By Ned Resnikoff
The Republican-controlled House Agriculture Committee on Thursday approved a version of the 2013 farm bill that cuts more than $20 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over 10 years.
A handful of House Democrats have vowed to oppose the legislation until some of the SNAP funding is restored, as George Zornick reported in The Nation.
“The $20.5 billion cut in SNAP is a poison pill,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., at a Thursday press conference. “It means that we shouldn’t be supporting the farm bill.”
Farm bills are sprawling pieces of legislation that regulate, fund, and subsidize a variety of programs related to farming, agriculture, and food production. In addition to cutting food stamps, this particular bill would cut a certain kind of farming subsidy call direct payments. The bill is expected to reach the House floor for a full vote in June.
By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 10:24 PM EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
“THE KING OF POP”
Los Angeles (CNN) – Michael Jackson appeared paranoid, repeating himself and shivering from chills in his final days, his longtime makeup artist testified Thursday.
“This was not the man I knew,” Karen Faye testified. “He was acting like a person I didn’t recognize.”
Faye, who did Jackson’s makeup and hair for 27 years, was the sixth witness called by lawyers for Michael Jackson’s mother and children in their wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. She testified Thursday and will return to the stand Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom.
The Jacksons contend that AEG Live is liable in the pop icon’s June 25, 2009, death from an overdose of a surgical anesthetic because it negligently hired, retained or supervised the doctor treating him.
Michael Jackson’s brightest and darkest moments brought laughter and tears as Faye testified.
PROVIDENCE, R.I.Rhode Island on Thursday became the nation’s 10th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, as a 16-year effort to extend marriage rights in this heavily Roman Catholic state ended with the triumphant cheers of hundreds of gays, lesbians, their families and friends.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law on the Statehouse steps Thursday evening following a final 56-15 vote in the House. The first weddings will take place Aug. 1, when the law takes effect.
“I’ve been waiting 32 years for this day, and I never thought it would come in my lifetime,” said Raymond Beausejour, a 66-year-old gay North Providence man who has been with his partner for 32 years. “For the first time in my life, I feel welcome in my own state.”
After Chafee signed the bill, the hundreds of people who gathered on the Statehouse grounds erupted into cheers as a chorus sang “Chapel of Love.”
“Now, at long last, you are free to marry the person that you love,” Chafee told the crowd.
Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries) is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with theApostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded bySpy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.
The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian or Julian calendar is used liturgically. Eastern churches generally use the Julian calendar, and so celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, andresurrection of Christ; this period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening ofEaster. The mass or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on feast of Passover.
The cruise ship Carnival Triumph with 4,200 people aboard, adrift for days with nonflushing toilets, was towed into port Thursday night. FULL STORY | BLOG: LAST DAY AT SEA | PHOTOS, TWEETS FROM THE SHIP | WERE YOU ABOARD?
By NBC News staff and wire reports.
Updated at 7 p.m. ET: CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday invited political groups and legal figures to meet for a national dialogue on solutions to Egypt’s political crisis after clashes between his supporters and his foes left seven dead and hundreds wounded.
Morsi did not, however, rescind decrees granting him wide powers that his opponents had demanded, and his overtures on talks were immediately rejected by opposition leaders.
The main office of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was set ablaze late Thursday, the group’s political party said, and another office used by the party was torched in a suburb south of the city, the state news agency reported.
In a nationally televised address to the nation, Morsi said he would bring together a number of groups at a Saturday meeting at the presidential palace.
“Such painful events happened because of political differences that should be resolved through dialogue,” the Islamist president said after two days of violence during protests.
The discussions would center on a political roadmap after a referendum on a new constitution, Reuters reported. Morsi said they would discuss the fate of the upper house of parliament after the lower house was dissolved in June, the election law and other issues. He said plans for the referendum on December 15 were on track.
By By RACHEL LA CORTE Associated Press
Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, which now joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, as they were joined by couples who plan to wed and community activists who worked on the campaign supporting gay marriage. The law doesn’t take effect until Thursday, when gay and lesbian couples can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors’ offices. King County, the state’s largest and home to Seattle, and Thurston County, home to the state capital of Olympia, will open the earliest, at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, to start issuing marriage licenses.
In Seattle, Kelly Middleton and her partner Amanda Dollente got in line to wait for their license at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“We knew it was going to happen, but it’s still surreal,” said Dollente, 29.
By 10 p.m., dozens of people had joined the queue and the mood was festive.