NEW YORK – Two tornadoes struck the outer edges of New York City on Saturday, hurling debris into the air, knocking out power but causing no serious injuries among startled residents accustomed to thinking of twisters as a Midwestern phenomenon.
The first hit a beachfront neighborhood and the second, stronger tornado followed moments later about 10 miles away.
Videos taken by bystanders showed a funnel cloud sucking up water, then sand, and then small pieces of buildings, as the first moved through the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens.
The second hit to the northwest, in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn also near the water, about seven minutes later. The National Weather Service said winds were up to 110 mph, and several homes and trees were damaged.
4 dead in sudden Oklahoma storms
Fierce thunderstorms with strong winds tore through Oklahoma, killing a truck driver and a family of three whose mobile home was flipped into a creek.
The storms erupted Friday as a storm system and cold front collided with triple-digit heat across the state. Temperatures ranged from 94 degrees to 107 degrees, and the high of 106 set a record in Oklahoma City. Then, in just an hour at Tulsa International Airport, the temperature dropped from 101 degrees to 78 degrees.
Father held after sailing off with kids
A Northern California man arrested after allegedly abducting his two children and trying to evade authorities by stealing a sailboat and sailing along the Northern California coast was being held on $200,000 bail, authorities said.
Christopher Maffei, 43, forcibly took his 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son from the their maternal grandmother, Jean Hipon, while the children’s mother, Jennifer Hipon, was in a Redwood City court on Tuesday seeking a restraining order against him, McPhillips said.
Doctor charged with stashing organs
A former medical examiner has been arrested on charges of keeping human remains in a rented storage unit in the Florida Panhandle.
Crudely preserved brains, hearts, lungs and other organs and specimens were discovered in more than 100 containers last month in a Pensacola storage unit that Dr. Michael Berkland had rented for about three years. The unit was auctioned off after Berkland defaulted on his payments, according to an arrest affidavit.
Berkland had declared the contents to be household goods, furniture, boxes, sporting goods and landscaping equipment. A man who bought the unit’s contents discovered the human organs after becoming overpowered by a strange smell while sifting through the items, authorities said.
Bomb attack follows Haqqani decision
A suicide bomber struck at the heart of NATO’s operation in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least six Afghan civilians in an attack that officials blamed on the Haqqani network – a militant group the U.S. has designated a terrorist organization.
The blast, which left a bloody stain on a sidewalk just outside the sprawling headquarters of the U.S.-led military coalition, came as a senior Haqqani commander interviewed by The Associated Press vowed revenge for Washington’s decision.
The Obama administration gave the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, which is linked to the Taliban, a terrorist label Friday despite misgivings the move could further stall planned Afghan peace talks.
Alps victims each shot in head twice
French and British police searched the U.K. home of a British-Iraqi couple slain while vacationing in the French Alps, as it emerged Saturday that all four people killed in the attack took two gunshots to the head.
Meanwhile, relatives arrived in France to help care for the couple’s two surviving daughters, one of whom was badly wounded.
Questions remained about a potential motive for the killings as well as the identity of one victim, an elderly woman found dead in the couple’s bullet-riddled BMW.
Belts tightening once more in Greece
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras insisted Saturday that the latest package of deep spending cuts, which will once again affect wages and pensions, will be the last, but he also defended the measures as necessary to restoring his country’s financial credibility.
Adoption of the package is necessary for the release of a long-delayed $39 billion rescue loan installment, without which Greece will be forced to default on its loans and may have to quit using the euro.
Nicaraguans flee rumbling volcano
The San Cristobal volcano spewed out a column of ash and gas 2 1/2 miles high Saturday, leading Nicaraguan authorities to evacuate about 3,000 people from nine communities around the country’s tallest mountain.
Residents reported hearing three powerful explosions in the 5,740-foot volcano as the cloud began billowing skyward and ash drifted over nearby villages.