CNN's GUT CHECK | for April 19, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
MANHUNT CONTINUES: WHERE IS DZHOKAR TSARNAEV HIDING? That was the question Friday facing thousands of law enforcement officers involved in the massive manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, a search that virtually shut down the Massachusetts capital. – Michael Pearson and Chelsea J. Carter
TEXAS EXPLOSIONS: Sixty people are unaccounted for in Wednesday's fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, U.S. Sen John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Friday. He said authorities are checking to see whether any of them are in hospitals. Twelve bodies were recovered, law enforcement said earlier Friday.
BOY SCOUTS NEARING DECISION: The Boy Scouts executive committee has written a resolution for consideration that would remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone, the Boy Scouts of America said Friday. The scouts would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.
MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks close out the worst week of the year, with all three major indexes falling more than 2%.
The gripping manhunt for a suspect in the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon on Monday is what caught our – and nearly everyone else’s –eye today.
Here are the latest details from CNN:
– Investigators probing the bombings "are recovering a significant amount of homemade explosives" in Watertown, Massachusetts, where authorities engaged in a gunfight with the two suspected bombers, Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said Friday.
– Initial indications are the two suspected Boston Marathon bombers likely do not have direct links to any major al Qaeda group or affiliates, or to a new significant terrorist threat to the United States, according to a U.S. official familiar with the latest intelligence information.
– Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, the Boston Marathon attack suspect now at large, came to the United States on July 1, 2002, at age 8 on a tourist visa, a federal source said. While here, he sought asylum and became a citizen on September 11, 2012.
– His older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police overnight, came to the United States four years after his brother, on September 6, 2006, at the age of 20, the source said. He came legally but was not naturalized. He was a green card holder and in the country lawfully.
– "All of Boston" should stay indoors during manhunt, Mass Gov. Deval Patrick says Friday.
How did we get here?
– The latest violence began late Thursday with the robbery of a convenience store, according to Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police. Soon after, in Cambridge, across the Charles River from Boston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Officer Sean Collier was fatally shot while he sat in his car, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.
– Police believe the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were responsible for the shooting.
– The two suspects, according to authorities, then hijacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, telling the driver that they were the marathon bombers, a law enforcement source told CNN's Joe Johns. At some point, apparently at a gas station, the source said, the driver escaped.
– Police, who were tracking the vehicle using its built-in GPS system, picked up the chase in Watertown. The pursuit went into a residential neighborhood with the suspects allegedly throwing explosives at police. A firefight erupted and ultimately one suspect - later identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev - got out of the car. Police shot him, and his brother apparently ran over him as he drove away, according to the source.
– A source briefed on the investigation said Tamerlan Tsarnaev was wearing explosives and an explosive trigger. He died later at Beth Israel Hospital.
– Richard H. Donohue Jr., 33, a three-year veteran of the transit system police force, was shot and wounded in the incident and taken to a hospital, a transit police spokesman said Friday. The officer's condition was not immediately known.
For the most up-to-date information, got to CNN.com.
Did you miss it?
Leading CNNPolitics: Poll: Portman loses some support over same-sex marriage
The approval rating for the first Republican senator to back same-sex marriage has edged down, fueled mostly by a drop in support from members of his own party, according to a new survey. An adviser to Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, responding to the poll, says the senator's change of heart on the controversial social issue had nothing to do with politics.
Leading Drudge: Brother Bombers
With the city virtually paralyzed, thousands of officers with rifles and armored vehicles swarmed the streets in and around Boston on Friday, hunting for a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombing after his older brother was killed in a furious getaway attempt overnight. – Eileen Sullivan, Meghan Barr and Katie Zezima
Leading HuffPo: He Gets It: Mccain Defends O From Gop Criticism
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday defended President Barack Obama's emotionally charged speech decrying the Senate's failure to pass a bipartisan compromise on background checks the previous day. Obama drew criticism from Republicans after he declared Wednesday a "shameful" day in Washington and accused the senators who voted against the Toomey-Manchin amendment of caving in to the gun lobby and its allies. The president also said the National Rifle Association had "willfully lied" about the legislation, which sought to expand background checks for firearms purchases. – Sabrina Siddiqui
Leading Politico: Portrait of suspects takes shape
The two suspects in the Boston marathon bombing are Muslim brothers and ethnic Chechens, POLITICO has confirmed. A law enforcement official identified the suspects as 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is still at large, and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was shot and killed by police overnight in suburban Watertown, Mass. The brothers allegedly held up a 7-11, shot and killed an MIT police officer and committed a carjacking before entering a firefight with police. – Kevin Robillard
Leading The New York Times: Senator Says Boston Attack Should Factor in Immigration Debate
A senior Republican senator said Friday that the approaching political debate about an immigration overhaul should take into account the revelation that the Boston Marathon bombers had apparently emigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union. – Ashley Parker and Michael Shear
Leading The Boston Globe: Police Go Door To Door In Watertown Manhunt
With nearly a million residents of the Boston area hunkering down behind locked doors, heavily-armed police are making their way through a 20-block area of this community, searching for one of the suspects in the deadly Boston Marathon terror bomb attacks, authorities said this afternoon.
The political bites of the day
– Senator trumpets immigration caution because of Boston bombing… –
REPUBLICAN SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY OF IOWA AT AN IMMIGRATION HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL: “Given the events of this week, it’s important for us to understand the gaps and loopholes in our immigration system. While we don’t yet know the immigration status of the people who have terrorized the communities in Massachusetts, when we find out, it will help shed light on the weaknesses of our system.”
– … and gets blow back from immigration bill supporter –
DEMOCRATIC SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER OF NEW YORK AT AN IMMIGRATION HEARING ON CAPITOL HILL: “I'd like to ask that all of us not jump to conclusions regarding events in Boston or conflate those events with this legislation. In general, we're a safer country when law enforcement knows who is here, has their fingerprints, photos, etcetera, conducted background checks ... Two days ago, as you may recall, there was widespread erroneous reports of arrests being made. This just emphasizes how important it is to allow the actual facts to come out before jumping to any conclusions.”
– Terror is terror –
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY IN A PHOTO OP WITH MEXICAN FOREIGN MINISTER: “The one thing I will say is terror is terror and this underscores the importance of all of us maintaining vigilance and cooperating together internationally. That is part of what we are talking about here. Terror anywhere in the world against any country is unacceptable. And we need to continue to stand up and fight against it in the way that we are. It strengthens actually my resolve and my sense that we are on the right track but there is more we can do and we are going to continue to do it. President Obama has made it a critical component of his foreign policy and obviously this just emphasizes that.”
– Former Democratic Gov: His anti-gun control position wouldn’t fly in run for president –
FORMER MONTANA GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER IN A SPEECH TO MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY: “In Iowa and Florida, those Democratic voters would ask me about things like gun control and I’d say things like, ‘You control yours, I’ll control mine.’ That’s not going to sell in a Democratic primary.”
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