And let's turn to another community that is trying to recover. In Boston this hour, a memorial service is underway for victims of Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon. President Obama is in attendance. Now, the investigation into the bombing is in its fourth day, and the FBI is saying very little about its progress so far. We do know investigators are examining photos and videos and testing physical evidence they recovered from the scene of the deadly explosions. But still, we cannot answer to key questions: Who did this, and why?
A fertilizer plant exploded near Waco, Texas, Wednesday night. The explosion at West Fertilizer in downtown West, a community about 20 miles north of Waco, happened around 7 p.m. and could be heard as far away as Waxahachie, 45 miles to the north.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
We are following two major stories this morning. One is the fire and explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant. We'll have more on that in a moment.
INSKEEP: We begin with a victory for gun rights groups and a stinging defeat for gun control. Senate Republicans joined a small group of Democrats to reject every major gun control proposal President Obama has been pushing since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
And we're also reporting on the aftermath of another tragedy. Four months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, residents in Newtown, Connecticut are still trying to move forward. And the same goes for business owners, especially in Sandy Hook Village, just a mile from the school.
Now, President Obama had promised to put the full weight of his office behind getting Congress to pass new gun control legislation. That weight was apparently not enough. When the legislation failed yesterday, Obama went into the White House Rose Garden and made a blistering speech, calling it a shameful day for Washington.
The nation's attention turns this morning to a tiny city in Texas. It's simply called West. It is the site of a fertilizer plant from which a message went out to police radio last night.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time. Again, there has been an explosion on the fire scene. There are firefighters down at this time.
On this day in 1942, the United States struck back against Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The 80 men who flew that first bombing raid over Tokyo are known as the Doolittle Raiders, named after their commander Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle. For decades, the Raiders have met each year to remember their historic World War II mission. But with few surviving members, a meeting in Florida this week will be their last.
Running is big in Boston which is home to one of the world's most famous marathons. Small shops that specialize in running shoes and gear line the route. One shop sits right at the finish line, where Monday's attack killed three people.
April 18, 2013, is a big day for Superman. The Man of Steel, more powerful than a locomotive, turns 75. Most of us know Superman's story — faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Less well-known is that the superhero is not native to the lost world of Krypton, nor the rural Kansas burg of Smallville. Superman is Cleveland's native son — at least as far as the city's residents are concerned.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:26 pm
Are the antibiotics the livestock industry uses on animals responsible for antibiotic-resistant infections in people? Bacteria are notoriously hard to follow from farm to fork, but more pieces of the puzzle are coming together that suggest the answer is yes.
Mark Barden, the father of a young Newtown, Conn., shooting victim, speaks at a White House news conference on Wednesday, with President Obama and former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Obama denounced the Senate's defeat of a measure to expand background checks for gun buyers. "This was a pretty shameful day in Washington," he said.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:53 pm
The Senate's rejection of more robust gun purchase background checks was a stinging blow to President Obama that raised questions about his second-term agenda.
Expanding background checks had become a key part of Obama's post-Newtown push for tougher federal gun control laws. And in recent weeks, the president had campaigned for overall gun control legislation — especially the bipartisan background-check compromise — with a sense of urgency.
Acadia National Park draws thousands of visitors every year and contributed $186 million to the state's economy in 2011 alone. But under sequestration cuts, the park is closing roads for an additional month and cutting back staff and programming, leaving area business owners nervous about the 2013 summer season.
And Tovia mentioned a different kind of attack, one that's the subject of a widening investigation here in Washington, D.C. A second letter thought to contain the poison ricin has been sent for further testing. That one was addressed to the White House. We heard yesterday about one addressed to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker. Also today two Senate office buildings were locked down as the Capitol police investigated suspicious packages.