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Monday, April 22, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Report: Boston Bombing Suspect Responding to Questions - Despite a serious throat wound preventing him from speaking, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect is beginning to respond to questions from investigators, federal officials tell NBC News.
Nearly 48 hours after he was taken into custody following an intense gun battle and manhunt, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was communicating with a special team of federal investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. He was responding to questions mostly in writing because of the throat wound, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The suspect remains in serious condition.

The throat wound may be the result of a suicide attempt, investigators said.  You can read more here.


Boston Bombing Suspect Faces Tough Prosecuter - As the top federal law enforcer in Massachusetts, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz has taken heat for being tough to a fault and coming down too hard on some defendants.

But as she builds a possible death penalty case against suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, the unflinching approach that earned her opponents in the past could become a legal asset for the biggest case of her career, said attorneys who have faced off against her.

"The criticism lately has been that they've over-charged some people and been overly harsh," said Peter Elikann, a Boston defense attorney. "I don't think that's relevant for Tsarnaev because no one is going to accuse any prosecutor of making too big a deal out of this case." has more here.


Earth Day Reaches 43rd Anniversary - Monday is the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It is unfortunate that too many of our leaders — in business, government, and the community — are missing the big opportunity this day should represent. If the mission of Earth Day is to galvanize the American public behind a common goal of stewardship, shouldn’t we be promoting the most impactful efforts?

Consider this. Our nation is dead last among developed nations in energy productivity. In fact, the U.S. wastes more energy than it uses. A whopping 57 percent of the energy flowing into our economy is simply wasted as heat, noise, and leaks. Even China, a so-called undeveloped nation, ranks ahead of the U.S.

Mark R. Warner is a U.S. Senator from Virginia, and Tom King is U.S .President of National Grid. They co-chaired The Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy.  You can can their entire op ed here. 


California is Latest State To Tackle "Fracking" - California is the latest state to embark on a fierce debate over whether and how to regulate the oil- and gas-extraction technique known as hydraulic fracturing — a controversy already roiling politics in rural Pennsylvania and inspiring an endless soap opera in New York state.

“As California goes, so goes the nation in some ways when it comes to environmental protection,” said Damon Nagami, senior attorney and director of the Southern California Ecosystems Project for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We’re hoping to do that with fracking and oil development as well.” has more here.


International Atomic Energy Agency to Meet with Iran - Iran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog will have further talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program on May 21 in Vienna, Iranian media said on Monday.

There was no immediate confirmation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), leaving unclear whether a firm date for the next meeting had already been agreed.

The IAEA-Iran talks are separate from, but have a bearing on, diplomatic negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at a broad settlement to the decade-old dispute to head off the risk of a new Middle East war.  You can read more here.


Euro Zone Makes Slight Improvement - France and Spain fell short of their budget deficit goals last year, EU data showed on Monday, although the overall fiscal picture for the euro zone  improved.

France's 2012 budget deficit was 4.8 percent of economic output, statistics office Eurostat said in the final reading of all 27 countries' public accounts. It compared with a target of 4.5 percent.

Spain's budget shortfall was 7.1 percent, excluding bank recapitalization - higher than the government's 6.98 percent official year-end reading, and well above Madrid's original target of 6.3 percent.

Overall, the 17-nation euro zone looked much better off at the end 2012, however. Its combined fiscal deficit was 3.7 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 4.2 percent in 2011 and 6.5 percent in 2010.  You can read more here.


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