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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

Thousands of abortion rights supporters packed the Texas capitol lawn Monday to fight Republican-sponsored legislation returning to the House floor, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

State Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who successfully led a filibuster of the bill last week addressed the crowd of orange-shirted protesters chanting her name. The filibuster prompted Gov. Rick Perry (R) to call a second special legislative session to bring the proposal back up for debate.

“You all have given me and so many others a renewed sense of strength,” Davis said, as quoted by the American-Statesman. “It was your strength and support that made it possible for me to stand for 13 hours.”

Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards were also on hand to rally supporters. 

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent a new draft of proposed greenhouse gas rules for future power plants to the White House, Politico reported Monday. 

The EPA's drafted rules were sent to the Obama administration less than a week after the president gave a speech outlining his plan to combat climate change and called on the agency to thwart carbon pollution from the power industry. The contents of the draft are confidential, although the rules are expected to disadvantage coal-fueled plants. 

An incarnation of the draft with strict emission rules was released in April 2012, but the EPA failed to file a final version by April of this year. Obama has set a Sept. 20 deadline for the rules for future power plants to be released to the public.

Egyptians reacted Monday to the military's issuance of a 48-hour ultimatum compelling President Mohammed Morsi and the opposition to reach an agreement or else face military intervention. Here are images of the reactions:

Egyptian women react to the military's 48-hour ultimatum for President Mohammed Morsi and opposition leaders to reach an agreement, in Cairo, Egypt.

Egyptians react to a televised statement by the military at a coffee shop near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.

Opponents of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans after the military issued an ultimatum, outside the presidential palace, in Cairo, Egypt.

An opponent of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi waves an Egyptian national flag after Egypt's military issued an ultimatum, outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.

Updated at 12:56 p.m.

A Russian immigration official said Monday that Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges for leaking information on National Security Agency surveillance programs, has applied for political asylum in Russia, according to the New York Times

The anonymous official told the Times that the asylum application was delivered to a Russian consulate within Moscow's international airport by Sarah Harrison, an activist with the Wikileaks organization who is escorting Snowden. 

The Los Angeles Times also reported that Snowden had met with Russian diplomatic officials Monday to deliver a request to 15 countries for political asylum, citing a source within the Russian Foreign Ministry. 

For Snowden to remain in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said the fugitive "must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners."

Interfax has reported that a Russian consular official said Snowden did ask for asylum in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that if former national security contractor Edward Snowden wishes to stay in Russia, he "must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners," Reuters reported. 

Putin reiterated that Russian intelligence services have not been working with the source of the National Security Agency leaks and said that Snowden is "not a Russian agent," according to Reuters.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee apologizing for giving an "erroneous" response when he said in a hearing that the National Security Agency does not collect data on millions of Americans, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

“I have thought long and hard to re-create what went through my mind at the time,” Clapper said in a previously undisclosed letter dated June 21, as quoted in the Post. “My response was clearly erroneous — for which I apologize.”

According to the Post, Clapper wrote that he misunderstood the question he was asked. During an Intelligence Committee hearing in March, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) had asked Clapper if the NSA collected any data on millions of American citizens, to which Clapper answered: "No, sir."

When he came under fire for that response in June, Clapper had said that he thought he responded to the committee in the "least untruthful manner," given that officials are unable to discuss classified information in public hearings.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called on House Republicans to respond to the "tall order" of bringing a majority of the party around to support comprehensive immigration reform and bring the legislation to the floor.

"No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border," Bush co-wrote with attorney Clint Bolick in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. "Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform—and leave in place a system that does all of those things."

Bush further stressed the importance of drafting measures that allow the government to issue more high-skilled work visas, and rejected the claim that the Senate immigration bill offered amnesty to people who reside in the U.S. illegally. 

Read the op-ed in full here

Police said a 6-year-old girl was fatally shot by her 4-year-old brother in Hopkinsville, Ky., WSMV reported.

The children's grandfather told WSMV that he was cleaning his pistol out and thought it was unloaded. His 4-year-old grandson then picked it up and pointed it at his older sister, he said.

The shooting appeared to be an accident, according to the grandfather.

Former President George W. Bush defended a National Security Agency surveillance program on Sunday, calling the collection of Internet data a necessary tool for homeland security.

"I put that program in place to protect the country," Bush said in an interview with CNN. "One of the certainties was that civil liberties were guaranteed."

Bush, who is in Zambia on a two-country trip to Africa, told CNN that he believes the Obama administration "will deal" with the consequences of former defense contractor Edward Snowden's leaks, refusing to criticize President Obama over allegations of government intrusion into citizens' privacy.

"I think there needs to be a balance, and as the President explained, there is a proper balance," he said.

Correction: This article originally said the interview took place on Monday. In fact, it took place on Sunday.

President Barack Obama said Monday that his thoughts are with the families of 19 firefighters who were killed battling a blaze in Arizona.

"Yesterday, nineteen firefighters were killed in the line of duty while fighting a wildfire outside Yarnell, Arizona," he said in a statement. "They were heroes -- highly-skilled professionals who, like so many across our country do every day, selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet. In recent days, hundreds of firefighters have battled extremely dangerous blazes across Arizona and the Southwest. The federal government is already assisting, and we will remain in close contact with state and local officials to provide the support they need. But today, Michelle and I join all Americans in sending our thoughts and prayers to the families of these brave firefighters and all whose lives have been upended by this terrible tragedy."

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