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 were investigating whether an armed customer may have shot and killed two restaurant employees by mistake in a chaotic incident on Monday night in Oakland, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation into the shooting, told the Chronicle that the customer and another man may have been hiding in the freezer of a Wingstop fast-food restaurant after being threatened by a "third party." When the restaurant employees came back to investigate, they were possibly mistaken for the threatening party and shot by the customer, according to the sources.

Oakland police said they had already apprehended one of the customers, and were in "the process of securing the other man's surrender."

Before the Egyptian military's ultimatum expired Wednesday, President Mohammed Morsi refused to step down and told the military not to "take sides" in the country's political crisis, according to the Associated Press.

Military officers were monitoring content in an Egyptian state TV newsroom Wednesday ahead of the expiration of the army's ultimatum, the Associated Press reported. 

Ecuador has found what it says was a hidden microphone in its London embassy, which houses Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The nation plans Wednesday to announce who it believes controlled the device, according to Reuters

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the device was discovered in the office of the Ecuadorean ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ana Alban, during one of Patino's meetings with Assange on June 16.

"I didn't denounce this at the time because we didn't want the theme of our visit to London to be confused with this matter," Patino said in a news conference Tuesday in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, as quoted by Reuters. The foreign minister had met at the time with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to discuss Assange.

"Furthermore, we first wanted to ascertain with precision what could be the origin of this interception device in the office of our ambassador," Patino added. "We are sorry to say so, but this is another instance of a loss of ethics at the international level in relations between governments."

Egypt's state flagship newspaper Al-Ahram reported Wednesday that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi will either step down or be removed from office when the army's deadline for resolving the political crisis arrives, according to Reuters.

"Al-Ahram learnt that with the end of the 48-hour period set by the armed forces ... it is expected in the hours that follow it, one of two things: either Mursi announces his resignation himself, or the declaration of his removal through the road map for the future set out by the armed forces," the newspaper said, as quoted by Reuters.

The state newspaper reported the military's "road map" for the country includes a neutral transition government headed by a military leader as well as a three-member presidential council chaired by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

The North Carolina state Senate approved a bill late Tuesday restricting abortions that was tacked onto a measure dealing with foreign law, according to local media reports.

The omnibus legislation was listed on a senate committee's calendar only as House Bill 695, which bars family courts from recognizing foreign law such as Islamic Sharia law, according to WRAL. That bill was then amended at 5:30 p.m. to incorporate abortion provisions, including licensing requirements that would compel abortion clinics to meet standards similar to those of ambulatory surgical centers. Legislative staff said that only one clinic in the state meets those standards, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

Other provisions would require a doctor to be present for the entire abortion procedure, whether surgical or drug-induced (medical); put a ban on sex-selective abortions; and prohibit plans on the federal health care exchange from covering the costs of an abortion.

The Senate tentatively approved the bill 27-14. A final vote Wednesday would send the legislation to the House, where some of the proposals have already passed in separate bills.

A teenage boy from Logan County, Okla. put a rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger without realizing it was loaded on Tuesday, KFOR reported.

Logan County authorities said Jared Ridgway, 16, was trying to prove to a friend that the rifle wasn't loaded when he stuck the firearm in his mouth. The boy's mother told KFOR that he suffered a stroke as a result of the gunshot wound and that doctors may not be able to remove the bullet for fear of excessive bleeding.

The incident occurred at a friend's house, where Logan County Sheriff's Department Capt. Richard Stephens said the homeowners "left the scene knowing full well the boys had a firearm and were likely to use it."

Stephens said child negligence charges had been presented to the District Attorney against the owner of the trailer where the incident occurred.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) reelection campaign released a video Tuesday featuring an auto-tuned soundtrack that posed the question "What rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?"

The video features clips of Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state who on Monday announced her run to challenge McConnell in the 2014 Senate race. The video is overlaid by text that casts her as a candidate who is "not ready for prime time," who "sticks to party line," and is a "left wing mime."

Watch the video below: 

Fox News' Greta Van Susteren took to her blog Tuesday to dismiss a report that she may have contacted her former employer, CNN, about potentially returning to that network.

Van Susteren wrote:

I am very busy here in Florida so let me just quickly blog this:

I am not going anywhere.

I have a long term contract with Fox  and it is for a show in “prime time.”

Done, ok?  (And by the way, don’t you love the courage of the anonymous sources? and those who then speculate from there? ) 

Mediaite reported Monday that Van Susteren had initiated meetings with CNN's Jeff Zucker about a potential return, citing "high-level sources within CNN."

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo will remain closed to the public through Wednesday, according to a notice posted on its website.

The notice urged U.S. citizens in Egypt to exercise caution around the demonstrations in Cairo.

"As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur," the notice said. "Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly."

According to the embassy website, the Cairo post has been closed to the public since Sunday.