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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

The State Department reversed course Friday and confirmed that Secretary of State John Kerry was indeed "briefly" on his yacht in Nantucket Wednesday. The department had previously denied a CBS News report that Kerry was aboard his boat the day Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from office.

"While he was briefly on his boat on Wednesday, Secretary Kerry worked around the clock all day including participating in the president’s meeting with his national security council," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, as quoted by Politico

Psaki said Kerry held calls with numerous diplomats, including Egyptian Constitution Party President Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and five calls total to U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, according to Politico. None of those calls were made aboard the yacht, she said.

A CBS This Morning producer had tweeted a photo of Kerry's yacht Wednesday and reported that another producer had seen Kerry aboard the boat. Psaki then issued a statement denying the report, affirming that "since his plane touched down in Washington at 4 am, Secretary Kerry was working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt," according to WBZ.

Below are the CBS producer's original tweets: 

Police said a California man was arrested after a 6-year-old boy was shot in his right thigh and foot, the Press-Enterprise reported Thursday.

Police responded Wednesday night to a call about a child that had been shot in Banning, Calif., and said that upon searching the home they found a man hiding in an outbuilding with a .380 semi-automatic handgun, according to the Press-Enterprise. 

Authorities said George Hernandez, 34, was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, child endangerment, and violating his community supervised release, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Correction: The article has been updated to show that the Press-Enterprise reported Hernandez was arrested after the boy was shot. It was unclear how the boy came to be shot.


The Boston Pops welcomed a special guest to the stage Thursday night to assist in conducting the orchestra's Fourth of July concert: MBTA Transit Police officer Dick Donohue, who was wounded during a shootout with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Donohue led the orchestra in a rendition of The Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Up To Boston."

"I never thought I'd be up here," Donohue said after thanking the crowd for their support. "It's just such an honor to be up here on one of the greatest days in America and one of the greatest days in Boston."

Watch a highlight reel of the concert below, courtesy of WBZ:

 

The Egyptian Army said it did not open fire on protesters rallying in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi Friday, contrary to earlier reports citing eyewitnesses and first-hand accounts from Western news outlets that protesters had been fatally shot by troops, according to Reuters.

An army spokesman told Reuters that soldiers had only used blank rounds and teargas. It was not clear whether other, non-army security forces were present at the scene.

Applications for concealed-carry permits are soaring in several states where permit requirements have been eased, driven in part by the talk of new gun contol laws in response to recent mass shootings, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. 

The Journal found that 537,000 concealed-carry permits were issued last year in a dozen states the newspaper surveyed, including Texas, Utah and Wisconsin -- an 18 percent increase over the previous year. 

About 8 million Americans held concealed-carry permits last year, according to the Government Accountability Office, which called the figure a "conservative estimate."

Figures for 2013 may surpass those prior totals. Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming and Nebraska have almost matched or already surpassed the total of permits issued last year in the first half of 2013 alone, according to the Journal.

Updated 9:48 a.m.

Egyptian troops opened fire Friday on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi marching toward the Republican Guard headquarters, according to media reports. A BBC correspondent at the scene said there were casualties.

Reuters reported that at least three protesters were fatally shot by the army, citing security sources. Agence France-Presse also reported that at least 3 died in the skirmish. 

Court documents show that doctors treating South African civil rights icon Nelson Mandela said he was in a "permanent vegetative state" and advised his family to take him off life support, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.

"He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine," said a court filing dated June 26 obtained by AFP. "The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off."

Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj would not give comment to AFP on the documents.

"We have indicated from our point of view that based on the doctors' report the condition of the former president is critical but stable at this stage," he told AFP.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Prize laureate that Egyptian opposition leaders tapped to represent them in peace negotiations, on Thursday defended the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi as the "least painful option" for Egypt to take to negotiate its political crisis.

"We did not have a recall process," ElBaradei said in an interview with the New York Times. "People ask for the recall process with their feet in Tahrir Square. In my judgment, we could not have waited even one more week.”

ElBaradei also told the Times that on the day of the coup he spoke "at length" with Secretary of State John Kerry and Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top foreign policy official, about the necessity of removing Morsi from office.

He insisted that military officials told him that Morsi was "treated with dignity and respect" when they detained him on Wednesday, according to the Times.

The votes of 1,600 Brooklyn residents in the 2012 presidential election weren't counted until almost six months after President Barack Obama began his second term, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

Officials said the New York City Board of Elections realized in April that the November vote tally was off when an audit showed a mismatch between the number of Brooklyn residents who signed in at the polls and the number of votes counted, according to the Daily News. 

The Board of Elections completed the process of counting the votes by hand last week and added the votes to the official count Tuesday. The votes did not change the total of any race, according to the Daily News.

Bolivia rejected a U.S. request to extradite former security contractor Edward Snowden should he approach that country, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

Bolivia's foreign ministry released a statement Wednesday calling the extradition request "strange, illegal, unfounded" and asserting that President Evo Morales never spoke with Snowden while he was in Russia, according to Bloomberg. 

Morales appeared on Bolivian television after returning Wednesday night to La Paz from Vienna, Austria, where his plane had been diverted.

“This is an open provocation to the continent, not just the president,” Morales said in his remarks, as quoted by Bloomberg. “They will never intimidate us, never make us afraid because we are a unified and sovereign people.”

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday that U.S. officials had contacted countries Snowden may approach for asylum or transit through en route to a third country, providing "reasons why Mr. Snowden should be returned to the United States and face charges," according to Bloomberg.

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