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Cursed Travel? Obama's Trips Plagued by Mother Nature

Sean Gallup/Getty Images(LONDON) -- President Obama is in Europe this week to discuss economic and security issues, but his long-planned voyage has been overshadowed by the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, where the single deadliest tornado in 60 years has killed 116 people.

This is not the first time one of Obama's international trips has been eclipsed by a disaster.  Several of his previous voyages have been cursed by Mother Nature and other unforeseen circumstances.

Last year, he shelved his trip to Indonesia and Australia because of the BP oil spill disaster.  He had previously postponed that trip because of the health care vote.

The president also couldn't fly to the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski in April 2010 because of volcanic ash emitting from Iceland.  He had to cut his November Indonesia trip short for the same reason.

On Monday, an Icelandic ash cloud -- albeit from a different volcano -- forced the president and his staff to leave Ireland a day earlier than planned.  He was originally scheduled to spend the night there but due to the erupting Grimsvotn volcano, he was forced to leave for England Monday night.

If all goes as planned, the president and first lady will stay in London for two days, meeting with members of the royal family -- including the Queen, and Prince William and his new bride Catherine -- while there.  The Obamas will spend Tuesday night at Buckingham Palace.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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