News making the national headlines
The bombings in the Boston, Mass. marathon that occurred on Monday, April 15 have resulted in three deaths and over 170 wounded as of Wednesday, April 17.
Officials suspect the explosives were amateur bombs from common pressure cookers meant to severely harm the runners by sending sharp bits of shrapnel toward anyone in the area, according to the New York Times.
The investigation of the case advanced Wednesday when video footage from a Lord & Taylor security camera showed a man carrying and dropping a large backpack. No arrests have been made thus far, according to the FBI and Boston police.
Ricin laden letters intercepted outside of Washington D.C.
A letter sent to President Barack Obama tested positive for the toxin Ricin, according to information FBI officials gave to the Washington Post on Wednesday. This was reported following the positive testing for the same substance on a letter to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss). Both letters included similar language and signatures.
According to the Washington Post, all letters sent to the White House are screened at a Secret Service run facility outside D.C. in Anacostia and “are tested for suspicious substances before being forwarded to the White House mail office.” It was at this facility that the letter to Obama was intercepted. The Secret Service is working with the FBI and Capitol Police to further investigate.
Gun bill loses in the Senate
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment for background checks lost in a 54 in favor, 46 opposed vote in the Senate on Wednesday, April 17. It failed to meet the 60 vote criteria needed for the changes to pass, despite overwhelming support by the public, as reported by the Washington Post.
“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” said President Barack Obama, speaking out in anger about the failure of the bill. He added, “This effort is not over.”
Immigration reform filed
On Wednesday, April 17, a group of senators from both parties filed for legislation that would make border control the foundation of immigration reform, as well as prevent any undocumented immigrant from receiving full citizenship until the illegal immigration problem is solved on a whole, according to CNN reports.