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Tornado kills 2 in Florida...Freed Americans leave Iran...High surf continues to complicate search for Marines

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 17, 2016 at 8:10 a.m.



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DUETTE, Fla. (AP) — Two people are dead and five injured after a tornado touched down in central Florida. That's according to the Manatee County sheriff, who says the victims were in a mobile home. He says a man was killed and his wife later died of a heart attack. Their adult son and four grandchildren are being treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The National Weather Service says the twister was one of two tornadoes that hit overnight. The other struck near the beach community of Siesta Key in Sarasota County.

VIENNA (AP) — A charter plane carrying Americans released in a prisoner exchange has left Iran, headed for Switzerland. U.S. officials say Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian (reh-ZY'-ahn), former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati (ah-MEER' hehk-MAH'-tee), and pastor Saeed Abedini (sah-EED' ah-beh-DEE'-nee) are on the flight. There are conflicting reports as to whether a fourth freed American, not Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, was aboard. A senior U.S. official says "Those who wished to depart Iran have left."

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — The high surf that has hampered the search for 12 Marines who are missing after two helicopters crashed off Hawaii is expected to persist today. The Coast Guard says the waves have dispersed the debris and complicated the search, which has been expanded to include waters off Oahu's west coast. Rescuers battled waves up to 30 feet yesterday, but winds decreased to about 10 mph.

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Blizzards are battering parts of Eastern Europe, forcing roads to close, trains and flights to be canceled and producing power outages. Snow has blanketed parts of Romania, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Poland, while Croatia's Adriatic coast was hit by unseasonably low temperatures and high winds.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has greeted several thousand migrants, including many asylum-seekers, in St. Peter's Square. Many refugees were waving flags of their countries when Francis addressed them as the Catholic church marks a worldwide day dedicated to refugees. The pope told them: "don't let anyone rob you of this hope and the joy for life."

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The Associated Press

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