Pres. Obama visit the tornado ravaged city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The death toll has risen there and hundreds are unaccounted for. We'll have the latest. Plus, it was an extraordinary day in London, and they're still celebrating the royal wedding. We'll have moments you might have missed.
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Reporter's Note: The president went to the tornado zone in Alabama, and to NASA in Florida. So my letter, once again, is going to the Oval Office.
Dear Mr. President,
It was good to see you on the ground there in Alabama today. Not sure if you had a chance to read yesterday’s letter, but I noticed that you (as I suggested) focused a good bit on encouraging local officials in their long struggle ahead. Good for you.
I continue to be awed and depressed by the scope of the damage there and in other states, even as I know that Southerners are tough folks who will dig themselves out, build up again, and move on despite their sorrows. Still, it was good of you to stop by.
As for Florida: Sorry that the space shuttle did not lift off for you, but glad you made it down there, too.
That said, I am a little conflicted when I see you cooling out with the astronauts. On one hand, I know that a presidential visit always attracts attention to any agency or cause, and spurs public interest in what that group is doing. On the other hand, I’m not convinced that you are much of a friend to the space program.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) - President Barack Obama toured rubble-strewn Tuscaloosa, Arizona, neighborhoods on Friday, declaring the devastation brought by a series of powerful storms and tornadoes was beyond anything he had ever seen.
The storms killed at least 316 people in six Southern states and left entire neighborhoods in ruins. Obama promised expedited federal aid to states affected by the tornadoes.
"We're going to do everything we can to help these communities rebuild," he said.
Obama's motorcade passed street after street of homes reduced to splinters, crushed and flipped cars, and widespread debris on the way to his first stop to visit with families affected by the storms that pounded the region Wednesday and Thursday.
"I've gotta say I've never seen devastation like this," he told reporters.
The president's visit took place as emergency responders in Alabama and five other states continued to assess the damage wreaked by one of the worst outbreaks of violent weather in the southeastern United States in decades, experts said. The storms leveled neighborhoods, rendered major roads impassable and left at least 800,000 customers without power Friday afternoon.
Alabama suffered the greatest of loss of life, with fatalities in 19 counties confirmed by the state Emergency Management Agency. The agency reported Friday afternoon that the state's death toll had risen to at least 228 after the confirmation of 18 additional deaths in Marion County. That brought the total number of fatalities in that county to 21.FULL STORY
London (CNN) - Prince William of Wales slipped a gold ring onto the finger of Catherine Middleton Friday, and the couple vowed to love, comfort, honor and to keep each other in London's biggest royal wedding in three decades.
Bells pealed over central London and flag-waving crowds roared in excitement Friday as Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey to marry William, the second in line to the British throne.
Middleton wore an ivory and white satin dress with lace sleeves and shoulders, designed by Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen fashion house.
Royal wedding: The big day
"You look beautiful," the prince told her as she arrived at the altar on the arm of her father Michael.FULL STORY
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (CNN) - Leveled buildings, fallen trees and massive piles of rubble stretched across wide swaths of the South after destructive tornadoes and severe storms tore through the region.
By early Friday, the death toll from the wave of powerful storms that struck Wednesday and early Thursday was nearly 300 people in six states. In the city of Tuscaloosa alone, at least 36 people lost their lives.
Officials scrambled to assess the damage as doctors treated hundreds of injured. Dazed residents wandered the streets, telling harrowing tales of devastation and survival.
Employees huddled in a windowless break room at a CVS drug store in Tuscaloosa as a tornado approached and a deafening roar filled the air, store manager Michael Zutell said.
A mother cradling an infant sprinted inside just before the twister hit.
"Glass is breaking. The woman with the baby is screaming. Part of the drop ceiling fell and boxes fly in," he said.
No one inside the store was injured, Zutell said. "It's mind-boggling to think you walked away."FULL STORY
London (CNN) - She arrived at Westminster Abbey as Kate Middleton and left the Duchess of Cambridge - and her dress for the occasion couldn't have been more fitting.
Kate walked down the aisle to meet her prince in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen designed dress. Befitting her signature elegant, timeless style, the floor-length, ivory and white satin gazar gown featured a heart-shaped-neck, demure, long sleeves, and a full skirt with train that measured 2 meters and 70 cm, and a veil.
The bodice, meanwhile, was made from ivory satin, and drew from Victorian traditions of corsetry - a hallmark of the late Lee Alexander McQueen's designs that brand Creative Director Sarah Burton continues to pay tribute to.
Burton was the frontrunner for some time for the much-speculated-about dress and is known for her exceptional tailoring and for the softer, more feminine approach she brings to the late McQueen's celebrated, avant-garde label.
"It has been the experience of a lifetime to work with Catherine Middleton to create her wedding dress, and I have enjoyed every moment of it," said Burton in a press statement.
"The last few months have been very exciting and an incredible experience for my team and I as we have worked closely with Catherine to create this dress under conditions of the strictest secrecy," Burton continued.FULL STORY
Editor's note: Fashion designer Vera Wang says Catherine Middleton's wedding gown is a "very strong statement to who she really is."
Editor's note: CNN's Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan prepare for the start of the network's Royal Wedding coverage at Buckingham Palace on Friday, April 29, 2011 in London, U.K.