A New Day for Happening Now - New hours 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm and the Return of Chat!

Welcome to a new day for "Happening Now!" We begin our new schedule today. 11am is like normal, but now our second hour will begin at 1pm ET (10am PT). It's a great opportunity for all of us to shine, and to use our extra hour between the shows to step up our production game, and get the audience involved. Let's make the most of it.

A twister tore through a rural area of Louisiana this morning. More storms predicted for today. At least 17 died over the weekend as tornadoes hit in the central and southern parts of the country. Arkansas and Oklahoma hardest hit. Casey Stegall reporting.

President Obama is in Manila, Philippines today wrapping up a four country tour of Asia. The President signed a 10 year agreement to give the U.S. better access to bases.

The President also held a news conference in Manila.

Among other topics, President Obama said he would impose new sanctions on Russia today targeting high-tech exports to Russia's defense industry. President Obama says Putin isn't holding up his end of a bargain struck in Geneva that would have Russia getting pro-Russia forces out of government and military installations in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine says armed militants have seized another government building in eastern Ukraine. The mayor of eastern Ukraine's city Kharkiv has been shot and wounded.

President Obama also discussed a growing scandal at the VA hospital in Arizona. Up to 40 AZ vets died while awaiting medical appointments at the Phoenix VA Health Care Center. President Obama has ordered and investigation, and says he'll get to the bottom of it.

Expect a Senate showdown this week on raising the minimum wage.

There's also a showdown looming over immigration.. Stay tuned.

Major scandal with the NBA now investigating recordings said to be of Clippers owner Donald Sterling making ugly racial remarks. William La Jeunesse reporting.

The New York Times takes a scathing look at Medicare billing. The program seems somewhat out of control. One physical therapist billed Medicare for 4 million bucks! That's 500 treatments a day and 21 an hour!

Meantime, Karl Rove making news on Obamacare.. warning fellow Republicans not to throw in the towel after comments by Kathy McMorris Rodgers and House Speaker John Boehner.

We get a report on pending home sales today. Earnings season continues with companies reporting how they did in the last fiscal quarter.. Last week there were some big disappointments like IBM, Ford and Amazon. There was also a sell off on Friday. We'll keep an eye on the markets.

We're also taking viewer questions today on two big topics: 1. The healthcare overhaul 2. The raging debate over vaccinations. We'll also ask viewers what they'd like to see covered in the show today.

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And click on "America's Asking" to participate in the chat and in the show. Yes it's the return of America's Asking!

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-Clint Henderson

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.