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Morning headlines: Monday, May 2, 2011

People gather at Ground Zero in New York, NY. Sunday night to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden.
People gather at Ground Zero in New York, NY. Sunday night to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden is Dead

Missouri lawmakers are reacting to the newsthat the mastermind of 9-11 has been killed by US Forces. In a statement, Republican Senator Roy Bluntcalls Osama bin Laden’s death a major victory for America. Missouri’s Democratic Senator, Claire McCaskill, calls bin Laden’s death quote “justice delivered.”

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahansays justice has been served. In a statement released last night, the democratic congressman praised US forces for tracking down and killing the 9-11 mastermind. Republican Congressman Todd Akin, ranking member of the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee says bin Laden’s death "will stand as a warning to would be enemies of our country.”

Long believed to be hiding in caves, bin Laden was tracked down in a costly, custom-built hideout not far from a Pakistani military academy. Elite American forces descended on the compounds in helicopters, killing bin Laden and three other men, along with a woman being used as a human shield. There were no U.S. casualties.

Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Corps' Plan to Blow Levee

The U.S. Supreme Courthas refused to halt a plan by the Army Corps of Engineersto blast open a levee to relieve the rain-swollen Mississippi River. 

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito did not comment last night in denying Missouri's request to block the corps' plan. Alito handles emergency requests from Missouri and other states in the 8th Circuit in the Midwest.

Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh says a decision has not yet been made on whether to breech the levee. But he's ordered field crews to move barges to the Missouri side of the river and begin loading pipes in the levee with explosives in anticipation of blowing up a two-mile section just down river from Cairo, Ill.

Another Night of Rain Soaks Southeastern Missouri

Another night of heavy downpours has soaked the southeastern portion of Missouri, creating even more concern in a region already seeing historic flooding. Some areas received 5 inches of rain from Sunday night through Monday morning, and more was on the way before clearing skies are finally expected on Tuesday.

The Black River rose sharply overnight in some spots, including hard-hit Poplar Bluff. The river had dropped to below flood stage after last week's flooding forced the evacuation of 1,000 residents, but jumped 8 feet overnight. It wasn't clear if new evacuations were being considered.

At Lake Wappapello, water was spilling over an emergency levee on the lake spillway, potentially threatening areas south of the lake on the St. Francis River. Authorities went door-to-door Sunday telling residents to be ready to evacuate.

Mo. Lawmakers Still Have Work to Do on State Budget

Missouri lawmakers must wrap up work on the state's budget this week. Their agenda also will include some work they already thought they had completed.

The House and Senate face a Friday deadline to send the state's $23 billion budget to Gov. Jay Nixon. The governor also has returned two bills to legislators with his veto mark. That means lawmakers could try to override his decision or craft a new version. One of those vetoed bills would redraw the state's congressional districts based on the 2010 census. The other would have made it harder for fired employees to win workplace discrimination lawsuits.

Other items still on the Legislature's agenda include an overhaul of the state's tax incentives and a requirement that voters show photo identification.