Hunter Walker

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Hunter

Updated: April 26, 2013, 11:35 AM

A former Republican candidate for Mississippi's House of Representatives named J. Everett Dutschke expressed disbelief and dismay Tuesday shortly after a man he was accused of framing for mailing letters that tested positive for the poison ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials was released from jail. Dutschke has not been charged in the ricin case and has denied any involvement.

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The United States Attorney has dismissed "without prejudice" all charges against Paul Kevin Curtis, the man initially identified as a suspect after letters that tested positive for ricin were mailed to President Barack Obama and other officials. 

In an order for dismissal filed this afternoon, Assistant United States Attorney William Lamar said the charges against Curtis were dismissed because "the ongoing investigation has revealed new information." By dismissing without prejudice, the government is reserving the right to refile charges later.

After Curtis was released Tuesday, his attorney, Christi McCoy said in an interview with CNN that she believed he had been set up by another person. That same afternoon FBI agents visited the home of Everett Dutschke, a man McCoy suggested may have framed her client earlier this week. 

View the order for dismissal below:

Order For Dismissal

 (Updated with documents 5:58 PM)

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President Barack Obama is expected to make a final decision in the next few months about whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would stretch more than 1,000 miles between Alberta and Oklahoma and transport crude from Canada's oil sands into the United States. Keystone is opposed by environmentalists in both the U.S. and Canada, but the Canadian government is eager to make the pipeline happen. The man leading that effort is Canada's Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. He was in New York this week drumming up support for the plan and Oliver talked with TPM about why he doesn't think anyone has anything to fear from Keystone in spite of a recent, dramatic pipeline spill in Arkansas.

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The news that Russia asked the FBI to investigate Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 has left many wondering whether an opportunity was missed to detect a future terrorist. TPM talked with a high-ranking former FBI counterterrorism executive who explained what happens when the FBI receives a request from Moscow to start an investigation and why that kind of tip might not have been enough to stop the alleged bomber.

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Now that the suspects in Monday's Boston Marathon bombing have both been taken off the streets, authorities are focused on looking into a 2012 trip one of the alleged bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, took to Russia. Prior to that journey, the FBI was asked to investigate Tsarnaev by the Russian government. TPM talked to experts to find out what this Russian tip may tell us about Tsarnaev's ties to extremist groups in his native land and whether the FBI missed out on a chance to catch a future terrorist.

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Police weren't the only ones hunting bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev Friday afternoon. A hacker claiming to be affiliated with the group Anonymous targeted Tsarmaev while he was still on the run and released a file Friday afternoon that purportedly contained Tsarnaev's personal information gleaned from the website of his school, UMass Dartmouth.

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Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz got the Federal Communications Commission's seal of approval after he dropped an F-bomb in a pre-game speech that was broadcast on live television. Ortiz's R-rated remarks were delivered on the field at Fenway Park before the first Red Sox home game since Monday's bombing at the Boston Marathon. 

"This is our fucking city," Ortiz said. "And nobody gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong. Thank you."

The FCC regulates "obscenity, indecency and profanity" on radio and television and often issues fines for on-air swearing. However, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski issued a statement of support for Ortiz on the agency's official Twitter account after the game.

"David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston," Genachowski wrote.


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The Massachusetts State Police just released five new photos that show how thermal imaging cameras and robotics were used to find bombing suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev in the boat where he was hiding before he was taken into custody. 

All of the photos were taken by the state police's Air Wing. Some of the pictures display the thermal imaging techniques authorities to confirm Tsarnaev was in the boat. Other pictures show a police vehicle using a robotic arm to lift the tarp that covered Tsarnaev in the boat.

View some of the pictures below:

(All Photos: Massachusetts State Police) 


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As the manhunt for one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing continued through the day Friday, UMass Dartmouth undertook a campus-wide evacuation after officials there confirmed that Dzokhar "Jahar" Tsarnaev was registered at the university.

Tsarnaev is even believed to have spent time at the school Wednesday after allegedly participating in Monday's attack.

However, UMass Dartmouth wasn't the only school where the 19-year-old Tsarnaev spent time during his brief college career. Tsarnaev, who was apprehended by authorities Friday night, initially enrolled at UMass Boston, but withdrew before attending a single class, a decision one of his good friends said was motivated by a desire to focus on "parties."

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Yushun Tsou, a man who was on the wrestling team with Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar "Jahar" Tsamaev at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School, posted a video online Friday that he said showed "the Jahar I knew."

In the brief clip, which is entitled "Off Season Wrestling," Tsamaev is shown wrestling with three other men. He also does "the robot" dance. Tsou confirmed to TPM that the dancing man in the clip is Tsamaev. 

"I remember Jahar, he was my friend and my teammate," Tsou wrote in an accompanying note when he posted a video on his Facebook page. 

Watch Tsou's video below. 

This post has been updated with confirmation from Tsou (6:33 PM).

(Photo: Soundcloud.com/Jahar-Tsarnaev)

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