One student killed, three wounded in University of Texas stabbings

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A man enrolled at the University of Texas went on a stabbing spree with a large hunting knife at the school’s Austin campus on Monday, killing one student and wounding three others also believed to be students, police said.

The suspect, identified as Kendrex White, was apprehended about two minutes after campus police received reports of the attack on the school’s main grounds. White was being questioned by police and formal charges related to the attack were likely to come later.

“I don’t know what his motivation is,” University of Texas at Austin Police Chief David Carter told a news conference.

White has been booked by Austin police on a single charge that was not listed in online jail records.

All the victims were found in about a one-block area and were men aged 20 or 21, police said. Their names have not been released.

“There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” University President Greg Fenves told the news conference.

The person killed was found dead at the scene, Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Rick Rutledge said in a telephone interview.

The university canceled classes for the day.

“Our prayers go out to all those affected by today’s tragic events,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)

Trump questions why U.S. Civil War had to happen

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Donald Trump has shown a fascination with populist 19th-century U.S. president Andrew Jackson since he has occupied the Oval Office, hanging “Old Hickory’s” portrait in the Oval Office, visiting his plantation in Tennessee and placing a wreath at his tomb.

In an interview that aired on Sirius XM satellite radio on Monday, Trump suggested that if Jackson had governed a little later than his 1829-1837 presidency, the American Civil War might have been averted. Trump also questioned why the bloody conflict had to happen.

“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart,” Trump told Sirius XM. He said that although Jackson was a “swashbuckler,” after his wife died, Jackson visited her grave every day.

Jackson, a slave owner who was instrumental in the forced removal of Native American tribes from the U.S. Southeast in the so-called Trail of Tears, died nearly 16 years before the start of the Civil War.

But Trump told Sirius XM that Jackson “was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War.””He said, ‘There’s no reason for this,'” Trump said. “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

It was not clear what Trump believed Jackson would have done to avert the 1861-65 conflict, which cost 620,000 lives.

In a tweet later on Monday, Trump acknowledged that Jackson had died 16 years before the start of the war but said he “saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!”

The events leading to the Civil War have been extensively researched, with slavery being one of the root causes. Slavery and its legacy have been a source of division in the United States since.

By the time of his death, Jackson owned about 150 slaves who lived and worked at his plantation, the Hermitage. During his time in office, Jackson denounced the growing activity of abolitionists seeking an end to slavery.

Trump and his supporters have likened his election victory to Jackson’s triumph in 1828, when Jackson became the first U.S. president from what was then the western frontier of Tennessee.

The populist Democrat famously opened the White House to all comers after his inauguration, turning the normally dignified executive mansion into a mob scene.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney)

New York girds itself for Trump's first visit as president

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By Laila Kearney| NEW YORK

New York is bracing for President Donald Trump’s first trip back to his hometown since taking office in January in a Thursday visit that is expected to draw protests and snarl traffic in the United States’ most populous city.

The trip could mark a repeat of the chaotic 2-1/2 months between the real estate developer’s Nov. 8 election and Jan. 20 swearing-in, when crowds of protesters and admirers flocked outside his home in the gold-metal-clad Fifth Avenue Trump Tower.

The early days of the Trump administration have brought aggressive rhetoric and moves to crack down on immigration as well as roll back environmental regulations, much of which has ruffled feathers in the liberal northeast city.

Anti-Trump activists, some of whom have organized marches across the country since Trump’s stunning election victory, are planning loud protests to mark the native son’s return.

“A very hot welcome is being planned for Mr. Trump,” said Alexis Danzig, a member of Rise and Resist, an informal group of activists which formed as Trump came to power. “We’ll be out in full force to voice our grievances.”

Trump’s business dealings and romantic fallouts were constant city tabloid fodder in the 1980s and 1990s. His television show, “The Apprentice,” broadcast Trump to the world as the ultimate Big Apple dealmaker during the 2000s.

While the Trump brand is internationally associated with New York, fewer than one in five city residents voted for him.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, both Democrats, have said his stance on immigrants has put him at odds with a city where nearly a third of residents are foreign-born.

Protesters plan to gather Thursday near the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a decommissioned aircraft carrier where Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are to have their first in-person meeting. One of the pair’s last exchanges was an acrimonious phone call in January.

New York police declined to provide details of their preparations for Trump’s tour and the protests planned around it.

One lingering issue from the transition period, that of the costs of protecting the president-elect’s building was resolved earlier this week in a proposed federal budget including $61 million to reimburse New York and other local governments for providing Trump-related security.

“That’s good news for our city and the hardworking police officers faced with this unprecedented security challenge,” de Blasio said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Andrew Hay)

United CEO takes responsibility for passenger incident

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United Airlines (UAL.N) Chief Executive Oscar Munoz will tell the U.S. Congress on Tuesday he is taking responsibility for a series of failures that led to the April 9 forced removal of a passenger from a Chicago airplane that prompted worldwide condemnation.

Munoz apologized for the incident in written testimony. He cited four areas in which United should have acted differently. “Most importantly our employees did not have the authority to do what was right for our customers and for our company,” he said in the testimony. “As CEO that is my responsibility.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

Many U.S. babies and toddlers still don’t have a balanced diet

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By Lisa Rapaport

<span class="articleLocation”>(Reuters Health) – Despite some recent improvements in how U.S. parents feed young children, more than half of babies aren’t getting any breast milk and many toddlers don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, a new study suggests.

About two in five infants consume breast milk, which doctors recommend for the health of mothers and babies alike. That statistic didn’t change much over the study period from 2005 to 2012. But more parents stopped giving infants solid foods before six months of age, a practice doctors discourage because solids are harder to swallow and can be less nutritious and higher in calories than breast milk or infant formula.

At least nine in 10 toddlers consume at least a little bit of either fruit or veggies on a typical day, and this didn’t change much during the study period, researchers report in Pediatrics. But the most common veggie was potatoes, and the least popular option was dark green vegetables.

“We knew from previous studies that more work was needed to improve feeding habits in this age group, and we observed many of the same trends in our study: a substantial proportion of American infants are not breastfed, vegetable consumption is lower than desired, and consumption of sweetened beverages and sugary snacks is prevalent,” said study co-author Gandarvaka Miles, a public health researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“However, we did observe some trends in the right direction,” Miles added by email.

Pediatricians recommend that mothers exclusively breastfeed infants until at least six months of age because it can reduce babies’ risk of ear and respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, allergies, childhood obesity and diabetes.

Mothers can benefit too, with longer periods of breastfeeding linked to lower risks of depression, bone deterioration and certain cancers.

From 2005 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2012, researchers surveyed parents about infant and toddler eating habits. For the new study, they compared data collected from a total of 2,359 participants.

The proportion of babies under six months of age who were breastfed, exclusively or not, was little changed during this time and was about 36 percent by the end of the study period.

In this age group, however, there was a meaningful reduction in use of infant cereals and fruit juices for babies, which were being fed to 26 percent and 7 percent, respectively, by the end of the study. Pediatricians recommend delaying fruit juice until after age one.

With the older children in the study, researchers found toddlers were more likely to consume fried white potatoes than green vegetables. Consumption of green veggies fell by half during the study to only about 8 percent of toddlers by the end.

“The rates for vegetable consumption are disappointing, as most parents will know that vegetables are healthy but this isn’t translating into consumption rates in their children,” Dr. Helen Coulthard of De Montfort University in the UK, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

One limitation of the study is that parents’ ability to accurately recall and report on how they fed their children during infancy and early childhood isn’t always reliable, the authors note. Researchers also didn’t account for portion sizes.

Still, the findings suggest that parents who struggle to feed their kids the way doctors recommend may be in good company, said Dr. Myles Faith, a researcher at the University at Buffalo who wasn’t involved in the study.

One of the best ways to get kids to try more foods is to stick with it, and keep putting different things in front of them to taste, Faith said by email.

“Repeated exposure to foods increases children’s preferences and intake,” Faith added. “So, the more opportunities infants and children have to see, taste, and experience fruits and vegetables, the more receptive they should become over time.”

These efforts matter because they can influence children’s eating habits and health later in life, said Dr. Elise Mok of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center in Canada.

“Early diet has been associated with weight status during childhood and cardiometabolic health in adulthood,” Mok, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

SOURCE: Pediatrics, online May 1, 2017.

Bullying may be decreasing in U.S. schools

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By Andrew M. Seaman

<span class="articleLocation”>(Reuters Health) – The various efforts used to curb bullying in U.S. schools may be working, a new study suggests.

The study was confined to one large school district in the state of Maryland. But among the students there, bullying in person or online decreased between 2005 and 2014, researchers found.

“It gives us some idea that what we’re doing continues to work,” said senior author Catherine Bradshaw, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

People should not take the results to mean bullying is no longer a significant concern, she told Reuters Health.

“It continues to be a concern for students who continue to be a part of it,” she said.

Writing May 1st in the journal Pediatrics, she and her colleagues note that bullying has received a lot of media attention over the past decade – and as a result, many people may believe it’s on the rise.

Past research suggests bullying among school-age children is decreasing, they add, but that research was often flawed. For example, some studies did not use a standardized definition of bullying; other studies only analyzed people who were victimized or only elementary, middle or high school students.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed survey responses collected between 2005 and 2014 from 246,306 fourth- through 12th-graders at 109 schools in Maryland.

The survey defined bullying the same way the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta does. The definition includes “actions like threatening, teasing, name-calling, ignoring, rumor-spreading, sending hurtful emails and text messages, and leaving someone out on purpose.”

Among other questions, the survey asked students if they’d been bullied or if they had bullied someone else at least twice in the last month.

Rates of bullying ranged from about 13 percent to about 29 percent. Rates of being a bully ranged from 7 percent to about 21 percent.

Over the 10-year study period, being bullied, being a bully and witnessing bullying became less common. There were also decreases in the rates of student reports of being pushed, threatened, cyberbullied and having rumors spread about them.

Rates of students reporting feeling safe at school increased over the 10 years, too.

“In the more recent years, that’s where we’ve seen a steeper decline in the data,” said Bradshaw.

While the study can’t say why bullying rates decreased over the decade or why the decrease was steeper in recent years, the researchers suggest it may be due to increasing number of anti-bullying policies and an increase in evidence-based anti-bullying policies.

All states now have laws that address bullying, the researchers write.

The most successful anti-bullying programs are typically science based, intensive, involve the whole school and engage students, teachers and parents, according to Stephen Leff and Dr. Chris Feudtner, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

“These programs often try to build skills in youth problem-solving abilities, empathy, perspective-taking, and how to be a positive bystander,” Leff and Feudtner write in an editorial accompanying the new study.

They add that the new data is encouraging, but “we need to sustain our focus to continue the decrease of bullying and victimization in schools across the nation.”

Bradshaw said the nation’s foot must be kept on the gas in order to make progress on decreasing rates of bullying.

“We wan to build momentum and not lose any traction,” she said.


Pediatrics 2017.

White House seeks quick vote on healthcare overhaul but hurdles remain

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By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Susan Heavey| WASHINGTON

Top aides to President Donald Trump on Monday predicted the House of Representatives would move this week to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, though Republicans remained divided on how to protect sick Americans from insurance price hikes.

The White House is eager to move forward on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, to make good on a key campaign promise. Republicans tried but failed to pass a replacement bill in March in an embarrassing setback for the Trump Administration.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow states to opt out of Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions – provisions that force insurers to charge sick people and healthy people the same rates. It was unclear when or if a vote would be scheduled.

Trump told Fox News Channel that he would not set a deadline for the vote, and indicated he was open to improvements. “We’re either going to have a great plan or I’m not signing it,” he said in the interview.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg News, Trump insisted that the new bill would maintain protections for pre-existing conditions.

“I want it to be good for sick people. It’s not in its final form right now,” he told Bloomberg. “It will be every bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.”

Ten major patient advocacy groups said they opposed the reworked healthcare bill, including the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.

Other major medical groups such as the American Medical Association have also expressed concerns over coverage losses and unaffordable insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.


Republican lawmakers have struggled to unite around legislation, with moderates and conservatives within the caucus divided over key provisions.

Once a plan passes the Republican-controlled House, it is expected to face a tough fight in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrower majority and where some party senators have expressed misgivings about the House bill.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House economic adviser Gary Cohn on Monday said in separate interviews with CBS’ “This Morning” that they thought there were enough votes to pass the bill this week.

House Republican leaders were more cautious. As of Monday afternoon, no vote had been scheduled and backers of the healthcare proposal had not released legislative language.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican conference, said Republican members needed time to understand new tweaks to the bill.

“We are having those member-to-members conversations right now,” McMorris Rodgers told Fox News.

Vice President Mike Pence made his way to Capitol Hill late on Monday to make the case to members who are on the fence, a Republican aide said on condition of anonymity, noting leaders are believed to be within five or six votes of having enough support to pass the bill.

The Freedom Caucus, which brought down the previous effort to pass a healthcare bill, has endorsed the new measure. The Republican aide told Reuters all but one or two members of the group will support the reworked plan.

“This bill doesn’t get all the way there but it’s a good step and is … the best we can get out of the House right now,” Representative Jim Jordan, chairman of the group, told CNN.

But several moderate Republicans were either undecided or opposed the bill for fear that it would not protect those with pre-existing conditions and cause millions to lose health insurance.

Representative Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, said he still had problems with the latest plan and suspected there were not enough votes to pass it.

“Too many Americans are going to be without coverage,” Dent told MSNBC, adding that the plan could make things even worse for vulnerable Americans.

(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mark Hosenball; Writing by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Caren Bohan and Dan Grebler)

Japan wrestles over smoking ban as Olympics loom

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By Elaine Lies and Kwiyeon Ha| TOKYO

Tokyo risks being one of the unhealthiest Olympic Games hosts in years, as an anti-smoking law exposes deep rifts over tobacco tax revenue, personal freedom and the dangers of passive smoking, which kills thousands of Japanese each year.

There is pressure on the Japanese capital ahead of the 2020 Summer Games, including from the International Olympics Committee (IOC), to follow Rio de Janeiro and other recent Olympic venues in banning smoking in all public places to create a healthy sporting environment.

But an initial proposal for a blanket ban on smoking indoors across Japan was opposed by pro-smoking politicians, restaurateurs and Japan Tobacco, which is one-third government-owned and paid the state $700 million in dividends in 2015.

The health ministry scaled back its plan, to allow smoking indoors in spaces around 30 square metres (323 square feet) as long as adequate ventilation is installed.

But opponents say this will still hurt Japan’s many eateries, restrict individual freedom, and dent tobacco tax revenues – which topped 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) in 2014-15.

Natsuko Takami, who runs a Tokyo pub that is small enough to allow smoking under the revised bill, fears losing money as she can’t afford new ventilation, and could be fined 500,000 yen if a customer lit up. The smoker could be fined 300,000 yen.

“I think people would stop coming,” she said, adding that being able to smoke and drink helps reserved Japanese open up.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) health committee, whose support is essential to introducing the bill in parliament, won’t meet ministry officials, saying the revised bill is too strict.

The committee chair, Naomi Tokashiki, acknowledges there should be a law that protects against second-hand smoke, but says Japan’s cultural emphasis on good manners and sensitivity to others should suffice.

“I believe Japanese people really are considerate of others,” she said. “It’s more important for us to trust people than enact a really repressive law.”

Not so, say health authorities, pointing to 15,000 deaths a year from second-hand smoke, mostly women and children.

“It’s not a question of manners, we’re looking at the impact on health,” said a ministry official involved in crafting the bill who declined to be named due to the issue’s sensitivity.

“We’ve basically allowed people their independence, but the situation hasn’t changed,” he said. “Something more is needed.”

It now seems unlikely the law will be put to a vote in the current parliamentary session, which ends on June 18.


Fifty years ago, around half of Japanese smoked. That’s now dropped to 18 percent, and smoking areas have been dramatically restricted, but smoking laws vary from city to city and, within Tokyo, from ward to ward. Penalties are low and enforcement lax.

A 2003 law “encourages” restaurants and other public areas to separate smoking and non-smoking areas, but there is no penalty for non-compliance. Smoking is still possible on the grounds of schools and hospitals, though not inside, and there is a cigarette vending machine in a health ministry annex.

Japan ranks bottom globally in anti-smoking regulations, as measured by the types of public places entirely smoke-free, according to the World Health Organization. The revised proposal would raise Japan to the second-lowest of four rungs.

The WHO has teamed up with the IOC to guarantee smoke-free Games venues, though IOC Vice President John Coates has said the body can’t force a ban beyond the venues and the Olympic Village.

Brazil passed a blanket indoor smoking ban before the Rio Olympics in 2016, and bans were in place for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada as well as for the 2012 London Games. In Russia, Sochi had only a limited city ban for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but an extensive national ban was introduced a few months later. Beijing had a limited, temporary ban in 2008, but enforcement was patchy. It passed a tougher ban in 2015, when it hosted the athletics World Championships.


The issue could affect Japan’s image as it looks to attract more tourists. Many travelers from Europe and North America are used to smoking being banned indoors.

“A recent newspaper described Japan as a ‘paradise for smokers,’ and I’m sure it wouldn’t want that title,” said Douglas Bettcher, WHO’s director for prevention of non-communicable disease. “It’s not a good impression to give … as Japan is preparing and investing so much for the 2020 Summer Olympics.”

Many politicians have proposed a temporary smoking ban for the Olympics, says Toshiharu Furukawa, an LDP lawmaker and a doctor who supports an indoor ban, noting some colleagues’ concern about a drop in government tax revenues from cigarettes at a time when Japan’s taxpaying population is shrinking.

“Tobacco is a very important tax resource,” he said. Some of those lawmakers “are smokers, but some are backed by farming groups that produce tobacco, and some are backed by tobacco companies.”

Japan Tobacco spokesman Masahito Shirasu says the company shares concerns about passive smoking, but the health ministry’s proposal is too strict.

The 80,000-strong National Food and Drink Association favors having establishments display stickers showing if they are non-smoking, segregated, or allow smoking – letting customers decide.

“Only 18 percent of people may smoke, but the percentage of smoking customers in smaller restaurants is much higher – nearly half,” said Tetsuro Kojo, head of the association. “We must take care of them.”

Public opinion varies. A poll by the liberal Asahi Shimbun newspaper found that 64 percent supported the revised proposal, while the conservative Sankei Shimbun found only 37 percent in favor.

Kazuo Hasegawa, a 46-year-old non-smoker diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, believes pressure related to the Olympics is essential for achieving a ban.

“The tobacco issue is something that can’t really be solved in a Japanese manner,” he said. “Without outside pressure, Japan won’t move on this.”

(Additional reporting by Ami Miyazaki and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Malcolm Foster and Ian Geoghegan)

AstraZeneca immunotherapy wins first approval in bladder cancer

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By Ben Hirschler and Divya Grover

<span class="articleLocation”>U.S. regulators have approved AstraZeneca’s key immunotherapy drug durvalumab as a treatment for bladder cancer, marking the first commercial green light for a product the company hopes will go on to sell billions of dollars.

The approval, while expected, marks a milestone for the British company, which expects new cancer drugs to help revive its fortunes following patent losses on older blockbuster products like cholesterol pill Crestor and Nexium for heartburn.

Bladder cancer itself is a relatively small initial market, where AstraZeneca is lagging behind rivals Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche whose immunotherapies are already approved for the condition.

Durvalumab’s big commercial opportunity lies in previously untreated lung cancer, where key clinical trial results, including with combination therapy, are due in June or July.

Leerink analyst Seamus Fernandez sees durvalumab capturing a modest 10 percent of the estimated $2.3 billion global bladder cancer market, while AstraZeneca in 2014 put the drug’s peak sales in all cancers at $6.5 billion, including combination use.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said late on Monday it granted accelerated approval to AstraZeneca’s drug to treat advanced bladder cancer in patients whose disease had progressed despite chemotherapy.

The drug, which will have the brand name Imfinzi, works by helping the body’s immune cells kill cancer, offering an alternative to toxic chemotherapy. While not without side effects, such immuno-oncology treatment has the potential of longer-lasting efficacy, although it comes at a high price.

AstraZeneca said the average wholesale acquisition cost of durvalumab would be around $15,000 a month.

“This first approval for Imfinzi is an important milestone in our return to growth,” said AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot.

The drug belongs to a new class of medicines called PD-L1 inhibitors that block a mechanism tumors use to evade detection from the immune system.

It was approved by the FDA for use in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, by far the most common form of bladder cancer, regardless of their status for the amount of PD-L1 protein on their cancer cells.

Durvalumab won accelerated approval, which enables the use of therapies for serious conditions to fill an unmet medical need based on data the FDA believes is likely to predict a clinical benefit. AstraZeneca is required to conduct trials to confirm actual benefit to patients.

The FDA also approved a complementary diagnostic from Roche that can be used with the drug to assess PD-L1 levels. Studies have shown patients with high PD-L1 are more likely to do well on durvalumab, although such a test is not required for its use.

Durvalumab is being tested on its own and also in combination with another immune system-boosting therapy called tremelimumab in various cancers.

The medicine is the latest immunotherapy to be approved by the FDA, after nods for treatments developed against various cancers by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co, Roche, and a collaboration between Germany’s Merck KGaA and Pfizer.

AstraZeneca shares were up 0.3 percent in early London trading on Tuesday.

(Editing by Susan Thomas and Jason Neely)

Powerful storm front that killed 16 threatens eastern United States

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By Ian Simpson

<span class="articleLocation”>A powerful storm system bore down on the eastern United States on Monday after spawning tornadoes and torrential rains that killed at least 16 people and shut down hundreds of roads over the weekend, forecasters said.

The storm that tore through the central United States from Texas to Illinois could spawn damaging winds, hail and tornadoes as it heads into parts of the Middle Atlantic and Northeast, the National Weather Service said.

The front, described as a “powerhouse of an upper level system,” could pack downpours of more than an inch (2.5 cm) an hour as it hammers Pennsylvania and New York state, the weather agency said.

Flooding that could be record breaking in eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois was expected to take several days to recede, it said.

High water in Missouri on Monday forced about 330 roads to close, including a stretch of Interstate 44 near Rolla, the state transportation department said on its website. More than 100 highways also were shut in neighboring Arkansas, state officials said.

In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to remain on their guard, especially in areas already hit by flooding. Almost 30 roads were closed from high water and washouts, his office said in a statement.

Tornadoes from the storm system killed four people on Saturday in Canton, Texas, about 60 miles (95 km) east of Dallas. The National Weather Service said Canton was hit by four tornadoes, with two packing winds of 136 miles to 165 miles (219 km to 265 km) per hour.

Five people died in Arkansas, with two still missing, said state emergency management spokeswoman Melody Daniels. She could not confirm news reports that the missing were children who were in a car swept off a bridge.

In Mississippi, one man was killed when a tree fell on his home, and a 7-year-old boy was electrocuted when he unplugged an electric golf cart in standing water, said Greg Flynn, a spokesman for the state’s emergency agency.

Two people were killed in Tennessee in storm-related incidents, authorities said. They included a Florence, Alabama, woman struck by a falling tree on Sunday, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

In Missouri, a 72-year-old Billings woman was swept away by high waters on Saturday, and two men ages 18 and 77 drowned in separate incidents on Sunday, emergency management spokesman Mike O’Connell said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Andrew Hay)