By Kristen Hays and Amanda Orr HOUSTON (Reuters) - Torrential rains have killed at least 17 people in Texas and Oklahoma, including four in Houston where floods turned streets into rivers and led to about 1,000 calls for help in the fourth-most populous U.S. city, officials said on Tuesday. The death toll is set to rise with numerous people still missing in Texas after the storms slammed the states during the Memorial Day weekend, causing record floods that destroyed hundreds of homes, swept away bridges, and even unearthed a coffin from a Houston cemetery. "A lot of folks drove their car into high water and had to abandon those vehicles," Houston Mayor Annise Parker said at a news conference.
Fears of koala cull in crowded Australian colony
By Pauline Askin SYDNEY (Reuters) - An overcrowded colony of about 1,000 koalas in Australia is being assessed this week for possible ill health in a survey that could lead to a cull, raising objections from animal welfare lobbyists. "Koalas will be captured and assessed by veterinarians using strict health assessment protocols and anything that is found to be in poor condition or suffering will be humanely euthanized while it's under sedation," said Mandy Watson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Koalas are a protected species in Australia, where they serve as a major tourist attraction and fulfill the odd diplomatic role - world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama were pictured cuddling the docile animals at a G20 summit in Brisbane last year.
(Reuters) - Tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. taxpayers was illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the past four months, U.S. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of data thefts that have alarmed American consumers. From February to May, attackers sought to gain access to personal tax information 200,000 times through the agency's "Get Transcript" online application, which calls up information from previous returns, he told a news conference. The breach did not affect any IRS data outside the "Get Transcript" application, and the agency said it would strengthen its security measures.
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