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In brief

Prince Charles visits Supreme Court Britain’s Prince Charles, left, shakes hands Tuesday with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer as the prince arrives at the Supreme Court in Washington.

AP photo
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Storms take economic toll

Thousands were thrown out of work by the twisters last week that killed 328 people across southern seven states in the nation’s deadliest tornado outbreak since the Depression. Hundreds of factories and other businesses were destroyed, and many others were left without electricity.

The financial and economic toll is still being tallied, but officials in hardest-hit Alabama — which had more than two-thirds of the dead — said the damage there alone could rival the $1 billion in insured losses the state suffered in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Many people were struggling to make ends meet even before the twisters flattened neighborhoods in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, where unemployment in March ranged from 9.2 percent in Alabama to 10.2 percent in Mississippi.

BAGHDAD Car bomb near café kills 16

A car bomb tore through a cafe packed with young men watching a football match Tuesday in Baghdad, killing at least 16 people, officials said. It was the first major attack since U.S. commandos killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck a Shiite enclave in a mainly Sunni neighborhood, but it bore the hallmarks of the terror network’s chapter in Iraq. Al-Qaida operatives have vowed revenge for bin Laden’s death on Sunday.

Iraqi security officials said Monday that they were increasing security amid fears that insurgents would try to strike immediately following bin Laden’s death as a way to show they are still a potent force.

TRIPOLI, Libya Rebel supply route hit

Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi shelled a rebel supply route and a besieged opposition stronghold in western Libya on Tuesday, even as the embattled Libyan leader’s international isolation deepened with a demand by Turkey that he resign now.

Turkey is a key regional mediator and in the past tried to nudge Gadhafi to meet demands for change from the opposition. However Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan adopted a much tougher stance Tuesday, saying that Gadhafi must “immediately step down.”

In London, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the international community will act with determination to enforce U.N. resolutions calling for the protection of Libyan civilians.

WASHINGTON VA to aid caregivers

The Veterans Affairs Department reversed course Tuesday and said it will make sure more caregivers of severely disabled Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can receive the support they need to help their wounded relatives.

President Barack Obama signed a law in May of last year that provided a monthly stipend, mental health help and health insurance to family members who provide around-the-clock care to these veterans.

But when the VA announced earlier this year how the caregivers program would work, advocates and congressional members said it helped fewer families than they had expected.

The VA now says about 3,500 families will be eligible. Under the earlier plan, the VA said about 10 percent of the critically wounded from the recent conflicts would be eligible, which was about 850 veterans. The plan will cost about $770 million over five years.

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