable situation.

But as you pointed out earlier, when we were talking, a sectarian conflict, but also a political one. Can you tell us more about the political dimensions here?

GERGES: Atika, I mean, I think it would be misleading to say that this is sectarian strife, it's an essentially political crisis. You have a severe political crisis. The government of Nouri al Maliki does not appreciate the gravity of the political crisis. You have a dominant Shiite community after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. You have a Sunni minority feels marginalized, it's not really being included in the government. And the reality is you need political reforms. You need to reform the judicial system. You need to bring in the marginalized Sunni community in order to prevent the sending Iraq into all-out conflict.

SHUBERT: Yeah, and we're talking Iraq here, a key piece of the regional puzzle sandwich between Syrian and Iran where we're already seeing conflict in Syria. How does Iraq, then, play into what's happening in both countries?

GERGES: I mean, I think the reality is you cannot understand what's happening in Iraq without understand the conflict in Syria. The conflict in neighboring Syria basically has exacerbated both the political crisis in Iraq and also the sectarian crisis, because the Syrian conflict, unfortunately Atika, has also basically mutated, take a sectarian turn. And Iraq is both Sunnis and Shiites are divided along sectarian and ideological lines. So you have Syria on the one hand, you have Iran on the other hand.

The Sunni Arab community in these particular areas believes that Iran is intervening in Iraq and basically having the upper hand. And of course the Shiite community believe that basically the opposition in Syria will turn Syria into a Sunni dominated state, would embolden the Sunni community.

So really what you have in Iraq today is basically multiple conflicts collapsed in one. And the crisis in Syria is exacerbating an essentially political and sectarian crisis as well.

SHUBERT: Yeah, very complex and dangerous situation. Thank you very much for walking it through for us.

Fawaz Gerges from the Middle East center at the London School of Economics.

Still to come tonight, after a turbulent relationship, Real Madrid confirms manager Jose Mourinho is heading for the exit. We're live from the Spanish capital.

And two car bombs explode in Russia's volatile North Caucuses region from Dagestan. We'll get the latest details of the attack.

And devastating homes and tossing trees like toothpicks, tornadoes rip through the Midwest of the U.S. leaving destruction in their wake.

All that and much more when Connect the World continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: You're watching CNN, and this is Connect the World with me, Atika Shubert. Welcome back.

We have some breaking news coming in to us from the United States. The U.S. national weather service has declared a tornado emergency for the Oklahoma City region. In fact, we have live pictures now coming in, a tornado has been seen on the ground within the last hour. We're actually getting this live picture in from our affiliate in Oklahoma and what appears to be a tornado forming on the ground. This is coming from a helicopter shot. So you're going to see a little bit of that helicopter there in some of the shots.

But this is really quite incredible footage of extreme weather forming just in front of the camera screen.

Now all of this comes a day after the destructive storms ripped through Oklahoma and other Midwestern states killing two people. The Red Cross estimates the tornadoes tore apart 300 homes.

Well, CNN's Emily Schmidt reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMILY SCHMIDT, CNN CORREPSONDENT: When the skies turned black and the radar turned red in Wichita, even those sounding the tornado warning could no longer ignore it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point, folks, those -- we here at KSN are moving to our shelters. We are moving to our shelters.

SCHMIDT: The picture remained while the KSN news team moved to shelter. The anchor said it was the first time in 20 years he'd said this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get to shelter right now. Everybody down below. Let's go.

SCHMIDT: Storm chasers captured the Wichita tornado on video.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: You know, when you live in Kansas that's just one of those things that's going to happen eventually.

SCHMIDT: The National Weather Service says it was just one of dozens of twisters reported in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If this shifts, we're done.

SCHMIDT: Early reports show the damage from this tornado near Shawnee, Oklahoma looks like something from an EF-4 tornado. There's only one more storm measure more severe.

MARY FALLIN, OKLAHOMA GOVERNOR: It was totally devastating here. And massive destruction. And we're just very fortunate that we didn't have more loss of life.

SCHMIDT: Jessie Addington's childhood home with her mother inside blew apart in an instant.

JESSIE ADDINGTON, CHILDHOOD HOME DESTROYED: She heard the wind coming. And she got tossed around like a ragdoll. She's lucky to be alive.

SCHMIDT: Addington says she feels cheated by this tornado, because everything is gone. The picture is echoed all over, power lines toppled, landscapes almost unrecognizable. Meteorologists say that same weather threat continues for people over half a million square miles in the path of what could be round two.

I'm Emily Schmidt reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Now the Special One is leaving Real Madrid. Manager Jose Mourinho will part company with the football club at the end of the season. And we have CNN's Madrid bureau chief Al Goodman. He is joining us live with the latest.

So what are Madrilenos saying about this, Al?

AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Monita.

Well, the club president here at the stadium a short while ago made the announcement that many people had expected. And he tried to paint a very nice and sweet and light picture on it. He said it was by mutual accord. The club didn't fire Mourinho, that the club was satisfied with Mourinho's results over the past three seasons and basically putting a brave face on it.

Now we note that the club president is standing for reelection to lead this club here for another term. So that may have had something to do with it. But out here in the street, we have talked to fans and they said, look, look at the results over the last three seasons. This is one of the winningest, most storied football clubs in the world and certainly in Spain. They just haven't won much silverware, many trophies recently.

So under Mourinho, they only won one Spanish League title, one Spanish Cup and one Spanish SuperCup, but basically they didn't come up with another Champion's League victory to make it number 10, which would have been the winningest of any club anywhere in Europe. So there is some satisfaction on the street even if they're trying to spin it a little differently inside the stadium -- Monita.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much, that's CNN Madrid's Al Goodman reporting for us live there from Madrid.

Now Myanmar's president Thein Sein has arrived at the White Hosue for talks with President Barack Obama. It is the first White House visit by Myanmar head of state in nearly half a century. The visit is a symbolic move that highlights U.S. support for the country's reform program.

But human rights advocates criticized the meeting saying Myanmar has not done enough to be courted by the world's super powers.

More test firings from North Korea despite a warning from South Korea to refrain from, quote, tension creating acts. It's not clear exactly what North Korea fired off into the waters off its east coast on Monday, but experts say it wasn't the larger Musudan type missiles that created so much controversy earlier this year.

North Korea described the launches as a regular military exercise.

At least eight people are dead after a car bombing in Russia's volatile North Caucuses region. The attack happened in Dagestan, a province where there is a strong presence of Islamic militants fighting Moscow's rule. Nick Paton Walsh joins me now from the capital. Nick, is this an upsurge in the recent kinds of attacks that we've been seeing there?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's certainly the worst to hit this part of the world, certainly Makhachkala for about a year. The death toll has been revised down by the ministry of health to about four, but it's still quite unclear. And at least 30 people are still in hospital with the injuries they received from this.

When we got to the scene, frankly eerie quiet descended. The first bomb parked in a car designed to draw in police to look at it. It detonated not particularly to great effect, drawing a crowd. The second device, then, massive it seems. That's what's caused the casualties outside the court bailiffs building.

A number of law enforcement targets are regularly hit here by the underground of Islamist militants. This, of course, a particularly devastating attack, but at a time when the world's eyes are very much looking at Dagestan, assessing the underground insurgency here, what Moscow has been doing to suppress it and above of all whether or not in the six months he was here, whether one of the alleged Boston bombing's Tamerlan Tsarnaev came into contact at all with any of those militants, Atika.

SHUBERT: Yeah, a lot of scrutiny now on Russia for that reason, but in a separate incident. Moscow has announced they've also foiled a terror attack. What other information do you have on that, Nick?

WALSH: Well, a good success story for them today, convenient timing, given what happened in the south, but the FSB who often say they foil terror plots marked this one out because it was aimed at Moscow, the capital. That's reasonably rare.

They say that about 85 kilometers to the east of the capital they conducted an operation that killed two accused militants and had another one arrested. They say all these three were Russian citizens who have come to Russia from the Afghanistan-Pakistan area to carry out this particular attack.

Very light on details to what exactly they were planning or any more about who these particular people were, but it's a success story, of course, they're touting. And cynics will, of course, suggest the timing of that today and with that significant blast in Makhachkala here is, of course, convenient, Atika.

SHUBERT: Well, thank you very much. That's Nick Paton Walsh for us in Dagestan.

Now casualties are mounting in a bloody battle for the rebel held Syrian city of Qusayr. The opposition warns that if it falls, the government will reclaim the key province of Homs. senior international correspondent Nic Robertson reports from Turkey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the sound of a city being crushed, Syrian government shells slamming into the town of Qusayr. From a distance, this strategic city appears shrouded in gunsmoke, the worst shelling, activists say, since the government began an offensive more than three weeks ago. CNN cannot verify the authenticity of these YouTube videos, but their message is clear.

"Qusayr is besieged by Assad's and Hezbollah's forces," this activist says. "Please, god, help us. Where are the Arabs, where are the Muslims," he pleads?

Another activist, Haddi Abdullah (ph) narrates his trip to the front line. "They have destroyed two tanks." They will show us a second tank. A third tank is trying to pull the dead and injured from the two tanks.

But as Abdullah (ph) returns from the front line, runs across open ground, those behind him not so lucky. Caught in a shell blast. His reaction, "I can't imagine what's happened to them," he says. "The regime shot at us."

As the dust settles, they discover two fighters were killed.

At the makeshift medical center, there is chaos. Injured fill every space. "This is a real war in Qusayr," the doctor shouts above the cries of pain. "More than 100 injuries this day, but we don't have much material"

Look at the difference a year makes. The same doctor, the same town 14 months ago, only he seems years younger, medical supplies not so scarce, smuggled along this vital rebel supply line from neighboring Lebanon.

The town, although mostly surrounded by regime forces, relatively unscathed. Back then, local leaders planned for the worst -- how to feed the estimated 30,000 civilians living there. Now, their worst fears appear to be coming true. A government offensive to drive them out once and for all.

Against the mightier military force, they say they are holding out. The question is, for how long?

Nic Robertson, CNN, Hatay, Turkey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Switching now to news for some of our business travelers, Boeings 787 Dreamliner has returned to the skies in the U.S. The plane made its first commercial domestic flight since it was grounded after a series of problems. Lithium ion batteries overheated on two Dreamliners in January, but a redesigned system has cleared the way for the plane's return.

Still to come on Connect the World, Yahoo! is on a buying spree, but with a series of failed and struggling purchases behind it, can the tech giant make its latest acquisition work.

And what is Mario Balotelli's hidden talent? Well, you can find that out and more later in the show when we shoot some quick-fire questions at the Italian football star.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: "We promise not to screw it up," those are the words of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer after announcing the company's acquisition of social blogging site Tumblr. Yahoo! is purchasing the site for $1.1 billion, its biggest acquisition since Mayer joined the company last July. Mayer said Tumblr will be operated independently with David Karp remaining at its CEO.

Now for the latest on this story, we're joined by Felicia Taylor in New York. So how have the markets reacted to this news?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Atika, the markets are not really having much of a reaction to this acquisition. You know, this is what we call an M and A Monday, a mergers and acquisition Monday. We've seen a couple of deals happen today. This one in particular.

As you said, you know, Marissa Mayer was out there sort of making commentary about this acquisition. It's a little bit risky for her. This is a billion dollar pricetag for a company that has revenues of about $13 million. And it's only been out there for about six years.

Admittedly, you know, David Karp is thought of as -- you know, the CEO of Tumblr is thought of as somewhat of a tech genius. He started this in his living room at age 21. It has -- in April alone, 117 million unique users.

But this is really an acquisition about an audience. She wants to appeal to a younger age audience. Google and Facebook, you know, the criticism about that is that you know people's mothers and grandmothers are on it. This is an audience that is sort of 18 to 24 years old.

The stock itself was only up about a half of one percent. It actually did cross about 1 percent, but it ended up the day about a half of one percent.

But we did hear earlier from Marissa Mayer what her opinions are and why this is such an important acquisition. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARISSA MAYER, YAHOO! CEO: Looking beyond the numbers, we're even more excited about the long-term growth opportunities this deal brings to Tumblr, Yahoo! and most importantly to our collective users.

Along those lines, I'd like to emphasize that while we are acquiring Tumblr, we're making a sincere promise to not screw it up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAYLOR: So the reason she said that is because Yahoo! has had a reputation prior to Mayer's taking the helm of, you know, basically what they say killing startups. They took over Broadcast.com. They paid a hefty pricetag fro that of about $5.6 billion. They took over Geocities at $3.6 billion and those don't even exist anymore.

So she is promising that they're going to leave Tumblr to do what it does best and really just take advantage of the audience. And like I said, in April alone, 117 million unique users is pretty substantial.

The stock has been up about 55 percent since Mayer took control back in July. So she's had a pretty good run. And people are counting on the fact that she is going to be able to turn this into something. But the problem is is that Tumblr doesn't like advertising and Karp has said profitability just isn't important, which I would imagine is important to Mayer.

SHUBERT: I'm sure it is. Well, we'll be watching that closely. Thank you very much Felicia Taylor for us in New York.

Well, Tumblr is a blogging site, often described as Twitter meets YouTube and Word Press. You can post pictures, videos, text and links all in one place. And what makes it attractive that it's really simple to set up a blog. And unlike other social media sites, you can stay anonymous, which is a big draw for the site's users.

Now Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp who is just 26 years old, very young. Now Tumblr says it now has well over 100 million active blogs and over 50 billion posts. The majority of users are under the age of 25, which is the exact user demographic Yahoo! is after.

So Tumblr users had been reacting to the News and they are mostly not too happy. A quick search for Yahoo! tags on Tumblr brings up a flood of critical images and comments like this one, "Dear Yahoo, this is a site for people, not billionaires."

And another user said, "if Yahoo takes control, we should evacuate to an abandoned network like MySpace."

As you can see, some of the people commenting are, however, keeping a sense of humor about it. Just take a look at this comment. "What if, because of Yahoo!, our parents find out what Tumblr is."

And finally, another user said, "look on the bright side, guys, at least Facebook didn't buy us."

Well, those are the latest -- the latest world news headlines are coming up just ahead. Plus, an historic visit. Myanmar's president visits the White House for talks with Barack Obama.

Also, imagine your life changed forever in one horrific instance. Well, a young acid attack victim speaks out.

Plus, will Jose Mourinho return to Chelsea? And who will replace him at Real Madrid? We'll have all the latest football analysis from our World Sports team.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ATIKA SHUBERT, HOST: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Breaking news out of the United States. The US National Weather Service has declared a rare tornado emergency for the Oklahoma City area. At least one tornado has been seen on the ground within the last hour. A CNN affiliate is reporting the tornado is two miles wide, something we can't independently verify for now, but you are seeing live pictures of that funnel forming.

It comes a day after destructive storms ripped through Oklahoma and other midwestern states killing two people. We'll continue to monitor this story, and we'll update you as information comes in.

More than 50 people have been killed in a series of attacks across Iraq. Authorities say mostly Shiites were targeted in a wave of car bombings mostly in and around Baghdad. Iraq has seen a surge of sectarian violence recently. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he is overhauling his security plans.

And in an historic visit, Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, is meeting with US president Barack Obama. It is the first White House visit by head of state from Myanmar in nearly half a century.

And Jose Mourinho is stepping down as manager of Real Madrid. Mourinho has agreed with the football club that he will resign at the end of the current season. Many think Mourinho will return to Chelsea for a second stint as the English club's manager.

Also, Yahoo! has officially announced that it is buying social blogging site Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said Tumblr will be operated independently and David Karp will remain its CEO.

So, let's get more now on that meeting between Myanmar's president, Thein Sein, and US president, Barack Obama, which is taking place right now. President Obama said Myanmar's president planned to release more political prisoners. He also said he had expressed concern about ethnic violence within Myanmar.

For more, we're now joined live by CNN's chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin. This is an historic visit, Jessica. So, what is going to be on the top of the agenda for them?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi. It truly is, Atika, and it comes just months after President Obama made that historic trip to Myanmar, where he visited Aung Sang Suu Kyi at that home where she spent so many years under house arrest.

In an Oval Office meeting, the -- President Obama and the president of Myanmar discussed their past tensions and the president acknowledged there are still ongoing tensions. But he recognized what he said is the country's move toward democracy, the move toward political and economic reforms, and the release of some political prisoners.

As you noted, he did express concerns in particular about repression of some ethnic Muslims in the country, but he applauded the leadership in the country for trying to take steps in the right direction. Here's a little more of what President Obama had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What has allowed this shift in relations is the leadership that President Sein has shown in moving Myanmar down a path of both political and economic reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

YELLIN: Now, as a side note, in the White House briefing today, Jay Carney, the press secretary, said the White House has now shifted to sometimes calling the country Myanmar.

It has refused to -- traditionally, this administration has refused to do so because that's the name the regime there has given the country, that the United States has traditionally recognized only as Burma. Well, Carney said now as a diplomatic courtesy, they will occasionally use the term "Myanmar," Atika.

SHUBERT: That's Jessica Yellin for us, chief White House correspondent there in Washington, DC.

We have just gotten some news coming into us from the United States. We're going to go to those live pictures we're getting of that tornado forming in Oklahoma. So, we're going to join our sister network, CNN USA.

(SIMULCAST WITH CNN USA)

SHUBERT: We're breaking away from our CNN USA breaking news coverage, there, of the tornado that appears to have ripped through the metropolitan area of Oklahoma City. For more on that and what's happening there, we're going to go to Tom Sater. He's a CNN meteorologist at the International Center. What can you tell us about these twisters that are devastating the area, Tom?

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Atika, let me back up just a little bit, because I want to let all our international viewers know that in the US, the month of May is the most violent when it comes to tornadoes. However, since last Wednesday, or before last Wednesday, we'd only had three, and typically, for the entire month, we'll have 342.

Well, since then, we had 16 last Wednesday with 6 fatalities down in Texas. We had another 7 on Friday, 14 on Saturday, 24 yesterday, and that's where some of these red triangles are. Mother Nature's making up now. We've got nearly 68 for the month, and again, only 3 from last Wednesday.

This is what we've been looking at. It's the same location, we call it Tornado Alley, these are tornado watch boxes. Same location as we had 24 hours ago. We've been showing live pictures from the pilot from our sister affiliate, KFOR, that's in Oklahoma City. The same identical place, the same pilot, the same helicopter, that showed us these tornadoes even yesterday.

Now, this is a current radar picture, and where we've been watching, you'll see these fire up. These are called super cell thunderstorms. They have a mind of their own. They circulate in their own way, and they do drop tornadoes.

Yesterday's 24 tornadoes, we believe spawned by 7 storms, we'll call them parent storms. They can produce several. But this is the area we're watching. And to give you an indication of what it was like even yesterday in the same location.

So again, all of the elements are in place for a violent outbreak for this afternoon. Now, this happened about 3:00 PM local time, and we have been watching the same location from what we had yesterday.

Now, let me show you. We're getting some damage pictures, the same pilot - - actually, we're going to go back to our sister network, CNN USA, the same pilot that's been showing us these funnel clouds is now flying over the devastation. We join them now.

(SIMULCAST WITH CNN USA)

END

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