Thousands of passengers who spent nearly five days stuck on a disabled cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico headed home on Friday by bus, plane or car, relishing the chance for a warm shower and working toilets after finally arriving back on land.
US President Barack Obama promised federal aid on Friday to the tornado-ravaged US South, where deadly twisters have killed at least 339 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Obama toured smashed homes and met survivors on a vis
Tornadoes and storms killed 45 people in Alabama on Wednesday as severe weather lashed the southeastern US, bringing down power lines, destroying buildings and triggering flooding.
The storms were part of a series that have struck half a d
Alabama Governor Bob Riley declared a state of emergency on Friday, saying the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico posed "a serious threat to our environment and economy."
His declaration followed similar actions taken
Eleven people including the suspected gunman and his mother were killed in a shooting spree and car chase in southern Alabama on Tuesday, authorities and local media said.
The shooter, who was in his mid-30s, killed five people including t