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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - The U.S. Air Force has launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from a California base, a month after the test flight was postponed because of tensions with North Korea.

Vandenberg Air Force Base says the Minuteman 3 lifted off at 6:27 a.m. PDT Wednesday. It later splashed down thousands of miles away in the Pacific.

It's the first Minuteman test-launch of the year. Several Minutemans are launched each year at from Vandenberg to determine the weapon system's accuracy and reliability.

Officials say the original mid-April flight plan was delayed to avoid it being misconstrued by North Korea during a time of heightened tensions. It was rescheduled for Tuesday morning but was pushed back a day due to a problem with range safety instruments.

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - More severe weather is in the forecast for parts of the central United States already reeling from powerful tornadoes this week.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes could strike areas of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma on Tuesday. The area at risk does not include Moore, Okla., where dozens of people were killed in a monstrous tornado Monday.

Forecasters say the greatest risk for severe weather Tuesday includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The National Weather Service is predicting flash flooding in parts of Arkansas and Louisiana as the storm system dumps several inches of rain in a short time frame Tuesday afternoon.

In Moore, where search and rescue operations continue, showers and thunderstorms are expected Tuesday with heavy rainfall.

   

 
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Tornado survivors in Joplin, Missouri are reaching out to help the victims of yesterday's devastating Oklahoma storm.  

Officials in the southwest Missouri city have brought together a team of public safety employees that they are sending to the tornado-stricken town of Moore, Oklahoma.

More than 150 people died when Joplin was devastated two years ago by the most deadly tornado in U.S. history.

A team of about a dozen Joplin area police and firefighters have been assembled to assist in Moore.

Meantime, more severe weather is in the forecast for parts of the central United States already reeling from powerful tornadoes this week.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes could strike areas of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma on Tuesday. The area at risk does not include Moore, Okla., where dozens of people were killed in a monstrous tornado Monday.

Forecasters say the greatest risk for severe weather Tuesday includes the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The National Weather Service is predicting flash flooding in parts of Arkansas and Louisiana as the storm system dumps several inches of rain in a short time frame Tuesday afternoon.

In Moore, where search and rescue operations continue, showers and thunderstorms are expected Tuesday with heavy rainfall.

   

 
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