WP). Surviving Boston Marathon bomber goes to court this week, after a year spent mostly in isolation (Yahoo). A northern white rhino died in San Diego zoo; only five still alive for a species on its way to extinction (CNN). Carbon monoxyde leak from Zamboni ice rink resurfacing machine in Wisconsin leaves 81 people hospitalized after minor league hockey game (CNN). Jeb Bush to release emails from his time as FL governor, as he's writing an ebook and considering a 2016 run (CT). Democrats split for 2016 between more purist / populist candidates like Warren and more centrist / pragmatic candidates like Clinton (WP). Biggest Pinocchios of 2014 (WP).
Majority-republican Texas legislature set to vote on new pro-gun laws, like open-carrying handguns in public and sales tax holiday on firearms (Reuters). Pro-small-business legislation, covering federal contracts, saddled onto $1.1 trillion spending bill (WP). 4 killed in Mississippi after 18-wheeler plows into accident-stopped traffic on I-10 (Reuters). After bicameral passage, $1.1 trillion spending bill lands on Obama's desk, mostly locking current spending levels (HC). Cop buys eggs for woman caught shoplifting to feed her destitute family (TOI). Uninsured number falls under Obamacare: Medicare / Medicaid payments still fall short, while law cuts hospital funding; health-care industry windfall beats expectations, booming new market for prescription drugs (LAT). Rule-breaker, outside-insider Elizabeth Warren gains influence on the left, while pushing it further left (WP). Thousands, including prominent civil rights leaders, march through DC / NYC / Chicago / Boston, protesting black men's death at the hand of the police (CT).
To avoid government shutdown, Senate extends federal spending until next Wednesday at midnight. House slashes IRS budget by $350 million - final vote up to the Senate, this evening. Under pressure from financial industry lobbyists, law banning derivatives trading (risky) by FDIC-insured banks is overturned. As recovery from floods goes on in California, tornado sweeps through LA, a first since 1983. Gang member arrested in connection with yesterday's school shooting in Portland, OR. Nationwide protests planned this weekend against black men's deaths at the hand of the police; thousands already marching in DC; 23 arrested in Boston. Exceptional weekend session in the Senate to vote on the $1.1 trillion spending bill. After all, US Attorney General will not compel NYT reporter James Risen to reveal confidential sources for his book.
Thousands without power across California from floods and showers (1-2 inches per hour). Senate extends government spending for two days while reviewing House's US $1.1 trillion spending bill Increasing costs, reliance on government, and resourceful arrangements, along with voluntary unemployment, plague US recovery, especially for 25-54 years old men (NYT). Increasing clashes between health-care industry and Medicare admins / investigators over waste and fraud (est. $35bn for 2013 - WSJ).
USD $1.1 trillion spending bill passes, funding all government until September 2015, minus Homeland Security (breakdown). FCC to increase spending on high-speed internet for schools and libraries in poor + rural areas. CIA-launched website defends enhanced interrogations, which "saved American lives". Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote authorizes Obama's war on ISIS. Obama meets with advisers to simplify business tax code, create manufacturing hubs promoting innovation via public / private partnerships, and expand manufacturing apprenticeship program.