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In today's news: Recent tornadoes may cost billions, the economy may be affecting fertility, rental car gas prices approach double figures, private employers add jobs, and Apple computers may not be as safe as they once were.

WEATHER: Tornado outbreak may be worst in U.S. history with 327 killed, NOAA says

Last week’s burst of tornadoes through the Southeast killed more than 320 people and might rack up close to $5 billion in insured losses. “Storms produced wind gusts of more than 200 miles per hour,” Bloomberg reports. “More than 600 tornadoes formed in all of April, compared with the previous record of 267 set in 1974. That makes April 2011 the most active month ever.”

FAMILY: Weak economy causes some to cut back on kids

Is a bad economy responsible for less children in this country? “The U.S. fertility rate fell 4 percent from 2007 to 2009 – the biggest drop in more than 30 years,” MSNBC reports. “There is not enough data to prove cause and effect, but independent researchers do see a trend.”

GAS: Rental car gas prices hit more than $9 a gallon

If you think you’re paying a lot at the pump, try renting a car. “The price of gasoline has reached more than $9 a gallon for drivers who don’t pay ahead of time and who return their rental cars without a full tank,” USA Today reports. “Hertz customers renting a Ford Club Wagon, which has a 35-gallon fuel tank, would owe Hertz $325.15 for gas if they returned the wagon with a nearly empty tank.”

JOBS: Private employers added 179,000 jobs in April

While the country got more job offers last month, it was just shy of what experts were predicting and wanted to see: 179,000 instead of 198,000. Meanwhile, “Employers announced 36,490 planned job cuts last month,” MSNBC reports, “the lowest monthly total of the year.”

TECH: Is Mac under a virus attack?

A bogus anti-virus program for Apple computers has caused a stir and a scare – because most malware and virus attacks are directed at PC owners. Should Mac owner be worried? “No,” CNN reports. “But there’s some bad news rising on the Apple malware front.”

Stacy Johnson

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