Gun Background Check Amendment Blocked in Senate
The Senate blocks a provision to mandate background checks for all gun purchases in the United States, after a coalition of Democrats and a handful of Republicans fail to gather the 60 votes needed to block a filibuster. President Obama was not happy. Gabby Giffords wasn't either.
Hunger Strikes at Guantanamo Bay
Dozens of Guantanamo Bay inmates are on hunger strikes, according to a New York Times Op-ed dictated by a prisoner there. "One man here weighs just 77 pounds," reads the piece. "Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago."
The Boy Scouts Propose Lifting Ban on Gay Members
While the 103-year-old organization will still not allow gay members in leadership positions, the group announced a proposal on Friday to not discriminate among membership. The proposal will come to a vote in May. "If approved, the resolution would mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," a Scouts spokesperson told CNN.
Margaret Thatcher's Funeral
More than 4 million Britons tuned in Wednesday to watch the state funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died last week. The military-style funeral procession was met by some protest. After all, Thatcher was one of the most divisive political figures in the country. Protesters, in a quiet yet powerful way, turned their backs to her coffin as it made its way toward St. Paul's Cathedral.There were some posters and hecklers — who were outraged at the $15 million price tag of the proceedings — but the funeral went off without incident.
The Telegraph provides the highlights of the funeral (oxymoron, much?)
TIME Unveils 2013's 100 Most Influential People
Usually a big to-do, Time's annual list of the world's most influential people was published Wednesday to little fanfare. Yes, it was overshadowed by the week's events, but perhaps it was overlooked because the selections are not all that surprising. Jay-Z, President Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Rand Paul, Sheryl Sandberg, and Chris Christie make the cut.
Earthquake in Iran
On Tuesday, a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Iran near the border with Pakistan.This was the strongest quake to hit the country in more than 50 years. For perspective, the devastating Haiti earthquake in 2010 was a 7.0. Considering the quake's power, it wasn't all that deadly. It occurred 51 miles underground in a remote area, which diminished its impact. Thirty-five people died in a Pakistani border town. Iranian media reported 27 injuries.
George W. Bush Becomes a Grandfather
Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to a daughter Sunday. The baby, named Margaret Laura (but will go by "Mila"), is named after her two grandmothers. "Laura and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our grandchild," the former president said in a statement. His presidential library opens next week.