5 Things To Know This Morning

PHOTO: Firefighters Jim Williams, left, and Mike Ledger descend down a ladder, after the building was struck by lightning

Your look at the five biggest and most buzz-worthy stories of the morning.

1. 63 Million Hit by Severe Weather

Some 63 million people from Missouri to Vermont were under some sort of severe thunderstorm or tornado watch late Thursday afternoon. The highest wind gusts blew through Pennsylvania, clocking in at 75 mph. Storms are forecast to blow through the Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic where more damaging winds and hail are possible.

2. Storms Punching Holes in Ozone Layer: NASA Study

A NASA-funded study published in Science magazine suggests that summer storms are punching holes in the ozone layer over the United States. The study, highlighted in the New York Times, says that the thinning ozone layer could mean an increase in UV exposure for millions of people and a rise in skin cancer.

3. Ranchers Urged to Sell Cattle as Drought Lingers

State officials are urging ranchers to consider selling cattle after a new report reveals that the widest drought to plague the United States in decades is getting worse with no signs of getting better. Twenty percent of the nation is now in the two worst stages of drought, 7 percent higher than last week.

4. Facebook Posts Strong Earnings

Facebook's first earnings report as a public company had strong numbers but stock fell more than 10 percent in after-hours trading. The decline means that the social networking site's stock will likely open at its lowest level since the company went public two months ago.

5. Twitter Outage Blamed on Tech Failures, Not Olympics

Twitter is putting the blame on technical system failures – not heightened traffic ahead of the Olympic games -- after the social networking site went down for more than an hour on Thursday. The company says the outage was caused by a double failure in its data centers.

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