The Times: Wrapper

AP Top News at 5:39 a.m. EDT

Tornadoes destroy homes, injure at least 12 in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Authorities are set to survey the damage left behind after tornadoes swept across the southern Plains, overturning cars and destroying dozens of homes near Oklahoma City. At least 12 people were injured, but no deaths were immediately reported from the twisters that also hit rural parts of Texas, Kansas and Nebraska on Wednesday night.


Voters flock to the polls in Britain's knife-edge election
LONDON (AP) - Voters headed for the polls across Britain Thursday, in a contest that is expected to produce an ambiguous result, a period of frantic political horse-trading and a bout of national soul-searching. Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's Labour Party are running neck and neck, and neither looks able to win a majority of Parliament's 650 seats.


Uncertain outcome, intense haggling likely in UK election
LONDON (AP) - Counting the votes in Britain's election will take a matter of hours. Assembling a government could take days - or weeks. By Friday, the country will know how many seats each party has won in the House of Commons. If either the Conservatives of Labour has more than half the 650 seats, they can quickly form a government.


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Texas incident fuels concern about lone-wolf terror attacks
NEW YORK (AP) - The attempted attack on a provocative cartoon contest in Texas appears to reflect a scenario that has long troubled national security officials: a do-it-yourself terror plot, inspired by the Islamic State extremist group and facilitated through the ease of social media. Trying to gauge which individuals in the United States pose such threats - and how vigorously they should be monitored - is a daunting challenge for counterterrorism agencies. Some experts caution that a limited number of small-scale attacks are likely to continue.


Drug trade's lowest rung: Peru's cocaine backpackers
HUANTA, Peru (AP) - The lung-searing ascents into the Andean highlands aren't what worry the untold hundreds of young men who hump backpacks loaded with drugs out of the remote, lawless valley that produces about 60 percent of Peru's cocaine. Armed gangs, crooked police and rival backpacker groups regularly rob cocaine's beasts of burden on their three- to five-day journeys over mountain paths carved by their pre-Incan ancestors.


Portuguese travelers turn into aid agency after Nepal quake
ICHANGU NARAYAN, Nepal (AP) - They arrived in Nepal as backpackers a day before a deadly earthquake that flattened large swaths of this impoverished Himalayan nation. In the days since the disaster, they've transformed themselves into a two-man amateur aid agency. Using funds pledged through a Facebook appeal, Pedro Queiros and Lourenco Macedo Santos are taking food and bedding to needy Nepalis made homeless by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck outside Kathmandu shortly before noon on Apr. 25.


Israel's ultra-Orthodox poised for political comeback
JERUSALEM (AP) - The formation of Benjamin Netanyahu's new coalition government has cleared the way for the country's ultra-Orthodox parties to return to power after two years in the opposition. This religious resurgence could have deep implications as they seek to reinstate a system of subsidies and preferential treatment that have long angered the country's secular majority, potentially setting the stage for a new round of culture wars that recently have plagued Israel.


Senate to hold test vote on Iran nuclear bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation giving Congress a chance to review and possibly reject any final nuclear deal with Iran is facing a test vote in the Senate. The vote, scheduled for Thursday, comes after months of wrangling over the legislation while the U.S. and five other nations engage in delicate negotiations with Tehran. Negotiators have been hurrying to reach final agreement by June 30 on a pact to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions stalling the Iranian economy. The talks resume next week in Vienna.


Social media and mourning: Funerals may be the last frontier
NEW YORK (AP) - Taya Dunn Johnson has been living large online for years, embracing Facebook, Twitter and other social streams to frequently share her most mundane and intimate moments. Her husband - her high school sweetheart and an IT specialist - was an offline kind of guy, though he was surrounded by post-happy loved ones, colleagues and friends and had no problem with that.


What's next for Brady, Patriots after 'Deflategate' report
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady smiled away the Tuck Rule on the way to his first Super Bowl victory, flashing that dimple-chinned grin that said, "I had it all the time." The New England Patriots' illegal videotaping. His name popping up in baseball's steroid investigation. Shenanigans with the NFL injury list. An out-of-wedlock child with the actress he jilted before marrying the world's richest supermodel.

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