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Oklahoma Tornado; Survivor's Tale; Unimaginable Devastation; Severe Storm Ingredients; Tornado Warning System; Storm Chasers' Haunting Video; Apples Tax Tactics; Apple in Ireland; Dimon Wins Shareholder Vote; Iceland's Challenges

Aired May 21, 2013 - 14:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST: Good evening, I'm Richard Quest, and this is CNN's continuing coverage of the search for survivors in Oklahoma following the devastating tornado.

The governor of the US state now says the losses from Monday's huge tornado have been heartbreaking. At least 237 people have been injured, 24 people have died after the tornado plowed through a residential area nearby Oklahoma City.

Nine of the children -- nine of the dead were children, including seven who were killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School in the city of Moore. Oklahoma's lieutenant governor told CNN that some of them drowned while taking shelter in the school's basement.

Meanwhile, the rescue effort continues to look for survivors amongst the rubble. Governor Fallin says the state is first and foremost in need of donations to rebuild, and that even surveying the damage is proving difficult.


GOV. MARY FALLIN (R), OKLAHOMA: In many places, homes were absolutely destroyed, taken away. There's just sticks and bricks, basically. It's hard to tell if there was a structure there or not.

If you get in some of the major neighborhoods, you can't tell where the streets were, the street signs are gone. And it's been a big challenge for us is being able to determine which area of the community we might be in because they're just -- the streets are just gone, the signs are just gone.


QUEST: Now, the amount of damage a tornado can do in 40 minutes is hard to measure, especially when you learn the storm was more than three kilometers wide as it moved through the city. Resident Jim Garner is amongst many of those people who lost their homes. Robert Arnold now tells us how Garner and his family managed to survive.


JIM GARNER, RESIDENT, MOORE, OKLAHOMA: Sorry I couldn't get a hold of you earlier.

ROBERT ARNOLD, LOCAL 2 CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jim Garner is trying to get a hold of his daughter.

GARNER: I love you and I'll talk to you sometime tomorrow.

ARNOLD: Cell phones have been spotty since a tornado with 200-mile- an-hour winds forced Garner, his other daughter, and his grandchildren, into this storm shelter.

GARNER: It's not real big, but it was big enough to save everybody.

ARNOLD: Garner prayed as the maelstrom around him engulfed the town of Moore, entire blocks wiped clean. Cars, trucks, and SUVs bent and twisted like they were nothing more than aluminum cans. The force of the tornado was so great, Garner says he had to hold onto the latch of this door with his entire body weight to keep it from being sucked open.

GARNER: I've never seen anything like it. Never heard anything like it. It was one of the worst experiences I've ever had in my life. I'm 55 years old, and I've never experienced anything like this.

ARNOLD: But there was one bright spot on this dark morning for Garner: before we left his decimated front lawn, we let Garner use our cell phone for one last try. The signal was weak, but Garner finally got through to his daughter. She was OK.

GARNER: I love you, too, baby. Bye, sweetheart.


QUEST: In some of the hardest-hit areas, the landscape is so ruined, it's difficult to imagine what it looked like before the tornado. Pam Brown walked through a wreckage of a bowling alley and barely recognizable after a direct hit.


PAM BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: But this steel beam, this burgundy steel beam, this was once holding up this bowling alley over here. And as you can see, it's lying down. This is the scene all over where this bowling alley was. We see metal scraps, side panel right here wrapped around this pole, hugging the pole like it's straw.

This over here, that was where the bowling alleys actually were. That was once where the bowling alleys were. This is where people would come to enjoy themselves, and now it is obliterated after the tornado that came through here.

This was actually in the direct path of the tornado yesterday, and you can see a bowling ball here. This is a child's bowling ball. These are scattered throughout the area here.

And what's interesting is the carpet -- the fact that you see this carpet here, and you can kind of visualize what this once was. People would come in -- this is presumably where they would walk in to buy their bowling shoes. And now, just mountains and mountains of rubble.

And you look over here, right next to this bowling alley, a hospital. A hospital also obliterated. Just -- just destruction.


QUEST: Now, Jenny Harrison is with us at the World Weather Center. And Jenny, I've got quite a few questions that I want to sort of put to you, if I may, over the next few minutes, to try and explain the nature of tornadoes.

But before we go there, I understand the weather actually in the area has been hampering some of that rescue and recovery operation taking place today.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It has. They've had thunderstorms, actually, in the area. In fact, right now, Richard, there's reports of some rain, some thunderstorms. You saw that report there, it's actually quite cloudy. The clouds have been keeping the temperature down, that's actually a good thing.

This time yesterday, the temperatures were actually in the 80s. The sun was coming down, and of course, remember, this is all the ingredients that go to make these towering thunderstorms that then produce these tornadoes.

And so, this is what is going on. Right now, the temperature in Moore, for example, is actually 15 Celsius. This time yesterday, it was actually in the mid to high 20s Celsius.

So, what happens? The setup for tornadoes is this: they come from these severe thunderstorms. We have this really cold air that really comes down from Canada, pushes in from the northwest, it comes down, and it meets this very, very warm and moist air that's just being funneled up from the Gulf of Mexico.

These two air masses, they clash, and this is where we have these severe thunderstorms which, of course, produce these tornadoes. This huge area is known as Tornado Alley, because this is the most common area across the United States where we have the tornadoes.

This is generally where we have the most severe tornadoes across this area in the south, generally because it gets so much warmer down here. So the thunderstorms are that much bigger, they are much more violent, these thunderstorms, and so they produce the bigger tornadoes.

But in actual fact, across the entire country of the United States, you can have tornadoes appearing anywhere. You can have tornadoes on just about any continent around the world. The only continent, I believe, that we've never had tornadoes reported --

QUEST: Right.

HARRISON: -- is actually Antarctica, Richard.

QUEST: Jenny. Jenny, I just want to jump in on this, because this is fascinating for those of us who've got really no idea about the mechanisms. As this cold air and warm air sort of converge on Tornado Alley, what is it -- do we know what is it that sort of sparks such a localized incident that a tornado then forms --

HARRISON: It's literally --

QUEST: -- and the warning that one can get from that?

HARRISON: Well, it's literally -- what you'll do with your hand, there, Richard -- it is literally the circulation of the air. It starts to move the air in this funnel. It starts to just whip this up.

And of course, it becomes very, very strong, it starts to actually -- once it's actually touching the ground, it starts to pick up the debris, and the bigger and the stronger the thunderstorm, then usually the more violent and the stronger the actual tornado is.

I can show you this. Look. This was actually captured. This was the line of thunderstorms that went through Moore in Oklahoma. Now, right now, the preliminary reports are saying this was an EF 4. That means the winds were in excess of 260 kilometers an hour. They could have been as strong as over 300 -- about 350 kilometers an hour.

Now, all this incredible equipment that's out there is able to capture all of this, and what I want to show you now is this. You see this pink box that has been highlighted? Now, this is actually showing the debris that was caught up and being literally thrown around within this particular tornado.

And this is a 3D image of that debris, and it's got markers here. And this debris went up as high as 20,000 feet. That's actually over 6,000 meters. So, it's just no wonder that it was just -- the devastation has just been so wide and so long.

And also, Richard, such a powerful tornado. As I say, preliminary from the National Weather Service is saying an EF 4. It was on the ground for 27 kilometers. So -- and a strong tornado just continuing and continuing for 27 kilometers. That is how long it was throwing this debris up there.

Now, you mention, of course, the weather. Now, I have to tell you that as we continue through Tuesday, we have got more of this same weather actually out there. It will continue its way across the central northern plains, across the United States.

And as we go into Wednesday, not out of the woods then. It will continue to work its way eastward. The area of very severe thunderstorms likely to diminish slightly, but it is still there because again, we've got all these components, this mild moist air from the south, this cold --

QUEST: Right.

HARRISON: -- dry air from the northwest. And you can see in the last few hours, still, now of course it's Texas, Oklahoma -- still Oklahoma -- Arkansas down into Louisiana. This is where the threat is as we continue through Tuesday for more of those severe thunderstorms.

QUEST: Right. But Jenny, I've got -- I'm jumping in again, if I may, Jenny, because initially, of course, yesterday, the death toll -- people believed there was up to 100 people dead. Now, it's back down in the 20s.

But when I look at that wide swathe of devastation, I am surprised that the death toll is not higher, tragic thought it already is. And surely this is an indication in this part of the United States that people do take this very seriously --


QUEST: -- and head for shelter.

HARRISON: It is. And I tell you what as well, Richard, you think about this. From a national perspective, we here at the CNN International World Weather Center, we would talk about these thunderstorms several days ahead.

Now, on a local level, they were doing exactly the same thing. So, people knew several days ahead the threat of these thunderstorms, therefore the tornadoes, were coming through. And then as the threat gets closer, as these warnings are put in place, people are making, obviously, their preparations.

And then, when it comes to these red boxes that are popping up now, the tornado watches, that is when they know that the thunderstorms out there are actually capable of producing these tornadoes.

Now, in the case of this tornado that came through Moore, they knew it was on the ground, they knew exactly where it was heading. All the local television stations, they cover these things literally from when these things are happening --

QUEST: Right.

HARRISON: -- it's all you'll get. They had 16 minutes, which for people in this area, that is a long time. The reports, Richard, of people who literally were following the news, they got in their vehicles, they went to a friend's house because they knew exactly the path --

QUEST: Right.

HARRISON: -- that this tornado was going to take, and that is what saved their lives. So, you're right. It's miraculous that, as terrible as it is, that more people actually were not killed in this. But they really did heed the warning.

QUEST: Jenny Harrison at the World Weather Center. Thank you, Jenny. Appreciate that, giving us some guidance, giving the uninitiated like myself some guidance.

Now, whilst many of the residents -- most of the residents that Jenny was talking about -- were heading to family and friends and into safety, there's a group of people that go in the opposite direction. They are the storm chasers, and it's their business to head into danger and get some extraordinary video. They literally capture the storm's terrifying size and power.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, dear God -- listen!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very large and deadly tornado. Kevin, get the pictures, man, I'm getting the video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, I've got the (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never heard a roar like that before.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh, no! It just turned north!

It's very large, heading into Moore, Oklahoma. I know. I know, hold on! It's going to our north.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not comfortable! Get in the car!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. We're completely fine.





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone else, jump in when you guys are ready.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we need to go! We need to go! Hold on, Moore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have blocks of trees coming down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we are completely fine right here. Let's stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes north, back behind us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, actually, yes. You're right.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut back through the debris field, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, search and rescue time after this, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the damage, the damage path right now. Houses are completely leveled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leveled -- it doesn't even -- it gets unrecognizable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leveled -- houses are leveled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This doesn't even look like it was ever a development.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks -- oh. Like --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no. This -- this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God, guys! It's --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at those people, we have to help them!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're just going to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, pull over in this little -- in that -- right here.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over right here. This is like a daycare or a school or something. Look at all the kids.



QUEST: The awful power of the volcano (sic), and when you look at the pictures, it is absolutely quite compulsive viewing.

When we come back, we turn to the financial world, and I will bring you, of course, throughout the hour the latest on the tornado throughout this hour. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.


QUEST: Now to other news and the business world. Apple stands accused of tax avoidance on a grand scale. The chief executive, Tim Cook, has been defending his company in the US Senate.

US lawmakers say Apple has shifted billions of dollars in profits away from the United States, and the way the company's doing it is through a complex web of offshore structures, arrangements, and transactions, in their words.

Check the box and look through the rules. Over a four-year period, the firm shielded $44 billion from the US taxman, according to the senators. When Tim Cook appeared before the permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he says he doesn't see it as unfair, and then said Apple pays an extraordinary amount in US taxes and does not use tax gimmicks.


TIM COOK, CEO, APPLE: We do have a low tax rate outside the United States, but this tax rate is for products that we sell outside the United States, not within. And so, the way that I look at this is there's no shifting going on that I see at all.


QUEST: The Senate investigation has uncovered three Apple units in Ireland which paid little or no tax on profits. The report said Ireland has essentially functioned as a tax haven for Apple, with the firm paying a special rate of 2 percent. Meanwhile, the Irish deputy prime minister insisted Ireland, his country, is not to blame.


EAMON GILMORE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF IRELAND: No, because the Irish taxation system is very transparent and very clear. We have a rate of corporation tax which applies to all companies, and the OECD has confirmed that Ireland is a highly tax compliant country.

The issue of loopholes -- international loopholes -- is an issue that is being addressed by the European Union. That is one of the reasons why it is on the agenda for the European Council tomorrow and why we will be discussing it at the General Affairs Council today, because we want to see tax evasion loopholes closed so that everybody pays their due tax, including all companies.


QUEST: In the end, it wasn't even close. Despite the fierce criticism, the head of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, stuck to his guns and won a majority vote to keep both his jobs as chief executive, CEO, and chairman. Felicia Taylor joins us from New York.

Look. Best governance practice is starting to suggest you need to have a separate chairman, a non-exec chairman, and the chief executive. But Jamie Dimon was adamant, wasn't he? He was not going to give up that other post.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what this is all about is corporate governance, and you're right. A lot of boards believe that if you have a chairman and CEO, they should hold different positions because then there can be greater oversight.

Obviously, if one individual is both chairman and CEO, then they're really very much in control of the kind of corporate governance.

And what this is going back to is the London Whale and those trades that were obviously misguided, is probably a decent way of putting it. But that was a $6 billion loss for the company.

But nevertheless, even though regulators said that he had misled the public, ignored red flags, was not forthright, and as you well know, called it "a tempest in a teapot," which it was much more than that.

The company, the bank itself, still made a huge profit. It was sort of a rounding error for that bank. JPMorgan -- Jamie Dimon as done an incredible job of being able to navigate through waters that were difficult for any other bank during the financial crisis and come out on top.

And that's pretty much why shareholders only gave a 32 percent vote for him to step down as both chairman and CEO. The truth is, they don't want him to step down. He's done a great job. They -- stock is up 2 percent.

The last time they voted to have him step down was around when the London Whale thing happened, and that was a 40 percent vote. The three directors that were also voted back in to reelection, they are going to be -- they are part of the regulatory committee.

So, the sense is that there will be greater oversight. And frankly, Jamie Dimon has been, it appears, a little bit humbled by this, but nevertheless, he is still very forthright in his commentary about how the bank is run. Take a listen.


JAMIE DIMON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE (via telephone): You should rest assured that we're doing all necessary to complete the needed improvements identified by regulators.

As I said in my chairman's letter, our control and regulatory agenda is our number one priority. We are re-prioritizing many major product initiatives, we're making changes to our organizational structure to ensure we get this done properly and quickly.


TAYLOR: So, they are going to increase oversight over their management practices, but the truth is, there isn't a strong bench at JPMorgan Chase. There are two individuals, one is COO and a co-CEO. Those were the two people that were sort of out there in terms of names that could replace one of those positions, but truth is, Jamie Dimon does a good job for JPMorgan Chase --

QUEST: Now, just a minute!

TAYLOR: -- and its shareholders.

QUEST: Just a minute, Felicia, just a minute, just a minute. Hang on a second. How did they justify not following best governance, which does say you should have a separate chairman, non-exec, and chief executive? What was his fundamental argument to say that shouldn't happen in the case of JPMorgan Chase.

TAYLOR: At the bottom line -- and you know as well as I do -- shareholders care about where the stock prices and whether or not the bank is making money.

That -- now, that they've got these three guys that are back in for reelection for corporate governance and greater oversight, the feeling is is that Jaime Dimon is still doing a terrific job with regards to the shareholders of JPMorgan Chase. There was no reason for him to step down, despite the fact that we saw what happened with the London Whale.

It was an oversight, it was a one-off incident. Overall, that man has done a good job for JPMorgan Chase, and that was his argument --

QUEST: And that --

TAYLOR: -- you have to look at the entire picture.

QUEST: Absolutely. And no question about it, if you look at it, JPMorgan Chase remains the bedrock -- rock-solid in the US banking circles. And indeed, if you look at what happened, of course, in the crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Felicia is in New York. We thank you for that. Looks like a gorgeous day in the Big Apple. When we come back in just a moment, we continue to look at banking crises, but this time, we talk to the president of Iceland. And remember, his banks went bust, and he says just as well.


QUEST: In Europe, Iceland's president says Europe continues to take the wrong tack when it comes to dealing with the financial crisis. Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told me his country's decision to let the banks go bust may have caused a great deal of economic hardship, but when you look at the big picture, it was the right one.


OLAFUR RAGNAR GRIMSSON, PRESIDENT OF ICELAND: I think the election, I've well lost the referendum on the Iceland issue. These elaborate democratic processes that we have been through in the last three or four years, have helped Icelandic society to deal with the fundamental shock of the financial crisis.

The issue which remains, so to speak, are threefold. One is the assets or the claims which are held by those who are partners to the failed bank.

And secondly, that there are still people in Iceland who, through their housing loans, are in a difficult position.

But the third and perhaps the most important part is to continue the economic growth, to excel even better in many areas of the Icelandic economy.

QUEST: Iceland is being put forward as a model for the way this has been handled. Do you see it that way?

GRIMSSON: No, I don't see it as a model because I've heard so many people in the past five to six years through "model" at us and say we should follow their models.

But what I think the Icelandic case does is to call into question many of the prevailing orthodoxies and governmental policies and the so-called financial and -- and monetary rules and truths that are still the basis of most policy-making, both in Europe and elsewhere.

And the Icelandic case can serve very well to test these prevailing theories.

QUEST: The Icesave decision by the EFTA court -- but you're still paying back the bills, aren't you? You're still paying the same as --

GRIMSSON: Oh, no. We are not --

QUEST: -- and you're still paying the UK and the Netherlands, despite this decision, which basically said you don't have to.

GRIMSSON: No, no. No, no. The people of Iceland are not paying. What is being paid out from the assets of this failed private bank. Because despite it going bust, it turned out to have sufficient assets to cover what was paid out by the British and the Dutch.

So, in the proper way, as the capitalist system should function, it was the failed state that was made responsible, but not the ordinary people of my country.

But if you go back to our first conversation on this issue about four years ago, and you should remember that at that time, every government in the European Union was arguing that Iceland -- the people of Iceland, the nation -- should be made responsible for the deaths of this failed private bank.

But now, events have shown that that argument supported by ever institution within the European Union, turned out to be economically, democratically wrong, and by the judgment of the after court, also judiciously wrong within the European legal framework.

QUEST: Have you in a quiet moment looked into the eyes of your critics and said, "I told you so"?

GRIMSSON: No, I have not done that. But a quite big proportion of the Icelandic people asked me to stay again for the president's office last year when I had announced that I was no longer going to do so.

And I think the level of trust, which the people of Iceland showed me last year, to entrust me with this office for the fifth term, is in itself sufficient evidence.


QUEST: President Grimsson proving that there's more than one way to say "I told you so."

The latest on the devastation caused by the tornado after the break.


QUEST: The search for victims of the gigantic tornado that struck an Oklahoma City suburb is continuing into a second day. These are the headlines on CNN.


QUEST (voice-over): Twenty-four people are now confirmed dead, including at least seven children who were drowned in the basement of an elementary school. An emergency official says more than 100 other people have since been rescued.

Other news: in the wave of violence gripping Iraq, it's killed at least 14 people in three different cities today. The deadliest incident was in Kirkuk where three roadside bombs at a cattle market killed at least six people and wounded 25. All in all, more than 50 people were killed in various attacks around the country on Monday.

Iran's Guardian Council has announced the names of eight candidates hoping to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's president. Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, is among the names included. The former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, has been prevented from running in the elections, which are due to take place on June the 14th.

The convicted murderer, Jodi Arias, has pleaded with jurors not to give her the death penalty for brutally killing her ex-boyfriend in Arizona five years ago. She was found guilty at first to be a murderer earlier this month. Arias stabbed Travis Alexander 29 times and then slit his neck from ear to ear and then shot him in the face.

Apple's top executives have been defending the company's tax strategy on Capitol Hill. The firm is accused of using a network of global subsidiaries to avoid paying U.S. taxes. At a Senate hearing, the chief executive, Jim Cook, denied this and called Apple the largest corporate taxpayer in the United States.


QUEST: Now we join CNN in the United States.


QUEST: Now things are looking up on Wall Street. The Dow Jones today is raised -- has risen -- I beg your pardon -- about half a percent. The S&P 500 has also climbed to new highs. So a gain of 62, 15,000 -- nearly 15,400 on the index, gave half a percent. Goldman Sachs is predicting that the rally has legs.

The bank is raising its forecast for the S&P 500 for the year and for next. And for 2015, and with a target of 2,100 points, if you take that overall, it's a rise of 25 percent from today's levels. That's on the S&P 500. But clearly, of course, most people seem to accept at least as long as the quantitative easing and the easy money policy continues from the Fed, that the market continues to rise.

European stocks had a late lift, partly of course on the back of what happened with the Dow. The catalyst of the St. Louis Fed, James Bullard, who said that the U.S. central bank should continue its bond-buying program.

Remember what I was just saying a second or two ago, as long as that money keep flowing, the market will keep rising. The more stimulus means more money that flows into equity markets, since it's the best rate of return around. The FTSE, DAX and the CAC gained more than 10 percent since the start of the year.

Earlier we talked, of course, with the president of Iceland about how his country handled the banking controversy and crisis. Estonia's president says his country had no choice in its approach to the financial mess.

Toomas Ilves told Nina dos Santos whilst he believes growth versus austerity is a false dichotomy because when all was said and done, whether it's a case of one or the other, Estonia simply could not keep spending.


TOOMAS ILVES, ESTONIAN PRESIDENT: I still maintain that austerity and growth are not opposed to one another, given our own experience. I mean, I think it's a false dichotomy. And in fact, you can have growth with austerity and have growth with Keynesian economics. In our case, Estonia had no choice.

I mean, we were just cut off from funding. And so we could not borrow money; we couldn't take the Keynesian solution. So no one's lending you money or at least at a rate that's sustainable, then you have to cut back on government expenditures. That's all.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN HOST: Now you're one of the last countries to join the euro -- in fact, the last countries to sign up for the single currency. What was that like? It must have felt like entering a burning building at the time.

ILVES: I actually think the euro is doing fine. I think that the euro has -- there are countries that have -- that are not doing well and that -- and those are the countries that did not generally follow the agreed-upon rules.

And being sort of Northern Protestant peasants, we sort of believe if you agree to do something you do it. You follow the rules and I think that the euro will do -- I mean, it has -- is doing spectacularly well for the countries that, in fact, abide by the rules. And --

DOS SANTOS: So is it doing well for Estonia? Is Estonia personally sort of -- would you say it's benefited?

ILVES: Oh, it's benefited us tremendously. First of all, I mean there was -- there was serious lack of confidence in our domestic currency from abroad. Investments pulled out after the Lehman crash because they thought, oh, they're going to devalue. Now that fear is gone.

So the -- so investments poured back in.

DOS SANTOS: Just going back to the issue of some countries not playing by the rules, that's threatening to create a major split further down the line, because the real issues at the heart of this Eurozone crisis haven't yet been resolved.

ILVES: Well, there are a number of issues. I mean, the whole idea of taking over other countries' debts or paying for them is something which many countries are averse to.

DOS SANTOS: Including Estonia?

ILVES: Well, pretty -- well, we -- both in the case of EFSF and the -- in ESM, I mean, we did our thing. We supported it and put in money.

But when you -- especially in a country like ours, where the country and the people are poor, then the countries that we are bailing out, you can imagine the kind of tension it creates when you say, OK; this country is -- you know, their salaries are far higher; their retirement age is lower. Their pensions are far larger. And we are now going to bail them out.

This does not always sit well with the electorate. But the parliament has been very sort of pro-European and has figured that for the common good we will support countries that are richer than we.


QUEST: Now let's return to our main story. In the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado, President Obama says Oklahoma will receive whatever government help it needs after Monday's devastating storm. Twenty-four people have been killed and hundreds more injured. The whole of the city of Moore is without water. Around 40,000 people are without electricity.


QUEST (voice-over): This video from a CNN iReporter shows the scale of the storm and the speed of the winds that hit the area. The tornado was estimated to be more than 3 kilometers wide when it hit. It was on the ground for more than 40 minutes. President Obama said the people of Oklahoma could count on the federal government's support.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground there for them, beside them, as long as it takes.


QUEST: When the devastating tornado struck, many of the victims simply had no warning. And those who did had only minutes to take cover. In just seconds, the 300-kph winds flattened homes and shattered lives. Here are some of those who survived the storm in their own words.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a very intense tornado now. We have watched it go from just a very thin, ropelike tornado to now what looks to appear to be debris flying in the air from the base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This type of tornado will just level towns. Honestly, this is getting very scary. Right now, this core is, oh, my goodness, it's almost -- it's three-quarters of a mile wide and it's moving into eastern -- or western sides of Moore. And it is coming into highly, highly populated areas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And tried to open the door; it caved the door in. Once it ended, we, of course, got out and I looked. My car's gone. I cannot find it.

When I got home, I realized that there's nothing left of my house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the roar. I got my dog and went and laid down and there we are now. I mean, it's destroyed. I was asking God to spare me and He did. He saw fit to see me through to another day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We grabbed our motorcycle helmets and hid in the closet and prayed like hell. And luckily, the only room that was spared was the room we were in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you do to keep your family calm with all of this going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just talked to them. And I was kind of laying on top of them in the bathtub with a mattress on top of us. And didn't really say a lot. We just rode it out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Over at the school, you know, if you stop and think about it, we had a small area, a building that was completely devastated. We can't put people on top of the debris because we know little people are under the debris. So we're trying to meticulously pick up stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pandemonium with children crying everywhere, with bloody teachers and so forth.

But very quickly, things started coming together. Everyone worked together to get the kids reunited with the parents and at least for the kids at that school, things worked out for the most part real well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was just trapped. It was crazy. We just pulled boards and trash and everything away and waited till people screamed and just pulled them up from there. I mean, you basically ran from like pile to pile and waited for someone to scream.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was like a battle zone. It's -- there's nothing standing, no trees, no houses for anywhere around. The landmarks, you don't even know where you are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting hundreds of requests to check certain addresses and officers can't find the street or the block. There's no reference points. There's no addresses. So it's almost just kind of going area by area and searching those areas.

OBAMA: Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today. Our gratitude is with the teachers who gave their all to shield their children, with the neighbors, first responders and emergency personnel who raced to help as soon as the tornado passed. And with all of those who, as darkness fell, searched for survivors through the night.



QUEST: I'm Richard Quest at CNN in London. The headlines are next.




QUEST (voice-over): The news headlines: the search for victims of the gigantic tornado that struck an Oklahoma City suburb is continuing into a second day. Twenty-four people are confirmed dead, including at least seven children who drowned in the basement of an elementary school. An emergency officials says more than 100 other people have been rescued.

The wave of violence gripping Iraq has killed at least 14 people in three different cities today. The deadliest incident was here in Kirkuk, where three roadside bombs at a cattle market killed at least six people and wounded 25. More than 50 people were killed in various attacks around the country on Monday.

Iran's Guardian Council has announced the names of eight candidates hoping to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the country's president. Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, is among the names included. The election is due to take place on June the 15th.

Apple's top executives have been defending the company's tax strategy on Capitol Hill. At a Senate hearing, the CEO, Jim Cook, denied that they evaded tax and called Apple the largest taxpayer in the United States.


QUEST: Those are the headlines. Now live to New York and "AMANPOUR."