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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

Police said a man was accidentally shot in the hand when his gun fell out of its holster Tuesday in the parking lot of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart, according to the Centre Daily Times.

Patton Township police said the man was crossing the parking lot in a hurry to avoid holding up traffic when the gun fell, according to the Centre Daily Times. When he went to pick up the gun, they said, the firearm went off as he shifted shopping bags.

Police told the Centre Daily Times that the man had a valid firearm carry permit.

New Hampshire state Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) apologized Tuesday for comparing Obamacare to the San Francisco plane crash that killed two and injured dozens of passengers, WMUR reported.

Sanborn guest-hosted a radio show Tuesday afternoon on radio station WTPL, where he discussed the Affordable Care Act with a former Republican legislator. Sanborn said Obamacare is "barreling down on us like a jet landing in San Francisco. It's (laughter) it should make people really concerned," according to WMUR.

Sanborn, who could make a run for governor next year, told WMUR that he didn't remember making the comment, but apologized after listening to the audio. 

"It was my mistake," he said, as quoted by WMUR. "If I offended anyone I am sorry."

The Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill would strengthen the U.S. economy by promoting job growth while decreasing the budget deficit, according to a White House report released Wednesday.

Immigration reform would increase real GDP by roughly $700 billion in 2023 and reduce the federal deficit by almost $850 billion over the next 20 years, the report found, citing Congressional Budget Office studies.

The report, authored by the National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, President's Council of Economic Advisers and the Office of Management and Budget, coincides with President Obama's push to drum up support for immigration reform among House Republicans.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled meet with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday, where they plan to discuss their efforts to pass immigration reform in the House.

The Egyptian government said Wednesday that ousted President Mohammed Morsi was in a safe place, CNN reported.

Egyptian government officials told CNN that no charges have been filed against Morsi.

Egyptian officials on Wednesday had ordered the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader and nine other leading Islamists for inciting violence, according to the Associated Press.

The political donor whose gifts to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) are the subject of a federal probe also gave $70,000 last year to a corporation belonging to McDonnell and his sister, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. 

People with knowledge of the payments told the Post that McDonnell did not disclose the money from Star Scientific, Inc.'s chief executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., as either a gift or loan. The sources also said that Williams gave a $50,000 check to the governor's wife Maureen in 2011 and a $10,000 check to daughter Jeanine in December to go towards the cost of her wedding, according to the Post.

Those gifts bring the total that Williams gave to the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 to $145,000, according to the Post.

Officials said a 15-year-old Missouri teenager was in critical condition Tuesday after he was accidentally shot, according to KTVO.

The victim was with another boy Tuesday afternoon in an Edina, Mo. home when he was accidentally shot in the back of the head, officials told KTVO. The station received conflicting reports as to what type of firearm was involved in the incident.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday at a press briefing that a decision to leave Afghanistan without a U.S. troop presence after 2014 was not "imminent." 

Carney stated that a so-called "zero option" remains a possibility, but said "this is not a decision that's imminent."

"Going forward after 2014 there will be very clear objectives. Those may be met by a residual force or they may be met by other means," he added, emphasizing that the U.S. remains committed to the country.

The New York Times had reported Monday that President Barack Obama was seriously considering the "zero option" to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan after 2014.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday at a press briefing that the Obama administration is "cautiously encouraged" by Egyptian military leaders' plans to hold interim elections in six months.

"We are cautiously encouraged by a plan that includes a return to democratic government," including parliamentary elections, he said.

Carney added that the White House would "not prescribe a timeline" for Egyptian elections.

The Newtown, Conn.-based National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a lawsuit against the state's Gov. Daniel P. Malloy (D) and other state leaders on Monday in an effort to reverse that state's strict gun law passed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Reuters reported

The suit, filed in federal court in Connecticut, argues that the state's gun control law violates the foundation members' Second Amendment rights and alleges Malloy and other lawmakers abused their power to pass the legislation.

"This is an action to vindicate the rights of the citizens of Connecticut whose federal and state constitutional rights have been adversely affected and significantly restricted by the passage of [the bill] through an abuse of the 'emergency certification' procedure, circumvention of the normal legislative process, and violation of Connecticut statutory law," the suit read, as quoted by Reuters.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation's headquarters are located three miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman opened fire and killed 26 students and educators in December.

FBI Director nominee James Comey said Tuesday in a Senate hearing that the secret Foreign Service Intelligence Act (FISA) court has effective congressional oversight and is "anything but a rubber stamp."

When pressed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to answer how the FISA court isn't just a rubber stamp if it had approved every government request, Comey noted that applications for wiretap warrants are also almost always approved because lawyers "work like crazy" to ensure such requests are in order.

"If we lose that credibility with the court, we worry that we've lost something that we'll never get back," Comey said.

Comey did not commit to declassifying FISA court opinions when asked about surveillance transparency, but did say it would be a "worthy exercise."

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