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Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

The gunman in the Friday morning shooting at a New Jersey police station obtained the firearm as he was being taken into custody for a domestic violence incident, a Phildaelphia-based CBS affiliate reports.

Gloucester Township police chief Harry Earle told the press that the gunman got into a confrontation with the officers inside the station around 5:30 a.m. Three officers were shot. One, who was shot just below his bulletproof vest, is undergoing surgery. The other two injured officers suffered minor wounds and are expected to be released from the hospital today. 

The gunman was shot and killed by police at the scene. 

The suspected gunman in the Friday morning shooting at a New Jersey police station was shot and killed at the scene, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reports

Three officers were shot at the Gloucester Township police station in Camden County, N.J. A male officer is undergoing surgery. The other two officers, a male and a female, are being treated for minor injuries. 

The Associated Press reports:

The State Department has closed its embassy in the Central African Republic and ordered the ambassador and his diplomatic team to leave the country as rebels there continue to advance and violence escalates, U.S. officials said Thursday.

A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, said that at the State Department’s request, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had directed U.S. Africa Command to evacuate U.S. citizens and designated foreign nationals from the U.S. Embassy in Bangui ‘‘to safe havens in the region.’’

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the U.S. Embassy had temporarily suspended operations, but not diplomatic relations with the country.

Three officers were shot early Friday morning at a police station in New Jersey, Philadelphia affiliate NBC10 reports

The shooting occurred shortly before 6 a.m. at the Gloucester Township Police in Camden County, N.J. One officer is undergoing surgery, while the other two are being treated for minor injuries.

The gunman is reportedly not associated with the police department, but there has been no confirmation on the status of the suspect.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a bill that will prohibit Americans from adopting Russian children, the Associated Press reports.

After passing the Russian parliament on Wednesday, Putin said that he would sign it into law. The measure is widely viewed as a retaliatory response to a U.S. effort to target Russians identified as huamn rights violators. 

Although it has not been officially specified when the law will take effect, a spokesman for Putin was quoted by a Russian news agency as saying "practically, adoption stops on Jan. 1."

The National Rifle Association suffered a backlash in many circles following its combative press conference last week, but a poll released Thursday indicated that the powerful pro-gun lobby has retained ample support from much of the American public.

According to Gallup, 54 percent of respondents have a favorable view of the NRA, compared with 38 percent who have an unfavorable view. The results are consistent with the public's attitudes toward the group since the end of the 20th century. At least 50 percent of Americans have had a favorable opinion of the NRA in Gallup's polling since 1999, peaking at 60 percent in 2005. A majority of the public hasn't had an unfavorable view of the organization since 1995. Gallup first measured the NRA's popularity in 1993. 

As expected, there is a sharp partisan split when it comes to the NRA: 83 of Republicans in Thursday's poll said they have a favorable opinion, while 58 percent of Democrats have an unfavorable opinion.

Officials at the Methodist Hospital in Houston will be offering no further updates on the condition of former President George H.W. Bush out of respect for the family's privacy, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

Reports on Wednesday indicated that Bush had been placed in an intensive care unit. Bush has been in the hospital since last month nursing bronchitis-like symptoms.

Hospital spokesman David Bricker on Thursday would not confirm to the Times if the 41st president was still in intensive care, adding that additional information will only be offered to the public after the family decides that "events warrant" an update.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday released a statement in which she called on Republican leadership in the House to "come back to work and stop stonewalling every effort" to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

The statement:

"The House Democratic leadership is calling on the Republican leadership to come back to work and stop stonewalling every effort to get the job done, including making sure that taxes are not raised on tens of millions of middle class families. 

"House Democrats have been standing ready and willing to return to Washington to vote on critical issues including the middle class tax cuts, Sandy disaster relief, the Violence Against Women Act, the Farm Bill – all while we continue to work on a bipartisan solution to avoid the fiscal cliff.  There are plenty of reasons for this Do-Nothing Congress to get back to work. 

"The House Republican leadership has run out of excuses and out of time.  Their inaction continues to threaten middle class Americans with higher taxes.

"With five days left before the fiscal cliff,  Speaker Boehner should immediately call the House back into session to allow a vote on the Senate-passed middle class tax cut bill that the President has said he would sign immediately."

 

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips on Thursday disputed that President Obama claimed a mandate in November's election, arguing that his re-election victory came over "the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney."

"You know, Obama ran on the fact he was going to raise taxes, the Republicans put up the worst candidate in history in Mitt Romney, yet Obama allegedly has this mandate," Phillips said during an appearance on MSNBC. "Well, why did Republicans keep the House if Obama has this great mandate? People don't want their taxes going up. What people do want is spending cuts."

The White House on Thursday released a statement from President Obama on the announcement from Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson that she will resign late next month:

Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children. Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution. Lisa has been an important part of my team, and I want to thank her for her service in my Administration and her tireless efforts to benefit the American people. I wish her all the best wherever her future takes her.

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