By Nathan O’Neal
Surrounded by reminders of those who were lost at a Tucson Safeway back in January 2011, survivors of the Tucson shooting gathered to push for tougher gun laws and universal background checks.
“Why are we even discussing this?” said Pam Simon, who was shot at an event for former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, adding: “Frankly it makes me angry… Why should congress be debating this? It is absolutely common sense.” Survivors were joined by city and state leaders to introduce a report released by the Center for American Progress. The comprehensive state-by-state report analyzes gun violence nationwide.
By Lisa Leff
The National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers are to blame for the “disconnect” between the broad public support for gun control and the reluctance in Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday.
Speaking to a hometown audience of about 500 people in San Francisco, the California Democrat said the NRA has intimidated senators with threats that the gun lobby would spend heavily to unseat them if they support the restrictions Feinstein championed in response to the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
“A fear has set in that if they vote for the bill they won’t be re-elected. It’s that plain, it’s that simple,” Feinstein said during an appearance before the Commonwealth Club. “My view is they shouldn’t go up to the Senate if they are unwilling to stand up and vote.”
The former chief federal judge in Montana has decided to retire at the conclusion of a misconduct investigation into a racist email about President Obama he forwarded to friends from his work computer last year.
U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, who had taken less-active senior status on the bench after the incident, will retire in May, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ chief judge, Alex Kozinski, said in a statement.
The decision follows an appeals court inquiry into the email controversy that involved interviews with Cebull and others and a review of “voluminous” documentation, including emails, Kozinski said.
New prosecutors named to Texas Aryan Brotherhood prison gang probe
By Chris Francescani
Authorities named a new lead prosecutor on Wednesday in the 2012 indictment of 34 suspected members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang after the previous head of the case abruptly quit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hileman stepped aside on Tuesday in the wake of the second killing of a Texas prosecutor in two months. While investigators have not named a suspect or person of interest in the twin killings, crime experts identified the Aryan Brotherhood as a group that would come under suspicion.
Defense attorneys notified about Hileman’s withdrawal cited unspecified security concerns, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hyundai, Kia recall 1.7 million vehicles for electronic defects
By Ronald D. White
The Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. are conducting a recall of more than 1.7 million vehicles – including the bestselling Elantra – to correct electronic defects.
Hyundai said that one of the problems involved 1.1 million vehicles with brake light switches that may malfunction.
The potential problem could also result in cruise control not disengaging and other potential risks that might increase the risk of a crash, the automaker said Wednesday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Australia’s example in healing the sexually abused
Christian Science Monitor
On Wednesday, Australia set an example for the world by opening an official inquiry that will allow people who were sexually abused as children in institutions to finally tell their stories.
At least 5,000 Australians are expected to be heard by the commission, many of them able to recount their experiences in private before the six-member panel. They will shed light on a half century of abuse in orphanages, churches, schools, detention centers, and child-care centers, and groups such as the military, Scouts, and organized sports.
Up until now, many were too ashamed to speak out. Or their stories were neglected by authorities. As children, they suffered for years in silence
Can you hear me now? Cellphone turns 40
By Nidhi Subbaraman
Forty years ago, Martin Cooper, a VP at Motorola, made history by placing the very first cellphone call. Appropriately enough, he called his rival at AT&T’s Bell Labs.
Thirty-three years later, a slightly more theatrical Steve Jobs dialed a Starbucks cafe in San Francisco to order 4,000 lattes, making the first public phone call from the very first iPhone while a hushed auditorium filled with journalists watched.
In between those prank calls, the cellphone morphed from a chunky plastic giant to a slender glass slab that doubles up as a computer and camera.
Hint of Dark Matter Found
By Gautam Naik
A space experiment may have identified a new particle that is the building block of dark matter, the mysterious stuff said to pervade a quarter of the universe that neither emits nor absorbs light.
The results are based on a small amount of data and are far from definitive, scientists said Wednesday. Yet, they provide a provocative hint that the puzzle of dark matter-a cosmic prize as eagerly sought as the now-discovered Higgs boson-may also be on its way to being solved.
The results are the first obtained by a $2 billion particle detector, known as Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, that is mounted on the exterior of the international space station. It collects and identifies charged cosmic rays arriving from the far reaches of space.