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Obama returns home, turns to domestic issues starting with Joplin tornado

After six days overseas focusing on foreign policy, President Obama returns home Saturday evening and turns to domestic issues starting Sunday with a quick trip to Joplin, Missouri, to meet with those affected by last week’s major tornado.

By Dave Cookstaff writer / May 28, 2011

President Barack Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski take part in an arrival ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Saturday, May 28. Obama returns to Washington Saturday night. On Sunday, he travels to Joplin, Missouri, to meet with those affected by last week’s major tornado.

Czarek Sokolowski/AP

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After six days overseas focusing on foreign policy, President Obama returns home Saturday evening and turns to domestic issues starting Sunday with a quick trip to Joplin, Missouri, to meet with those affected by last week’s major tornado.

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A Joplin city official said Saturday that the death toll from the storm had risen to at least 139 people, up by 7 from the last count, the Associated Press reported. Last Sunday’s massive tornado was the most destructive since 1950. The storm packed winds of 200 mile per hour and injured more than 900 people. Its E5 rating is the highest on a scientific rating scale.

The President is slated to land Saturday just before 7 p.m. eastern time at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland concluding a 6-day European tour. His trip took him to Ireland, England, France, and Poland. While in Europe, Obama attend the Group of Eight summit of industrialized nations in Deauville, France.

Mr. Obama’s last stop was Poland where he hailed that nation for demonstrating “how a proud and determined and enthusiastic people can overcome extraordinary challenges and build a democracy.” The Associated Press said the President appeared tired and even publicly counted down the days at one point in the trip.

After a night’s rest, the president will get back on Air Force One Sunday for the trip to Joplin. While there, he will speak at a Joplin Community Memorial Service on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. Governor Jay Nixon will also speak at the service. "On Sunday, all Missourians will pause to morn for those killed by this devastating storm, and to stand together as we begin the process of rebuilding and recovery,” the Governor said in a statement.

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