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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - With the first anniversary of the devastating Joplin tornado approaching, the ambassador of United Arab Emirates will be in the southwest Missouri town on Friday to announce a large gift to Mercy Hospital.

The hospital was among 8,000 buildings destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado that killed 161 people. United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba will be joined by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean and others in announcing the gift. Details will be disclosed at a 10:30 a.m. news conference.

The oil-rich Persian Gulf nation has stepped in to help Joplin before. Last year, United Arab Emirates made a challenge grant donation that could be worth up to $1 million to provide new laptop computers for each high school student.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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