HEADLINES -- May 25, 2011 at 7:18 AM ET
Storms Kills 12 in 3 States, French Finance Minister Seeks IMF Job
Just days after a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., killing 125 people, a fresh round of storms hit Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas late Tuesday and early Wednesday, killing at least 12 people. There were also reports of tornadoes near Dallas.
Oklahoma City and the surrounding counties were some of the hardest-hit areas, with at least eight dead. Officials said a 3-year-old child is missing outside of Oklahoma City. Two fatalities in Kansas occurred after an uprooted tree slammed into a van. In Franklin County, Ark., the force of the storms left the local fire station without a roof.
Many were without power in the aftermath of the storms, and as in Missouri, the National Guard has been activated to help assist in recovery efforts.
French Finance Minister Looks to Replace Strauss-Kahn at IMF
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announces her candidacy at Ministere des Finances on May 25, 2011 in Paris, France. (Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)
Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, announced her candidacy to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund. Her announcement came amid complaints from developing nations that the post should not go to a European. Lagarde defended her candidacy, saying "Being a European shouldn't necessarily be a plus, but it shouldn't be a minus either."
The New York Times reported:
"Given that Europe's festering sovereign debt crisis is the biggest problem facing the fund today -- and the reason European leaders have cited for wanting to hold on to the post for now -- she said her 'intimate knowledge' of the issues and the players involved 'can help.'"
Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the position, remains in a New York prison following his arrest on charges of sexual assault and subsequent. His lawyers have said he plans to plead not guilty.
Lagarde's candidacy is supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Chancellor George Osborne, but Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa released a statement saying the job should not be automatically designated for a European and that they want the election process to be "truly transparent."
Agustin Carstens, governor of Mexico's central bank, remains Lagarde's primary challenger.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Meets Chinese President Hu
Wednesday marked the third meeting this year between North Korea leader Kim Jong Il and Chinese President Hu Jintao, underscoring the longstanding alliance between the two countries. China has not confirmed Kim's presence in the country.
Many believe the visit is in line with previous attempts to persuade North Korea to adopt limited economic reforms that would emulate China's and possibly stave off a feared collapse.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who has taken a firmer approach to North Korea during his term than his predecessor, welcomed the news, saying, "Visiting there often, watching and learning, and China's assistance -- such things would bring about changes."
North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November and the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan last spring have raised fears of further provocations from the regime if it destabilizes.
Ash from Iceland Volcano Closes Berlin Airport
One day after ash clouds caused flight cancellations in several of Britain's major airports, Germany is now seeing the effects and has closed Berlin's airport and several smaller ones.
The Frankfurt airport, which is a major hub for international flights, remained open. The ash cloud could also disrupt flights in and out of Poland. Tuesday's disruptions affected about 500 flights.
The damage from the volcano is thus far less than that of April and May of last year, when Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull erupted and wreaked havoc on the airline industry. An estimated 100,000 flights were canceled and cost $1.7 billion in damages.