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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday dodged questions on a potential Olympic boycott should Russia offer asylum to fugitive security contractor Edward Snowden. 

"The Olympics are a long way off," Carney said in a press briefing.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) had suggested Tuesday that the U.S. boycott the 2014 winter games in Sochi to send an "unequivocal signal" to Russia that offering Snowden asylum would be a breach of the law.

Carney emphasized that the boycott was suggested by a lawmaker, and that the U.S. is focused on resolving the matter by working with Russia through typical law enforcement channels. When asked if the boycott was a bad idea, he said "yes."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) disagreed with Graham's suggested boycott Wednesday, saying the idea was "dead wrong."

Asiana Airlines will not follow through with legal action it threatened against an Oakland TV station that aired false and racially offensive names of pilots involved in the San Francisco plane crash, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The airline said that although the racially charged names "profoundly disparaged Asiana, its employees and all Asians," it would ultimately not take legal action, according to the Times.

"Asiana Airlines, however, has decided to not pursue legal action as a result of a public apology by KTVU for the report in question and its determination to keep all of its resources dedicated to caring for the passengers and family members of Asiana flight 214 and supporting the investigation into the cause of the accident," a statement from the company read, as quoted by the Times.

A drone crashed Wednesday at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla., WJHG reported -- for the second time in a week.

A QF 4 drone crashed by U.S. Highway 98 on the east side of the base, closing the highway to traffic for up to 24 hours, according to WJHG. Eyewitnesses told the news station that the drone crashed after it took off and exploded, trailing a large black cloud.

Tyndall destroyed another drone over the Gulf of Mexico last week, where vacationers on a nearby beach witnessed the crash, according to WJHG.

A Russian lawyer advising former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told the Interfax news agency Wednesday that the U.S. fugitive could be close to seeing daylight for the first time since arriving at the Moscow airport weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"The question of granting him temporary shelter will not take more than one week," Kremlin-linked lawyer Anatoly Kucherenko told the news agency, as quoted by the Journal. "I think he will be able to leave the transit zone in the next few days."

Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia on Tuesday.

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a benefit for sexual assault victims in which he is expected to address his ongoing sexual harassment scandal, KGTV reported Wednesday.

The National Military Women Veterans Association of America confirmed to KGTV that the embattled mayor is scheduled to appear at its event. The group had planned to present Filner with a lifetime achievement award at the benefit on August 30-31, but stripped him of the honor -- though not the speaking role -- once news of the scandal broke.

"We do not tolerate sexual discrimination at any level within our society," the women's veterans group said, as quoted by KGTV. "He is now the keynote speaker on these injustices."

Filner's office did not respond to KGTV's request for comment.

This post has been updated.

A congressional probe into Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) campaign finances has been referred to the House Ethics Committee, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Wednesday.

An Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) report issued Tuesday did not name Bachmann but said all seven cases before it had been referred to the committee, according to the Star-Tribune. The Bachmann case had reportedly been one of those under investigation by the office. It focused on whistleblower allegations of campaign finance violations and accusations that she used campaign staff to help promote her 2011 book "Core of Conviction."

An attorney for the Bachmann campaign dismissed the OCE report.

"Today’s OCE disclosure not only is factually inaccurate, but is a shameful publicity stunt that undermines the confidentiality provisions designed to protect members of Congress from undue prejudice,” William McGinley, a Washington lawyer for Bachmann, told the Star-Tribune. “We are grateful that this matter is finally in the hands of the fair-minded and capable professionals at the House Committee on Ethics who we are confident will dismiss all allegations in this matter.”

Since Bachmann will be leaving the House at the conclusion of her fourth term in office, it's unclear what action the House Ethics Committee will pursue. 

On Wednesday afternoon, OCE spokeswoman Kelly Brewington told TPM that the office stood by the report and that it "in no way deviates from any other quarterly report" put out by the office.

Clarification: This post has been updated to clarify that the OCE report did not mention Bachmann by name.

Update: This post has been updated to include comments by Brewington.

Four George Zimmerman trial jurors released a joint statement Tuesday distancing themselves from outspoken Juror B37, CNN reported.

After the second segment of Juror B37's interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper aired Tuesday night, the four jurors, identified by their jury pool numbers, released a written statement reacting to her comments on the case.

"We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives," the statement read, as quoted by CNN.

"We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below," the statement continued.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ridiculed Liz Cheney's Senate campaign announcement by calling into question her Wyoming residency, Politico reported Tuesday.

"When I heard Liz Cheney was running for Senate I wondered if she was running in her home state of Virginia,” Paul said, as quoted by Politico. 

Paul told Politico last week that he believes Cheney's competition, incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), is a "solid conservative."

Russian President Vladimir Putin made it clear Wednesday that he holds his country's relationship with the United States in higher esteem than he does former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Reuters reported.

When a reporter asked if the Snowden case would negatively affect a September summit between the U.S. and Russia in Moscow, Putin responded that "bilateral relations, in my opinion, are far more important than squabbles about the activities of the secret services," according to Reuters.

"We warned Mr. Snowden that any action by him that could cause damage to Russian-American relations is unacceptable for us," he added, as quoted by Reuters.

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