“Our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences there may be, that is our power. That’s our strength. That’s why a bomb can’t beat us. That’s why we don’t hunker down. That’s why we don’t cower in fear.” President Barack Obama, speaking at an interfaith memorial service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on Thursday, April 18, 2013
WEEK OF APRIL 15, 2013
Nation: Boston, our hearts are with you.
On Monday, four hours into the running of the famed Boston Marathon, two explosions detonated in quick succession near the finish line in Boston’s Copley Square. With thousands of runners still on the course and hundreds of spectators along the route, chaos quickly ensued. The bombings claimed the lives of 3 people and injured more than 170, many severely and resulting in amputated limbs. The F.B.I. is leading the investigation to find the perpetrator(s) of this horrific crime and has released surveillance photos and videos of the two suspects. President Obama spoke at an interfaith service on Thursday, seeking to console the grieving, shaken city and nation by saying, “Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city, every one of us stands with you.” Our thoughts continue to be with all those affected. UPDATE: One suspect has been killed along with a police officer. Other suspect on the loose. CLICK TO YOUR FAVORITE NEWS SOURCE TO FOLLOW ALONG ON UPDATES.
More tragedy, this time in Texas.
The town of West, Texas is grieving today over the deaths and injuries of many in its small community. Wednesday night a fertilizer company exploded causing mass destruction, setting many surrounding homes and businesses ablaze. The death toll remains fluid as rescuers search amid the rubble of houses destroyed to find possible survivors. At this time, the cause is still unclear. Reportedly, as many as 15 people have died and more than 160 have been injured but missing people are still unaccounted for. Sadly, “part of that community is gone” stated a local sergeant. Texas, you also remain in our hearts.
World: Replacing Hugo Chavez won’t be easy.
Secretary of State John Kerry lent his voice to the rising chorus demanding a recount after a special election to replace former President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro, a protégé of the former President, won by less than two percentage points which sparked violent protests and seven people have been killed. The opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, formally submitted his request for a recount on Wednesday, but the head of the country’s Supreme Court has said that a recount might not be possible.
Politics: Senate “taking a pause” on proposed gun legislation.
The Senate defeated several measures to expand gun control on Wednesday, in a move that angered the President and disappointed the families of Newtown, Conn., who fought long and hard for a bipartisan compromise that would have expanded background checks along with a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines. All three measures failed to get the 60 votes required for passage. Speaking at the White House after the votes, President Obama called it “a pretty shameful day for Washington,” but added that “this effort is not over.”
National Security: Letters laced with ricin? No thank you.
Federal authorities made an arrest in the investigation of two letters testing positive for the poison ricin, one sent to President Obama, the other mailed to a U.S. senator. Both letters were intercepted at off-site mailing facilities and contained identical closing statements. At the federal court hearing on Thursday, the suspect was ordered to remain in custody until a grand jury issues an expected indictment and a preliminary and detention hearing on April 29.
Business: Gold hit a major low on Monday, but don’t count it out just yet.
Gold stocks plunged Monday, falling another 10 percent to end at nearly 30 percent below their highest point. Many factors, including as a recent sell-off by Cyprus, meant to help repay €9 billion in European Central Bank emergency aid, led to the decline, but some experts say that gold may still have the last laugh. The prices are already beginning to inch back up.
Women’s Affairs: Now you can “Lean In” online.
Expanding on the success of her Lean In philosophy, Sheryl Sandberg has invested in a new social networking tool meant to bring women together. The service, LeanIn.org, will be offered as a commercial service to businesses wanting to organize their supporters online. Initial access will be free, but Mightybell, the maker of the technology, plans to start charging for premium features like analytics this summer.