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

Niagara Falls will light up either pink or blue to celebrate the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

The Niagara Parks Commission's Facebook page encourages visitors to guess whether the child will be a boy or a girl. The royal couple's baby is expected in mid-July.

President Barack Obama has signed just 15 bills into law thus far while battling congressional deadlock, according to Roll Call.

Before the Fourth of July congressional recess last year, Obama had signed 23 bills in the year with the smallest legislative output since World War II. During his first six months in office in 2009, the president signed 40 measures while working with a Democratic Congress, according to Roll Call.

Former presidents who worked with a Congress controlled partly by the opposing party passed far more legislation in the first six months of their terms, according to Roll Call.

Two Muslim Brotherhood officials were released Friday after being arrested in the wake former President Mohamed Morsi's ouster, Reuters reported.

Saad El-Katatni, the former parliament speaker and head of the brotherhood's political wing, and Rashad al-Bayoumi, a deputy brotherhood leader, were arrested Thursday. Egypt's public prosecutor ordered their release, although they remain under investigation for "inciting violence," according to Reuters.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed legislation Friday that would have annulled federal gun laws in the state and made it a crime for federal agents to enforce decades-old gun laws or for anyone to publish the names of gun owners, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Nixon outlined how House Bill 436 would have violated the Constitution and the First Amendment in his veto message and accused the legislature of returning to Civil-War-era nullification. 

"By seeking to declare certain federal acts null and void, (House Bill 436) seeks to turn the hierarchy of our national framework of laws on its head in clear violation of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution,” Nixon wrote, as quoted by the News-Leader.

"There is no shortage of unacceptable scenarios that could result from this provision,” he added. “As one example, newspapers around the state annually publish photos of proud young Missourians who harvest their first turkey or deer. Under this bill, doing so would be a crime.”

Nixon did give his seal of approval Friday to a bill that allows state employees to keep firearms in their vehicles on state property and gives fire chiefs concealed-carry permissions. He called himself a proud gun owner and hunter who believes in the Second Amendment, according to the News-Leader.

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.