PRESIDENT & CONGRESS SLOW TO REPAIR INFRASTRUCTURE
By Andrew Rafferty and Justin Kirschner, NBC News
Three people were rescued from a river after a bridge along Interstate-5 in Washington State collapsed on Thursday evening, plunging cars into the water below, according to Washington State Patrol.
The extent of the injuries for the three is unclear, but all were evaluated on scene and were transported to area hospitals, according to Marcus Deyerin of the Washington Incident Management Team. Authorities say they have no reason to believe any others are still in the river.
Two vehicles were submerged in the Skagit River when the bridge fell around 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EDT), and traffic has been closed in both directions.
NBC Seattle affiliate KING5 reported that traffic was significantly backed up in both directions. I-5 is the main freeway that runs along the West Coast.
By Miranda Leitsinger and Jason White, NBC News, Staff Writer, NBC News
Michael Prengler / Reuters
Pascal Tessier, 16, from Kensington, Md., an openly gay scout who was facing expulsion from the Boy Scouts, answers questions from the media while his mother, Tracie Felker, looks on.
GRAPEVINE, Texas — The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to end its controversial policy banning gay kids and teens from joining one of the nation’s most popular youth organizations, ditching membership guidelines that had roiled the group in recent years.
Over 61 percent of Scouting‘s National Council of 1,232 delegates from across the country voted to lift the ban, BSA officials said. The final tally was 757 yes votes, to 475 no (another 168 delegates did not cast a ballot since they were not present at the meeting). The ban on gay leaders was not voted on and will remain in place.
“This resolution today dealt with youth. We have not changed our adult membership standards. They have served us well for the last 100 years. Those were not on the table,” said Tico Perez, BSA national commissioner.
The policy change will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, “allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units,” the BSA said in a statement.
By Wilson Rothman, NBC News
With an upcoming fix for Windows 8,Microsoft finds itself in a strange position: It has to make the faithful happy by shaping the experience to be more like the respected Windows 7. Meanwhile, the
AP file photo
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Windows 8, in New York on Oct. 25, 2012.
company must continue to support the modern “Metro” interface and push the notion that the OS delivers a touch-tablet experience that surpasses iOS and Android.
The strategy is understandable — like most of Microsoft’s moves up until now — but if you’re out in the ocean, with each foot on a perfectly good log, wouldn’t you want them lashed together, not drifting apart?
Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet has an unrivaled Microsoft tipster network. They’re telling her thatthe fixes that comprise Windows “Blue” could include the return of the sorely missed Start button and an option to boot straight into the classic Windows Desktop environment, avoiding that colorful screen of live tiles that characterizes Windows 8. Additionally, Foley reports, there may be enhancements to the Metro interface to make it even more mouse-and-keyboard friendly. Foley admires the rumored fixes. If they make it into the final release, she says, “it’s nothing but goodness.”
John Makely / NBC News
An FBI investigator exits the house on Seymour Ave.
By Matthew DeLuca, Staff Writer, NBC News
CLEVELAND — It was the perfect place to hide three captives in plain sight.
In a rundown section of Cleveland, Ohio, police say three young women — Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — were held against their will in a white, two-story house for roughly a decade before Berry escaped Monday night and the other two were freed.
While some who lived and worked in the neighborhood described it as tight-knit, others spoke of a darker side.
He was surprised not so much by the women’s captivity but by how much time transpired before they were found.
“Does it shock me?” he said. “Well, I don’t know. Ten years shocks me.”
The three women vanished between August 2002 and April 2004 in separate incidents; they were between 14 and 20 years old. Authorities have arrested three brothers: Ariel Castro, 52, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50.
By Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Andrew Rafferty, NBC News
North Korea has downgraded two Musudan missiles from launch-ready status and removed them from their launch site on the country’s east coast, a senior U.S. official confirmed to NBC News.
Officials would not say where the missiles were moved, but earlier Monday Pentagon press secretary George Little said North Korea’s rhetoric has been toned down in recent weeks, calling it a “provocation pause.”
The Musudan missiles have a range of 1,900 to 2,200 miles, threatening not only South Korea but also Japan and American military bases on Guam. Testing the medium-range missile would have increased the already high tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a missile test would be a “huge mistake” and a “provocative and unwanted act.”
By Pete Williams, Richard Esposito, Michael Isikoff and Tracy Connor, NBC News
Azamat Tazhayakov (left), Dias Kadyrbayev, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (right) in a photo taken in Times Square. The picture, which appeared on Tsarnaev’s page on VKontakt, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, is believed to be from November 2012.
Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were accused Wednesday of removing evidence from his dorm room as new details about the case emerged in court papers.
Criminal complaints against the trio revealed that Tsarnaev cut his long hair after the April 15 attack but before the FBI released his photo and that he allegedly told friends a month earlier that he knew “how to make a bomb.”
The court papers also suggest that the 19-year-old suspect was practically blasé when one of the friends texted to say he looked like the man in the FBI photos of the bomb suspect.
Among his replies: ‘lol,” according to the complaints.
By Domenico Montanaro, Deputy Political Editor, NBC News
As the Obama administration girds for “glitches and bumps” along the path to full implementation of the health-care law, a new poll indicates many Americans are still unclear about the details of the new law and, in some cases, unaware it’s actually law of the land.
A whopping 42 percent of Americans do not know that the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, law. Included in that 42 percent — 12 percent believe it has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent think the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it, and 23 percent are unsure of its status, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll.
NBC News | April 17, 2013
Newtown dad: ‘We’ll return home disappointed but not defeated’
Mark Barden, whose son, Daniel, was killed during the Newtown mass shooting, talks about the Senate voting down expanded background checks for gun sales, during a White House event with President Obama.
By Kasie Hunt, Political Reporter, NBC News
A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on a bill that would make it a federal crime to buy a gun for someone who isn’t legally allowed to own one.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced the agreement on the Senate floor Monday evening.
Illegal gun “straw” purchases, made by a buyer on behalf of someone who cannot pass a background check, are often not prosecuted under current law, usually because conducting such a sale yields such a weak penalty.
The new compromise legislation would make the consequences for both straw buyers and sellers far more serious – to the tune of decades in jail.
“Instead of a slap on the wrist or treating this like a paperwork violation, these crimes under our bill would be punishable by up to 25 years in prison,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said. FULL ARTICLE
It’s Friday, March 1, and that means the federal government has crossed the much-hyped and dreaded deadline for the fiscal reductions known as the “sequester.”
The members of Congress who for voted for the Budget Control Act – and the budget cuts contained within – and President Barack Obama who signed it into law on Aug. 2, 2011, may not have believed the day would arrive, but now it has.
But today is only the beginning of the beginning. FULL ARTICLE