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At least four people killed as tornadoes hit southeastern Mississippi

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Tornadoes unleashed by thunderstorms along the U.S. Gulf Coast ripped through southeastern Mississippi on Tuesday, killing four people, injuring numerous others and causing extensive damage to homes and businesses, authorities said.

One of the heaviest-hit areas was a commercial district along the U.S. Highway 98 bypass in the town of Columbia in Marion County, about 30 miles (48 km) west of Hattiesburg, state emergency management spokesman Greg Flynn told Reuters.

“We’ve got whole roofs lying in the road, people trapped in houses, cars flipped over,” Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall said.

One woman was killed in a shopping strip in Columbia, a rural community of about 6,500 people, and another in a nearby trailer home, according to county coroner Norma Williamson.

“It’s chaos over here,” she said of the aftermath of the storm, which struck at about 2:30 p.m. CST.

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Images of the scene published on the website of Hattiesburg television station WDAM showed mangled buildings, snapped trees, debris-littered roads and overturned vehicles, including one ambulance.

Two more storm-related fatalities were confirmed in Jones County to the northeast, where a separate tornado touched down an hour later, and both victims there were believed to have died in their homes, county emergency management spokeswoman Tammy Wells said.

Flynn said numerous people were known to have been hurt in both counties, some seriously. He described property damage in Marion County as “massive.”

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Governor Phil Bryant issued a state of emergency for Marion and Jones counties, hastening the availability of state resources needed for storm relief.

His office said the storms knocked out power to more than 7,000 customers in the two counties.

The twisters were spawned by thunderstorms that originated over south-central Louisiana, then tracked northeast before barreling through southeastern Mississippi in the afternoon, said Corey Mead, a meteorologist for the national Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

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He said the storms’ intensity later diminished, but dangerously high winds and additional tornadoes were possible late Tuesday and early Wednesday across parts of southern Alabama, northern Florida and southern Georgia.

Flash flood warnings also were posted across the Florida panhandle and parts of Georgia as a wave of heavy showers swept the region behind the storm front, Mead said.

(Reporting by Emily Le Coz in Jackson, Miss.; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Steve Gorman and Eric Beech)


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Arizona ‘museum fire’ balloons to over 300 acres — and they’re evacuating the area

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A massive fire has grown much faster than anticipated, just north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Brady Smith, Coconino County National Forest, told ABC15 that they have at least 200 staff on the ground and planes dropping fire retardant.

AZCentral reported that the fire located in the Dry Lake Hills.

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WATCH: Trump apologist goes down in flames when he claims Democrats don’t get attacked like Trump

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Former White House advisor Matt Mowers went down in flames trying to claim Democrats call everyone a racist when they don't agree with them. He had to go back 15 years to find an example, but still never fully explained what the example was.

In a panel discussion with MSNBC's Kasie Hunt, Mowers employed the "what about" strategy, spinning the idea that Trump's racist remarks were justified because Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) used an anti-Semitic trope. To be fair, Omar apologized and met with community leaders and officials to better understand anti-Semitism. Trump can't even admit when he did something wrong, much less racist.

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Congress should ask Mueller these specific questions about Trump’s involvement with Russia: Conservative columnist

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Conservative Never-Trump columnist Jennifer Rubin outlined the essential questions that Democrats should ask special counsel Robert Mueller in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

"Rather than engage in the normal scattershot questioning punctuated by speechifying, the House Judiciary Committee should assign its able attorney Norman Eisen to conduct the questioning," proposed Rubin. "Members could then follow up with additional questions.'

One question she proposed asking: "Mr. Mueller, the attorney general said you did not find 'collusion.' However, you did not look for collusion. Please explain what you looked for and how that differs from [Attorney General William] Barr’s assertion that you essentially cleared President Trump of collusion?"

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